Acupuncture Continuing Education News

Acupuncture Stabilizes Balance After Stroke

on Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:35.

A new controlled study finds acupuncture effective for improving balance in stroke patients. Researchers from Taipei Medical University (Shuang Ho Hospital, Taiwan) and three additional hospitals compared a control group with an acupuncture group. The acupuncture group demonstrated clinically superior clinical outcomes for hemiplegic stroke patients. Back shu acupoints are depicted on the upper and lower back in this photo.

The study was conducted at the medical university hospital ward. A total of 66 patients were randomly assigned to each group for a total of 132 participants. The results show that acupuncture improves static balance when added to the rehabilitation phase of treatment for hemiplegic stroke patients with a low Brunnstrom (Br) stage. The Br stages, developed by a Swedish physical therapist, measures levels of motor activity and account for flaccidity, synergy, voluntary movements, spasticity, complex movements, individual joint movements and the restoration of normal function.

The study design reflects common practice for licensed acupuncturists. Physiotherapy was combined with acupuncture for the acupuncture treatment group and physiotherapy was administered as a standalone treatment modality for the control group. Postural assessment scales were measured for both static and dynamic balance values. Definitive positive clinical results demonstrate that acupuncture causes a significant increase in static balance measures for hemiplegic stroke patients when combined with physiotherapy.

Large Scale Investigation
This recent acupuncture continuing education study confirms additional investigations demonstrating that acupuncture is an effective medical modality for the treatment and prevention of strokes. One recent study finds acupuncture effective for reducing the risk of stroke for patients with traumatic brain injuries. An investigation of approximately 30,000 patients reveals that patients receiving acupuncture have a “lower probability of stroke than those without acupuncture treatment during the follow-up period.” The study “showed significantly decreased risk of new-onset stroke events for patients with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) who received acupuncture treatment. The present study is the first to report that acupuncture treatment was associated with reduced stroke risk for patients with TBI.”

Investigators at Heilongjiang University of TCM note that clinical outcomes are improved for stroke patients when scalp acupuncture is combined with body style acupuncture and/or physical therapy. Several studies were examined in this meta-analysis. In one study under the auspices of Zhen Yongqiang, body style acupuncture was 75% effective and scalp acupuncture 76% was effective. However, combining the modalities increased the total effective rate to 87%. Zhuang Jie’s study measured a combination of scalp acupuncture and physical rehabilitation. Scalp acupuncture as a standalone procedure achieved a 77% total effective rate but the combination of scalp acupuncture with physical rehabilitation increased the total effective rate to 97%. An additional study examined by the Heilongjiang University of TCM researchers measured significant improvements in patient outcomes for stroke patients when acupuncture is combined with the herbal formula Bu Yang Huang Wu Tang (Tonifying Yang Decoction for Recuperation). The total effective rate using acupuncture combined with the herbal formula was 96%. 

Acupuncture Reverses High Cholesterol Cell Fat

on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:16.

Acupuncture prevents and reverses dangerous cellular accumulations of fatty materials in cases of high cholesterol thereby preventing atherosclerotic plaques and heart disease. New laboratory research confirms that needling a specific acupuncture point located on the lower leg prevents and reverses the formation of foam cells. This type of cell forms at the site of fatty streaks and is the beginning of atherosclerotic plaque formation in blood vessels. Filiform needling of acupoint ST40, fenglong, is shown in this photo with a 38 gauge needle.  The presence of foam cells is indicative of an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Based on the research, the investigators note that acupuncture could “play an essential role in treating hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and triglycerides) and stopping it from developing into a further level.”

Oxidized LDL cholesterol creates inflammation within blood vessels. As a result, immune system cells called macrophages are attracted to the site of inflammation and consume the LDL cholesterol. Ordinarily, macrophages defend against bacteria and other pathogens. However, macrophages can become engulfed in fatty materials when attempting to eliminate excess cholesterol. Under a microscope, one can see that the macrophages become overrun with cholesterol and other fatty materials. The damaged macrophages take on a foamy appearance, hence the name foam cell. Foam cells indicate that dangerous plaques are beginning to form within the vessels. The researchers conclude that electroacupuncture at acupuncture point ST40 (Fenglong) “prevents and reverse(s) the formation of foam cell(s).” In this way, acupuncture helps to fight hyperlipidemia and prevent heart disease.

