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Fertility and acupuncture
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Guest blog articles
Reviews and articles
Maggie Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 2 September 2014 P9
Maggie Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
Maggie Ju (2020) The Potentiality of COVID-19 Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 27 Issue 2 November 2020 P9
Thursday, 5 December 2019
No2, improves blood circulation. Good blood circulation is essential for the body to preform including ovaries and uterus. Many researches have shown that acupuncture can improve blood circulation to the body and ovaries and uterus.
No3, reduce inflammation. Metabolism products from inflammation can have toxic effects to the organs include reproductive system. Acupuncture can effectively reduce inflammation and has detoxing effect.
No4, release tension and muscle spasms. Tension and muscle spasm in the body can compromise micro blood circulation in the body including ovaries and uterus. Acupuncture can release all the tensions.
No5, rebalance hormones. Follicle development depends on hormones. Hormones imbalance affects egg qualities. Acupuncture can help rebalance the hormones and improve egg quality.
No6, improves egg quality and ovulation. As mentioned above, acupuncture can improve blood microcirculation and rebalance hormones to improve egg quality.
No7, reduce fallopian tube spasm. Fallopian tube spasm can block the way of eggs, sperms and embryos. Acupuncture can release fallopian tube spasm and help the transportation.
No8, improve uterine lining. Uterine lining is a bed for embryo. It needs to be good and comfortable to embryo to implant in. uterine lining development depends on blood circulation and hormone balance. Acupuncture can help improve uterine lining to its best for embryo implantation.
No9, improve sperm quantity and quality. Acupuncture can help improve sperm’s quality and quantity for women to get pregnant.
No 10, improves embryo quality. Acupuncture can help improve embryo quality by improving egg and sperm quality.
Sunday, 1 December 2019
Stress can affect your whole body including your face. It has a powerful effect on your facial skin. It accelerates aging process though the exact relationship of stress on aging is complex and isn't fully understood. Stress causes a chemical response that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. It also causes skin dryness and dehydration which leads to fine lines and wrinkles. It causes tension of facial muscles which leads to deep wrinkles and facial pain. Stress causes an inflammatory response in the body and leads the pores to become clogged and break causing acne. Skin losses its radiance which is a result of skin blood flow slowing down. Skin also losses its elasticity and forms sagging skin. Take care of your skin to prevent from damaging and rapid skin aging. This will help keep your skin healthy and glowing and delay the natural aging process.
Natural skin care with facial acupuncture
Natural skin care using nature products is that you care the skin with naturally derived products however according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all ingredients are chemicals by definition. And also natural does not have medical meaning to dermatologists.
Facial acupuncture is putting acupuncture needles on the particular points on the face. Facial acupuncture is absolutely natural in facial skin care. It stimulates skin endogenous metabolisms and improves skin blood circulation and reduces stress.
Acupuncture improves skin blood supply
The skin contains a network of small blood vessels which provides nutrition to the skin. The blood vessel wall can contract and relax to regulate blood supply to the skin. If the blood vessels contract more than normal, less blood passes through them and the skin becomes pale and white. When the blood vessels are completely relaxed, this allows more blood to pass through the skin and the skin appear red. Improving skin blood flow will improve skin nutrition status.
Recently many studies have shown that acupuncture increases blood flow and microcirculation in the skin.
These are examples of the studies
Kuo TC et al Am J Chin Med (2004) 32:117-29
Mori H et al Acupunct Med (2014) 32:167-71
Hsiu H et al Microvasc Res (2013) 89:34-9
Kimura et al Acupunct Med (2013) 31:74-80
Huang T et al J Tradit Chin Med 92012) 32:40-4
Hsiu H etal Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2011) 2011:435928
Hsiu H et al ConfProc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc (2008) 2008:2916-9
Hsiu H et al Lasers Med Sci (2009) 24:353-8
Hsiao SH and Tsai LJ J Acupunct Meridian Stud (2008) 1:42-50
Kimura K et al Am J Chin Med (2006) 34:189-96
Sandberg M et al Eur J Appl Physiol (2003) 90:114-9
Zhang D et al Sheng Wu Yi Xue Gong Cheng Xue Za Zhi
Baloqun JA Disabil Rehabil (1996) 18:523-8
In these studies, different acupuncture points are tested and all are found increased skin blood flow. One of the studies measured facial skin blood flow and skin temperature and showed the skin blood flow was increased after acupuncture treatments.
These studies provided scientific evidences for the application of facial acupuncture to improve facial skin blood flow and nutrition. Acupuncture is potentially a new approach to contribute to anti aging.
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Acupuncture releases orofacial pain effectively. This is recognised by dentists. UCLA School of Dentistry is offering a unique, evidence-based program to train dentists in the basics of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. By combining TCM principles with Western allopathic Medicine modalities, participants will feel comfortable diagnosing and understanding the pathophysiology of both acute and chronic oral pain conditions from an integrative East-West perspective. Moreover, graduates will learn basic acupuncture treatments that can be safely delivered to patients.
If you see dentists for toothaches or facial pain, you may get acupuncture treatment.
Friday, 22 November 2019
The majority of acupuncturists in countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, offer maternity treatment through private clinics. In contrast, the majority of maternity acupuncture care in European countries—such as Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland—is administered by hospital midwives who take short training courses.
A recent survey from the UK shows that the most-common maternity situations encountered were: birth preparation [96.5%]; nausea & vomiting [94.2%]; and inducing labor [90.8%]. More than 50% of the practitioners were also treating lower-back and pelvic pain [88.5%], breech presentations [85.0%], threatened miscarriages [63.2%], and headaches/migraines [52.8%]. Only a minority (8 [9.1%]) attended births. A greater number of referrals were received from medical health professionals for pregnancy [65.8%] than for fertility [19.5%] or menstrual conditions [9.7%].
