Welcome to my blog

Leading acupuncture specialist for cosmetic acupuncture, pain relief, stress relief, fertility, fatigue, anxiety.
Based at Harley Street and Kensington Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Over 25 year research and clinical experiences

Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture

I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out. .

My profile

Practice contact for appointments and addresses

Kensington: for appointments at Anamaya center Kensington (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) please call at 02030110355 or email at info@anamaya.co.uk
Address: 1 Adam and Eve Mews, Kensington, London W8 6UG
2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground station

Harley Street: for appointments at Harley Street (Wednesdays) please call 02076368845 or email at info@aloclinic.com

Address: Suite 3 Harmont House 20 Harley Street, London W1G 9PH

5 min walk from Oxford Circus underground station

My background: I became a qualified medical doctor 25 years ago in Western medicine in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Particularly I was trained with Ji-sheng Han famous professor and neuroscientist in China and with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. Furthermore I had training in dermatology and oral and maxilofacial surgery in China. Also I had training in fertility and had research experiences in uterine smooth muscles and blood vessels in China and the UK. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognised as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.


I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.
I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.
I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.
I have many publications including ebooks and articles.

I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practicing, I have developed unique effective treatment approaches for cosmetic acupuncture, acne, pain relief including vulvodynia, bladder pain, pelvic pain, chronic prostatitis, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain, stress relief, anxiety, fatigue, fertility, hot flushes, nerve pain, insomnia to achieve best treatment results.

My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKdoRpfr0ic

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Acupuncture can help with dental pain

Acute dental pain is the main reason for seeking dental services. Have you tried acupuncture for reduce your dental pain? There is a study aimed to evaluate the use of acupuncture in reducing the intensity of acute dental pain in pre-dental care in patients waiting for emergency dental care, and was conducted at the After-Hours Emergency Dental Clinic of Piracicaba Dental School, and at the Emergency Center Dental Specialties I in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. 120 patients participated the study. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was used to measure pain intensity. All patients underwent one session of acupuncture. Reduction in pain was observed in all120 patients. The results of this study indicate that acupuncture analgesia could be a technical adjunct to pain control in patients with acute dental pain, contributing to the restoration of health with social benefit. It is worth trying acupuncture for your dental pain.

References

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

Referred pain makes acupuncture points sensitized and tender.

Referred pain is the pain felt in somewhere in the body other than in the site of origin. Pain referral has a neural basis. Specific pathways and neural connections in the brain are thought to lead to the possibility of pain referral.

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.

References
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

Acupuncture for miscarriage

Threatened miscarriage is a common complication of early pregnancy increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature labour. Currently there is limited evidence to recommend any biomedical pharmacological or self-care management.

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.

References

Betts D et al BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 Oct 7;16(1):298.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Suffer from depression? Acupuncture can help

Depression is commonly treated with anti-depressant medication and/or psychological interventions. Patients with depression are common users of complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, either as a replacement for, or adjunct to, their conventional treatments.

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.

References

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

Mind and body connection

Mind body connection and acupuncture

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?

References

V Brower EMBO Rep (2006) 7:358-361

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Acupuncture cost is more favourite covered by basic health insurance in Switzerland.

More than 27,000 complementary medicine (CM) therapists are registered in Switzerland. Acupuncturists are one of them. Acupuncture is popular in Switzerland. There is cross-sectional study was based on an online anonymous survey conducted from March to June 2017. All 1549 non-physician registered osteopaths, acupuncturists, and naturopaths in the French-speaking part of Switzerland were asked to complete the survey. The results showed that acupuncturists (71.6%) and naturopaths (64.4%) were significantly more favorable than osteopaths (27.7%) to have consultation costs covered by basic health insurance. A usage of complementary medicine (CM) survey in Switzerland has shown that the average number of treatments within the 12 months preceding the survey ranged from 3 for homeopathy to 6 for acupuncture. 25.0% of the population at the age of 15 and older had used at least one CM method in the previous 12 months. People with a chronic illness or a poor self-perceived health status were more likely to use CM. Similar to other countries, women, people of middle age, and those with higher education were more likely to use CM. 59.9% of the adult population had a supplemental health insurance that partly covered CM treatments. The user profile in Switzerland was similar to other countries, such as Germany, United Kingdom, United States or Australia.

References

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.

Suffer from depression, tried acupuncture?

Acupuncture is cost-effective compared with counselling or usual care alone in treating depression

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.


References
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

Anxiety impairs immune function, acupuncture reverses it.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a psychological disorder together with a broad range of physiological symptoms. People with GAD feel anxious about a wide range of situations and they could have both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. They feel worried, irritable, inpatients and easily distracted. They could have various physical symptoms such as dizziness, pin and needles, tiredness, shortness of breath etc. It is widely accepted that anxiety impaired immune system function. Immune system defended you from illness. If your immune system is compromised, it does no good to your health.

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.

