acupuncture for dry eye

June 27, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Background

Dry eye is usually managed by conventional medical interventions such as artificial tears, anti-inflammatory drugs and surgical treatment. However, since dry eye is one of the most frequent ophthalmologic disorders, safer and more effective methods for its treatment are necessary, especially for vulnerable patients. Acupuncture has been widely used to treat patients with dry eye. Our aim is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for this condition.

Methods/Design

A randomised, patient-assessor blinded, sham (non-acupuncture point, shallow acupuncture) controlled study was established. Participants allocated to verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups will be treated three times weekly for three weeks for a total of nine sessions per participant. Seventeen points (GV23; bilateral BL2, GB4, TE23, Ex1 (Taiyang), ST1 and GB20; and left SP3, LU9, LU10 and HT8 for men, right for women) have been selected for the verum acupuncture; for the sham acupuncture, points have been selected that do not coincide with a classical acupuncture point and that are located close to the verum points, except in the case of the rim of the eye. Ocular surface disease index, tear film breakup time, the Schirmer I test, medication quantification scale and general assessment of improvement will be used as outcome variables for evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture. Safety will also be assessed at every visit. Primary and secondary outcomes will be assessed four weeks after screening. All statistical analyses will be performed using analysis of covariance.

Discussion

The results of this trial will be used as a basis for clarifying the efficacy of acupuncture for dry eye. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture treatment for dry eye. The null hypothesis of this study is “the change in dry eye symptoms after verum acupuncture treatment is equal to the change in dry eye symptoms after sham acupuncture treatment.”

 

This article is from in PMC; US national library of medicine

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acupuncture and allergic asthma

June 6, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Abstract

Acupuncture has regulatory effects on mucosal and celllular immunity in patients with allergic and may be an adjunctive therapy for allergic asthma.

This study examines the clinical and immunomodulatory effects of acupuncture in the treatment of patients with allergic asthma. The acupuncture points GV14, BL12, and BL13 were selected based on the theory of traditional Chinese medicine in treating asthma. Manual acupuncture was performed once every other day (three times per week) for 5weeks. The needles were twisted approximately 360° evenly at the rate of 60 times/min for 20s, manipulated every 10min and withdrawn after 30min. Concentrations of sIgA and total IgA in secretions were determined by the combination of sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation and RIA. Levels of cortisol in the plasma were measured by RIA. Total IgE in the sera was examined by ELISA. Flow cytometry was used to detect the numbers of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and IL-2R + T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. The absolute and differential numbers of eosinophils in peripheral blood were counted with eosin staining. The total efficacy of the acupuncture treatment in patients with allergic asthma at the end of one course of treatment was 85%. After treatment, the concentrations of sIgA and total IgA in the saliva (P < 0.01, P < 0.02) and nasal secretions (P < 0.02, P < 0.02) were significantly decreased in patients with allergic asthma. The levels of total IgE in sera (P < 0.001), the counts of IL-2R + T lymphocytes (P < 0.001), and the absolute and differential numbers of eosinophils (P < 0.01, P < 0.01) in the peripheral blood were also significantly decreased. The numbers of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood were significantly increased in the allergic asthmatics treated by acupuncture (P < 0.001, P < 0.01, and P < 0.001, respectively). The concentration of cortisol in the plasma of asthmatic patients did not change significantly after the acupuncture treatment (P > 0.05). Acupuncture has regulatory effects on mucosal and cellular immunity in patients with allergic asthma and may be an adjunctive therapy for allergic asthma.

 

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22661215

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Acupuncture is one of the best ways to get rid of acne

May 31, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine which has been practiced for approximately 5,000 years, and has become a popular treatment for various health ailments today. The treatment involves inserting tiny needles into specific spots of the body to help cure common health ailments, diseases, and even mental health problems. It’s indeed one of the best treatments, highly recommended to be a significantly effective therapy for treating acne. Read on to learn more about the amazing acupuncture treatment for reducing acne breakouts.

Acupuncture helps to enhance healing for various illnesses. It’s an ideal alternative for individuals that do not want to resort to any medicinal treatments or laser surgery. According to health experts acupuncture works best in treating acne, only when acne sufferers incorporate a healthier diet and a more hygienic routine.

Acupuncture is one of the best ways to get rid of, without worrying about any side effects. It’s really an effective treatment when natural treatments fail to give desired results. For alleviating acne, acupuncture mainly focuses on regulating the body’s hormones. Acupuncturists suggest that hormones that are out of sync are the main cause for more secreted oil in the skin. By regulating these hormones by acupuncture therapy, the oil secretion diminishes which results in less acne.

