Here are the text of some articles I have found interesting. I hope you do too.
Acupuncture relieves hot flushes
Acupuncture: A Cure for Infertility?
Acupuncture: A drug free option for chronic pain.
Overcome Dental Fears with Acupuncture.
Acupuncture Relieves Hot Flushes:
Acupuncture can help relieve hot flushes linked to the menopause, according to two studies.
Women given the traditional Chinese treatment noted a drop in the number and intensity of flushes, which produce a feeling of being very hot.
In the first study, more than 260 postmenopausal women experiencing, on average, seven or more hot flushes per 24 hours during seven
consecutive days were included.
They were split into two groups, with the acupuncture group given 10 acupuncture treatment sessions and advice on looking after themselves.
The second group solely received advice on keeping well.
Experts found that the frequency and severity of hot flushes fell in the treatment group.
Women kept a diary of the number and severity (on a 0 to 10 scale) of hot flushes they were experiencing.
The results showed that the number of hot flushes fell by 5.8 per 24 hours in the acupuncture group and 3.7 per 24 hours in the control group.
Hot flush intensity decreased by 3.2 units in the acupuncture group and 1.8 units in the control group.
The acupuncture group also experienced better sleep and better physical well-being.
The study was carried out by experts at the National Research Centre in Alternative and Complementary Medicine in Tromso, Norway.
Researcher Terje Alraek said the study involved women self-reporting their symptoms.
He said this type of research had been validated against other studies where flushes are scientifically analysed using data from the skin.
He added: “After menopause, 10 to 20pc of all women have nearly intolerable hot flushes.
“The promising results of the Acuflash study suggest that acupuncture may be able to provide an alternative to long-term use of hormone replacement
Mark Bovey, of the British Acupuncture Council, said: “Our members have for many years successfully helped patients suffering from various menopausal
“At a time when the body is undergoing numerous physical and emotional changes, an acupuncturists’ approach of treating the individual, rather than the illness, can
help smooth the transition, providing relief from symptoms as well as an improved sense of well-being.”
In the second study, 53 postmenopausal women were divided into two groups, with 27 receiving traditional acupuncture and the rest given fake
or “sham” acupuncture.
The women receiving the proper treatment attended a clinic twice a week for 10 weeks, with the needles left in position for 20 minutes at a time.
Symptoms of the menopause, including hot flushes and mood swings, were measured in all the women at the start and end of the study.
Experts found that those women given traditional acupuncture had fewer symptoms of hot flushes and fewer mood swings than women not on the treatment.
The beneficial effects appeared to grow over time, with stronger results seen between the first and last acupuncture sessions.
The study was published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine and was carried out by experts from the Ankara Research and Training Hospital in Turkey.
Article from: http://www.independent.ie/health/latest-news/acupuncture-relieves-hot-flushes-2569736.html
Acupuncture: A Cure for Infertility?
Acupuncture: A Cure for Infertility?
By Catherine Donaldson-Evans
NEW YORK — At 36, Lucy Appert has suffered through two miscarriages, a stillbirth at 8 1/2 months and, because of a rare pregnancy-related liver
dysfunction, intensive illness and surgery.
Yet after enduring five painful years of trying to have their own baby, Appert and her husband Edward finally saw their dream come true last month when
their son Henry was born — premature, but healthy.
For all the fertility treatments, technologies and prenatal care available to women today, Appert credits the success of her pregnancy to an ancient Chinese
“I recommend acupuncture to everyone,” Appert said. “It does work. I did everything possible for years to have a baby. I almost lost hope.”
The millennias-old Asian medical practice — in which the acupuncturist places tiny needles in various pressure points, or “Qi” (Chee), in the body to improve
circulation and reduce stress — has been around in the United States for years as an “alternative” treatment for numerous ailments.
But recently, acupuncture has been picking up steam as a possible remedy for female infertility, with a handful of American and European studies showing
that it enhances the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“Do I believe in it? Absolutely,” said Dr. Paul C. Magarelli, an infertility doctor at the Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and
co-author of an ongoing study into the use of acupuncture with IVF with Dr. Diane K. Cridennda. Cridennda is a licensed acupuncturist with a master’s degree
in Oriental medicine from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine who owns East Winds Acupuncture, also in Colorado Springs.
Magarelli said he joined the study at the urging of Cridennda, who had approached him about using acupuncture with IVF based on her knowledge of its
history as an Eastern fertility treatment. A skeptic at first, Magarelli said he dismissed the idea for a while before signing on.