The research proves that ST40 electroacupuncture “significantly prohibits the transformation of macrophage(s) into foam cell(s).” The research measured sharp reductions in foam cells through the application of acupuncture. Stimulation of acupoint ST40 was shown to decrease the cholesterol content of macrophages. Cells can accomplish this in two ways. The first way is to convert cholesterol into cholesterol esters. This method is limited because it may overrun cells with esters and consequent toxicity.

Needling acupuncture point ST40 accomplishes cholesterol reduction by another method that is completely non-toxic. ST40 stimulation increases the rate of cholesterol efflux from macrophages. Cholesterol efflux is a process of eliminating cholesterol from cells that is regulated by intracellular transporters including ATP proteins A1, G1 and B1. Unlike the cholesterol ester process, the efflux process has a virtually unlimited capacity to reduce cholesterol because there is no danger of building up excess cellular cholesterol esters. Needling ST40 with electroacupuncture activates an important, safe and powerful method for cells to reduce excess cholesterol content. 

Acupuncture, Moxa, Cupping And Herbs Relieve Asthma

on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 18:36.

Acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion and cupping have been proven effective for the treatment of asthma. Acupuncture continuing education researchers from Hebei’s People’s Hospital of Xinglong County and Chengde Municipal Sanitary Agency investigated two separate approaches to patient care. One group received only acupuncture and the other study group received a combination of acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion and herbal medicine. Cupping is the use of suction cups on the surface of the skin applied to achieve medical benefits. Back shu points are shown in this image with 1.5mm filiform needles at BL13. Moxibustion, also known as moxa, is the burning of herbs near the skin to produce a medicinal warming effect. Both groups showed significant improvements, however, the group receiving a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies demonstrated clinically superior patient outcomes. As a result, the researchers conclude that combining acupuncture with cupping, moxibustion and herbal medicine is more effective than using only acupuncture.

A total patient sample size of 110 patients with chronic asthma was randomly divided into two equal sized groups. Group #1 received only acupuncture therapy. Group #2 received acupuncture plus the addition of cupping, moxibustion and herbal medicine. The acupuncture only group had a total effective rate of 58% and the acupuncture combined with herbs, moxibustion and cupping group had a total effective rate of 98%.

Group #1 received acupuncture stimulation at acupoints Dazhu (BL11), Fengmen (BL12), Feishu (BL13), Huatoujiaji points and Zusanli (ST36). Acupuncture needling was applied once daily with even reinforcing and reducing manual manipulation techniques. The retention of needling was 30 minutes. One course of treatment consisted of 10 days and there was a two day break after each course of care. The patient outcomes were analyzed after the completion of three courses of care. 

Acupuncture & Herbs Best Pharmaceutical For Headaches

on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 17:36.

A new study concludes that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is more effective than drugs for the treatment of headaches. This confirms similar results found in a prior study wherein acupuncture was found comparable to drugs for the treatment of migraine headaches. The new study finds acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is effective for the treatment of vascular headaches whereas the prior study found acupuncture, as a standalone procedure, effective for the treatment of migraines. Scalp points are depicted in this plastic model near a red heat lamp. The results agree that acupuncture and/or acupuncture combined with herbs produce positive patient outcomes for headaches.

The prior study concluded that acupuncture is “of comparable efficiency to several proven drug therapies for the treatment and prevention of migraine(s).” The meta-analysis examined 25 randomized controlled trials involving a sample size of 3,004 patients. True acupuncture significantly outperformed simulated sham-acupuncture. In addition, true acupuncture was comparable to drug therapy for the treatment and prevention of migraines.

The new acupuncture continuing education research increased the strength of clinical care by adding herbal medicine to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) protocol. By combining acupuncture with the modified herbal medicine formula Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang (Blood Activating Wind Dispelling Meridian Unblocking Decoction), the TCM treatment was significantly more effective than nimodipine. Also referred to by its brand names Nimotop and Nymalize, this drug is a calcium channel blocker that increases blood flow to the brain by widening blood vessels. Originally developed to reduce high blood pressure, this drug is commonly used to prevent complications due to cerebral vasospasm.

