Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju

Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

Friday, 1 July 2022

Is acupuncture the right treatment for you?

Is acupuncture a treatment for you?

Acupuncture originates from China over 2500 years and is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine in which fine needles are inserted into the skin at certain acupuncture points. These needles do amazing job. It is popular all over the world.

The effectiveness of acupuncture is still in debate. There was an article that described different persons acupuncture experiences with different conditions from different practitioners, lady 53 with a prolapsed disc had 6 months acupuncture and avoided a surgery and got back to her normal life again.

This is a typical case who benefits from acupuncture treatment. A person said “I have no knowledge of any parallel universe, so I can’t compare what my life without acupuncture would be like to see exactly how much it has helped, but my feeling is that it does help me, so I won’t stop. Equally, I recognise that it is good to meet a qualified doctor on a regular basis for a one-to-one session lasting 45 minutes.”

A 46 year old described that acupuncture worked every time when he had back pain. Acupuncture is magic for some but torture for others. A 48 year old did think acupuncture helped his back pain.

Acupuncture can be beneficial for emotional wellbeing. Many agreed with this. For example, A  59 year old with terrible chest pains on some family stressful event. After he was told there was nothing wrong by the doctors and pain killers didn’t work, he tried seven session acupuncture and he felt better. He believed that the acupuncture sessions unblocked the emotional energy.

Not all types of acupuncture treatment are the same. That is very true.

References

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/04/is-acupuncture-effective-readers-experiences

Regular acupuncture treatment is a new healthy life style

Many people use acupuncture as their lifestyle choice to help their quality of life. For example, everyone is getting older. With increased age, wrinkles are unavoidable which make some people unhappy and losing confidence. Facial acupuncture has anti-aging effects. It can help reduce wrinkles and rejuvenate the face. Regular acupuncture treatments can also prevent wrinkle formation. Facial acupuncture become one of the lifestyle for facial rejuvenation. Another example, with modern fast paced life, there is lot of stress going on in daily life, acupuncture effectively reduces stress to help people relax and get better sleep. Having acupuncture from time to time helps to keep stress level low. Furthermore, acupuncture can help reduce chronic pain and regular treatment can prevent the pain from coming back. This helps people’s quality of life. Adding acupuncture to your new lifestyle keeps you healthy and looking younger.

 

It’s wonderful to live long. But how? A Japanese doctor lived to 105. Here's his advice for a long life.

Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, the physician, chairman emeritus of St. Luke's International University, and honorary president of St. Luke's International Hospital recommended several basic guidelines for living a long, healthy life.

Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. He said that We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.

Others include always plan ahead and keep working, stay healthy and do exercise.

He believes that pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. 

Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

References

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2009/01/29/people/authorphysician-shigeaki-hinohara/#.W73anmhKiUm

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

After failed IVF to get pregnant, What to do to improve?

Infertility and treatment

If you are having difficulty to get pregnant, you are not alone. It is estimated that infertility affects 1 in 7 couples in the UK and this prevalence is increasing.

The main causes of infertility in the UK are unexplained infertility (no identified male or female cause) (25%), ovulatory disorders (25%), tubal damage (20%), factors in the male causing infertility (30%), uterine or peritoneal disorders (10%). In about 40% of cases disorders are found in both the man and the woman.

In 2011, 48,147 women had a total of 61,726 cycles of IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and 2,087 women had a total of 4,091 cycles of donor insemination. A total of 89,648 embryos were transferred during the course of fertility treatment which started in 2011. A total of 13,703 pregnancies were reported as a result of IVF treatment which started in 2011. In the UK, 201,811 babies have been born after IVF treatment between 1991 and 2010. Of the women who received fertility treatment during 2011, they were, on average, 35-years-old and had been trying to conceive for around 4 years (4.6 for IVF, 4 for donor insemination). Four in ten (40.3%) IVF treatment cycles were funded by the NHS in 2011.

Acupuncture for infertility treatment is increased from 2.5% in 2002 to 13% in 2009.

