Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture News and Research

 

Researches find acupuncture effective for the treatment of chronic pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). A total of 70 female patients were randomly assigned to two groups and the results were compared. Group 1 received acupuncture and group 2 received Fu Ke Qian Jin Pian for oral intake. The group receiving acupuncture had a 91.43% total effective rate and the Fu Ke Qian Jin Pian herbal medicine group had a 74.29% total effective rate.

 

Needle in hand 

 

Acute PID is often treated with antibiotics and surgery; however, chronic PID is often unresponsive to multiple regimens of antibiotics and exploratory surgery. This research indicates that acupuncture and herbal medicine are both effective for the alleviation of chronic PID. Acupuncture outperformed the herbal tablets by 17.14%. The 91.43% total effective rate produced by acupuncture indicates that it is a viable treatment option for patients with chronic PID. 

Acupuncture combined with supplementary Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) modalities is found effective for the alleviation of chronic neck, shoulder, back, and osteoarthritis pain. Researchers provided acupuncture treatments over the course of eight weekly sessions in a group setting. The researchers confirm that the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture have lasting results. All acupuncture treatments ceased at the eight week data point. A 24 week follow-up confirms that pain levels remain reduced even though no treatments were provided after the eight week data point.

 

Seated position treatment of the shoulder.

 

The total therapy package provided to participants included weekly acupuncture, Tui-Na massage, auricular acupoint stimulation, and Gua Sha. The research was conducted by investigators from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York), Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center (New York), and the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing (New York). The results were published in Pain Medicine, a publication of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. 

Researchers conclude that electroacupuncture plus moxibustion increases the clinical effective rate of physiotherapy for the treatment of infantile cerebral palsy. Binzhou City Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital researchers combined Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy (i.e., electroacupuncture and moxibustion) with standard physiotherapy. Patients receiving both TCM care and physiotherapy in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only physiotherapy. The physiotherapy control group achieved a total effective rate of 78.9%. The TCM care plus physiotherapy treatment group achieved a total effective rate of 92.9%. The addition of TCM care to physiotherapy increases the total effective rate by 14%. Let’s take a look at the results.

 

Acupuncture doll and acupuncturist 

 

The study design was as follows. The investigation involved the selection of 80 patients who received acupuncture and physiotherapy treatment at the acupuncture department of the Binzhou City TCM Hospital. Patients were randomly assigned to a treatment group and a control group. The treatment group had 42 patients, and the control group had 38 patients. Both groups received identical physiotherapy. The treatment group received acupuncture and moxibustion therapy in addition to physiotherapy. 

Researchers conclude that acupuncture reduces hypertension and prevents brain damage due to chronic high blood pressure. A controlled laboratory investigation finds acupuncture effective for the regulation of blood pressure while simultaneously preventing excessive cell death in the brain. In a quantification of acupuncture’s effective mechanisms, researchers identified important biological responses elicited by acupuncture responsible for producing therapeutic benefits.

 

Xuehai (SP10) 

 

The research team of Lu et al. identified biochemical responses elicited by the application of three acupuncture techniques. Reinforcing twirling, reducing twirling, and needle retention techniques resulted in reduced blood pressure and downregulation of cell death in the brain when compared with a control group. All three manual acupuncture techniques prevented “target organ damage by increasing the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and inhibiting apoptosis of hippocampal neurons.” 

Researchers find acupuncture safe and effective for the treatment of pressure ulcers. In a controlled study, investigators demonstrate that acupuncture significantly enhances the rate of positive patient outcomes for patients receiving standard wound care for pressure ulcers. Patients receiving acupuncture plus standard wound care had an 88.2% total effective rate. Patients receiving only standard wound care had a 70.6% total effective rate.

 

Three Needles 

 

Research published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion finds acupuncture effective for the treatment of pressure ulcers. Yang et al. compared patients receiving acupuncture plus standard wound care with patients receiving only standard wound care. Patients receiving both acupuncture and standard wound care treatments had greater positive patient outcomes. Acupuncture shrank ulcerative lesions and decreased PUSH scores. PUSH is a measurement tool for patients with pressure ulcers. It categorizes the ulcer with respect to surface area, exudate, and type of wound tissue to provide an indication of the improvement or deterioration in pressure ulcer healing. 