Acupuncture combined with modified Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang is more effective than nimodipine for relieving vascular headaches. These headaches include cluster headaches, migraines and toxic headaches. Migraines involve unilateral or bilateral head pain and may combine with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual auras. Toxic headaches occur during fevers. Cluster headaches are focal and recur in severe episodes.

The researchers conducted a randomized acupuncture continuing education investigation of 92 patients with vascular headaches at the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Chongqing Medical University (Sichuan). Group #1 received oral administration of nimodipine at 40 mg per dose, three times per day. Group #2 received acupuncture and a TCM herbal formula based on Huo Xue Qu Feng Tong Luo Tang. A course of treatment for both groups consisted of two weeks and the entire treatment lasted for two courses. After the two courses of treatment, patients in both groups made considerable progress. However, patients in the acupuncture group significantly outperformed those in the drug group. 

Acupuncture Restores Hand Function for Paralysis Patients

on Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:46.

New research proves that acupuncture combined with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is effective for restoring hand function in hemiplegic patients. Researchers measured significant improvements in both wrist and finger functionality. Hemiplegia is paralysis of one side of the body caused by disease or injury to the brain’s motor centers. Hemiplegia may be caused by an illness, injury, stroke or may be congenital. Acupoints LI15 and TB14 are depicted on a patient in this image getting needled. This study, conducted at the Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu University (Sichuan), documents two specific acupuncture protocols that achieved significant positive patient outcomes in the restoration of hand motor activities including holding, grasping, moving and pinching.

Treatment group #1 received acupuncture combined with moxibustion. Treatment group #2 received the same acupuncture and moxibustion therapy plus the addition of NMES. Both groups demonstrated significant positive patient outcomes, however, group #2 demonstrated clinically superior outcomes.

The basic care given to both groups consisted of standard body style acupuncture, scalp acupuncture and moxibustion. Standard acupuncture was applied to patients with 1-1.5” filiform acupuncture needles applied to the hand and foot yangming channels on the hemiplegic side. Secondary acupuncture needling was applied to the taiyang and shaoyang channels. Additional points were added to the upper limb of the hemiplegic side:
Jianyu (LI15)
Jianqian (EX-UE)
Quchi (LI11)
Shousanli (LI10)
Waiguan (SJ5)
Yangchi (SJ4)
Yangxi (LI5)
Yanggu (SI5)
Hegu (LI4)

Manual acupuncture needle stimulation was applied along the channels with an even reinforcing-reducing method. After the arrival of the deqi sensation, strong stimulation was applied to:
Quchi (LI11)
Waiguan (SJ5)
Yangxi (LI5)
Yangchi (SJ4)
Yanggu (SI5)
Hegu (LI4)

The retention of needling was 20-30 minutes. Acupuncture was applied once daily with 10 days comprising one course.

During scalp acupuncture, the acupuncturist used 1” disposable filiform needles. The motor cortex are was needled with a quick insertion technique at a 30 degree angle. Quick twirling at a rate of approximately 200 times per minute was applied for one minute. Five minutes of needle insertion time followed the quick twirling time. Next, another one minute of quick twirling was applied. Scalp acupuncture sessions lasted for 20 minutes each acupuncture treatment. One acupuncture treatment was applied each day and 10 days comprised one course of care. 

Acupuncture Controls Overactive Bladder

on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 23:29.

Researchers have discovered that acupuncture is effective for controlling overactive bladder syndrome. The research team, a combination of Whipps Cross University Hospital and University College of London Hospital investigators, document that 79% of patients in the study showed clinically significant improvements. Acupoint CV4 is depicted in this image along with othe abdominal points. The researchers conclude that acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for patients with overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) and “is well tolerated with no side effects or complications.” As a result, the research team notes that acupuncture “should be considered as a potential alternative to our current therapeutic regimes” for patients with OAB.

Overactive bladder syndrome is a dysfunction of the bladder’s storage abilities that lead to a sudden urge to urinate. Symptoms include a sudden urge to urinate that is often difficult to control, involuntary loss of urine (urge incontinence), frequent urination (greater than 8 times per day) and waking at night 2 or more times to urinate (nocturia). Etiology varies and may include dysfunction of the kidneys, bladder nerve signals and muscle activity. Contributing and exacerbating factors of OAB include multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, increased fluid intake, kidney and bladder organic disorders, diabetes, pharmaceutical medications and illicit drugs, urinary infections, enlarged prostate and increased consumption of caffeinated beverages.