“I thought, this is rubbish — it can’t be true,” Magarelli said. “But no matter how I look at this data, I see an improvement. … I’m pretty much a convert.”
In general, studies seem to indicate that doing acupuncture about 30 minutes before and after in vitro fertilization can increase the chance that the embryo
will be implanted successfully and reduce the chance of miscarriage.
There are also indications that the effectiveness of the IVF drugs and procedure may improve if acupuncture is done about once a week in the month or two
leading up to the start of IVF and then continued regularly — once or twice a week — during the whole cycle.
And, as in Appert’s case, there is anecdotal evidence that acupuncture can help with other fertility and pregnancy problems. Appert didn’t need IVF to conceive, but she was told she probably couldn’t carry a healthy baby to term because of her liver disorder.
But some doctors caution that there is no “magic pill” for fertility, pregnancy and IVF troubles — whether it’s acupuncture or something else.
“The jury is still out on that,” said Dr. Eric Surrey, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) (search), who has a practice at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. “I don’t think we have good data to show that acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer is truly beneficial.”
And they warn against making too much of claims that acupuncture can help with having babies.
“It’s impossible to say at this point,” said Dr. Robert Schenken, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) (search), who has a
practice at the University of Texas Health Science Center. “In the absence of any controlled data, I don’t think we can come to a firm conclusion.”
Acupuncture seems to help some women because it improves circulation to the ovaries — which makes for healthier eggs — and to the uterus, which increases the chances that the lining will be strong enough to hold those eggs to full-term.
“Acupuncture provides better circulation and better blood flow to the womb,” said Dr. Raymond Chang, director of New York’s Meridian Medical Group, who has been incorporating acupuncture into fertility treatments for the past decade. “It will give a better chance for the eggs to be nourished and therefore carried.”
There’s also the fact that acupuncture can be a stress-reliever during an emotional time.
“Trying to get pregnant is incredibly stressful,” said Victoria Koos, the acupuncturist who treated Appert at Yin and Tonic Acupuncture in
New York. “They’re crossing their fingers. The longer they’re trying to get pregnant, the worse it gets … Part of [acupuncture’s success]
is simply relaxation. When the body is relaxed, all systems function better.”
The Colorado study Magarelli and Cridennda presented at a conference this fall is one of a series the pair have done with acupuncture and in vitro.
That one looked at 114 patients who had a good chance of IVF being effective, some who did acupuncture and some who didn’t. It found,
among other things, that there were fewer miscarriages, more pregnancies and a 7 percent higher birth rate among those who got acupuncture
treatment over those who didn’t, according to Magarelli.
It piggybacked off other research the team did on 147 “poor responders” to IVF, which found that the pregnancy rate was 40 percent, with 11 percent
more babies born, among those who did acupuncture with in vitro fertilization compared to those who didn’t.
In March, Magarelli and Cridennda released findings in Italy involving patients with an average prognosis for IVF success. Those yielded clear numbers that the pregnancy rate increased with acupuncture by 24 percent, according to Magarelli.
“What got us was that now we were seeing a firm trend toward getting more people pregnant,” he said.
The Colorado research seems to support some findings of two earlier studies, one in Germany by lead researcher Dr. Wolfgang E. Paulus — published
in ASRM’s “Fertility and Sterility” (search) in April 2002 — and one in Sweden by lead researcher Elisabet Stener-Victorin in the 1990s.
Of course, even those who believe in acupuncture concede that while the existing studies have yielded good information, there still isn’t sufficient
evidence, or a broad enough sample of patients tested, to call acupuncture a proven remedy.
“We are convinced, but scientifically you need proof — or so-called proof,” Chang said. “There is a whole set of proof from lab experiments and animal
studies to human studies, but it’s very difficult to do human studies.”
Schenken noted that even though there might be one set of data showing positive results, “it really needs to be corroborated, preferably with several
different studies and different patient populations.” For example, there can be bias when the entire study sample comes from the same clinic, or when
patients know they’re doing something different from usual.
Schenken said he doesn’t get asked about acupuncture often, but when patients do, “we don’t recommend it, but we do not discourage it.”
Surrey takes a similar approach. In his opinion, the data “is not bad” on the theory that acupuncture can help when administered before IVF, but as far
as acupuncture generally improving fertility or helping after the embryo transfer in IVF, “there really isn’t a whole lot of data on that.”