Researchers conclude that acupuncture reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A massive sample size of over 158,420 patients with fibromyalgia were included in the study. A total of 81,843 patients received acupuncture treatments and 76,582 patients never received acupuncture. A total of 12,522 patients developed coronary heart disease during the follow-up period. Only 4,389 patients receiving acupuncture developed coronary heart disease but 8,133 patients that did not receive acupuncture developed coronary heart disease. The researchers conclude that acupuncture “significantly decreased the risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] in patients with fibromyalgia with or without comorbidities.”

 

Back Shu Points

 

The researchers note that acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease equally for both men and women. The risk of coronary heart disease increased with the age of patients; however, acupuncture decreased risks across all age groups. In addition, acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease regardless of whether or not patients took steroid medications, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), or statins. 

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. In a meta-analysis of eight independent investigations, acupuncture had an 87% – 100% success rate for converting patients to a “normal sinus rhythm after acupuncture.” Based on the findings, the University of Minnesota researchers recommend additional studies, including those with long-term follow-up examinations, to confirm the results. [1]

 

BL15 (Xinshu) 

 

Beijing University researchers produced similar findings. They concluded that “CA [conventional acupuncture] may be a useful and safe alternative or additive approach to AADs [anti-arrhythmia drugs] for cardiac arrhythmia, especially in VPB [ventricular premature beat] and Af [atrial fibrillation] patients, which mainly based on a pooled estimate and result from 1 study with higher methodological quality.” [2] The Beijing University researchers note that additional studies are required to confirm the results in order to produce a more “robust conclusion.” 

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the alleviation of chronic coughing. In a controlled clinical investigation, researchers determined that a combination of electroacupuncture and herbal medicine nasal irrigation produces significant positive patient outcome rates for patients with upper airway cough syndrome (previously termed postnasal drip syndrome). The application of electroacupuncture plus herbal medicine nasal irrigation significantly outperformed the use of either modality as a standalone procedure. Based on the results of the investigation, Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine University researchers determined that the combination of electroacupuncture plus herbal medicine nasal irrigation produces a 94.5% total effective rate (Bao et al.).

 

LU1 (Zhongfu)

 

The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) currently defines upper airway cough syndrome (UACS) as the more current way to refer to postnasal drip syndrome (PNDS). UACS is defined by the ACCP as a critical pathogenesis involved in chronic coughing. Causes of UACS are several, including upper respiratory disorders (nasal and sinus diseases), anatomical abnormalities, chemically induced rhinitis, neural hypersensitivity, and inflammatory diseases of the larynx and pharynx. The term UACS is an umbrella diagnosis for chronic coughing resulting from these etiologies. 

Researchers find acupuncture effective for improving alertness and executive functions. In a controlled experiment, researchers tested human subjects by needling one acupuncture point. After completion of acupuncture, the researchers performed the Attention Network Task (ANT) to determine changes in the subjects. The ANT measures reactions to visual stimuli presented on a computer monitor. Subjects use a computer mouse to provide feedback to visual cues. Subjects receiving acupuncture demonstrated significant improvements in their ANT scores. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that acupuncture improves alertness and executive functions.

 

PC Channel Points 

 

In another investigation using MRIs of the brain, researchers determined that acupuncture regulates emotions and memory. The results indicate that the regulatory effect of acupuncture on advanced cognitive activities such as emotional and memory disorders is likely due to its two-way regulatory effect on various cerebral zones, by increasing or attenuating their functional connectivity. Let’s start with a look at the Attention Network Task (ANT) research and then take a look at the MRI investigation. 

Acupuncture is more effective than fluoxetine hydrochloride for the treatment of post-stroke depression. Hebei Medical University Affiliated Cangzhou Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine researchers investigated the effects of acupuncture on patients with post-stroke depression in a randomized controlled clinical trial. For comparison purposes, a control group received fluoxetine hydrochloride. The acupuncture treatment group achieved a total effective rate of 96%; the drug control group achieved an 87% total effective rate.

 

DU24 (Shenting)

 

Acupuncture outperformed fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) across four separate indices (HAMD, NIHSS, Barthel Index, TESS). The HAMD (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression) measures several important aspects of mental health (e.g., mood, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, interest in work and activities, psychomotor impairment, agitation, anxiety). The NIHSS (NIH Stroke Scale) is a 15 item neurologic examination of stroke adverse effects. The Barthel Index (BI) measures the ability to live independently based on mobility and activities of daily living performance (e.g., eating, bathing, dressing, walking, bladder and bowel control). TESS (Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale) measures the safety and efficacy of treatment. At the 96% total effective rate, the acupuncture group outperformed the drug control group across all tested indices by 9%. 