Debra Betts, Med Acupunct. 2019 Oct 1; 31(5): 274–280.
Saturday, 16 November 2019
Grillo CM J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Apr;7(2):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Apr 11.
Friday, 15 November 2019
One group of nerve fibres conduct information about touch and another group conduct information about tissue damage or noxious stimulation via different sensory nerves. Many sensory fibres from different parts of the different area can terminate on the same set of second order neurons. The second order neurones are part of the pathway that sends sensory information to higher centres for perception. However, since there is so much convergence of sensory information from different body parts onto the same second order neurones, these second order neurones may provide ambiguous information as to the exact location of the noxious stimulus. This neural mechanism is thought to be one way whereby the higher centres of the brain can become "confused" as to the exact location of the noxious stimulus.
Another explanation of pain referral is the activating of silent or latent synaptic connections. When there is prolonged and/or intense noxious stimulation, some of these ineffective synapses may become effective connections. The information is transmitted from other parts unrelated to the source of the pain. The brain therefore can become confused as to the correct location of the pain.
Recent research has investigated correlation between referred pain distribution and acupoint sensitization in patients with intestinal diseases. In clinical research, 443 patients from 8 hospitals were recruited, including the outpatients and inpatients of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis and other intestinal diseases. The site with tenderness on the body surface and the morphological changes of local skin were observed and recorded in the patients. Using a sensory tenderness instrument, the pain threshold at the sensitization point was measured in 60 patients with ulcerative colitis. The referred pain on the body surface in the patients with intestinal diseases was mainly located in the lower abdomen, the lumbar region and the lower legs. The diameter of tenderness region was 1.5 to 2.5 cm. Compared with the region without sensitization, the pain threshold of the sensitization point in the patients with ulcerative colitis was reduced significantly. The referred pain on the body surface in the patients with appendicitis was located in the right lower abdomen, the waist and back and the right lower limbs on the medial side. The tenderness region was 1 to 2 cm in diameter and was irregular in form. Intestinal diseases induce referred pain on the body surface where is the same as or adjacent to the location of the spinal segment corresponding to the affected intestinal section. These sensitization regions are related to the locations of acupoints.
Cui X et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2019 Nov 12;39(11):1193-8. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2019.11.016.
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
A study was to examine the feasibility of offering acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment for women presenting with threatened miscarriage. The result has shown that for women receiving acupuncture there was a statically significant reduction with threatened miscarriage symptoms including bleeding, cramping and back pain compared with the control. They conclude that acupuncture was a feasible intervention and reduced threatened miscarriage symptoms when compared to a touch intervention. Further research is required to further explore acupuncture use for this common complication and whether it can reduce the incidence of miscarriage.
Betts D et al BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 Oct 7;16(1):298.
Friday, 1 November 2019
Current models of depression suggest that changes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, dysfunction among stress hormones, and imbalance in neurotransmitters, such as noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine, may be key factors in the onset and maintenance of major depressive disorder. Results from animal experiments suggest a multitarget antidepressant effect of acupuncture, which may be related to amino acid metabolism and inflammatory pathways, especially the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling pathway, and nuclear factor kappa light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kappa B) signaling pathway. In addition, similar to antidepressant medications, acupuncture is capable of affecting the neurotransmitter levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, along with the adenylate cyclase cyclic adenosine monophosphate-protein kinase A (AC-cAMPPKA) cascade within the central nervous system.
A recent review and meta-analysis examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in major depressive disorder. This review analysed 29 studies with 2268 participants and found that acupuncture showed clinically significant reductions in the severity of depression compared to usual care. There is a link between numbers of acupuncture treatments and the reduction of depression: more treatments, the more reduction in the severity of depression.
Armour M et al J Clin Med. 2019 Jul 31;8(8). pii: E1140. doi: 10.3390/jcm8081140.
Acupuncture for Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Wednesday, 30 October 2019
Connection between mind and body has been discovered for centuries. In ancient time, it was believed that emotions were linked to disease and patients were advised to visit spas or seaside resorts when they were ill. Today it is widely accepted that there is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health. There is common sense ‘too much stress makes you sick' which means that there is a links between stress and health. There was a survey in the UK has shown that workers have high stress and little autonomy, have more than twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome—a precursor of heart disease and diabetes. By measuring heart rate, and cortisol and adrenaline levels, researchers also found that stress affects the autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrine function. Other recent research showed that acute and chronic psychological stress, related to low socio-economic status, can increase the risk of heart attack by increasing circulating levels of platelet–leukocyte aggregates. It was also suggested that there was link between stress and other conditions, such as infertility, chronic pain, fatigue, acne etc. Mind body therapies are helpful in managing these conditions by promoting relaxation. Acupuncture is one of the mind body therapy techniques that can relax body and mind to ease the symptoms of the conditions and improve psychological functioning and quality of life.
Acupuncture releases tension of the body and mind
When the body or mind is stressed, muscles reflex and are tense up instantly. This creates lot of tensions to the body and mind. If the stress is prolonged, muscles are constantly in contracting state and tension is building up. This constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow and energy supply to the organs and tissues such as muscles, tendons and nerves etc. One may feel stiff or tight with or without pain in the body. This may trigger stress related disorders, for example, anxiety, tension type headache, migraine, other chronic pain conditions and this also affects many systems in the body such as nervous system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system and endocrine system, reproductive system etc. Initially this affects system function in short term and this can cause pathological changes of the affected system in long run. There are many tips to teach you how to relieve stress and release the tension of the body and mind. Which one works for you? Sometimes you might find none of the tips works. Do you know acupuncture is very effective to release tension from the body and mind?
