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Fertility and acupuncture
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Guest blog articles
Reviews and articles
Maggie Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 2 September 2014 P9
Maggie Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
Maggie Ju (2020) The Potentiality of COVID-19 Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 27 Issue 2 November 2020 P9
Saturday, 30 March 2019
No2 Anxiety put you at risk to get physical illness. Evidence suggests that people with anxiety disorders are at greater risk for developing other chronic medical conditions. They may also have more severe symptoms and a greater risk of death when they become ill.
No3 Anxiety damages the brain. Anxiety triggers the amygdala and the hippocampus responding to any threats and the event is stored in the hippocampus. New research has shown that prolonged anxiety causes structural degeneration and impaired functioning of the brain such as the amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.
No4 Anxiety causes headaches, dizziness. By responding to the anxiety, the brain releases hormones and chemicals. Long-term anxiety and panic attacks can cause the brain to release stress hormones regularly. This can increase the frequency of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness.
No5 Anxiety affects mental health and wellbeing. It makes you feel irritated, emotional, depressed and being in bad mood and easily getting angry.
No6 Anxiety causes rapid heart rate, palpitations, chest pain breathless which increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, respiratory diseases such as asthma.
No7 Anxiety impairs immune function. Anxiety triggers fight or flight response and makes the body release stress hormone and immune substance to help dealing with any events. Long lasting anxiety would exhaust immune system and weakens immune function which leaves you more vulnerable to viral infections.
No8 Anxiety makes you aching. Anxiety causes muscles tension and inflammation and chronic pain.
No9 Anxiety interrupts sleep and causes extreme fatigue and make you feel exhausted all the time and also causes loss of libido.
No10 Anxiety affects your digestive systems. You may have stomach-aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and loss of appetite. There is link between anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Amygdala and hippocampus are the key parts of the brain that are responsible for the anxiety, stress and other mood changes. Hypersensitivity of these regions of the brain causes anxiety.
Acupuncture reduces Amygdala and hippocampus activities. Acupuncture improves stress induce memory impairment and increases AchE activity in the hippocampus. Acupuncture reduces stress hormone levels, increases production of endogenous opioids and decreases the sympathetic nerve activities. Acupuncture reduces inflammation and stress induced changes.
Friday, 29 March 2019
Thursday, 28 March 2019
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Hu KK et al Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):81-90. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.022. Epub 2010 May 21.
Monday, 25 March 2019
Acupuncture alters the brain activities to reduce anxiety.
Sunday, 24 March 2019
Huang W et al Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.05.013. Epub 2010 Jun 19.
Pavoa TS et al Neurosci Lett. 2010 Oct 22;484(1):47-50. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.08.016. Epub 2010 Aug 13.
Chan J et al Acupunct Med. 2002 Aug;20(2-3):74-7.
Saturday, 23 March 2019
Friday, 22 March 2019
They conclude that exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, CBT, and mind-body practices were most consistently associated with durable slight to moderate improvements in function and pain for specific chronic pain conditions. Our findings provided some support for clinical strategies that focused on use of nonpharmacological therapies for specific chronic pain conditions. Additional comparative research on sustainability of effects beyond the immediate post-treatment period is needed, particularly for conditions other than low back pain.
Skelly AC et al, Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2018 Jun.
Thursday, 21 March 2019
Acupuncture can effectively treat anxiety and the research evidence is emerging.
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Muscle mass decreases with aging. This seems to be most prevalent in the seventh decade and beyond. Research has shown that a 0.5% to 1.0% loss of muscle mass per year after 70 years of age and a 4.7% loss compared with peak mass in men and 3.7% decrease for women per decade.
Muscle protein synthesis is deceased without much change in degradation. This suggests that muscle turnover and repair capacity is likely decreased with age.
Muscle basal metabolic rate is deceased, insulin resistance is increased, and higher percentage body fat mass is increased. All these contribute to the decrease in lean body muscle mass. Other contributing factors include decreased physical activity, lower hormone excretion, nutritional deficits, and chronic inflammation.