Current status of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in the US

Since the first infant conceived with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) was born in 1981 in the US, the usage of ART for fertility treatment and the ART service provided by fertility clinics are increasing. Senderam S et al in the US did a survey from the data in 2009. A total 146,244 ART procedures were reported. These procedures resulted in 45,870 live-birth deliveries and 60,190 infants. The largest numbers of ART procedures performed were from six states which were California (18,405), New York (14,539), Illinois (10,192), Massachusetts (9,845), New Jersey (9,146) and Texas (8,244). Nationawide the average number of ART procedures performed per 1 million women of reproductive age (15-44 year old). ART contributed to 1.4% of US births. In Massachusetts it was greater than 4%. Infants conceived wit ART accounted for 20% of all multiple-birth infants, 19% of all twin births and 34% of triplet or higher order births. Among infants conceived with ART, 47% were born as multiple-birth infants while among the general birth population it was 3%. Infants conceived wit ART contributed to about 6% of all low birthweight infants. Among ART-conceived infants, 32% were low birthweight, while among general population there was 8% low birth weight. Infants conceived with ART accounted for 3.9% of all preterm and 4.5% of all very preterm births. Among infants conceived with ART, 33.4% were born preterm, while among general population there was only 12.2% preterm. 6.1% of ART infants were very preterm birth, while only 2% among general population.

40% fertility centers offer acupuncture treatments

Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) commonly use alternative therapies to improve IVF outcomes and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Acupuncture is a popular choice for women undergoing IVF. Recently Nedeljkovic M et al conducted a survey to study the state of acupuncture treatments in assisted reproductive technology in fertility centers in Swiss, German and Austrian fertility centers. There were 86 fertility center responded the study. 33 of them offered acupuncture treatments which was about 40%. 39.4% acupuncture points selected were standardized. Body acupuncture using needle stimulation was most frequently applied which was 84.8%. Treatments were mainly by physician-acupuncturist.

Acupuncture helps succeed in first round IVF

A 39 year old woman has been trying to conceive for a year and half. Her husband’s sperm was good. She was very stressed from this. Also she worked very hard and work stress was enormous too. Her fertility test was absolutely normal. Her period was 28-29 days. However she did ovulate a bit early in about day 11 checked by ovulation kit test. Her period was light lasting for 3 days. She also had chronic diarrhea about two to three times a day. She decided to try acupuncture to help with conceiving. She had acupuncture treatment on weekly basis. With the treatment progress, her ovulation was changed to day 12 and then day 13. Her diarrhea was disappeared. Her bowel movement was once a day and no longer loose. Her period last 5 days. Her stress level was decreased and she felt more relaxed. After three month acupuncture treatment, she felt a lot better, but she was still not pregnant. She decided to go ahead for IVF, because age was not on her side and she did not want to wait to get pregnant naturally. She was continuing another two month acupuncture treatment while planning IVF. During the IVF procedure, everything was going smoothly. She had 12 eggs retrieved and 11 of them were fertilised. One of the embryo was transferred and pregnancy test was positive after two weeks waiting.

Failed IVF cycle, acupuncture can help.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an important treatment option for couples with infertility problems. However the success rate is low and Average IVF success rate is 30% and lower if you are over 35 year old. Many couple have to repeat the IVF cycles to achieve pregnancy. And the success rate after failed IVF cycle is even lower. Acupuncture was used to treat different conditions for thousands years. Can acupuncture help IVF to achieve higher success rate after failed IVF? many scientists found promising results to show that acupuncture can help IVF after failure of IVF in some way. Recently a research investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion as an additional treatment in women with failed embryo implantation from IVF and has shown that acupuncture increased pregnancy rate in women with previous failed IVF cycles. In this study, there were 84 patients involved. These patients had at least two unsuccessful attempts of IVF cycles. The predicted success rate for these patients was 10% for this groups of patients. In current cycle, they were divided into three groups: acupuncture, control and sham groups with each group 28 patients. Acupuncture was performed on the first and seventh day of ovulation induction, on the day before egg collection and on the day after embryo transfer. Acupuncture and moxibustion were applied. In sham acupuncture group needles were inserted in the area that did not correspond to known acupuncture points. The result has shown that the clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7%, 7.1% and 10.7% respectively). This research has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for those women who had previously failed IVF cycles.