V Brower EMBO Rep (2006) 7:358-361
Thursday, 24 October 2019
Dubois J et al PLoS One. 2019 Oct 23;14(10):e0224098. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224098. eCollection 2019.
Klein SD et al PLoS One. 2015 Oct 29;10(10):e0141985. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141985. eCollection 2015.
There is emerging evidence that acupuncture is effective for treating patients with depression. A study from the University of York UK has shown that acupuncture is also cost effective for treating depression. They compared the cost of acupuncture, counselling or usual care for depression based the price of the interventions. They measured quality adjusted life years (QALYs) in analysis. They found that acupuncture and counselling have higher mean QALYs and costs than usual care. They have shown that acupuncture has an increased cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £4,560 per additional QALY and is cost-effective with a probability of 0.62 at a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20,000 per QALY. Counselling compared with acupuncture is more effective and more costly with an ICER of £71,757 and a probability of being cost-effective of 0.36. Acupuncture is cost-effective compared with counselling or usual care alone.
Depression and acupuncture
There is another study about acupuncture on personality traits in derpression from China. 48 patients completed the study. The Minnesota Multiple Personality Inventory (MMPI) was used for evaluation. Self-rating depression scale (SDS), self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and Montgomery asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) were used to assess the psychological state. Assessments were done before and after the treatment. These patients were received acupuncture treatments for 24 weeks in acupuncture group. After treatment, patients psychological state improved significantly in acupuncture group and control group. In treatment group severity of depression had significantly decreased after 24 weeks of treatment compared with that before the treatment. MADRS, SDS and MMPI scores decreased significantly. In control group these scores also decreased. The decrease of these scores was greater in treatment group compared with control group.
10.1016/j.mehy.2015.05.013. [Epub ahead of print]
Spackamn E et al PLoS One (2014) 9:e113726
Wang WD et al Chin J Integr Med 2013 19:777-782
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Arranz L et al studied the effect of acupuncture in 34 women aged 30-60 with anxiety diagnosed and impaired immune function. Acupuncture was performed manually on 19 acupoints. A single session 30 min was employed. Before acupuncture and 72 hours after acupuncture, immune function was measured by blood test. They found that the best effect was seen at 72 hours after a single acupuncture treatment. They also studied long term effect of acupuncture. 12 patients completed 10 sessions in a year until the anxiety symptoms disappeared. The immune function was measured after a month at the end of a year treatment. They found that the immune function in these women was returned to the level closed to that in healthy control women. This study suggested that acupuncture improve immune function in women caused by anxiety.
There was another report comparing acupuncture with clonazepam in treating GAD. 80 patients were participated the study. 40 patients were acupuncture group and another 40 patients were in clonazepam group. Twelve medridians acuppoints were applied. Meaning quick needling at the apecific acupoints of each meridian for example, LU7, LI4 and HT7were applied. The total treatments were 6 weeks. Hamilton Anxiety Scal (HAMA) and brain activity were used to evaluate the effects. The improvements of the total HAMA scores could be seen in 2, 4 and 6 weeks in both group but the improvements were greater in acupuncture group. The brain activity was improved in both groups. So acupuncture could be a potential option for treatment of GAD.
Arranz L et al Am J Chin Med (2007) 35:35-51
Zhou XF et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2013) 33:395-8
Monday, 14 October 2019
DNA damage may exert its effect at different stages of the reproductive procedure, beginning from the pre-implantation development of the embryo to the achievement and sustaining of pregnancy and finally the creation of healthy offspring. An inverse relationship has been reported between the likelihood of achieving pregnancy either by natural intercourse or by application of ART and the presence of high sperm DNA fragmentation levels. Men with abnormal semen parameters have a higher risk of high levels of DNA fragmentation. Men with infertility have increased levels of fragmented sperm DNA and vice versa. Abnormal chromosome rate which triggers DNA fragmentation is higher in poor quality sperm samples. Research has shown that Sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation has been positively correlated with lower fertilization rates in IVF, impaired implantation rates, an increased incidence of abortion and disease in offspring. For example, a study investigated correlation of fertilization rate with sperm DNA fragmentation in A 85 couples undergoing infertility treatment with IVF/ICSI. The result has shown that fertilization rate was inversely correlated with DNA fragmentation. In addition, the slower embryo development and worst morphology on day 6 was correlated with higher sperm DNA fragmentation. There was a negative correlation between DNA fragmentation and the implantation rate. Analysis from a study including 2969 couples has shown that there was a significant increase in miscarriage in patients with high DNA damage compared with those with low DNA damage.
As mentioned above, sperm DNA damage is a useful biomarker for male infertility diagnosis and prediction of assisted reproduction outcomes. It shows more promise than conventional semen parameters from a diagnostic perspective. Another recent study has shown that it is associated with reduced fertilization rates, embryo quality and pregnancy rates, and higher rates of spontaneous miscarriage and childhood diseases; A study involved in 2,756 couples, 965 pregnancies has also shown that high-level sperm DNA fragmentation has a detrimental effect on outcome of IVF/ICSI, with decreased pregnancy rate and increased miscarriage rate. The analysis by type of procedure (IVF vs. ICSI) indicated that high sperm DNA damage was related to lower pregnancy rates in IVF but not in ICSI cycles, whereas it was associated with higher miscarriage rates in both IVF and ICSI cycles.
Sperm DNA damage is often the result of increased oxidative stress in the male reproductive tract, the potential contribution of antioxidant therapy. Do you know that acupuncture improves sperm quantity and quality? Acupuncture could reduce oxidative damage and is a potential useful therapy to treat sperm DNA damage.