References
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

Sperm DNA fragmentation is related to infertility

Male fertility is evaluated by sperm count, motility and morphology. This becomes a part of routine semen analyses. The basic semen analysis may provide useful information regarding male fertility potential. Sperm concentration, motility and morphology have been correlated with fertilization rates as a result of normal development during sperm production in the testes, normal maturation in epididymis and normal seminal plasma constituents. Abnormal sperm quality has been linked to several infertility problems. In certain cases, the initial semen examination can reveal some radical forms of sperm dysfunction, eg. azoospermia or globozoospermia that have serious negative consequences to natural conception. However limitations still exist in finding a cause of male infertility and a normal sperm parameter does not necessarily guarantee satisfactory fertilizing potential. An estimated 15% of men with normal basic semen analysis profiles have nonetheless been associated with infertility. A specialised test of sperm is checking sperm DNA damage measured by DNA fragmentation which may be linked to negative clinical outcomes. Recently there has been growing interest in the use of DNA integrity as a marker of male infertility.

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.

References
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

Case report: acupuncture increased sperm count and sperm quality

A 31 year old man was diagnosed azoospermia (no measurable level of sperm in his semen). His testis and vasa deferentia were normal. The tests showed that his sperm production was impaired which was difficult to cure. The couple failed one cycle of percutaneous sperm aspiration and intracytosplasmic sperm injection. He was referred for acupuncture treatment. He received a course of 20 session acupuncture treatment. After a course of acupuncture treatment, his sperm count was 10 millions/ml with 10% good motility and 60% normal shape of sperms. With continuing another course, his sperm count increased to 18 millions/ml with 30% good motility and 60% normal shape of sperms.
References
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.

References
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.
References
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.
References
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

Trapezius muscle is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the 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.

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.

References

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)

Thumb and fingers pain are not uncommon. It can be caused by tendon and ligament injury in this region. Skier’s thumb also called gamekeeper’s thumb is an injury of the index finger side of the ligament of the thumb that connects the bones of the thumb together. Skier’s thumb is the second common skiing injury after knee injury. In severe cases, the ligament is completely broken and the injury must be repaired by surgery. The symptoms may occur after the fall that causes the injury. The symptoms include: pain at the base of the thumb in the web space between the thumb and index finger which is worsens with thumb movement; swelling of the thumb; inability to grasp or weakness of the grasp between the thumb and index finger; tenderness along the index finger side of the thumb; change colour of the skin over the thumb; pain in the wrist which is referred pain from the thumb. Acupuncture can help relieve the pain and improve local blood flow to help recovery.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

How long can you get rid of the pain?


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

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 15 wrist pain)

Wrist pain is often caused by sprains or fractures from sudden injuries. Wrist pain can be caused by disease or injury affecting any aspect of the wrist joint, including the bones, ligaments, and connective tissue surrounding the area. Wrist pain can often result from long-term problems, such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

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

Acupuncture is a good choice for chronic pain management with research evidence

Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three months. It’s a very common problem. Results from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey show that:

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.

References

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/chronic.htm
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/chronic-pain-information-page

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 14 elbow pain)

The elbow joint is a hinge-type synovial joint connecting the upper arm to the forearm allowing for extension and flexion of the forearm. It has a strong and fibrous capsule enclosing the joint. The joint capsule is thickened medially and laterally to form collateral ligaments. Elbow pain is often caused by overuse. Many sports, hobbies and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist or arm movements causing inflammation of the ligaments. Elbow pain may occasionally be due to arthritis.

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?

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. NCCIH was formerly known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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.

References

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction#hed5

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 13 toe pain)

A bunion is a bony bump on the joint at the base of the big toe. It starts when the big toe pushes against the nest toe, forcing the joint of the big toe to get bigger and stick out. Persistent or intermittent pain in the big toe joint is main symptom. In severe case, it makes walking difficult. Other symptoms include a bulging bump on the outside of the base of the big toe; swelling and redness around the big toe joint; corns or calluses — these often develop where the first and second toes overlap; movement restriction, tenderness when pressed. Sometimes, the skin over the bunion can become red, blistered or infected because it has been rubbing against the shoe. The risk factors to develop bunion include wearing high heels, which forces the toes into the front of the shoes, often crowding the toes; ill-fitting shoes which are either too tight, too narrow; rheumatoid arthritis, inherited structure foot defect.
Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and pain of bunion.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 12 ankle pain)

The ankle is a large joint made up with three bones: two are from the leg tibia known as shin bone and fibula –the bone next to the shin bone; one foot bone talus sitting above the heel bone. Ankle joint moves the foot up and down and from side to side. Ankle joint bones are surrounded by numerous ligaments binding the bones together. All ligaments have a specific range of motion and boundaries that allow them to keep the joints stabilized and mobilized.

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.

Referencies
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

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 11 leg pain)

The leg is defined as from the knee to the ankle. There two bones the tibia or shinbone together with the smaller fibula bone. Attached to the bones are three groups of muscles in the legs moving the ankle, foot and toes. Leg pain is very common. Most leg pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints or bones or in muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. Some types of leg pain can be caused by problems in the lower spine where the nerve to the leg originates and then travels to the legs, such as slipped disk, sciatica. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation.