Acupuncture performed around embryo transfer increases IVF success rate

The most common assisted reproduction therapy is in vitro fertilization (IVF). In IVF a woman's eggs are harvested and fertilized with a man's sperm in a laboratory. intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used where sperm counts are low. In ICSI, sperm is injected into eggs. Embryos obtained from IVF or ICSI are grown from the sperm and eggs and then transferred into the woman's uterus. IVF and ICSI were used for about 40 years to help with couples with difficulty to conceive, but the success rate is still not satisfactory. Other techniques are used to tend to increase their success rate. Acupuncture has been chosen for this purpose. A decade ago a research study from Germany investigated the effect of adding acupuncture on IVF or ICSI. This was a very well-done study and it was reported in a very highly regarded medical journal. In this study, acupuncture was added before and after embryo transfer. Patients with good quality embryos were chosen and divided into acupuncture group and control group. A maximum of three embryos were transferred into each woman's uterus using established transfer procedures, with the same procedure used for every patient in both groups. Patients in the acupuncture group received two acupuncture sessions – first treatment before embryo transfer, the second treatment after. Point selection played a key role in acupuncture's success. A total of nine points were used on patients in the acupuncture group. Before embryo transfer, PC6 (nei guan), SP8 (di ji), LR3 (tai chong), GV20 (bai hui) and ST29 (gui lai) were used; after transfer, needles were inserted at ST36 (zu san li), SP6 (san yin jiao), SP10 (xue hai) and LI4 (he gu). Points on the spleen, stomach and colon meridians were chosen because of their ability to provide "better blood perfusion and more energy in the uterus"; PC6, LI20, GV20, and ear points 34 and 55 were used to sedate the patient; ear point 58 was used to "influence the uterus"; and ear point 22 was stimulated to stabilize the endocrine system. This is well known acupuncture ivf german protocol. This protocol would optimize uterine receptivity."Six weeks after the embryo transfers were performed, all of the women were given an ultrasound examination. In the control group, the presence of a fetal sac, the scientists' criteria for a clinical pregnancy, was found in 21 women (26.3%). In the acupuncture group, the pregnancy rate was "considerably higher" - 34 women (42.5%) were carrying a fetal sac at the time of examination.

How does acupuncture help to achieve higher success rate? A woman's uterus typically undergoes several contractions while an embryo is being transferred, which reduces the chances of successful implantation significantly. Relaxing the uterus during embryo transfer could increase a woman's chances of becoming pregnant. Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate performed around the time of embryo transfer, mainly by relaxing uterus.

Acupuncture helps reducing anxiety in women undergoing IVF

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) provides great chance for those couples who have difficulty to conceive. However IVF does not always produce pregnancy, actually the success rate is not high. It can be physically and emotionally challenging. Isoyama et al studied the effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing IVF. 43patients participated in the study. 22 patients were in acupuncture group while 21 patients were in the control group. The anxiety level of each patient was analysed before and after treatment. Four weekly sessions were performed. Acupuncture points including HT7, PC6, CV17, GV20 and Yingtang were used for the needling. Their result showed that after 4 week treatment the anxiety score for acupuncture group was significantly lower than for the control group. This indicated that acupuncture can reduce anxiety symptoms in women undergoing IVF.

Acupuncture helps decrease ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome during IVF

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a serious side effect during the procedure of IVF treatment. It occurs in women who are very sensitive to the fertility drugs. Too many eggs develop in the ovaries, which become very large and painful. Abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea are common symptoms. Can acupuncture help reduce the chance of OHSS? Recently a research studied the effect of acupuncture on clinical outcomes and the occurrence of OHSS in IVF. 109 patients were divided into two groups: control and acupuncture group. Patients in the control group received controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) referring to GnRH-a long protocol. On the basis of COH, those in the EA group received EA from the day of Gn injection to the day of embryo transfer. Blood tests were monitored on the day of hCG injection, the day of egg collection and the day of embryo transfer. The oocyte retrieval rate, good quality embryo rate, clinical pregnancy rate, the abortion rate, and the occurrence of OHSS were compared between the two groups. Compared with the control group, serum oestrogen E2 levels on the day of egg collection and the day of ET were significantly lower in the EA group. vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin-6 (IL-6) significantly decreased compared with control group on the day of hCG injection, on the day of egg collection and embryo transfer. The occurrence of OHSS and the canceling rate of transplant cycle were significantly lower in the EA group than in the control group. The research suggested that acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy, could reduce the occurrence of OHSS in IVF.