Muriel et al Fertil Steril (2006) 85:371-83
Robinson et al HumRepord (2012) 27:2908-17
Zhao et al Fertil Steril (2014) 102:998-1005
Sunday, 13 October 2019
Bidouee F et al J Kidney Dis Transpl (2011) 22:1039
40 patients have low sperm count or abnormal sperm shapes. 28 of them received acupuncture treatment twice a week for 5 weeks while other 12 patients did not receive treatment as control. At the end of the treatment, sperm counts were significantly increased and sperm shapes were significantly improved in acupuncture group compared to control group.
Pei J et al Fertil Steril (2005) 84:141-7
3 weeks of acupuncture increased sperm quality
A study about effect of acupuncture on male infertility was published in 1984 in German. There were 28 males with infertility. They received 10 treatments for 3 weeks. Sperm count, concentration and motility were evaluated before and after acupuncture treatment. Result showed that in all cases sperm quality was improved.
Fischl F et al Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd (1984) 44:510-2
Acupuncture helps fertilisation of ICSI in male infertility
There was a case report that acupuncture improves sperm quality and the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). 22 male patients with infertility who failed ICSI participated the study. They received acupuncture treatment twice a week for 8 weeks followed by ICSI. At the end of the treatment, sperm motility and normality was improved. The fertilisation rates after acupuncture treatment were 66.2% significantly higher than that before the treatment (40.2%). Embryo quality was also improved. Acupuncture has a positive prospect for men with infertility undergoing ICSI treatment.
Zhang M et al J Huazhong Uni Sci Technology Med Sci (2002) 22:228-30
Friday, 27 September 2019
Acupuncture releases trapezius muscle fatigue, increases muscle activity and reduces pain in nonspecific neck pain
Pain caused from the upper trapezius includes headaches on the temples, facial, temple or jaw pain, pain behind the eye, dizziness, neck pain, stiff neck, limited movement, intolerance to weight on the shoulders. Pain caused by middle trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, mid back burning pain or aching along the spine or to the top of the shoulder. Pain caused from the lower trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, aching on the top of the shoulder, neck, mid back and/or upper shoulder pain; pain at the back of the shoulder blade which could go down the inside of the arm to the ring and little fingers.
A recent research investigated immediate effect of acupuncture on electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius muscle and pain in patients with nonspecific neck pain. Fifteen patients with nonspecific neck pain and 15 healthy participants participated the study. They received one session either acupuncture or sham acupuncture as a control. The electromyography (EMG) signal of the upper trapezius muscle was recorded before and after acupuncture treatment. After acupuncture treatment, pain was significantly reduced and significant decreases in the EMG amplitude were identified for the nonspecific neck pain group. This research suggested that muscle fatigue and decrease of activity of the upper trapezius muscle was found in nonspecific neck pain patients. Acupuncture contributes to pain relief among patients with nonspecific neck pain.
Calamita SAP et al J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2018 Mar - Apr;41(3):208-217. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.09.006.
Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 16 thumb and fingers pain)
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Pain and burning in the affected area, decreased strength and flexibility, and pain caused by everyday activities are very common. This is often caused by tendinopathy-tendon injury.
Tendon is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone. It is responsible to transmit muscle force to the bone. A healthy tendon is up to twice as strong as the muscle, making the body of the tendon unlikely to tear before the muscle unless the tendon has already been weakened by degenerative changes. The effects of ageing, wear and tear, genetic pre-disposition and inflammation are known factors contributing to tendon injuries. Injured tendon can cause pain, loss of limb function and prevent exercise and activities of daily living. Injured tendons heal by fibrotic repair and are highly prone to re-injury.
Tendons consist of collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, water and cells. It takes over 100 days to make new collagen.
The healing time for injured tendon varies. Tendon healing can be largely divided into 3 overlapping phases, inflammatory, repairing and remodelling phases: The initial inflammatory phase lasts about 24 hours. During this time erythrocytes, platelets and inflammatory cells migrate to the wound site, recruit tendon blast cell and clean the site of dead tissues and then initiate new collagen synthesis and deposition. After a few days of injury the repairing phase begins. Tendon fibroblast synthesise abundant collegan and other extra cellular matrix components. After 6 weelsthe remodelling phase starts. This phase is characterised by decreased cellularity and decreased collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. During this period, the repair tissue changes to fibrous tissue, this again changes to scar like tendon tissue after 10 weeks. After 10 weeks remodelling continues
Treatment at an early stage can be as brief as 6–10 weeks. Once it becomes chronic the treatment can take 3–6 months. The effective treatment might take 9 months or longer when it is chronic. Knowing these timelines is part of creating an effective treatment plan.
Acupuncture helps release the pain. Acupuncture helps with tendon injury
Acupuncture is used to treat tendon injury and it improves pain and functional activity in patients with tendinopathy. This is suggested that acupuncture can modulate both anti-inflammatory and mechanotransduction molecular pathways which can increase type I collagen synthesis. Collagen synthesis is the main factor that influences tendon biomechanical properties. Therefore one reason of acupuncture for tendon healing is that acupuncture increases synthesis and subsequent reorganisation of type I collagen during tendon healing process.
Almeida Mdos S et al Acupunct Med (2014) 32:178-82
Friday, 13 September 2019
The symptoms of wrist sprains are sudden pain with redness, swelling and bruising, difficult to move wrist or grip anything.
Repetitive stress from any activity that involves repetitive wrist motion such as playing tennis, driving etc can cause wrist pain. It is caused by inflaming the tissues around joints. The symptoms include pain, swelling, redness and stiffness at the wrist.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include: pain in the fingers, hand or arm, numbness, tingling or pins and needles at the hands or fingers, a weak thumb or wrist difficulty gripping.