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

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 10 knee pain)


Thanks to the knee joint, we can move around freely and go wherever we want without any difficulties. Knee is the largest joint in the body which can bend and straighten bringing us about. It bears most of the body weight and pressure loads. It supports 1.5 times the body weight when one walks and 3-4 times the body weight when one climbs stairs. Knee is vulnerable which can be injured and can suffer from some diseases causing pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, locking, weakness or instability etc. The symptoms may vary depending on the type of injury. Pain may occur when you bend or straighten the knee. There could be difficulty bearing weight on the knee and trouble with knee motion.
Many muscle around the knee joint. The muscles of the knee include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles of the calf. These muscles work in groups to flex, extend and stabilize the knee joint. 
The quadriceps is at the anterior surface of the thigh and they include the four muscles of femoris group (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and rectus femoris). These large muscles originate in the ilium and femur and insert on the tibia. They extend the knee.
The hamstring muscle group is at the posterior surface of the thigh from the ischium of the pelvis to the tibia of the lower leg. It includes three individual muscles: biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. The hamstrings work together to flex the knee.
Calf muscle is at the back of the leg which originats from the distal end of the femur through the calcaneal (Achilles) tendon and ends to the calcaneus of the heel. It flexes the knee.
There are other muscles around the knee assisting with the movements of the knee.
The tensor fasciae latae contracts the iliotibial band of fibrous connective tissue that helps to stabilize the femur, tibia, and thigh muscles.
The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the entire human body. The sartorius muscle originates from the anterior superior iliac spine on the lateral edge of the hip bone. From the lateral hip, it descends obliquely across the hip joint and thigh, running medially and inferiorly toward the medial edge of the knee. It is a long, thin, band-like muscle. The Sartorius muscle flexes and rotates the thigh at the hip joint. It also helps to flex the knee.
 The popliteus muscle rotates the tibia bone when the knee is flexed.
The articularis genus muscle elevates the suprapatellar bursa and capsule of the knee joint when extending the knee.
Some of the most common reasons for knee pain are
Knee injury: a knee injury can affect any of the ligaments, tendons, bone or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround the knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself.
Other conditions that cause knee pain include as follows:
Bursitis: A bursa is connective tissue below the skin over the knee. Overuse, a fall, or repeated bending and kneeling can irritate the bursa overlying the knee cap (patella), causing pain and swelling.
Illiotibial band syndrome: The iliotibial band is a piece of tough tissue that runs from your hip down to the outer part of your knee. If it's irritated by overuse or other problems, it can become inflamed and cause pain on the outer side of the knee.
Hip or foot pain: If you have hip or foot pain, you may change the way you walk and this can place extra stress on the knee joint. In some cases, problems in the hip or foot can refer pain to the knee.
Overuse during repetitive motions as are found during certain exercises (jogging, skiing) or work conditions (long periods of kneeling) can cause breakdown of cartilage and lead to pain.
Others Include osteoarthritis, dislocated kneecap, patellofemoral pain syndrome and patellar tendonitis, a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons around the knee.
Acupuncture can help release the pain by reducing the inflammation and improving circulation to speed up the healing process.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 9 thigh pain)

Aching and burning pain can happen at upper thigh. It may also be accompanied by other symptoms including itching, tingling, numbness and walking makes the pain worse. This can be caused by greater trochanteric pain syndrome. It is caused by injury, pressure, or repetitive movements, and it’s common in runners and in women. The symptoms include lying on the affected side makes the pain worse; the pain is worsening over time; walking or running makes the pain worse; hip muscle weakness can occur. Meralgia paresthetica is caused by pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. The symptoms include tingling, numbness, and a burning pain in the outer part of the thigh. It typically occurs on one side of the body and is caused by compression of the nerve. Muscle strains can happen in any part of the body, they’re common in the hamstring and hip flexor muscles and may cause thigh pain. Symptoms may include: sudden onset of pain, soreness, limited range of movement, bruising and swelling and muscle spasm. IT band syndrome is common among runners. Iliotibial band (IT band) runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the skin. If IT band becomes tight and inflamed, it can cause pain in the thigh and around the knee.

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for thigh pain.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Which muscles are involved in upper back pain?

Trapezius muscle

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.
Acupuncture can help release upper back pain. 

Thursday, 18 July 2019

How Science Helped Move Acupuncture to Mainstream


C-section scar care with acupuncture

Some babies have to be delivered via C-section which is a surgery to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb. A four to six-inch skin incision is made horizontally just below the pubic hairline to fit baby’s head coming through. The abdominal muscles are moved aside and a horizontal incision is also made in the uterus.

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.

References
Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Acupuncture is effective for eczema

Eczema is a very common skin condition due to skin inflammation. Atopic eczema is the most common form and is included in a group of allergic conditions like asthma, hay fever and food allergy. They are all linked by an increased activity of the allergy side of the body’s immune system. Eczema often starts in childhood, and it may also start later in adult. It tends to run in families. People with eczema typically have alterations in their skin barrier, and overly reactive inflammatory and allergy responses. Environmental factors include contact with soaps, detergents and any other chemicals applied to the skin, exposure to allergens, and infection with certain bacteria and viruses.