References

http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG156

Hopton AK et al BMJ Open (2012)2:e000456

Senderam S et al MMWR surveil Summ (2012) 61:1-23

Nedeljkovic M et al Forsch Komplementmed (2013) 20:112-8

Villahemosa et al Acupunct Med 2013 31:157-62

Paulus et al Fertil Steril (2002) 77:721-4

Hong YL et al Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi (2014) 34:1292-6

Isoyama D et al Acupunct Med (2012) 30:85-8

Monday, 27 June 2022

Suffering from fibromyalgia, acupuncture can help

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. It is a chronic disorder characterized by chronic, diffuse and widespread musculoskeletal pain, and its cause is still not clear. Patients with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity to pain. In addition to widespread pain, there are other symptoms present including debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, jointstiffness, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. People with fibromyalgia have often had depression and anxiety. The cause for fibromyalgia is unknown, but is believed involving psychological, genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors. In fibromyalgia, pain processing and neurotransmitter releasing in the brain are altered leading to lower pain thresholds. Fibromyalgia affects up to 4% of population. The main aims of therapy for this condition are to reduce pain and other symptoms and improve function. Painkillers, antidepressants and antiepileptics are commonly used. As fibromyalgia has a variety of symptoms, no single treatment will work for all of them. You need to find a treatment that suits you. Acupuncture is recommended as an effective option for reducing the pain sensitivity and improving quality of life. There are some evidences emerging showing that acupuncture is a useful treatment option for patients with fibromyalgia and acupuncture may have a great benefit when applied together with medication or other therapeutic options. More recently, Iannuccelli C et al showed that acupuncture could not only control pain but also improve associated symptoms and quality of life. There was a report about the effectiveness of acupuncture on patients with fibromyalgia. These eight women with fibromyalgia received a course of 2 months acupuncture treatments. After the course of acupuncture treatments there was a reduction in the pain threshold and sensitivity and improvement in the of anxiety and depression and quality of life.

A new research has shown that acupuncture is effective on fibromyalgia and the related mechanism. This is randomized controlled clinical trial. 775 women with fibromyalgia participated the study. Treatments were applied twice a week for four weeks. The serum levels of serotonin and SP were evaluated before and after the eight sessions. Patients were clinically assessed by visual analog scale (VAS), the number of tender points (NTP), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) at baseline, after the last treatment, and one and three months after completion of all treatments. The results have shown that serum serotonin values increased significantly and SP levels decreased after treatment. Significant improvements were found in almost all clinical outcomes after treatment. These continued for three months (followup period) after treatments. They concluded that acupuncture may lead to long-term improvements on clinical outcomes and pain neuromediator values.

How does acupuncture work? Acupuncture stimulates nerve endings leading to releasing endorphins and other neurohumornal factors and changing the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord; acupuncture reduces inflammation by increasing production of vascular and immunomodulatory factors; acupuncture improves muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation.

References
Iannuccelli C et al Clin Exp Rheumatol (2012) 30:112-6
Karakay S et al Pain Med (2017) Dec 6. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx263. [Epub ahead of print]

Friday, 24 June 2022

Need pelvic floor therapy? Acupuncture helps

The pelvis is the lowest part of abdomen. Within the pelvis there are the bowel, bladder, uterus, and ovaries. If something goes wrong with these organs and pelvic surroundings, it can cause pelvic pain. People should know that pelvic pain is not normal. Getting treatment early is important. Pelvic pain can be caused by any of those pelvic organs. Pelvic pain can also originate in the pelvic bones, muscles, nerves, joints, or blood vessels. Pelvic pain from a pelvic floor muscle problem can be helped by a special type of physical therapy known as pelvic floor physical therapy. Pelvic pain sometimes occurs when muscles of the pelvic floor are too tight.