With aging, muscle endurance capacity declines 10% per decade (as measured by maximal oxygen consumption) and aerobic energy production is decreased with age. Decrease in endurance can be due to the reduced number of mitochondria (energy provider) and the subsequent reduction in mitochondrial-based aerobic enzymes
With aging muscle fibers also change with increased percentage from type I muscle fibers and decreased type II muscle fibers. Type I fibers are small, slow-contracting, low-tension output fibers with many mitochondria and aerobic enzymes for energy production. These fibers are highly resistant to fatigue and are capable of metabolizing fat for energy expenditure. Type II fibers are much larger and faster contracting fibers that produce large tension output but fatigue quickly. with age, there is less of a contribution to tension output from the higher tension type II fibers because the lower tension–output type I fibers are now more predominant. Overall, the muscle mass of the elderly is smaller and weaker because of the loss of type II fibers.
Patrick N. Siparsky et al https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874224/
Monday, 18 March 2019
No1 There are no side effects of acupuncture treatment. It does not cause any harm and does not interact with any medications for whatever protocols you have for IVF.
No2 IVF is a very stressful procedure. It makes women anxious about it. Stress and anxiety could affect IVF success. Acupuncture that is proved by research can reduce stress and anxiety score during IVF treatment.
No3 Acupuncture reduce inflammation. If there is inflammation around the abdominal region, it makes the toxic environment affecting fertility.
No4 Acupuncture improves blood circulation to help provide enough nutrients and oxygen to the ovaries and uterus.
No5 Acupuncture can help balance hormones. Balanced hormones are essential for pregnancy to occur and stay.
No6 Acupuncture can help improve egg quality. It reduces inflammation and improves blood circulation to the ovaries. This helps to supply oxygens and nutrients to the eggs and take the toxins away from the eggs.
No7 Acupuncture improves the uterine lining by improving blood circulation to the uterus and helps the lining to grow. Uterine lining is where the embryo to implant and grow.
No8 Acupuncture relax the uterus and help embryo implantation too.
No9 Acupuncture can increase sperm counts and improve sperm quality. The evidence for the effect of acupuncture on sperm counts and sperm quality is emerging in research.
No10 Based above step by step help. Acupuncture can help increase IVF success eventually. It is a good candidate to assist IVF.
Saturday, 16 March 2019
Trinh K et al Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016) May 4;5:CD004870. [Epub ahead of print]
Friday, 15 March 2019
Liang Z et al in China studied the effect of acupuncture on chronic neck pain. 178 patients with chronic neck pain were recruited. These patients were allocated into two groups 88 in acupuncture group and 90 in control group which received acupuncture and placebo treatment respectively. The Northwick park neck pain questionnaire (NPQ), visual analogue scale (VAS), short from 36 health survey (SF-36) and doctor’s judgement were applied for measuring effectiveness. The effect was assessed before treatment, immediately after the treatment, at the end of first month of follow-up and at the end of third month follow up. They found that the NPQ, VAS and SF 36 scores in acupuncture group were significantly improved after the treatment and the two follow-ups compared with before the treatment. Acupuncture group had better effect than that for control group. They concluded that acupuncture has immediate effect and lasting effect for chronic neck pain.
Another research of effectiveness of acupuncture on neck pain by Dong and Lin was published recently. They compared different effects of acupoints. 60 patients received acupuncture 5 times a week for 2 weeks. The Pain Rating Index (PRI, VAS and Present Pain Intensity (PPI) were measured before and after the treatments. They found that the scores were significantly reduced.
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
The hamstring muscle group is made up of three separate muscles: the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris. They originate from the lower part of the pelvis, lie on the back of the thigh and insert into the back of the shin bone. They mainly bend the knee and extend (straighten) the hip joint when contracting. Hamstring strain is a very common condition. When the muscles are pulled, a sudden sharp pain at the back of the thigh can be felt. This pain is sudden onset often after certain activity. The muscle will often feel tight and tender and go into cramp. Walking may be painful. In severe case, there could be swelling and bruising. It is likely to get hamstring strain, if the activities involved in hamstring such as running, jumping or sudden stopping and starting; if you don’t warm up before exercising, if the muscles in front of the thigh are tight since they pull the pelvis forward and tighten the hamstring, if glutes are weak, Glutes and hamstring work together weak glutes can make hamstring overloaded and become strained. Acupuncture can reduce the pain and help hamstring recovery.