Researchers find acupuncture combined with moxibustion effective for the treatment of chemoradiotherapy induced leukopenia. Shanghai Tongji Hospital researchers determined that acupuncture combined with moxibustion successfully increases white blood cell levels and stabilizes the overall health of patients suffering from leukopenia (a disorder characterized by reduced white blood cell levels). The results were verified by blood assays and additional clinical evidence in a controlled trial comparing the effects of medications with acupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture combined with moxibustion produced a positive patient outcome rate of 90.0%. The medications batilol and leucogen produced a 53.3% positive patient outcome rate for the treatment of chemoradiotherapy induced leukopenia.

 

Sanyinjiao SP6 

 

Acupuncture and moxibustion produced faster positive patient outcomes than for patients receiving medications (batilol and leucogen tablets). Data points measured immediate and short-term benefits of both therapies. Acupuncture produced increased white blood cell levels by the day 3 and day 7 data points. Batilol and leucogen produced the same effect by the day 14 data point. In addition, batilol and leucogen further increased white blood cell levels at the day 21 data point that had already been achieved by the acupuncture and moxibustion group by day 14 data point. 

Researchers find acupuncture combined with moxibustion effective for the alleviation of diabetic oculomotor paralysis. Xinjiang Medical University hospital researchers tested the efficacy of combining acupuncture and moxibustion with drug therapy. The addition of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies increased positive patient outcomes by 45% for patients with diabetic oculomotor paralysis.

 

Face points 

 

The researchers tested a protocol of drug therapy in combination with acupuncture and moxibustion in a controlled clinical trial. Drug therapy, as a standalone treatment, produced a 45% total effective rate. Adding acupuncture and moxibustion to the treatment regimen increased the total effective rate to 90%. Let’s take a look at the results. 

Researchers conclude that acupuncture increases the clinical effective rate of the drug cefodizime for the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder). Xining Haihu Hospital researchers combined acupuncture with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both drug therapy and acupuncture in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients using only drug therapy. The drug control group achieved a total effective rate of 50.0%. The acupuncture plus drug treatment group achieved a total effective rate of 98.0%. The addition of acupuncture to the administration of cefodizime increases the total effective rate by 48%.

 

GB34 and Dannangxue 

 

The VAS (Visual Analogue Scale) scores in the acupuncture plus drugs group were significantly better. The addition of acupuncture to drug therapy also produced significant improvements in the value of serum bilirubin and biochemical markers of liver functions. The researchers conclude that the combination of acupuncture plus drug therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of chronic cholecystitis. Let’s take a closer look at the results. 

Acupuncture is more effective than medications for improving sleep quality in survivors of breast cancer. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York), and Memorial University (Newfoundland and Labrador) researchers determined that electroacupuncture outperforms gabapentin for improving sleep latency and efficiency for female breast cancer survivors with hot flashes. In a controlled clinical trial, the researchers conclude that acupuncture improves sleep duration and significantly improves the length of time needed to transition from full wakefulness to restful sleep (sleep latency).

 

Golden point doll and practitioner

 

The researchers determined several other benefits provided by acupuncture to breast cancer survivors with hot flashes. Acupuncture reduces sleep disturbances, decreases daytime dysfunction, and improves sleep efficiency. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that acupuncture improves overall sleep quality. In addition, acupuncture does not produce adverse effects associated with gabapentin (e.g., dizziness, fatigue, ataxia) or venlafaxine (e.g., dry mouth, constipation, headaches). The researchers demonstrate that acupuncture produces superior positive patient outcomes without the undesirable adverse effects associated with medications. The research was published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society and was supported, in part, by a grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Researchers conclude that acupuncture increases the clinical effective rate of the drug deanxit for the treatment of migraines. Importantly, the addition of acupuncture to the administration of deanxit significantly reduces the adverse effects caused by the medication. The data was published in the report entitled Clinical Effect Observation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Combined with Flupentixol/Melitracen Tablet in the Treatment of Migraine.

 

ST8 (Touwei) 

 

This research confirms findings made by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York) and University of York (York) researchers. In a high quality study with a massive sample size exceeding 18,000 patients, the researchers determined that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of headaches and migraines. In the research, acupuncture was found effective as a standalone therapy for migraines. We’ll take a look at that research shortly. First, let’s take a look at the acupuncture research for the treatment of migraines when the deanxit drug therapy was employed. 