Acupuncture alone does not show results. To make acupuncture therapy work it’s necessary that the acne sufferer pays attention to the various causes of acne too. Acupuncture involves observation of the various symptoms carefully and in detail so that the acne treatment can be performed accordingly. All the factors that influence the acne to begin developing in the body are considered first before acupuncture therapy starts. Anything from emotional, to physical, to external factors have to be taken care of, along with the acupuncture therapy.

In order to get great results from acupuncture therapy you need to make healthy dietary changes in your life. Detoxifying the body is very vital, because oily and fatty foods generally aggravate acne. Most of all remember that a healthy body fights better against all the ailments from the inside to the outside.

 

From the acne skin site

 

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Acupuncture and seasonal allergies

May 23, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

people can be afflicted with perennial allergic rhinitis (which may occur at any given time of the year) or occupational allergic rhinitis (which is caused by an allergic reaction to substances in the workplace, such as chemicals or grains). All told, between 10 percent and 20 percent of the general population is believed to have some form of allergic rhinitis, with direct and indirect health care costs totaling between $4.5 and $7.7 billion per year in the U.S. alone.

In China, acupuncture and herbal remedies have been used to combat symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis successfully for centuries. Previous research has shown, for instance, that Chinese herbal medicine can treat atopic dermatitis, while acupuncture has been proven effective in relieving the symptoms a number of allergic conditions. However, few studies have examined the combined use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

A study in the September 2004 issue of Allergy has concluded that a combination of Chinese herbs and weekly acupuncture sessions may be more effective than a placebo at relieving the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. The authors of the study also suggest that future research be conducted to investigate the effectiveness of an acupuncture-herb combination in the treatment of other conditions.

In the study, a total of 52 patients between the ages of 20 and 58, all diagnosed with seasonal allergic rhinitis, were randomly assigned to a traditional Chinese medicine group or a control group. In the TCM group, patients received a standardized 20-minute acupuncture treatment once a week for six weeks, with points on the Large Intestine, Gallbladder, Lung and Liver meridians stimulated. Additional points were selected based on each patient’s individual symptoms. All of the patients were treated while in a supine position. After the needles were inserted, they were manipulated to obtain de qi. The needles were manipulated again 10 minutes after the start of treatment.

Along with acupuncture, TCM patients received a basic herbal formula (consisting of schizonepeta, chrysanthemum, cassia seed, plantago seed and tribulus), which they were instructed to take as a decoction three times per day, parallel to acupuncture treatment. In addition to the basic formula, every patient received a second formula tailored to the patient’s individual TCM diagnosis.

In the control group, patients were given acupuncture at standardized non-acupuncture points distant from meridians, and were treated superficially with needles smaller than those used on the TCM patients. The needles were not manipulated, and the same points were needled at each acupuncture session. Control patients also received a non-specific herbal formula comprised of coix seed, licorice, poria, hops, oryza, barley, hawthorn fruit, and medicated leaven.

To measure the effect of each therapy, patients used a visual analogue scale to rate the severity of hay fever suffered during the previous week on a 10-point scale, and an assessment-of-change scale to measure any changes in symptoms. Patients also filled out an allergic rhinitis questionnaire to rate the severity of symptoms, and a pair of quality-of-life surveys. In addition, patients were asked to document the number of anti-allergy drugs taken for one week.

Patient Surveys Find Favorable Results for Acupuncture/Herb Combination

At the start of the study, visual analogue scores for each group were nearly identical (4.1 for the TCM group, 4.2 for the control group). By the end of the study period, however, the severity of hay fever was “significantly less pronounced in the TCM group” than in the control patients, and instances of remission (represented by a 0 or 1 on the visual analogue scale) occurred twice as often in TCM patients compared to patients in the control group.

Similar results were seen in the assessment-of-change scores and the rhinitis questionnaire. Improvement on the assessment-of-change score was observed in 85 percent of the TCM patients versus only 40 percent of control patients. An analysis of the rhinitis questionnaire, meanwhile, found that TCM patients experienced improvements in allergy symptoms in the eyes and nose, higher levels of physical activity, and an improved psychological condition compared to patients in the control group.

 

Article from AcupunctureToday

 

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Influence of acupuncture with reproduction therapy

May 19, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) by comparing a group of patients receiving acupuncture treatment shortly before and after embryo transfer with a control group receiving no acupuncture.

DESIGN: Prospective randomized study.

SETTING: Fertility center.

PATIENT(S):

After giving informed consent, 160 patients who were undergoing ART and who had good quality embryos were divided into the following two groups through random selection: embryo transfer with acupuncture (n = 80) and embryo transfer without acupuncture (n = 80).

INTERVENTION(S):

Acupuncture was performed in 80 patients 25 minutes before and after embryo transfer. In the control group, embryos were transferred without any supportive therapy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Clinical pregnancy was defined as the presence of a fetal sac during an ultrasound examination 6 weeks after embryo transfer.

RESULT(S):

Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group.

CONCLUSION(S):

Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.