Monday, 11 March 2019
No2 It lifts face up. With age, features that were previously round may sink; skin gets loose and sags. Loss fat volume and muscle mass on the face makes the face loss its fullness. Fat pulls downwards and the skin becomes loose and sagging due to gravity and muscle force. Muscles are shortened and straightened. All of these drag the face down and corners of the eyes and mouth drop. Facial acupuncture helps to relax these facial muscles to stop the pulling force and lift the face up.
No3 It reduces sagging skin and tightens the skin. The skin can become sagging when it loses collagen and elastin. The most common cause of skin sagging is aging and the skin becomes thinner and looser. With aging the collagen and elastin production is reduced. Unfortunately, collagen and elastin molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. So, no cream applied to the skin gives the skin more collagen. Facial acupuncture can increase skin collagen and elastin production by creating micro injury to the skin. As a result, the skin becomes tighter and not sagging.
No4 It improves skin dryness. Acupuncture can help increase water and oil content for facial skin. This is proved by a research paper. In this research, water content and oil content of the facial skin were measured and compared before and after the first acupuncture session and before and after the five consecutive acupuncture sessions. The result suggested that cosmetic acupuncture increased the water and oil content of facial skin in a female participant whose water content and oil content were lower before receiving acupuncture.
No5 It makes the skin brighter. Skin blood flow significantly decreased with increase in age. Skin blood flow is 40% less at age 65 than at age 25. The aging skin looks pale and unhealthy. Facial acupuncture improves blood circulation on the face and makes the skin look brighter.
No6 It reduces facial tension. Stress can cause facial tension. When stressed, you might tighten the facial and jaw muscles unconsciously. Tension in the face may be a natural response to emotional or physical stress. If the tension is persistent, it creates wrinkles and ages the face. Facial acupuncture reduces facial tension. As mentioned above it reduces the wrinkles.
No7 It reduces acne. Acne is a disorder that occurs in the hair follicles often in the face. Acne is thought triggered by hormone imbalance. Too much androgen secretion is the major trigger. Changing of hormone levels makes glands in the skin produce excessive amounts of an oily substance- sebum. Increased male hormone stimulates the oil gland attached to the hair follicles-small holes in the skin. Increased male hormone alters the oil production which causes the follicular pores clogged and hair follicles enlarged. Bacteria can access to the deeper layers of the skin through these follicles causing inflammation. Facial acupuncture reduces inflammation and balances the hormones to improve acne.
No8 It reduces age spots. Age spots are the result of an excess production of melanin caused by overactive pigment cells. The cause for this is not clear, but ultraviolet (UV) light (sun exposure, tanning beds etc) damages the skin cells and accelerates the production of melanin. Age spots appear when melanin becomes clustered or is produced in high concentrations. Facial acupuncture helps skin cells repairing and reduces age spots.
No9 It reduces dark eye circles. Dark circles under the lower eyelids are very common. They really make you look much older than your age and make you look tired. Aging is risk factor for those dark circles beneath the eyes. As one gets older, the skin becomes thinner and also loses the fat and collagen needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity. As this occurs, the dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible causing the area below your eyes to darken. Facial acupuncture reduces dark eye circles.
No10 No side effects. There are no side effects of facial acupuncture apart from mild bruises which will go very quickly.
Saturday, 9 March 2019
How can acupuncture help IVF?
First of all, IVF with acupuncture support has higher live birth rate. The first report that acupuncture increased IVF success rate was from Stener-Victorin et al in 1999. They applied acupuncture before occytes collection. They found that women in acupuncture group had significantly higher implantation rate, pregnancy rate and live birth rate in IVF embryo transfer. Eric Manheimer et al did first systematic review published in BMJ to investigate the effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates and live birth rates among women with infertility undergoing IVF. They analysed seven trials involved in 1366 women undergoing IVF. All trials were conducted in four different Western countries and published in English since 2002. In all trials, women received acupuncture immediately before or immediately after the embryo transfer. The acupuncture points selected in all trials are fixed and the acupuncture sessions lasted 25-30 minutes. Clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates were improved. There was no side effect found. Recently a new review found that there were 5 studies involved 463 women who were undergoing IVF. They were given acupuncture twice a week for 2 weeks during the controlled ovarian hyperstimulation period for IVF. The pregnant rate was higher in acupuncture group than that in control group for women undergoing IVF.