Acupuncture is effective and a valuable treatment for releasing wrist pain.
Thursday, 12 September 2019
About 25.3 million U.S. adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the previous 3 months.
Nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) had severe pain.
Individuals with severe pain had worse health, used more health care, and had more disability than those with less severe pain.
Acupuncture is a good choice for chronic pain management according to NIH.
Clinical investigators have found that chronic pain patients often have lower-than-normal levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. Acupuncture activates endorphin systems and increases levels of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid.
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in the elbow are inflamed , usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of the elbow. Pain can also spread into the forearm and wrist and fingers
Golfer's elbow is a condition that causes pain where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow. The pain might also spread into your forearm and wrist. It is the opposite side to tennis elbow which occurs on the outside of the elbow. The main symptom is pain at the inner side of the elbow and the pain sometimes extends along the inner side of the forearm. Pain typically worsens with certain movements. The inner site of elbow is tender to touch. The elbow may feel stiff and making a fist might hurt. There may be weakness in the hands and wrists. There could be also numbness or tingling present. These sensations might radiate into the ring and little fingers.
Acupuncture is effective for elbow pain caused by tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.
Tuesday, 10 September 2019
What does The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) say about acupuncture?
What does it say about acupuncture?
What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Acupuncture
Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. Therefore, acupuncture appears to be a reasonable option for people with chronic pain to consider. However, clinical practice guidelines are inconsistent in recommendations about acupuncture.
The effects of acupuncture on the brain and body and how best to measure them are only beginning to be understood. Current evidence suggests that many factors—like expectation and belief—that are unrelated to acupuncture needling may play important roles in the beneficial effects of acupuncture on pain.
Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and pain of bunion.
Sunday, 8 September 2019
Ankle sprain is an acute condition that causes ankle pain. It is casued by damage to one or more of the ligaments in the ankle by accidentally twisting the ankle in an awkward way. This causes pain, swelling, bruising stiffness and tenderness, difficulty to walk and putting weight on the ankle.
Acupuncture help to reduce the pain for ankle sprain
Recently Park J studied current status of acupuncture for ankle sprain. There were 17 studies involving 1820 participants that they analysed. About acupuncture interventions, acupuncture interventions given to patients with ankle sprain were either alone or as an add-on to the control intervention. There were different kinds of acupuncture used in these studies: manual acupuncture, electroacupuncuture, warm acupuncture. About the effects of acupuncture as an alternative treatment: 797 participants in 9 trials reported global symptom improvement. Approximately nine sessions of acupuncture were given over 11.5 days. About effects of acupuncture as an add-on treatment there were 926 participants in 11 trials reported effect of acupuncture. An average of 10 sessions of acupuncture over 9 days was given. Acupuncture had significantly better improvements of all symptoms compared with other treatments. About the effects of acupuncture on pain intensity, one study reported that acupuncture significantly reduced pain intensity immediately after acupuncture treatment and after 2 years after the treatment. One study reported that acupuncture in addition to functional exercise shortened the time to return to normal activity by 3.4 days compared with a functional exercises only group. About health-related quality of life, one study reported acupuncture improved quality of life immediately after the treatment and 2 years after the treatment. About acupuncture type, manual acupuncture had an additional effect on symptom improvement compared with controls. When added to massage and infrared radiation, the effect of acupuncture was significantly better than that of massage and infrared radiation only. From this study, we can see that acupuncture is a good treatment option for ankle spray management.
Chronic ankle pain is long term pain (lasts more than three months) at the ankle. This is usually caused by inflammation in the ligaments and tendons surrounding the ankles. Pain is accompanied with swelling and tenderness.
Acupuncture is effective for chronic ankle pain
There was a study compared the efficacy differences between acupuncture and physiotherapy interventions in improving lateral collateral ligament injury of the ankle joint. There were 15 patients in acupuncture group and 15 patients in physiotherapy group. Patients in acupuncture group were received acupuncture in acupoints Qiuxu (GB40), Kunlun (BL60), Shenmai (BL62), Jiexi (ST 41) and Ashi-points etc. Patients in physiotherapy group received TDP irradiation of the regional lateral malleolus treatment. The treatments in both group were performed 3 times a week for 8 weeks. Before and after the treatment, ankle joint’s active and passive repositioning error angles were measured by using a joint angle ruler. They found that the average error angle values of active and passive reposition tests of the injured ankle-joint in acupuncture group reduced significantly after the treatment compared with those before the treatment, whereas there was no significant change before and after the treatment in physiotherapy group. Average error angle, average active and passive reposition angles of the injured ankle in the acupuncture group were significantly lower than those in the physiotherapy group.
Tang WJ et al Zhen Ci Yan Jiu 2013 38:314-8
Park J et al BMC Complement Altern Med (2013) 13:55
Thursday, 5 September 2019
Leg pain can be mild that comes and goes, or severe that makes it difficult to sleep and walk. The pain is often described as aching, throbbing or burning and it can be accompanied by numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. For leg pain treatments, finding the cause is important and treatments depend on the causes.
Shin pain is pain on the front of the leg between the knee and the ankle. It can hurt directly over the shinbone all the way or over the muscles that are on the inner or outer side of the tibia. It can be a dull aching, or sharp and severe pain. It could be one or both shin with large area across whole length of the shin bone.
This pain is usually caused by overuse from irritation of the muscles or other tissues in the lower leg. They are common in runners, tennis and basketball players. The cause is not clear, but it is suggested that running and repetitive weight baring on the legs leads to inflammation of the tissue around the shin bone.