The researchers note that acupuncture is safe and effective. All patients in the study had already tried conventional approaches to care: behavioral modifications and pharmaceutical medications including anticholinergics and beta agonists. Although surgical procedures are often part of conventional treatment regimes of care for OAB sufferers, all candidates were pre-surgical. The research team notes, “The aim of the study is to assess if acupuncture is effective in the treatment of patients with OAB in whom conservative measures and oral medications have failed, but are unwilling or unsuitable for invasive therapies.” 

Acupuncture Pain Killing Mystery Revealed

on Saturday, 28 June 2014 14:35.

Researchers have discovered that acupuncture causes a special biochemical reaction that reduces inflammation and muscle pain. The study, published in Molecular Neurobiology, investigated the effects of needling one acupuncture point on the leg. The research team measured a remarkable effect. Acupuncture point SP6, Sanyinjiao, is depicted in this image. Manual acupuncture stimulation downregulated M1 macrophages (pro-inflammatory cells) and upregulated M2 macrophages (anti-inflammatory cells). As a result, acupuncture reduced pain and swelling.

This neurobiological acupuncture continuing education study solves a great mystery, how does acupuncture work? The secret is in the biochemistry. M2 macrophages are an important source of IL-10 (interleukin-10), an anti-inflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in immune responses. Cytokines are proteins released by cells that regulate reactions between cells. Manual acupuncture successfully downregulates M1 macrophages and upregulates M2 macrophages thereby promoting the release of greater IL-10 concentrations. As a result of IL-10 release, pain and inflammation significantly reduce.

This study measured responses in muscle tissues and confirmed that M1 to M2 macrophage phenotype switching is triggered by acupuncture stimulation. Acupuncture literally flips a switch wherein initial inflammatory responses are reduced and the secondary healing responses are promoted. M1 macrophage downregulation and M2 macrophage upregulation triggered by acupuncture was positively associated with reductions in muscle pain and inflammation. 

The researchers tested the biochemical process by adding an IL-10 blocking agent in the laboratory experiment. When IL-10 was chemically blocked, acupuncture did not reduce pain and swelling. However, when no blocking agent was applied, acupuncture successfully reduced both pain and swelling. The M2 macrophage upregulation by manual acupuncture successfully created a greater source of IL-10. The researchers note, “These findings provide new evidence that MA (manual acupuncture) produces a phenotypic switch in macrophages and increases IL-10 concentrations in muscle to reduce pain and inflammation.” 

Acupuncture Improves Head Trauma Recovery - New Research

on Thursday, 26 June 2014 09:21.

New research finds acupuncture effective for regenerating brain tissue and restoring motor and cognitive function after a severe head trauma. An investigative team at the Rehabilitation Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xian Jiaotong University (Shaanxi) compared acupuncture combined with standard care with a control group receiving only standard medical interventions. The addition of acupuncture therapy to the conventional regime of care significantly reduced complications and improved the survival rate. The acupuncture group significantly outperformed the control group in all scales and indices. Acupoints of the head are depicted in this model. Notably, the acupuncture group demonstrated superior clinical outcomes including better mobility, cognitive function and improved functions of daily activities and living.

Severe head traumas cause diffuse axonal injury (DAI) in approximately half of all cases. This investigation focused on patients having had severe head traumas causing DAI. This type of injury is different than a blow to one area of the brain. It occurs throughout a wider area and is caused by the brain moving in the skull. This type of shaking of the brain occurs in sports injuries, automobile accidents, falls and shaken baby syndrome. The latter is a form of child abuse. As a result of the trauma, inflammation and damage to the brain ensues and many patients slip into a coma and do not revive.

This study compared 60 diffuse axonal injury patients that were divided into two groups. The control group received standard biomedical interventions including hydration & bleeding controls, anti-inflammatory medications, resuscitation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Other treatments provided to the control group were standard protocols for the treatment of respiratory and urinary disorders including infections and the treatment of ulcers. The acupuncture group received standard biomedical care plus acupuncture. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles of treatment included tonifying the kidneys, unblocking the yang and regulating qi. The researchers note that the success of the acupuncture therapy improved significantly when applied early as an intervention measure. In addition, acupuncture performed especially well for patients for resuscitation and in the recovery phase. 