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.

References

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 chronic pain from the head to toes (No 8 sciatic pain)

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and runs through the buttock area down to the lower limb ending at the feet. Sciatic pain is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Anything that irritates this nerve can cause pain, ranging from mild to severe. The main symptom is a shooting pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve; from the lower back, through the buttock, and down the back of either leg. The pain may be stabbing, burning or shooting. It can be also accompanied with tingling like pins and needles, or numbness, and muscle weakness. The most typical symptom is unilateral leg pain radiating to the foot or toes that is greater than low back pain. It may involve increased pain on straight leg raising and neurological symptoms limited to one nerve root. The pain may last just a few days or for months or years. Early treatment can help release the pain quicker.

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for sciatic pain.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 7 thigh pain)

Thigh pain is one of the common chronic pain conditions. Pain can be at the front of the thigh. If the pain at the front of the thigh, this can be caused by hip flexor muscles strain, injury and overuse. Pain or muscle spasms at the front of the thighs can be present. This may be accompanied with increasing pain when lifting the thigh toward the chest; pain when stretching the hip muscles; tenderness to the touch; swelling or bruising. Pain can also be in the outside of the thigh. Greater trochanteric pain syndrome can cause pain in the outside of the upper thighs. It’s typically caused by injury, pressure, or repetitive movements. Symptoms include that pain is worse when lying on the affected side; pain is worsening over time; pain is increasing when walking or running; hip muscle spasm and weakness. IT band syndrome is a common cause of the pain at the outside of the thigh. IT band runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. It can become tight and inflamed causing pain at the outside of the thigh. Pain and swelling can be felt around the knees, but it can also be felt sometimes in the thigh. Pain can be at the back of the thigh. Hamstring muscle strains are very common causing pain at the back of the thigh. Symptoms include sudden onset of pain, soreness, limited movement, bruising, swelling, muscle spasm, stiffness and weakness.
Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for thigh pain.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 6 hip pain)

The hip joint is a ball and socket synovial joint. It is one of the most flexible joints in the body which allows a great range of movement. Because of hip joint, walking, running and jumping become possible. It supports the body’s weight and bears the force of the strong muscles of the hip and leg when standing, walking, running etc. The hip joints have very important roles in retaining balance, and for maintaining the pelvic inclination angle. Surrounding the hip joint are many tough ligaments that prevent the dislocation of the joint. The strong muscles and tendons of the hip region also help to hold the hip joint together and prevent dislocation. Hip pain is a common condition that can be caused by a wide range of problems. The precise location of the hip pain can help to find out the underlying cause. Hip pain on the outside of the hip referred to the upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround the hip joint. Injury of ligaments, muscles and tendons and fasicas around the hip joints is a common cause of hip pain. Hip bursitis is a common condition for hip pain. Hip bursitis is an inflammation between the thighbone and nearby tendons. The pain is from outer side of the hip. Tendinitis: there are many tendons around the hip connecting buttocks to the hip bone. These tendons can get inflamed causing outer side of hip pain. IT band syndrome: IT band is a long band f connective tissue that runs from the hip to the knee on the outer side of the thigh. If IT band is injured and inflamed, it causes our side of hip pain. Tight gluteal muscles and IT band and they pull the bone that they attached causing pain on the hip. Hip pain can also a referred pain from low back.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 5 low back pain)

95% of back pain occurs in the lower back. Lower back area is bordered by the bottom of the rib cage and the buttock creases. If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. At most of the time there is no cause found known as non-specific low back pain. The pain can be from mild to severe, from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain in the lower back region. Acute low back pain is short term which lasts a few days to a few weeks. Chronic low back pain persists for 12 weeks or longer. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Low back pain affects people’s life greatly in recent years. A study ranking the most burdensome condition, low back pain jumped to the third place in 10 years’ time in 2010 from the sixth in 1990, with only ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranking higher. Non-specific low back pain presents burning or stabbing pain, tension, soreness, stiffness in the low back area, but it can be also shooting pain to the legs or up to the back or forward to the abdomen. Other symptoms can associate with low back pain such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea etc. The pain is persistent or recurrent. Joints, discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascias in the back may contribute to symptoms.

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for low back pain.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 4 upper back pain)

Upper back is the region between the shoulder blades, or between the neck and the waist. This is so called thoracic back pain. The pain is this region is very common. Symptoms can vary from person to person. The pain can be mild or more severe which might affect daily activities and sleep. It could be a sharp pain in one spot or a general achiness that comes and goes. The pain can be referred up to the neck, shoulder, down to the low back and around to the abdomen. There may be other symptoms associated with the pain such as acid reflex, bloating, stomach-ache, tight chest etc. In most of cases, the pain is nonspecific which means the cause is not clear or unknown. Pain in the upper back is usually the result of poor posture, muscle overuse, or injury.