A leg muscle cramp is an episode of sudden pain in the muscles of the leg caused by an involuntary contracting of the leg muscle. Leg muscle cramps are common. It usually occurs in the calf muscles and can also happen in any part of your leg, including the feet and thighs. When it happens, the muscles in the leg suddenly become tight and painful.
Acupuncture can help release shin pain by reducing inflammation of the area and release muscle cramp.
Wednesday, 4 September 2019
Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for thigh pain.
Friday, 19 July 2019
Trapezius is a superficial broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the upper back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades. Trigger points present in trapezius is a common cause of upper back pain.
Rhomboid major and minor muscles
Below Levator scapulae muscle are Rhoboids including rhomboids minor and rhomboids major. Rhomboid minor and Rhomboids major are muscles on the back connecting the shoulder blade with the spinal column. Rhomboids major is just below the rhomboid minor. They are deeper to the trapezius starting from spinal column C7 to T5 and inserting to the medial border of the shoulder blade. They keep the shoulder blade pressed against the back and retracted the shoulder blade toward the spinal column. The innervation to these two muscles is from C4-C6 nerve root on the neck.
Thursday, 18 July 2019
Since the incision is usually made below the pubic hairline, you might not see your scar at all. It'll look red or pink for several months but eventually it fades to a pale, flat, thin line. Some women create bigger, thicker, or raised scars than others. If your scar is itchy or painful after a few months there is inflammation. Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation of the scar to make the scar smoother.
A recent review has studied efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma. All studies reported positive outcomes for the use of acupuncture for scar symptoms, though treatment frequency, duration, number of treatments and points used varied between studies.
Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Eczema comes from the Greek word to boil and is used to describe the symptoms of the condition: red, dry, itchy, skin which can sometimes become weeping, blistered, crusted, scaling and thickened. The main symptom of eczema is skin rash associated with itch. Scratching can fire up the skin rash and makes the itching worse. Itch can be severe enough to interfere with sleep, causing tiredness and irritability. The symptoms can sometimes be severe while other times less severe. Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread red, inflamed skin all over the body. atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp. Many things can flare up atopic eczema: such as heat, dust woollen clothing, pets and irritants including soaps and detergents, cold and infections, teething in babies, food allergies and stress.
Acupuncture is effective for atopic eczema. For example, a recent study involving in thirty participants with eczema. They were received four weeks of acupuncture treatments. All eczema symptoms were improved in 4 weeks’ time.
Kang S et al Complement Ther Med2018 Dec;41:90-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.08.013. Epub 2018 Sep 10.
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for sciatic pain.
Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for thigh pain.
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
Monday, 24 June 2019
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for low back pain.
Friday, 21 June 2019
Stooping in a chair over a desk is a good example. This may cause a loss of strength in the muscles. Over time, the weakening of muscles may lead to pain in the area as they experience strains or irritation; the pressure from gravity and the body itself pushes on the spine, neck, discs, and ligaments and can lead to pain and other complications. Overusing back muscles is another common cause of upper back pain. repeating the same motions over time may cause muscle strain, tightness and irritation. A traumatic injury at the upper back can also lead to back pain after the injury is healed.
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for upper back pain.
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
no 1: rotator cuff injuries and irritations: due to tears and inflammation of rotator cuff, the symptoms include pain or stiffness in the shoulder when you lift your arm above your head to brush your hair or when you reach behind your back.
No2: Calcific tendinitis. Calcium deposits embedded within the rotator cuff tendons and this caused the pain.
No3: Adhesive capsulitis. Known as frozen shoulder. Adhesive capsulitis is caused by a thickening and stiffening of the tissues around the shoulder joint. Typical symptoms are shoulder pain and restricted shoulder movement.
No4: Osteoarthritis can affect shoulder as well thigh less common than knee and hip.
Treatment for shoulder pain is aimed at relieving pain and preserving range of motion of the shoulder. Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for shoulder pain.
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
The common causes of neck pain or stiffness include muscle tension and strain, poor posture and overuse, such as sitting at a desk for too long without changing position, sleeping with the neck in a bad position, neck injury during exercises, sports, accidents and falls. Activities like painting a ceiling, or swimming breaststroke with the head in a fixed position that involve tilting the head back against the neck can cause neck pain. During these incidents, the muscles and ligaments at the neck were injured and inflamed. Neck pain is often accompanied with shoulder pain and headaches.
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for neck pain.
Monday, 17 June 2019
Headaches are one of the most common chronic pain conditions; most people experience them at some point in their life.
Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches. Tension-type headaches can be either episodic or constant. In most cases, they are mild to moderate in severity and occur infrequently. But a few people get severe tension headaches. The typical tension headache produces a dull, squeezing pain on both sides of the head. People with strong tension headaches may feel have a tight band around the head. The shoulders and neck can also ache. Pain spread to or from the neck. Fatigue, emotional stress, or problems involving the muscles or joints of the neck or jaw can be a trigger of tension headaches.
Migraines occur less often than tension headaches, but they are usually much more severe. In typical cases, the pain is on one side of the head, often beginning around the eye and temple before spreading to the back of the head. The pain is a pulsating, throbbing pain and it may be accompanied by blurred vision, light-headedness and nausea. A migraine can come on without warning, but about 20% of migraines begin with one or more neurological symptoms called an aura. Without effective treatment, migraine attacks usually last for a few hours to a few days
Cluster headaches are uncommon but very severe headaches. The pain always strikes one side of the head typically located in or around one eye and is very severe burning or sharp pain. The affected area may become red and swollen, the eyelid may droop, and the nasal passage on the affected side may become stuffy and runny. The attack starts abruptly and lasts for 30 to 60 minutes. This type of headaches tends to come in clusters, with one to eight headaches a day during a period of weeks, months or a couple of years. In between clusters, there may be no headache symptoms, and this headache-free period can last months to years.