But at the very least, “there is absolutely nothing to show that it’s harmful if it’s done with a trained and appropriately skilled acupuncturist,” he said.
It’s a notion that nearly everyone in the medical field — whether they believe in needles and Qi or not — seems to agree upon.
Some Eastern medicine-Western medicine rivalry may come into play with how to treat reproductive problems, but Chang said he sees more resistance
with the use of Chinese herbs — which are ingested — than he does with acupuncture. Often, it’s the in vitro specialists themselves who refer their patients
to him for acupuncture after a couple of failed IVF attempts.
As for the couples trying to bring a child into the world — particularly through a complicated, invasive procedure like IVF— anything that helps the process
along is welcome.
“IVF is so technical that patients feel like they’re being pushed and pulled … with acupuncture, they’re in a sense taking some control,” Magarelli said. “Acupuncture isn’t a needle, it’s an environment.”
Added Koos: “They’re on these incredibly strong drugs that make the poor women crazy. They’re running around like Catwoman. This is to help them stay sane while they’re going through the process.”
The emotional cost of infertility comes with a hefty financial price tag as well — in vitro fertilization can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 a cycle and generally isn’t covered by insurance; acupuncture ranges from about $30 to over $200 per treatment — Koos and Chang charge about $90 a pop — and certain health plans do cover at least a portion of it.
Meanwhile, researchers and experts in the field are excited at what they’re seeing in the studies. Chang said he’s currently working with NYU Medical Center on a trial that looks at IVF with and without acupuncture.
Appert, for her part, was at the end of her rope and felt she had nothing to lose. She started acupuncture with Koos about two months before she began trying to conceive — with needles in her toes and a couple of liver points — and continued with the treatments throughout the pregnancy.
“The first time I went, I was completely terrified. My husband went with me and held my hand,” she said. “I could feel the muscles in my liver jump and an electric current going through my body. It was very strange but also felt right.”
She said being monitored by both her obstetrician and Koos helped reassure her about what was going on during her high-risk pregnancy.
“She would tell me things about how I was doing physically and then I would go to the doctor and he would tell me the same thing,” remembers Appert, who works as a professor.
When she got sick late in the pregnancy, both Koos and Appert’s OB/GYN were able to detect when her liver went dangerously haywire and get her to the hospital for delivery six weeks early, before the problem harmed the fetus and caused another stillbirth.
Regardless of the skeptics, Appert said she’s relieved that she was finally able to have a nearly full-term baby of her own. At 4 pounds, 6 ounces, Henry has been in intensive care but otherwise is doing “fine.”
“It really was a miracle,” the new mom gushed. “It’s one of these weird things that Western medicine can’t explain.”
Full article available at:
Acupuncture: A Drug-Free Option for Chronic Pain
Acupuncture: A Drug-Free Option for Chronic Pain
By: Staness Jonekos
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. I was one of them
until acupuncture, and I now live relatively pain free.
Over 30 years ago I injured my left ankle. After a debridement surgery, injections, supplements, heat and cold therapy, and activity adjustments my injury
was getting worse. This past year suffering from osteoarthritis and inflammation has taken a toll on my life. I am allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen, so
over-the-counter medication was not a solution for pain management. Living with daily pain- rated an eight with ten being the worst pain possible – I visited
the doctor who informed me after a recent MRI that the only option to permanently relieve the pain was an ankle fusion. I am a healthy 53-year-old, and
for me this was not a realistic option.
Noting my reaction, the doctor advised me to consider acupuncture for pain relief. My only knowledge about acupuncture was that needles are inserted to
stimulate healing by balancing energy. I was skeptical that correcting an imbalance of energy was going to ease my chronic pain. Desperate for relief, I
reluctantly made an appointment with his recommended acupuncturist.
When I arrived at the acupuncturist’s office I was impressed with her scientific credentials. We discussed my chronic pain, and I lay back on the padded
table to begin the process. I was apprehensive as she opened the box of disposable needles. She proceeded to place needles in my arms, legs and around
my injured ankle — there may have been other needles, but I had my eyes shut. I was surprised there was no pain from the actual needle insertion, but
when she inserted a needle in my leg I felt a bizarre throbbing sensation. It felt like a rushing river running along the left side of my body. The acupuncturist
asked if I was OK. I told her that the left side of my body felt electric. She said, “this is good, you are feeling the flow of qi.”