 

Article from Pubmed

 

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Acupuncture and IVF support

May 9, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine treatment that relies on the painless but strategic placement of tiny needles into a “grid-like” pattern that spans the body, from head to toe. The needles are used to stimulate certain key “energy points” believed to regulate spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical balance. And, for many women, it’s often just what the doctor ordered.

“It can allow you to cross the line from infertile to fertile by helping your body function more efficiently, which in turn allows other, more modern reproductive treatments, like IVF, to also work more efficiently,” says James Dillard, MD, assistant clinical professor, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and clinical adviser to Columbia’s Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Mededicine.

Indeed, in a study of 160 women, published April 2002 in the reproductive journalFertility and Sterility, a group of German researchers found that adding acupuncture to the traditional IVF treatment protocols substantially increased pregnancy success.

In this study one group of 80 patients received two, 25-minute acupuncture treatments — one prior to having fertilized embryos transferred into their uterus, and one directly afterwards. The second group of 80, who also underwent embryo transfer, received no acupuncture treatments.

The result: While women in both groups got pregnant, the rate was significantly higher in the acupuncture group — 34 pregnancies, compared with 21 in the women who received IVF alone.

From WebMD

 

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Treating obesity with Acupuncture

May 4, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Roughly thirty-one percent of Americans, that’s abaout sixty-five million, are considered to be obese. In terms of the scientific/health standards obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of thirty percent higher. To calculate you BMI take your weight in pounds, multiply it by 703, then divide it twice by your height in inches. A healthy or average BMI falls in the range of 20-24%, anything below that is considered underweight, and anything about is regarded as overweight. With the exception of professional athletes, weightlifters, and those who generally are heavier due to a surplus of body fat stored in the body. It is well known that Diet/Nutrition and Exercise lifestyle changes are the most efficient means for treating obesity. However, many overweight people are finding regular needling by a licensed Acupuncturist to be beneficial when implemented along with regular exercise and nutritional awareness.

Losing weight is easier said than done. Being obese is an much a struggle physically and socially as it is emotionally and mentally. Most overweight people at one time or another have given in to fad diets, gadgets, or get thin quick exercise schemes promoted by the media only to be disappointed and eventually relapse. In the rate instances these programs do bear results they usually are short-lived.

When it comess to understanding inner alchemy, Traditional Chinese Medicince and Acupuncture offer insight and practices that just aren’t found in workout tapes and diet pills. Obesity has no singular cause. Genetic, age, lifestyle, constitution, emotion, and diet are all factors tht contribute to the likihood of obesity. The foods we crave depend on the imbalances in our internal system. At time, those very foods are the ones our bodies can not digest which can create a vicious cycle. This can be due to an enzyme deficiency. In the case of low blood sugar which many obese people experience their bodies can not digest the complex carbohydrates such as those found in fruits so they reach for simple sugars like those in candies and sweets. Ingesting these sugars raises insulin levels, which can lead to Diabetes their blood sugar quickly drops back down leaving them feeling the need to eat again. In short eating unnatural goods throws the entire system out of balance. Acupuncture can help normalize the system, and aid weight loss when accompanied by proper diet and exercise.

In a Russian study of obese children it was found that regular Acupuncture treatments resulted in the normalization of blood and serum levels, decrease of overall body mass and fatty tissie content, and increased exercise performance abilities. In other studies conclusive evidence was offered to show needling of auricular points helped to lower the appetite, increase satiety with less food, as well as lower insulin and lipid levels. A balance system also provides more circulation of blood and nutients to the muscles, bones, and tissues so that an individual can exercise longer thus burning more stored fat without becoming tired or light headed which can be discourged factors when beginning an exercise program.

Acupuncture in itself will not melt fat away but in certainly does address the health issues that accompany obesity and lead to becoming overweight. Stimulation of the endocrine system can regulate not only the metabolism but many other functions of the body. Acupuncture not only focuses on an individual’s problem ares such as kidney or spleen function but it also balances the whole person. It gives them an oppurtunity to experience health and how they can feel better despite their external appearances. This is very profound and powerful as it generates a real experience of feeling at home in their bodies and gives them the motivation to take an active role in their own well-being.

 

Article from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

 

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Diabetes and acupuncture

March 15, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Acupuncture can help relieve diabetes symptoms and regulate blood sugar level.  Here is how acupuncture can treat diabetes including formulas.  This article is from HBKim Forum.

DEFINITION AND SYMPTOMS
Diabetes Mellitus, is a disease in which the pancreas produces insufficient amount of insulin, or in which the cells fail to respond appropriately to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the cells to absorb glucose (sugar), so that it can be used as a source of energy. In people with diabetes, glucose levels build up in the blood and urine, causing excessive urination, thirst, hunger, and problems with fat and protein metabolism. Diabetes mellitus differs from the less common diabetes insipidus, which is caused by lack of the hormone vasopressin (ADH), which controls the amount of urine secreted.