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

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 3 shoulder pain)

Shoulder joint is the most mobile one in the body. It moves the shoulder forward and backward, up and away from the body and also moves the arm circularly. Shoulder consists of bones, joint, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments. If something goes wrong with the shoulder, it will cause pain and reduce the movement. With aging the soft tissues surrounding the shoulder tend to degenerate, and older people are likely to get shoulder problem. Soft tissues injury around the shoulder is very common and this will cause shoulder pain. The pain can come on gradually or abruptly, and it may range from mild to severe often accompanied with limited motion. The common causes of shoulder pain include

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

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 2 Neck pain)

The neck is made up of vertebrae bones, cervical discs absorbing shock between the bones, ligaments, and muscles. It supports the head, allows for movement and it is the most flexible part of the spine. Inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness. The characteristic of the neck pain include aching, burning or stabbing or shooting pains with stiffness and tightness. The pain may get worse by holding the head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer; It is often accompanied with muscle tightness and spasms and decreased ability of turning the head, and headaches. Neck pain is very common. About 2 in 3 people had neck pain at some point in their life. A survey in the UK has shown that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men between ages 45 and 75 had current neck pain.

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

Acupuncture is a valuable treatment for chronic pain from the head to toes (No 1 Headaches)

Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common chronic pain conditions; most people experience them at some point in their life.

Tension headaches

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

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

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

Primary ovarian insufficiency? Tried acupuncture?

Primary ovarian insufficiency (Premature ovarian failure): The ovary is unique in the female endocrine system in which follicle is developed every month and matured egg is released. Ovary produces sex steroids, which are necessary for development of reproductive organs and maintaining bone density and general health. Regular monthly menstruation after ovulation is an indication of healthy ovarian function. Menopause, permanent cessation of menses occurs at age of around 50. If menopause occurs before age 40, this is considered to be premature, called primary ovarian insufficiency which is a subclass of ovarian dysfunction. The main symptoms of this disorder are no periods for at least 4 months, sex steroid hormone deficiency and high follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). It is worth mentioning that about 50% of women with primary ovarian insufficiency have intermittent ovarian function causing irregular menses. Symptoms of estrogen deficiency are at present in many, but not all patients, which include hot flashes and night sweats, sleep disturbance, and intercourse pain. Acupuncture can help some women with POF restore their menstrual cycles. It is worth trying.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Infertility: Acupuncture is a valuable therapy for female infertility.

Hormones required for fertility. There are three organs involved in hormone production in women: hypothalamus, pituitary gland and ovaries. We call them hypothalamus pituitary ovarian axis. Hypothalamus releases Gonadotrophine-releasing hormone (GnRH), which acts on the anterior pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinising hormone (LH). FSH stimulates oestrogen release from ovary, whereas LH stimulates progesterone secretion from the corpus luteum in ovary. Ostrogen has a negative feedback effect on pituitary gland reducing gonadotrophine secretion; Progesterone has a negative feedback effect on hypothalamus and pituitary gland, reducing LH releasing.

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:

Ovulation disorders:

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:

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.

Uterus disorders:

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

10 Tips for your acupuncture treatments

With years of practicing acupuncture, my passion at acupuncture grow dramatically. If you want to seek acupuncture treatment for whatever reasons, there are 10 tips based on Dr Maggie's experiences.

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

Shoulder pain treated with acupuncture case study

Shoulder pain (SP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal pains. The conventional treatments include pharmacotherapy, physiotherapy and exercise. However, these options aren't satisfactory. Acupuncture is one of the options that are effective for shoulder pain. Here is a study showing this. In this study, 30 patients with age from 38-73 with shoulder pain were selected. Average shoulder pain duration was 3.8 years. 50% received medical treatments at least before 6 months but the pain was still there. These patients received 10 sessions of acupuncture. The result has shown that pain score was decreased significantly on the sixth session (-27.3%) and tenth session (-43%). The muscle stiffness was reduced for all patients. The improvement in shoulder function at the tenth acupuncture session reached 44%. The response of acupuncture therapy was variable among patients. It changed according to patients' age and symptoms duration. Of course a good response was statistically correlated with younger age and recent pain.This study provides additional data on the potential role of acupuncture in the treatment of shoulder pain. Acupuncture is beneficial and effective for relieving pain and improving shoulder function. It can be a good alternative, especially, for patients developing adverse effects related to drugs.

References
https://ard.bmj.com/content/74/Suppl_2/1219.1

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Having shoulder pain and tried acupuncture?

Frozen shoulder syndrome (FSS) causes pain and reduces the range of motion in the shoulder joint. Acupuncture has effect of reducing shoulder pain and improving motion range. A research investigated the short and medium-term effects of acupuncture on pain relief and improvement of shoulder function for frozen shoulder. 21 patients with frozen shoulder participated the study. They received 18 sessions of treatments over 6-9 weeks. Follow-up check at 1, 3 and6 months was carried out. The result has show that Significant pain reduction was observed; shoulder flexion and abduction movement was increased. Acupuncture is effective to reduce pain from frozen shoulder like any other chronic pain condition.