Acupuncture Targets Lung Cancer Chemotherapy Drug

on Saturday, 21 June 2014 08:02.

New research confirms that acupuncture enhances the delivery of an important chemotherapy drug for the treatment of lung cancer to the lungs while simultaneously protecting the liver and kidneys. Paclitaxel, also known as Taxol, is a mitotic inhibitor used in the treatment of lung, ovarian and breast cancer along with other types including cancers of the head and neck. Extensive research has been underway to minimize the adverse side effects of paclitaxel including mixing it with DHA. Lung back shu, BL13, is needled and depicted. One focus of this type of research is to improve cell targeting so that only the regions requiring the drug are affected. In this experiment, researchers discovered that specific acupuncture points have specific effects on targeting and delivery of paclitaxel. The investigative team notes that acupuncture at specific acupuncture points influences paclitaxel tissue distribution with unique characteristics.

Using high-performance liquid chromatography, the researchers discovered that applying acupuncture needles at acupoint Feishu (BL13) targeted paclitaxel to the lungs more effectively than when using acupoint Lingtai (DU10). Both acupuncture points increased the time of metabolism while significantly reducing distribution of paclitaxel to the liver and kidneys. 

Acupuncture Heals Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

on Friday, 20 June 2014 15:49.

Researchers conclude that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). A remarkable finding was made in this study. Acupuncture combined with interferential current therapy increased the success rate of acupuncture. The total effective rate of acupuncture as a standalone procedure was 80.0%. Adding interferential current therapy to the regime of care increased the total effective rate to 93.3%. Back shu points are depicted in this image of 40 mm length and 32 gauge.

A complete recovery rate of 20.0% was achieved with acupuncture as a standalone therapy for CFS patients in 20 office visits. In the same period of time and same number of treatments, the combined therapy approach of acupuncture plus interferential current therapy (ICT) raised the complete recovery rate to 43.3%. As a result the researchers conclude, “Electroacupuncture plus ICT can produce a remarkable efficacy in treating CFS.”

The total effective rate and complete recovery rate increased significantly by adding ICT to acupuncture therapy. This is an important finding now that studies indicate that CFS exceeds 10% of the white-collar working population. CFS is characterized by extreme fatigue often without an identifiable biochemical or organic cause. CFS may also involve musculoskeletal pain, sleep disorders, headaches, impaired cognition and memory, swollen or tender lymph nodes, chronic sore throat, persistent low grade fever, mental illness and exhaustion after physical or mental exertion.

Doctors and scientists note that the etiology may not be known or may be due to viral infections, immune system disorders and/or hormonal imbalances. Chronic fatigue syndrome occurs at any age but is most prevalent in the 40s and 50s. Women are more susceptible to CFS. Patients that are either overweight or inactive have a higher incidence of CFS. Many sources cite stress as a causative, aggravating and/or exacerbating factor. Complications due to CFS may be restrictions on activities of daily living, increases in work absenteeism and depression. 

Migraine Vanishes With Acupuncture and Tuina

on Thursday, 19 June 2014 11:57.

Acupuncture is more effective than medication for controlling migraines. Researchers compared a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combination of acupuncture and tuina massage with the oral medication flunarizine hydrochloride. The TCM treatment was significantly more effective than the drug treatment for reducing pain frequency, intensity and duration due to migraines. The acupuncture combined with tuina group had a total effective rate of 93.8% whereas the medication group only achieved a 63% total effective rate. A woman with a migraine headache is depicted in this image. Additionally, the acupuncture with tuina group had significantly fewer relapses. As a result of the findings the researchers conclude, “Combining electroacupuncture and local tuina can obtain better effect and lower relapse rate than oral Flunarizine Hydrochloride capsules in migraine patients.”

Inclusion criteria for the research required patients to have headaches that lasted between 4-72 hours on one side of the head, unilaterally. Pain intensity levels needed to be moderate to severe with a pulsing sensation. The headaches must be aggravated by activities of daily living such as walking, climbing stairs, etc… or must at the very least cause avoidance of activities of daily living. In addition, the migraines need to include at least one of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia. Medical examinations must exclude organic causation including hypertension, hypotension, ENT disorders and internal organ disorders such as heart, brain and kidney disease. A total of 94 patients were admitted to the study in the outpatient department of the hospital and were randomly divided into the TCM group and the pharmaceutical medication group. 