Ping Gu, O.M.D., M.D. (Japan), Director of Institute of Alternative Medicine says:
Acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine and has been practiced for thousands of years. Health is achieved by
maintaining the body in a balanced state. Disease is due to an internal imbalance that leads to blockage in the flow of qi, the vital energy that circulates
along pathways known as meridians, or energy-carrying channels. Illness is caused by a disruption of qi, which leads to an imbalance of energy.
Acupuncture can correct this energy disruption using the meridian system to locate and treat many conditions.
It is no surprise many are skeptical of acupuncture, how do you see energy under a microscope? I could not “see” this flow of energy, but I was feeling it.
She turned on a heat lamp and placed it over my injured ankle, turned on mellow music, set an egg time for 20 minutes and suggested I take a nap.
I had no idea how this was actually going to relieve my pain, but I was intrigued by the experience.
Ping Gu, continues:
Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. When acu-points are stimulated near nerves, causing a feeling of heaviness, tingling or fullness in the
muscle, a signal is sent to the brain and spinal cord. This causes a release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters that block the message of pain from
being delivered up to the brain.
The egg timer went off and the acupuncturist came in to remove the needles and turned off the heat lamp. I sat up, put my shoes on and stepped off the
table, and then it happened.
I stood up and walked out and felt nothing! No pain! I kept walking, how is this possible? I always feel pain, like knives with every step. I walked to the car
thinking this positive effect would wear off by the time I got home. I shared the great news with my husband, and we decided to look at my ankle. My
deformed ankle from years of swelling was almost 50 percent smaller. I was happy, but still skeptical that it would wear off like a dose of aspirin.
The next morning I stepped into my slippers, and no pain. A few more days, still no pain. The next week I scheduled two appointments a week for the
next two months. I will continue to respect my injury and work closely with my orthopedic surgeon, but acupuncture helped reduce the inflammation and
pain. The quality of my life is greatly improved. I am now an advocate for acupuncture.
The World Health Organization endorses acupuncture, and clinical studies have shown it to be a beneficial treatment for many conditions, including:
• Chronic pain: migraines, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis
• Digestive disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, gastritis and constipation
• High blood pressure
• Urinary and reproductive disorders: menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods, infertility and menopausal symptoms
• Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs
• Overweight or obesity, when coupled with diet and exercise
• Psychological and emotional disorders: depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia
• Symptom management for adverse reactions to chemotherapy and radiation, including fatigue, generalized pain, dry mouth, peripheral neuropathy,
nausea and vomiting
• Seasonal allergies
Cleveland Clinic states:
Although acupuncture is not a “cure-all” treatment, it is very effective in treating several diseases and conditions. Acupuncture also can improve the
functioning of the immune system (the body’s defense system against diseases). For certain conditions, such as cancer, acupuncture should be performed
in combination with other treatments.
For those living in pain, the bridge between Eastern and Western medicines may provide options. This skeptic is thrilled to have been nudged across into
unknown territory and presented a drug-free solution for living with chronic pain.
Article from: The Huffington Post.
Treating injury -body and mind with Acupuncture
Treating injury -body and mind with Acupuncture
Athletes are finding that acupuncture can be an effective way to treat and prevent all manner of sports injuries
IN THE WEST, acupuncture is usually sought out as a treatment for chronic health problems, whether they are musculoskeletal, neurological or even
autoimmune in origin. In the past number of years, acupuncture is also being sought out both for the prevention and treatment of sports injuries.
“Sports people are discovering that when they incorporate regular use of acupuncture into a training regime, it allows them to train harder, recover faster from
tough workouts and increase their overall sports performance,” says Suzanne Cafferky, an acupuncturist based in Drogheda, Co Louth.
This interest in acupuncture is developing among both amateur and professional sports people alike. Acute and persistent injuries to hamstrings, partial
ligament tears, groin strain, knee pain, tennis and golfer’s elbow and Achilles tendonitis are common sports injuries treated by acupuncture.
And, while it’s mainly still for the treatment of injuries, there are some sportspeople who are having acupuncture sessions prior to a sporting event to
David Gillick, 400 metres Irish Olympic athlete, is one such sportsperson who has found acupuncture beneficial. “My physiotherapist introduced me to dry
needling about three years ago when I had extremely tight calf muscles,” explains Gillick.
“My body responded really well to the treatment and I’ve used it ever since if I’ve tight muscles. Just last Thursday, I had a tight Achilles tendon and she put
five or six needles up the back of my leg and it released the tendon.”