References
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]

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

There are 10 reasons that you should try acupuncture to get rid of acne.

Acne is a common cause of spots that occurs on the face. Acne is not life threatening condition, but it does have many impacts on the people psychologically and physiologically.

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

Effectiveness of acupuncture for Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS)

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) affects approximately 90% to 95% of men worldwide. The most prominent symptom is chronic pain in the region of the pelvis, and often associated to ejaculatory pain, erectile dysfunction, and psychosocial symptoms, lasting for at least 3 to 6 months. The benefits of acupuncture on CP/CPPS have been well established according to clinical trials. It is listed in the guidelines of European Association Urology. How many treatments needed are uncertain. In published research paper 6-24 sessions are normally used. A study using meta-regression approach explored the dose-response association between acupuncture sessions and acupuncture effects on chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The result involving 329 participants has shown that overall, more acupuncture sessions received for CP/CPPS patients is associated with increased symptom relieving. After 6 acupuncture sessions, the NIH-CPSI decreased from 26.1 to 18.5 and 18 acupuncture sessions could reach a clinically meaningful improvement regarding NIH-CPSI score. Prolonged acupuncture sessions were associated with less NIH-CPSI score. They concluded that there is dose-response relationship between acupuncture sessions and CP/CPPS outcome. Six acupuncture sessions might be the minimal required 'dose' to reach its clinical effects.
References
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

Want to have acupuncture is for IVF? Here is the research result.

Acupuncture is recognised worldwide an effective approach in pain treatment and is accepted by patients, however if acupuncture is effective to assist IVF success is still in debate in research. Very recently, C Smith group published a review to analyse the research data to study acupuncture performed around the time of embryo transfer. This is a systematic revie and meta-analysis to examine the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of acupuncture as an adjunct treatment to embryo transfer. 20 trials and 5130 women were included in the review which is not a small sample study. The result found that there are increased pregnancies, live births and reduced miscarriage when acupuncture was compared with no adjunctive control, but no significant differences between acupuncture and sham controls. They suggested that acupuncture may have a significant effect on clinical pregnancy rates, independent of comparator group, when used in women who have had multiple previous IVF cycles, or where there was a low baseline pregnancy rate. The findings suggest acupuncture may be effective when compared with no adjunctive treatment with increased clinical pregnancies, but is not an efficacious treatment when compared with sham controls, although non-specific effects may be active in both acupuncture and sham controls. This is the result of more recent research. It is your choice whether you want to have acupuncture during IVF or not.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1472648318306758

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Acupuncture is effective to reduce fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)and this fatigue persists even if it is in remission. A recent study investigated the effect of acupuncture on fatigue with IBD in remission. Fifty-two patients with IBD in clinical remission and fatigue participated the study. Patients in acupuncture group received 9 treatments over four weeks. After 8 weeks fatigue score in acupuncture group is improved significantly compared with waiting list group and before acupuncture treatments. This paper suggested that acupuncture may be a treatment option for patients with IBD and fatigue.

References

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

Research suggested that acupuncture is for scar treatment after tissue trauma

Abnormal or prolonged healing responses can lead to the formation of abnormal scars such as hypertrophic scars (HTS) and keloid scars. Scar tissue may cause adhesions between layers of skin and connective tissue (fascia) resulting in disordered circulation around the scar and adjacent areas. Scar tissues are often raised, red, itchy and painful from abnormal healing. C-nociceptor (sensory receptors) is involved in itch (low level stimulation) and pain (high levels of stimulation).

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

References

Tuckey C et al Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.

Friday, 10 May 2019

The pain cycle, what is involved?

Pain is a general term that describes uncomfortable sensations in the body and can be described as sharp stabbing, dull ache, throbbing, stinging, sore, and pinching. It can range from annoying to debilitating and can be consistent or on and off. Pain is highly subjective. People respond to pain differently. Some people have a high tolerance for pain, while others have a low tolerance.

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.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

10 Reasons why you should try acupuncture to release chronic pain.

Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer. Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision. Chronic pain can occur anywhere in the body from the head to the toes, such as headaches, neck pain, back pain, thigh pain, leg pain and foot pain, facial pain, chest pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain and genital pain etc. Chronic pain may occur in a variety of locations in the body and for many different reasons. With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function.