Acupuncture Reverses Brain Damage After Stroke

on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 19:55.

A new MRI study finds acupuncture and electroacupuncture effective for treating brain tissue injuries and neurological disorders caused by cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury (CIRI). This type of brain damage is caused by the return of blood circulation to the brain after a period of ischemia, restricted blood supply. The sudden return of blood to oxygen and circulation deprived brain tissues causes inflammation and oxidative stress. Scalp points, often used for stroke treatment, are depicted here. Acupuncture biochemically ameliorates this condition and reduces infarct (tissue necrosis due to circulation obstruction) size. Consequently, acupuncture and electroacupuncture benefit the brain after a stroke due to ischemia.

Cerebral ischemia/reperfusion causes brain edema and swelling. This is caused by sequelae including increased permeability of the blood brain barrier, tissue inflammation and upregulation of the biochemicals matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and aquaporin (AQP). Researchers have discovered that acupuncture and electroacupuncture successfully regulate MMP2, AQP and inflammatory cell infiltration caused by CIRI. The researchers added that acupuncture and electroacupuncture “significantly reduced infarct size and improved neurologic function.” As a result, the researchers conclude that acupuncture and electroacupuncture exert “neuroprotective actions” and may “find utility as adjunctive and complementary treatments to supplement conventional therapy for ischemic stroke.”

Scientific Data
Several types of evaluations confirmed the decrease in infarct size and successful regulation of biochemicals by acupuncture and electroacupuncture after CIRI. The researchers used microscopic evaluation, fMRI, hematoxylin-eosin staining, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction evaluation, immunofluorescence analysis, immunohistochemical analysis and western blot analysis. Subjective evaluation of neurological deficits was also evaluated. The researchers conclude, “acupuncture and electroacupuncture are effective treatments for brain tissue injury and neurological deficits following CIRI in rats. Therefore, this study adds to the growing arsenal of research supporting the view that acupuncture and electroacupuncture, which are derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine, can serve as complementary and alternative treatments to supplement the conventional management of ischemic stroke.” 

Acupuncture Cuts Rib Fracture Pain

on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 12:07.

Acupuncture relieves rib fracture pain. A randomized controlled study of 58 inpatients with fractured ribs examined the effects of acupuncture analgesia against a placebo control. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is both safe and effective. The research team documented that acupuncture provides significant long lasting pain relief for rib fracture patients. Abdominal acupoints are in this image on a location model. The researchers note that acupuncture relieved pain “regardless of the number of fractured ribs or the severity of trauma.” 

The acupuncture point selection deviated from the classical application of ashi points and hua tou jia ji points for the treatment of rib related pain. The researchers selected points based on “non-diseased areas” that were related to areas of pain. The research team notes that their point selection protocol is a “novel” approach. The researchers asked each patient to identify the areas of maximum pain. The points needled were vertically corresponding points located on an x-axis at the level of the navel. The points needled are shown in the image example below. Subjective pain point “a” was treated with a point selection at point “A.” The new approach to point selection was prompted by efforts to create a simplified acupuncture point selection protocol that is easily performed in an inpatient setting. 

Acupuncture Proven To Heal Tennis Elbow

on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 23:28.

Acupuncture combined with massage is effective for the treatment of tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis. Recent research was conducted on ninety athletes at the Science and Experiment Center of Guangzhou Physical Education Institute. The athletes were randomly divided into three groups. Group 1 received acupuncture only. Group 2 received massage only and group 3 received acupuncture combined with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) massage. Image of needles used for tennis elbow. All three groups showed significant positive clinical outcomes. The acupuncture combined with massage group showed greater improvement than the other groups suggesting a synergistic effect. No adverse events occurred. The data was compiled after 20 days of treatment. The researchers concluded that acupuncture and TCM massage are safe and effective for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a form of tendinitis. Symptoms are usually elbow and arm pain. Repetitive motions often lead to lateral epicondylitis such as movement during tennis, weight lifting, painting, typing, knitting and woodwork. The pain typically worsens when lifting, gripping, twisting and straightening the wrist. Conventional medical approaches for treating lateral epicondylitis include physical therapy, non-steroidal antiinflammatory medications (NSAIDs), icing, bracing, local steroid injections and surgery. Acupuncture and TCM tuina massage have a historical record for the successful treatment of lateral epicondylitis that is over 1,000 years. This new scientific experiment using a carefully controlled investigation for examining the efficacy of these ancient modalities confirms the historical record.