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for headaches.
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Key steps for fertility in women. Many ovarian follicles in ovaries in reproductive age women grow stimulated by FSH, but normally only one of them become mature and are released from the ovary each period cycle (we call it ovulation) triggered by LH. The egg released travels through a fallopian tube where fertilisation occurs when a sperm penetrating into the egg and then the fertilised egg will travel to the uterus and implant in inner lining of uterus where the fetus may grow. Thus pregnancy begins. If for any reasons, any of these factors are interrupted, it will result in infertility.
Women's infertility could be caused by many diseases, though some of it is without underlying causes or the underlying causes could not be found.
Causes of female infertility:
First of all, hormonal problem will cause anovulation. As we already know, hormones mentioned above are very important for fertility. Ovulation depends on the balance of these hormones; any disruption of the hormone balance can cause anovulation. These could be results of three levels: 1, Ovaries fail to produce mature eggs. In this case ovaries do not produce normal follicles causing immature eggs which cannot be ovulated. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the common condition of this category. 2, Hypothalamus does not function well. Hypothalamus is the start of hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. If hypothalamus fails to produce or release GnRH, the hormonal system will lose the balance, immature eggs will be produced. 3, Pituitary gland is not normal. FSH and LH produced by pituitary gland are very important hormones for egg development and maturation. Pituitary gland disorders will result in abnormal FSH and LH level causing ovulation problem.
Secondly, Scarred ovaries could lead to anovulation. For instance, surgery, endometriosis and pelvic infection might cause ovary scars in which case ovaries may fail to ovulate.
At last, other ovarian problems are responsible for anovulation, for example, premature ovarian failure.
Fallopian tube problems:
Fallopian tubes can become constant spasm, mild adhesions and complete blockage. One of the common causes for this is pelvic or abdominal infection that affects fallopian tubes. Other one is pelvic or abdominal surgery causing adhesions. The eggs cannot pass through the blocked tubes causing infertility.
Endometriosis causes infertility, because the overgrowth causes adhesion and it could scar ovaries, block fallopian tubes or disrupt egg implant in uterus, depending on where it grows.
Some uterus problems could result in infertility, such as fibroids, polyps probably because of obstruction of the uterus or fallopian tubes.
Cervical mucus problem:
Hormone imbalance, for instance, too little estrogen or too much progesterone causes abnormal cervical mucus which makes it harder to conceive.
Other risk factors:
Obesity is a growing issue in many countries. Body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2) is used for definition. According to world Health Organization (WHO) standard, a BMI of 18.5-24.9 is within a normal range; 25-29.9 is overweight and ≥30 is obese. Obesity has negative effects on many aspects of women’s health. Fertility is one of them. Obese women are more likely to experience infertility, they are more likely not to response to fertility treatment and there is high risk of miscarriage and low live birth rates. Obesity associates with infertility from the impact on many aspects. Previous studies have shown lower number of oocytes retrieved; poorer egg quality due to impaired oocyte maturation and fertilization; poorer embryo quality. The reasons for these are: obesity is related to alterations in various hormones, such as LH. In addition, obesity increases insulin, glucose, or free fatty acids and changes in some proteins. Obesity is also linked with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Systemic inflammation may contribute to the causes of infertility in obesity.
Obese women respond poorly to ovulation induction resulting in fewer oocytes harvested, they required higher doses of gonadotrophins and took longer to ovulate. They have lower pregnancy rates and increased risk of early pregnancy loss. Obesity is associated with a significant rise in failure in assisted reproduction. Weight loss makes menstrual cycles regular and increases the chance of spontaneous ovulation.
Drugs, such as chemotherapy drugs and anti-depressants may cause infertility.
Environmental factor: such as exposure to lead could compromise fertility.
Smoking, alcohol and stress are recognised as risk factors.
Age, Women's fertility is linked to age. After 35 year old, the fertility is declining significantly.
Monday, 10 June 2019
No1, Keep open minded. How acupuncture works is not clear yet. All current mechanisms are theories and they need to be proved by science. However acupuncture does help many people with various conditions and it is why acupuncture becomes more and more popular.
No2, Acupuncture is amazing. It waits for you to discover by trying for the treatment. Acupuncture has lots to offer, from antiaging to releasing physical problems such as chronic pain, to helping psychological issues such as anxiety, stress etc.
No3, Acupuncturists are different. Some are better than others. This is easily understandable and applies to any professionals. Why should all acupuncturists have to be the same and why there should be champions in other professionals.
No4, The key for successful acupuncture treatment is the acupuncture points chosen by the acupuncturists. None of the acupuncturists chooses the same points.
No5, Acupuncture is like medicine. There is dosage which comprise the points and numbers of needles used in the treatments, the duration of the sessions, the frequency of the treatments and the total sessions received.
No6, Your expectations. Keep realistic expectations. Any treatments including acupuncture take some time to show effects.
No7, Monitoring the effects. You need to know how to monitor the effects and progress of acupuncture treatments to see if it works.
No8, People are different. Different people have different reactions to acupuncture treatments.
No9, Don’t worry that acupuncture can make your condition worse. There is no side effect of acupuncture treatment and acupuncture doesn’t make your condition worse.
No10, Take your chance. If you give it a time and a chance, you will provide yourself an opportunity to get better and healthier again.
Friday, 7 June 2019
Thursday, 6 June 2019
J Formos Med Assoc. 2019 May 13. pii: S0929-6646(18)30923-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2019.03.012. [Epub ahead of print]
Tuesday, 4 June 2019
Wednesday, 29 May 2019
There are 10 reasons that you should try acupuncture to get rid of acne.