TYPES
Type 1:  Diabetes is classified into two types. In Type 1 diabetes, formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and juvenile-onset diabetes, the body does not produce insulin or produces it only in very small quantities. Symptoms usually appear suddenly, typically in individuals under 20 years of age. Most cases occur around puberty and around age 10 to 12 in girls and age 12 to 14 in boys. In the United States Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diabetes cases. In Canada, Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10 percent of all diabetes cases.
Type 2: In Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and adult-onset diabetes, the body’s delicate balance between insulin production and the ability of cells to use insulin goes wrong. The symptoms or characteristics of Type 2 diabetes include those found in Type 1 diabetes, as well as repeated infections or skin sores that heal slowly or not at all, generalized tiredness, and tingling or numbness in hands or feet.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Increased thirst, a frequent urge for urination, hunger, a flu-like feeling, including weakness and fatigue, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, irritability, slow healing of cuts and bruises, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, red, swollen and tender gums, recurring infections of the gums, skin, vagina or bladder

COMPLICATIONS
Short-term complications: low blood sugar, high blood sugar
Long-term complications: nerve damage, kidney disease, eye disease, cardiovascular disease, increased risk of infection

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS AND FORMULAS
In Oriental Medicine, Diabetes is categorized under “Xiao Ke”.

1. LU Heat with Fluid Deficiency
S/S: thirst with desire to drink even after drinking, dry and heat sensation in the throat, polyuria, red tongue, lack of saliva, thin yellow coating, rapid pulse

Modified Xiao Ke Fang (Dan Xi Xin Fa, 1481)

2. ST Heat
S/S: thirst with drinking lots of water, hungry easily even after big meal, thin body, dry stool, frequent urination, red tongue, yellow coating, slippery and rapid pulse

Modified Yu Nu Jian (Jing Yue Quan Shu, 1624)

3. Qi and Yin Both Deficiency
S/S: mental fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath worse with exertion, weakness of lower limbs, dryness of mouth and throat, five palms heat, drinking lots of water, polyuria, slight pale tongue with teeth mark, thin white coating, lack of saliva, thready pulse

Modified Ren Shen Bai Hu Tang (Za Bing Yuan Liu Xi Zhu, 1773)

4. Yin and Yang Both Deficiency
S/S: Pain on the lower bak and knee, aversion to cold, cold limbs, spermatorrhea, impotence, frequent urination during night time, dizziness, tinnitus, dark face, slight pale and swollen tongue, white coating, deep and week pulse.

Modified Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan (Jin Gui Yao Lao, 3rd century)

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The treatment of obesity by acupuncture

March 15, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Source

Department of Physiology, Selçuk University, Faculty of Meram Medical, Konya, Turkey. tugcab@yahoo.com

Abstract

The present study is an investigation of the results of the studies on the effects of acupuncture application therapy on obesity. It has been reported that acupuncture application in obesity treatment is effective in procuring weight loss. It can affect appetite, intestinal motility, and metabolism, as well as emotional factors such as stress. Increases in neural activity in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus, in tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach and in levels of enkephalin, beta endorphin, and serotonin in plasma and brain tissue have also been observed with the application of acupuncture. It has been observed that acupuncture application to obese people increases excitability of the satiety center in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels. Both of these activities have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. Among other things, serotonin enhances intestinal motility. It also controls stress and depression via endorphin and dopamine production. In addition to these effects, it is thought that the increase in plasma levels of beta endorphin after acupuncture application can contribute to the body weight loss in obese people by mobilizing the body energy depots through lipolithic effect.

This article is from Int J Neurosci. 2006 Feb;116(2):165-75

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weight loss and auricular acupuncture

March 15, 2012  |  Headline  |  No Comments

Here is an interesting article about acupuncture and weight control from PubMed, NIH.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Many overweight people are aware that diets can help with weight loss but have difficulty in suppressing their appetite. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels, both of which have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation of specific auricular acupuncture points on appetite suppression.

METHODS:

Sixty overweight subjects, randomly divided into an active and a control group, used the AcuSlim device twice daily for four weeks. The active group attached the AcuSlim to the acupuncture ear points shenmen and stomach, whereas the control group attached the device to their thumb where there are no acupuncture points. The goal of a 2 kg weight loss was set and changes in appetite and weight were reported after four weeks.

RESULTS:

Of those who responded, 95% of the active group noticed suppression of appetite, whereas none of the control group noticed such a change. None of the control group lost the required 2 kg, with only 4 subjects losing any weight at all. Both the number of subjects who lost weight and the mean weight loss were significantly higher in the active group (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Frequent stimulation of specific auricular acupuncture points is an effective method of appetite suppression which leads to weight loss.

Richards D, Marley J.

Source

Department of General Practice, University of Adelaide, South Australia.

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