Acupuncture outperforms drugs for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome. In a controlled clinical trial, Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine University researchers conclude that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome. Two groups were compared. An acupuncture treatment group achieved a total efficacy rate of 82.5% and a drug control group achieved a total efficacy rate of 62.5%.

 

Yintang

 

Patients in the drug control group received administration of the drug haloperidol, a pharmaceutical antidepressant. Haloperidol is widely used as an antipsychotic medication for the treatment of schizophrenia, but it is also used for controlling Tourette’s syndrome. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that acupuncture outperforms haloperidol for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome. In addition, they add that “the adverse effect rate of the acupuncture group is significantly lower than that of the drug group.” The results indicate that acupuncture is both more effective and safer than administration of haloperidol for the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome. 

Acupuncture outperforms drug therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate female stress urinary incontinence (FSUI). Researchers from Weihai City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine conclude that electroacupuncture is effective for the control of FSUI. In the study, an electroacupuncture treatment group produced a positive patient outcome rate of 86.7%. The drug control group produced a 68.9% positive patient outcome rate for the treatment of FSUI. The electroacupuncture group had a significantly higher complete recovery rate and total effective rate.

 

Ciliao (BL32) and other points on an acupuncture doll

 

After four weeks of treatment, the electroacupuncture group achieved a positive patient outcome rate of 86.7%. A total of 30 patients fully recovered, 48 showed significant improvements, and 12 had no improvements. The drug control group had a 68.9% positive patient outcome rate. A total of 20 patients fully recovered, 42 showed significant improvement, and 27 had no improvements. The positive patient outcome rates show significant differences between these treatment protocols. 

Electroacupuncture combined with Chinese herbal medicine navel paste outperforms drugs for alleviating post-stroke constipation. In a controlled investigation, acupuncture plus topical herbal medicine had a higher total effective rate and a higher complete recovery rate than drug therapy. In addition, acupuncture plus topical herbal medicine had a significantly lower failure rate than drug therapy.

 

CV and ST Acupoints 

 

Researchers (Xiong et al.) compared the therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture plus Chinese herbal medicine navel paste with that of a pharmaceutical medication. Two groups were compared. A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) group received electroacupuncture to benefit circulation in the blood vessels and nerves. In addition, a Chinese herbal medicine navel paste was applied topically to the umbilicus region. The drug group received phenolphthalein, a diphenylmethane stimulant laxative, in tablet form. Phenolphthalein tablets are prescribed to relieve constipation. The TCM group achieved a 92.5% total treatment effective rate. The drug group achieved a 78.8% total effective rate.

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the alleviation of acute asthma attacks. In a controlled clinical study, researchers determined that acupuncture plus moxibustion increases the effectiveness of usual care by 18.75%. Two groups were compared. Both groups received drug therapy, consisting of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic pharmaceutical medications. One group, however, received Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies (acupuncture and moxibustion) in addition to drug therapy. The drug therapy group achieved a 79.17% total effective rate and the TCM plus drug therapy group achieved a 97.92% total effective rate.

 

Pictorial of lungs and bronchi. 

 

Clinical effectiveness was confirmed using several metrics including fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), peak expiratory flow (PEF), and serum IgE levels. The asthma control test (ACT) was included in the evaluation parameters, with measurements taken before treatment and one month after treatment. The TCM treatment group outperformed the drug only group in all parameters. Based on the results, the researchers conclude that acupuncture plus moxibustion increases positive outcome rates for patients suffering from acute asthma attacks.

Zhuji Disan Renming Hospital researchers conclude that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is effective for the alleviation of pain and discomfort due to surgical removal of the gallbladder (postcholecystectomy syndrome). A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment group was administered a classic herbal formula (Si Ni San) and a semi-protocolized acupuncture point prescription. The TCM treatment group had a 98.1% total effective rate. A drug control group received conventional drug therapy and had an 85.4% total effective rate. The results demonstrate that the integration of acupuncture and herbal medicine into postoperative protocols produces significant positive patient outcomes. Let’s take a look at the results.

 

BL23 (Shenshu) 

 

Postcholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS) refers to the presence of pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen after surgical removal of the gallbladder. In China, PCS occurs in about 30 to 40% of patients who undergo cholecystectomy, and 15% of PCS cases are severe cases. Characteristic symptoms include indigestion, nausea, belching, upper abdominal discomfort, upper abdominal distention after eating, abnormal defecation, fatigue, and in severe cases, jaundice and fever. This study focuses on a scientific comparison between drug therapy and acupuncture plus herbs therapy for the treatment of PCS.