No1, Acne is chronic condition that can last for years without responding to any treatments.
No2, Acne spoilt your look especially those more inflamed spots such as cysts, nodules.
No3, Acne damage your confidence in social life.
No4, Acne spots do not occur on the surface of the skin. The blockage in the pore is in the hair follicles which are deep beneath the skin surface. They are not dirt which cannot be washed away.
No5, Inflamed acne spots can irritate the skin and cause pain on the face. Acupuncture reduce pain and skin irritation.
No6 Inflammation plays a key role in acne lesion formation. Acne lesions develop in the oil gland follicles. Increased oil production and accumulation combined abnormal inner lining cells growth cause the formation of pimples. Bacteria grow in the follicles and trigger immune response causing inflammation which contributes to the acne lesion formation. Inflammation occurs in the early stage of lesion development and is present throughout the whole process of development of acne lesions until the later stage. Acupuncture can reach deep into the skin and reduce inflammation, release tension and improves local circulation to reduce acne.
No8, Hormonal imbalance plays a role in acne spots formation, acupuncture can help regain hormone balance.
No9, Stress makes acne worse. Acupuncture can reduce stress to get rid of the risk factor for acne.
No10, Acne causes scarring and acupuncture can help reduce inflammation to reduce the chance of scar formation and repair scar that already formed.
Monday, 27 May 2019
Qin Z et al Ann Transl Med 2019 Mar;7(6):116. doi: 10.21037/atm.2018.11.45.
Engeler D, Baranowski AP, Borovicka J, et al. EAU Guidelines on Chronic Pelvic Pain. 2017. Available online: http://uroweb.org/wp-content/uploads/23-Chronic-Pelvic-Pain_2017_web.pdf
Friday, 17 May 2019
Thursday, 16 May 2019
Horta D et al Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 May 15. pii: izz091. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izz091. [Epub ahead of print]
Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Acupuncture was widely accepted in treating chronic pain such as lower back pain, knee knee pain, and headaches etc. It is adapted into a conventional biomedical practice based on anatomy, neuroscience, pathology and evidence-based medicine. A recent review analysed efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma to assess the current level of evidence for the use of acupuncture for treating abnormal scars such as hypertrophic or other symptomatic scars. They found five case studies, one retrospective cohort study, one cohort study and three clinical trials that investigated the use of acupuncture for scars. The result has shown that all studies reported positive outcomes for the use of acupuncture for scar symptoms; however, treatment frequency, duration, number of treatments and points used varied between studies.
The mechanism involved is that mechanical stimulation of sensory receptors induces neuropeptide release that further stimulates chemically sensitive nociceptors and leads to neurogenic inflammation of the scar tissue, disrupting and prolonging the healing process. Acupuncture treatment stimulates mechanoreceptors and nociceptors in the skin and underlying tissue and is suggested to enhance the activity of inhibitory neural mediators, thereby modulating neurogenic inflammation
Tuckey C et al Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.
Friday, 10 May 2019
Pain starts from activation of the nervous system. There are 9 steps of the pain circle:
Step 1: Local inflammation. There are injury, surgery, infection causing local inflammation.
Step2: Peripheral sensitization. Local inflammation irritates the nerves lowering the pain threshold causing peripheral sensitization.
Step3: Central sensitization. Nerve signals are transmitted to the brain causing central sensitization.
Step4: Pain sensation. The brain tells you that there is pain in the body somewhere.
Step5: Pain cognitive processes. The brain where is sensing the pain connects other part of the brain where controls emotion causing emotional and behaviour changes.
Step6: Depression and anxiety. The brain where controls emotions is affected by the pain signals and alters its function causing depression and anxiety
Step7: Cortical reorganization. The brain reallocates its task to different parts of the body to reduce pain sensation and help replace the lost function.
Step8: Avoidance and disability. The body will respond the brain demands to redistribute the work causing avoidance and disabililty.
Step9: Muscle spasm deconditioning. Injured and related muscles become spasmed to protect the body from moving and feeling the pain causing muscle waste.
Acupuncture is a therapy in which thin needles are inserted into the body to relieve the pain.
Thursday, 9 May 2019
Wednesday, 8 May 2019
No1 chronic pain compromise the quality of life so much.
No2 It makes you tense. Chronic pain indicates there is chronic inflammation and it irritates the nerve and creates muscle tension.
No3 It can make you have fatigue. All the inflammation from the chronic pain makes you feel tired all the time.
No4 It can disturb your sleep. Chronic pain always irritates the brain to prevent you falling sleep and wake you up during sleep.
No5 It can change your mood. Chronic pain irritates the brain connecting to the mood control center which makes you anxious and/or depressed.
No6 It can affect your eating habit, not eating or overeating.
No7 It can limit your movement and reduce flexibility and strength.
No8 Acupuncture is widely accepted for pain relief and it can stimulate the brain releasing analgesic substances such as endorphins to reduce the pain.
No9, Acupuncture for chronic pain is recommended NIH Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring11/articles/spring11pg5-6.html .
No10 Acupuncture can help reduce pain related symptoms such as tension, fatigue, mood changes, and sleep etc.
Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Cho JH et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:273909. doi: 10.1155/2015/273909. Epub 2015 May 4.
Monday, 6 May 2019
Saturday, 27 April 2019
Schlaeger JM et al J Sex Med. 2015 Apr;12(4):1019-27. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12830. Epub 2015 Jan 30.
Friday, 26 April 2019
Adam D et al Acupunct Med. 2018 Jun;36(3):139-145. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011382. Epub 2018 Feb 10.
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