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

Research suggests that facial acupuncture improves nasolabial folds and eye wrinkles

People live longer and the standard of living has been increasing, the demand for beauty and healthy skin is increasing. Facial acupuncture is getting more and more popular. It becomes liking for many celebrities. Acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin to improve blood circulation and stimulate collagen and elastin secretion. Recently a research paper using DermaVision images to study the effects of Acupuncture on nasolabial folds and eye wrinkles before and after the treatment. 107 patients ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s participated this study. They were grouped into 20s, early 30s, mid-30s, late 30s 40s early 50s, mid 50s 60s and 70s according to their age. The result showed that Acupuncture treatment improved both nasolabial folds and eye wrinkles in all of the classified age groups

References

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

Facial acupuncture helps to repair sun damaged skin

The summer is on the way and people are running into the sunshine. What happens to your skin if there is excessive exposure? Photo aging is premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure ultraviolet radiation (UV), primarily from the sun. The symptoms of photoaging include spider veins on the nose, cheeks and neck, various pigmented spots and uneven skin colour, loss of skin tone in sun-exposed areas and skin dryness. Wrinkles around the eyes and mouth increase in number and become deep creases. Wrinkles on the forehead become visible. With continued sun exposure over several years, the aging skin signs will continue build up. Facial acupuncture can help damaged skin repairing. Summer is the time to start facial acupuncture treatments to prevent and treat skin aging.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Research has shown that acupuncture is effective for vulvodynia

Vulvodynia awareness makes this condition understood more. Up to 15% women have vulvodynia and many women seek treatments, but unfortunately there is no consistently effective standardized treatment for vulvodynia. Acupuncture can effectively reduce vulval pain and the women had special acupuncture for vulvodynia saw the benefit, though there is still no much research to prove it. The first randomized controlled pilot study examined the use of acupuncture for the treatment of vulvodynia was a small sample research about acupuncture on vulvodynia. In this study, thirty-six women with vulvodynia met inclusion criteria. The women were randomly assigned either to the acupuncture group or to the wait-list control group. The 18 subjects assigned to the acupuncture group received acupuncture two times per week for 5 weeks for a total of 10 sessions. The result has shown that Reports of vulvar pain and dyspareunia were significantly reduced, whereas changes in the aggregate FSFI scores suggest significant improvement in sexual functioning in those receiving acupuncture vs. those who did not.

References

Schlaeger JM et al J Sex Med. 2015 Apr;12(4):1019-27. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12830. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

How effective is acupuncture for reducing stress

/https://www.facebook.com/cnn/videos/2313715625560159/

Friday, 26 April 2019

Research suggested that acupuncture is effective to reduce symptoms of hay fever

Spring is a favourite season for most of people, but for hay fever sufferers spring might not be as enjoyable. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis is an allergic condition with a group pf symptoms affecting nose. The common symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, loss of smell, itchy nose eyes watery eyes, headaches feeling tired etc. Acupuncture is very effective to reduce hay fever symptoms. About 18% of patients try to alleviate their symptoms using acupuncture. Recently a research from Germany studied impact of acupuncture on antihistamine use in patients suffering from hay fever. The data from 414 patients were analysed. The result has shown that the acupuncture group used antihistamines significantly less often compared with the other groups. Around 38% patients of the acupuncture group did not use any antihistamine in contrast to only 16% in the medication group. The pre-post comparison suggested that the acupuncture patients did not need to increase the days of antihistamine use to alleviate their symptoms, unlike the other groups. The conclusion is that acupuncture significantly reduce the number of days of antihistamine use while improving hay fever symptoms; it can be considered a valuable, additional treatment option for patients with hay fever.

References

Adam D et al Acupunct Med. 2018 Jun;36(3):139-145. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011382. Epub 2018 Feb 10.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

10 Reasons why you should try acupuncture to reduce fatigue

Fatigue is a common complaint in the clinic. Nonspecific fatigue is fatigue with no underlying medical cause. Some survey has shown that 20% of people feel unusually tired at any given time. It’s unusual to find anything physically wrong. However excessive fatigue affects one’s quality of life.

Tired of being tired? How to get rid of fatigue? Acupuncture is one of the methods that you should try. Why

No1 Many things in daily life can cause stress and stress makes you tired. Acupuncture can help reduce stress as a result it can help reduce fatigue.

No2 Brain is the largest energy consumer and all the energy come from blood supply to the brain. Acupuncture can help improve brain blood circulation and energy supply to reduce fatigue.

No3 Inflammation anywhere in the body can make you feel tired. Acupuncture reduces inflammation to reduce fatigue.

No4 The tension of the body blocks blood circulation and makes you feel tired. Acupuncture reduces tension and improves blood circulation to reduce fatigue.

No5 Chronic pain makes you tired. If you have chronic pain anywhere, this could make you feel tired. Acupuncture releases chronic pain and reduces fatigue.

No6 Imbalanced hormones can make you feel tired. Acupuncture can help resume hormone balance reduce stress hormones, consequently it reduces fatigue.

No7 Poor blood circulation can cause toxins accumulate in the body and makes you feel tired. Acupuncture improves blood circulation and improves fatigue.

No8 Insomnia can make you extremely tired. Acupuncture can improve sleep and reduce fatigue.

No 9 Emotions such as anxiety can make you tired. Acupuncture is effective to release emotion and improve fatigue

No 10. Acupuncture releases β -endorphin. If you are tired all the time, you might have low β endorphins in immune cells. Recent research has shown that β -endorphin concentrations in the immune cells of chronic fatigue patients were significantly lower than in healthy subjects.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Acupuncture can help, if you don’t sleep well.

Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem such as another medical or psychiatric disorder. The main symptoms include that difficulty falling sleep, waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep again, waking up early in the morning, feeling tired once waking.