The acupuncture group received acupuncture in either the sitting or supine posture. The acupuncturist used 40mm disposable acupuncture needles. Needle retention time was 30 minutes after the arrival of the deqi sensation at each acupuncture point. The acupoints used in the study were primarily local points based on the clinical presentation of each patient. Acupuncture points included LI12, LI11, LI10, LI4, SJ5 and ashi points. 

Electron Microscope Reveals Acupuncture Helps Alzheimer’s Patients

on Sunday, 15 June 2014 09:50.

Electron microscopy reveals that acupuncture and moxibustion protect Alzheimer’s disease patients’ brain cells. Published in Neural Regeneration Research, laboratory experiment findings identified major brain structures that are preserved by using electroacupuncture and moxibustion. The research team documented a powerful neuroprotective effect induced by electroacupuncture including specific beneficial changes in brain chemistry. The human brain anatomy is depicted in this image.

Acupuncture is the insertion of needles used to induce physiologic responses and moxibustion is the burning of herbs near the skin to produce a warming effect. Moxibustion is often used to enhance the micro-circulation of blood to local regions of the body, especially over acupuncture points. In this study, acupuncture was applied to acupuncture points GV20 (Baihui) and BL23 (Shenshu) on laboratory rats with induced Alzheimer’s disease pathology. The brains were examined with electron microscopy which revealed that rats treated with electroacupuncture had a preserved structure of a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The researchers note that “neuronal cell injury was markedly reduced” as a result of acupuncture. The control group that received no acupuncture or moxibustion showed enormous damage to the hippocampus.

Examination using a transmission electron microscope showed that electroacupuncture and moxibustion benefitted the biochemistry of the brain. Electroacupuncture and moxibustion successfully downregulated axin protein expression and upregulated beta-catenin protein expression. This was true for all three treatment groups: electroacupuncture only, moxibustion only and a thrid electroacupuncture combined with moxibustion group.

The electroacupuncture and moxibustion treatments were given prior to the onset of the pathology. The neuroprotective effects of electroacupuncture and moxibustion are associated with treatment prior to the onset of brain damage, pretreatment. This supports the use of acupuncture and moxibustion as preventative medicine. The research team reports, “The present study demonstrates that electroacupuncture pretreatment has a neuroprotective function in the hippocampus, suggesting that this technique could be used to protect learning and memory functions, and prevent senile dementia.” They added that in the hippocampus “neuronal cell injury was markedly reduced in all three pretreatment groups; organelles were visible in the cytoplasm, and chromatin appeared normal.” 

Acupuncture & Herbs Enhance Fertility Treatments Finding

on Saturday, 14 June 2014 08:44.

Doctors with expertise in reproductive medicine have recently published that acupuncture and herbs are useful in the treatment of infertility, complications related to childbirth and for several other gynecological concerns. The doctors cited research stating that acupuncture and herbal medicine improve the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Pregnancy rates are improved in subfertile women undergoing IVF and in women with PCOS wherein ovulation may be restored using acupuncture. Image of a pregnant women. In the latter, acupuncture is noted as a treatment option for both reproductive issues and endocrine disturbances for women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

The medical doctors creating this report are specialists in reproductive medicine and endocrinology and are from Penn State University College of Medicine (Hershey, Pennsylvania), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine (Harbin, China) and the University of Hong Kong. The doctors cite research showing that combining Chinese herbal medicine with conventional biomedicine demonstrates effectiveness in preventing miscarriages. They note that more research is needed on this aspect of integrated medicine given the nearly 40,000 pieces of literature recently reviewed on the topic.

The doctors note that clinical studies show the efficaciousness of acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese herbal medicine enemas and microwave physiotherapy for the treatment of endometriosis. They write that these therapies are effective in the treatment of dysmenorrhea, improving pregnancy rates and that these therapies can physically shrink adnexal masses. The doctors note that these therapeutic approaches have additional benefits over “standard hormonal and surgical treatments” for the treatment of endometriosis. They note that herbs, Chinese herbal enemas and acupuncture have significantly fewer “unpleasant side effects.” 