Gillick says that if you’re stressed, you’re more likely to have an injury. “So acupuncture is also a way of offloading that stress, especially around now coming
into the race season. A lot of athletes in the UK where I train are having acupuncture to relax them,” he adds.
Irish Olympic badminton player Scott Evans is another professional sportsperson who has found acupuncture beneficial for the treatment of injuries.
“I kept twisting my ankle and have tried just about every treatment you can get for it. About two years ago, I got acupuncture for it and it helped a lot. It
brought the swelling down and gave me full movement back in my ankle so I was able to get back on court more quickly,” he explains.
Evans currently trains in Denmark, where his physiotherapist incorporates acupuncture into his treatment regime. “I think it’s much more popular in Denmark
than in Ireland. A lot of physiotherapists are using acupuncture here.”
Cafferky says recovery time from injuries can be reduced by up to 50 per cent when acupuncture is used alongside stretching/gentle exercises. This means
that an acute condition such as a sprain, train or stiffness can be better faster. Acupuncture also helps to nourish the tendons, ligaments and muscular system
by increasing the bloodflow throughout the body.
Dr Vincent Carroll, an acupuncturist and medical doctor, says the key to acupuncture’s effectiveness is that it incorporates the mental/emotional aspects of
the injury as well.
“Competitiveness is good once there isn’t a sense of bitterness if you don’t succeed,” he explains. “If there’s bitterness, this creates the mental or emotional
aspect, which will make sports injuries more likely to happen and acupuncture can treat this dimension too.”
Carroll also explains how acupuncture takes a different approach to the injury than the Western medical approach.
“Take, for example, a shoulder injury from football. There are six different channels passing through the shoulder area and the acupuncturist needs to be
precise and careful as they listen to and examine the patient to understand exactly where to place the needles and get the energy – blood and body
fluids – flowing so that the swelling goes down.
“Acupuncture is my preferred method of treatment for sports injuries – and indeed for most skeletal muscular injuries – as I consistently find it gives better
results than more conventional medicine in that it leads to a quicker mobilisation and less risk of any condition becoming chronic.”
Article from: The Irish Times.
Overcome Dental Fears with Acupuncture
Overcome Dental Fears with Acupuncture
Calm nerves, relieve pain and reduce a racing heart before your next visit to the dentist with acupuncture; the new, revolutionary approach to support holistic
Receiving acupuncture prior to dental treatments is the latest combined offering to be introduced by the practice pioneering in advances in dentistry to help
overcome dental fears; another route to effectively help with sweaty palms, an alarming pulse, or high levels of anxiety when sitting in the dentist’s chair.
Recent studies in Sheffield and Denmark concluded that acupuncture, the complementary therapy in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the
body, before dental treatments has a ‘beneficial effect on the level of unease in patients with dental anxiety’. The study found that just five minutes of
acupuncture in the top of the head can cut anxiety levels by more than half.*
Upon arrival at the Covent Garden Dental Spa, patients are asked to fill in a form about daily aspects of their life and well-being, followed by a personal
consultation with professionally qualified in-house acupuncturist, Jake Gold, in a comforting massage chair in the relax and massage room. This helps to
determine where the needles will be strategically administered for optimal results.
Jake Gold, a member of the British Acupuncture Council, says: ‘Acupuncture rebalances the body to positively affect health. The effects can be subtle,
giving you a calm relaxed feeling, as it is a natural sedative, while at the same time being able to help with real physical issues. It is virtually safe and
can be done on a regular basis.’
The Covent Garden Dental Spa has tried and tested acupuncture on a selection of patients before performing dental treatments, with positive responses
including feeling more relaxed and calm, helping overcome fears and anxiety and finding it an enjoyable experience.
‘I have met patients with dental anxieties, some I would call “dental phobes” and after acupuncture sessions and treatments in my dental chair, they
now walk in and out of here with smiles of glee,’ says Dr Flora Chigwedere, founder and principal dentist at Covent Garden Dental Spa.
* Based on a study on 20 patients, all of whom feared the dentist and had not visited between 2 and 30 years due to fear, as reported in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine. On previous dental visits, three patients had needed general anaesthetic to cope with their fears, while six others had required sedatives.
Acupuncture in Medicine (March 2010): http://aim.bmj.com/content/28/1/3.abstract?sid=d2ae9536-5bcf-4142-8274-c2e644dc7c4c.
The Independent (30t March 2010): http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/acupuncture-can-ease-fear-of-dentists-1931009.html
BBC News Online (30 March 2010): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8592607.stm