Acupuncture can help people with primary insomnia. This is proved by research papers. A very recent review wha analysed the effect of acupuncture on primary insomnia to provide updated evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effectiveness and safety of acupuncturefor primary insomnia. In this paper, 10 years data from 2008-2017) was analysed. A total of 73 RCTs involving 5533 participants were studied. The result has shown that there is significant effect of acupuncture compared with no treatment; acupuncture plus drugs showed better improvement than drugs alone; there is fewer side effects of acupuncture compared to the drugs. This review concluded that acupuncture is effective and safe method for insomnia.

References
Cao HJ et al J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Apr 23. doi: 10.1089/acm.2018.0046. [Epub ahead of print]

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Feeling extreme tired? Acupuncture can help.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a medical condition characterized by long-term fatigue and other persistent symptoms that limit a person's ability to carry out ordinary daily activities. The most prominent symptom is extreme fatigue. Study has shown that acupuncture can help CFS patients by reducing fatigue and improving other associated symptoms. For example, a recent study investigated the effect of acupuncture on CFS. 68 patients participated this study. In this study 34 patients were in acupuncture roup and they received acupuncture at following acupuncture points Baihui (BL 20), Fengchi (GB 20), Pishu (BL 20), Shenshu (BL 23), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) and Taixi (KI 3). The treatments were given once a day, 5 treatments a week, with 2 days break. The consecutive treatment for 4 weeks was required. 34 pateints in control group received oryzanol and vitamin B1. Before and after treatment, the score of the fatigue scale-14 (FS-14), the score of the somatic and psychological health report (SPHERE) and the score of the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) were observed in the patients of the two groups separately. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was adopted to determine the levels of serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interferon-γ (INF-γ) before and after treatment. After treatment, FS-14 scores, SPHERE scores and PSQI scores were all reduced compared to before the treatments. After treatment, the levels of IL-6 and INF-γ in the serum in the observation group were reduced. They concluded that acupuncture can improve fatigue and sleep quality. The effect mechanism is probably related to the decrease of the levels of IL-6 and INF-γ in serum.

References

Xue YX et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2019 Feb 12;39(2):123-7. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2019.02.003.

Acupuncture changes brain activities

Functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) is a new technique to study brain activities. This technique is also help to study the effect of acupuncture on the brain. Many studies used fMRI to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the brain. For example a study collected 229 papers in Chinese and 109 in English published in journals from January of 1995 to January of 2018. In this study they analysed 11 papers containing 235 cases. Acupuncture increases brain activities on some regions including the right and left anterior cingulated gyrus, right caudate, left superior frontal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, and the right paracentral lobe, and decreases other region activities including the left mid-inferior occipital gyrus, left and right precentral and postcentral gyrus. Acupuncture on St 36 acupuncture point increased some regions activities including the right inferior parietal lobe, left middle inferior gyrus, right posterior lobe of cerebellum, and the left angular gyrus and deceased activities on the right middle superior frontal gyrus.

A recent paper showed the brain activities effect of acupuncture at Liangqiu (ST34), Xuehai (SP-10), Neixiyan (EX-LE4), and Dubi (ST-35). Acupuncture activated the postcentral gyrus, precuneus, temporal, posterior lobe, and occipital lobe.

References
Xiang AF et al Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2019 Jan 25;44(1):66-70. doi: 10.13702/j.1000-0607.180138.
Li A et al Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Dec;97(50):e13655. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000013655.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Acupuncture is also popular in Russia

Acupuncture is very popular in the US and Europe. How about acupuncture in Russia?

Here is an interesting article about acupuncture development in Russia.

Peculiarities of the development of acupuncture in Russia by A. Kachan
St Petersburg Medical Academy of Postgraduate Study, 14, Vavilovykh Street (Hospital N3), 195257 St Petersburg, Russia

In 1928 P.Charukosky, a physician from Saint Petersburg, applied acupuncture for the first time in Russia. Since 1956 a new stage in the successful development of acupuncture started thanks to professors V.G.Vogralik and I.I.Rusetzky. In 1957 about 20 senior lecturers, professors, scientists and 6 students of medicine were sent to China for 6 months to study Chinese traditional medicine for many years. In 1959 the Ministry of Public Health included acupuncture (reflexotherapy) in the state-run medicine; intensive research has been carried out in scientific centres of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and other cities and extensive practical application has spread in the country. In 1974 systematic post-graduation teaching was started. In 1997 the Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation approved a separate medical special field called "reflexotherapy" (acupuncture), and in 1999 it issued regulations for the operation of the reflexotherapy service in Russia (the status of a reflexotherapist, a doctor's room, the working load, equipment and tools). Throughout Russia, Acupuncture and Chinese medicine seminars and conferences are regularly held. Physicians are taught acupuncture. There are a few journals and books on this topic.

References
https://www.icmart.org/events/archive-icmart-congresses/icmart-congress-2000-vienna-austria/peculiarities-of-the-development-of-acupuncture-in-russia.html