PID Acupuncture CEU Webinar & New Research

on Friday, 13 June 2014 12:12.

HealthCMi presents a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) acupuncture and herbal medicine live webinar on Saturday, June 14th at 10am, Pacific Time. Get licensed acupuncturist CEUs (continuing education units) and NCCAOM PDAs valid throughout the USA and Canada. Valid for California Acupuncture Board in-person CEU credit. This image depicts acupuncture points on the anterior of the female body. Learn how to treat leukorrhea, lower abdominal pain, cervicitis, endometritis, oophoritis, salpingitis and many other types of inflammation and infections related to PID.

To register for the webinar, visit the live webinar page: Live CEUs.

HealthCMi also offers instant-anytime acupuncture continuing education courses that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. HealthCMi (Healthcare Medicine Institute) is a premier publisher of acupuncture and herbal medicine news and research. Let’s take a brief look at a recent study on acupuncture for the treatment of PID.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 2,280 patients treated with both acupuncture and moxibustion for chronic PID. The researchers discovered that acupuncture and moxibustion patients demonstrated significant positive patient outcomes. The TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) treatment groups scored significantly better than control groups. Additionally, the recurrence rate of PID was significantly lower for patients receiving acupuncture and moxibustion. 

Acupuncture & Herbs Reduce Breast Pain And Nodules

on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 23:54.

Acupuncture combined with supplemental Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) modalities is effective for the treatment of mammary gland hyperplasia. The added TCM modalities included moxibustion, herbal medicine and TCM style emotional and behavioural counseling. This image shows back shu points being needled. After three months of acupuncture/TCM care, the patients with mammary gland hyperplasia showed measurable signs of improvement including reductions in breast lump size and significant relief from breast pain.

The controlled study included two groups. Group 1 received counseling and the herbal formula Xiao Yao San (Rambling Powder). Group 2 received earlier counseling intervention, Xiao Yao San and acupuncture. The research was conducted at the Hospital of TCM, Surgery Department in Shaoguan City, Guangdong. A total of 200 patients with mammary gland hyperplasia were randomly divided into the two groups. During the investigation, both groups took a formula based on Xiao Yao San at one dose per day starting one day following the end of menstruation. One course consisted of one month and both groups took the decoction for three courses. In addition, both groups received routine TCM counseling. 

Acupuncture Lowers Chemo Side Effects, Ups Immunity

on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 16:37.

Acupuncture reduces chemotherapy side effects for colorectal cancer patients. New research confirms that acupuncture benefits the immune system and improves the psychological state for these patients. Blood samples prove that acupuncture enhances the immune system’s NK (natural killer) cells for colorectal cancer patients. Subjective testing showed improved mental health scores after acupuncture. Image of a 1 inch filiform needle made of stainless steel with wound handle. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is both “feasible and safe for CRC (colorectal cancer) patients….”

The research team commented that NK cells are “a first line of defence against the metastatic spread of tumour cells.” Data shows that decreases in NK cell numbers and activity correspond to the progression of cancer. NK cells are immune system lymphocytes that are part of bodily responses to pathological concerns including tumors and virally infected cells. The new study shows that acupuncture benefits NK cell numbers thereby supporting the immune system. 

Acupuncture Cuts Morphine Addiction - New Study

on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 13:19.

Acupuncture suppresses morphine addiction patterns. Researchers have identified an acupuncture point that specifically reduces the behavioral pattern of self-administering morphine. This image depicts an acupuncture point doll for location purposes. The researchers made an additional discovery. The administration of a special pharmaceutical neurotransmitter blocking agent interfered with the effective action of acupuncture. As a result, the researchers determined that a special biochemical brain pathway is necessary to achieve optimal clinical results with acupuncture for the purposes of addiction control. Acupuncture is less effective when drugs are administered that interfere with the brain’s ability to regulate GABA neurotransmitters.

The investigators proved that acupuncture reduces morphine self-administration at both low and high doses. The laboratory experiment was designed to explore the possibility of using acupuncture on human subjects that are dependent on morphine. The research was prompted by prior human clinical trials demonstrating that acupuncture reduces morphine addiction. 

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