Acupuncture is effective for pelvic floor dysfunction

Pelvic floor consists of muscles and ligaments. These muscles can contract and relax and coordinate with abdominal muscles to assist pelvic organ function. If the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are impaired and are not be able to contract or relax, this will affect pelvic organ’s function causing pelvic floor dysfunction. For example,50 percent of people with chronic constipation have pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include urinary problems such as feeling urgent to urinate or painful urination, constipation, low back pain, pain or pressure in the pelvic region, genitals or rectum, discomfort during intercourse, muscle spasms in the pelvis. The common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction are childbirth, pelvic trama, obesity, pelvic surgery, nerve damage. Recent research has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for pelvic floor disorders, particularly with respect to pelvic pain.

References

Arnouk A et al Curr Urol Rep. 2017 Jun;18(6):47. doi: 10.1007/s11934-017-0694-7.

What are pelvic floor muscles and pelvic floor

Pelvic floor muscles are the skeletal muscles spread on the bottom of the pelvis. They stretch from front at pubic bone to the back at the tailbone and from one side of the sitting bone to the other side of the sitting bone. They support the pelvic organs including bladder and bowel in men and bladder, bowel and uterus in women. These organs lie on the pelvic floor muscle layer. The pelvic floor muscle layer has holes for passages to pass through. There are two passages in men (the urethra and anus) and three passages in women (the urethra, vagina and anus). The pelvic floor muscles normally wrap quite firmly around these holes to help keep the passages shut. There is also an extra circular muscle around the anus (the anal sphincter) and around the urethra (the urethral sphincter). The sphincters help conscious control over the bladder and bowel so that the release of urine, faeces (poo) and flatus (wind) can be controlled until it is convenient. Pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function in both men and women. The pelvic floor muscles in women also provide support for the baby during pregnancy and assist in the birthing process. The muscles of the pelvic floor work with the abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine.

Pelvic floor muscles have two major functions; they provide 1; support or act as a “ floor” for the abdominal viscera including the rectum and 2; constrictor or continence mechanism to the urethral, anal and vaginal orifices (in females).

Pelvic floor is the area underneath the pelvis and it comprises muscles and connective tissue such as ligaments and fascia. It separates the pelvic cavity above from the perineal region below. It provides support to the bladder, intestines and uterus (in females). It assists with continence through control of the urinary and anal sphincters. It facilitates birth. it helps to maintain optimal intra-abdominal pressure.

Ligaments of the Pelvis

Iliolumbar ligament - from tip of transverse process of L5 to posterior aspect of inner lip of iliac crest; strengthens the lumbo-sacral joint.

Lateral lumbosacral ligament

Sacrotuberous ligament- from sacrum to tuberosity of the ischium

Sacrospinous ligament - from ischial spine to lateral margins of the sacrum

Sacroiliac Ligaments

Ventral/Anterior sacroiliac ligament- from antero-lateral aspect of sacrum to auricular surface of the ilium

Dorsal/Posterior sacroiliac ligament

Upper portion (short posterior sacroiliac ligament) - from 1st and 2nd transverse tubercles of sacrum to tuberosity of ilium

Lower portion (long posterior sacroiliac ligament) - from 3rd transverse tubercle of sacrum to posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS)

Interosseous sacroiliac ligament- lies deep to posterior SI ligament and runs between the tuberosities of the sacrum and ilium

Sacrococcygeal Ligaments

Ventral/Anterio sacrococcygeal ligament -from anterior surface of sacrum to the front of the coccyx; continuation of the anterior longitudinal ligament of the spine

Dorsal sacrococcygeal ligament

Deep portion - from inside sacral canal at the 5th sacral segment to the dorsal surface of the coccyx; continuation of the psoterior longitudinal ligament of the spine

Superficial portion - from free margin of sacral hiatus to dorsal surface of the coccyx; corresponds with the ligamentum flavum of the spine

Lateral sacrococcygeal ligament - from inferior lateral angle of the sacrum to the transverse process of the 1st coccygeal vertebra

Pubic Symphysis Ligaments

Superior pubic ligament - runs between pubic tubercles

Inferior pubic ligament (aka arcuate public ligament) - runs between inferior pubic rami and blends with fibrocartilagnous disc of pubic symphysis

Anterior pubic ligament

Posterior pubic ligament - membranous structure which blends with periosteum

Endopelvic Fascia - Ligaments

Female: Pubovesical ligaments - attach bladder to pubic symphysis

Male: Puboprostatic ligaments - attach bladder to pubic symphysis

Sacrogenital - these are thickenings of the fascia, not specific ligaments

Uterosacral ligaments - attach upper vagina, upper portion of cervix and uterus to the 3rd sacral vertebra

Cardinal ligaments (aka Mackenrodt's) - attach upper vagina, cervix and uterus to the side walls of the pelvis

Round ligaments - attach uterus to mons pubis

Broad ligaments - attach uterus to medial aspect of the ilium

Uracus ligament - attaches bladder to umbilicus (formed from the remnants of the umbilican vein)

Penile Suspensory Ligaments

Penile Suspensory ligament - attaches to anterior aspect of interpubic disc and divides in two to sling around the penis

Fundiform ligament - extends from inferior linea alba and divides to wrap around the penis

Parietal pelvic fascia - lines the internal surface of the muscles of the pelvic floor and walls

Visceral pelvic fascia - invests each pelvic organ

The parietal and visceral fascia are continuous where organs penetrate the pelvic floor. They thicken to form the arcus tendineus, arches of fascia running adjacent to the viscera from the pubis to the sacrum.

Endopelvic fascia* - meshwork of smooth muscle, ligaments, blood vessels and connective tissue lying between the parietal and visceral fascia, sometimes condensing to form fibrous fascial septa which separate and suspend the organs.

Anatomists use the name subserous fascia whereas surgeons refer to this layer of retroperitoneal fascia as endopelvic fascia.

Hypogastric sheath - separates retropubic space from presacral space; conduit for vessels and nerves

Transverse cerical (cardinal) ligaments - part of hypogastric sheath; runs from lateral pelvic wall to uterine cervix and vagina; transmits uterine artery and provides passive support for the uterus

Vesicovaginal septum

Rectovesical septum

Rectovaginal septum

References

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Pelvic_Floor_Anatomy

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Having Bell’s palsy? acupuncture can help.

Bell’s palsy is a rare condition and about 1 in 5000 people in the UK develop the condition each year. Bell’s palsy is facial nerve paralysis caused by facial nerve inflammation with unknown cause. Virus infection is a possible cause. The symptoms include acute unilateral paralysis of all facial muscles. Numbness and pain may be present. They are from mild muscle weakness on side of the face to completely loss of the facial muscle movements of that side. It could affect the eyelid and mouth and make them difficult to open. Other symptoms include irritation of the affected eye, pain underneath the affected ear, increased sensitivity to sound or ringing in the affected ear, drooling from the mouth on the affected side of the face, dryness of the mouth, changed sense of taste, pain around the jaw, difficulty of eating and drinking, impaired speech and headache, dizziness. There is no specific treatment for Bell’s palsy. In most cases of Bell’s palsy, the symptoms will begin to improve within two to three weeks. 70% of patients recover with or without treatments. 30% of patients will continue to have facial muscle weakness in the affected side of the face. 20% will have long term complications including speech problems, reduced sense of taste and permanent tension of the facial muscles. Corticostroids are commonly used to reduce swelling of facial nerve. Acupuncture is used to treat Bell’s palsy in China. How acupuncture help you? Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation by releasing vascular and immunomodulatory factors; acupuncture also help increase local microcirculation by relaxing vascular smooth muscles; acupuncture can stimulate facial nerve and muscles to help nerve recovery.

Many recent researches showed that acupuncture could be effective. For example, Zhou ZL et al studied acupuncture in treating Bell’s palsy. They treated 68 patients using acupuncture and 53 of them were cured. Another example is from Wang Y and Yang J. They studied effects of acupuncture on different stage of Bell’s palsy according to their onset time: active stage, resting stage and recovery stage. They found that acupuncture is effective for all three stages of Bell’s palsy. The best effect is seen in active stage which means the earlier it is treated the better effect it could get. Furthermore, Liang F et al treated 439 patients with Bell’s palsy using acupuncture and moxibustion in four different hospitals in China. They found that acupuncture plus moxibustion had better effects for patients with Bell’s palsy. From thes researches, we can see acupuncture is an treatment option for patients with Bell’s palsy.

References

Zhou ZL et al Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao (2012) 10: 997-1002

Wang Y and Yang J Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2010) 30:23-6

Liang F et al J Tradit Chin Med (2006) 26:3-7

What can you about your health from your tonger?

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