Secondly, acupuncture increases embryo implantation potential for patients with infertility. There was a study involved in 210 patients with infertility. These patients with infertility were treated with electroacupuncture and in vitro fertilization and embryo transplantation (IVF-ET). Electroacupuncture was applied before controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and during ovarian hyperstimulation. The levels of human leukocytes antigen-G (HLA-G) in the serum were determined for evaluating embryo implantation potentials. HLA-G may play a role in immune tolerance in pregnancy and its presence in embryo is associated with better pregnancy rates. They found that electroacupuncture can increase HLA-G for the patients undergoing IVF-ET; their HLA-G increased on hCG injection day and on embryo transfer day which indicated increased embryo implantation potential for patients with infertility.
Thirdly, acupuncture improves egg quality. There was a study from Zhongguo Zhen Jiu – an acupuncture journal in China. They studied 60 patients with infertility with poor ovarian response and poor ovarian reserve undergoing IVF-ET. After treatment, in acupuncture group, the symptoms of kidney deficiency were improved; estrdiol (E2) level was higher; egg maturation rate, fertilization rate and good quality embryo rate and implantation rate were higher on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection. Most importantly the pregnancy rate was increased. Another study investigated the effects of acupuncture on egg quality and pregnancy for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) undergoing IVF. In this study there were 66 patients with PCOS and infertility and undergoing IVF-ET. All fertilization rate, cleavage rate and high quality embryos were higher in acupuncture group than that for control group. There was a study showing Luteal phase acupuncture increased pregnancy rate in women undergoing IVF. 109 patients received luteal phase acupuncture had higher pregnancy rate than those without acupuncture intervention.
Fourthly, acupuncture helps reducing stress and anxiety in women undergoing IVF. Research studied the effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing IVF. 43 patients participated in the study. After 4 week treatment the anxiety score for acupuncture group was significantly lower than for the control group. There is perceived stress on the day of embryo transfer (ET). There was a study on the effect of acupuncture on perceived stress and pregnancy rate on the day of ET. In this study, 57 patients with infertility and undergoing IVF or IVF/ISI were involved. Women who received acupuncture treatment achieved 64.7% pregnancy rate while those who didn’t receive acupuncture treatment had 42.5% pregnancy rate. Women with acupuncture had lower stress score both pre-ET and post-ET compared to those without acupuncture. Women with lower stress score had higher pregnancy rate.
Finally, acupuncture can help after failed IVF. Recently a research paper has shown that acupuncture increased pregnancy rate in women with previous failed IVF cycles. In this study, there were 84 patients participated the study. These patients had at least two unsuccessful attempts of IVF cycles. The predicted success rate for these patients was 10% for this group of patients. Acupuncture was performed on the first and seventh day of ovulation induction, on the day before egg collection and on the day after embryo transfer. The result has shown that the clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7%, 7.1% and 10.7% respectively).
Nedeljkovic M et al Forsch Komplementmed (2013) 20:112-8
Manheimer E et al (2008) BMJ 8: 545-549
Zheng CH et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2012)2012:543924
Kong FY et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2012) 32:113-116
Chen J et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2009) 29:775-9
Cui W et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2011) 31:687-691
Dieterle S et al Fertil Steril (2006) 85:1347-51
Isoyama D et al Acupunct Med (2012) 30:85-8
Balk J et al Complement Ther Clin Pract (2010) 16:154-7
Villahemosa et al Acupunct Med 2013 31:157-62
Meng P et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2008) 28:451-5
Zhang J et al J Tradit Chin Med (2013) 33:294-7
Steward RG et al Fertil Steril (2014) S0015-0282
Ji J et al Hum Reprod (2013) Jul 25
Friday, 8 March 2019
The brain is the central control of the body. It receives the signals from the outside and inside of the body and determine what is threatening and harmful, store memories and plan the copying strategy physiologically and psychologically. If the stress is present, the brain is the key target. Stress impairs various hippocampal-dependent memory tasks. Stress changes neuronal morphology, suppresses neuronal proliferation, and reduces hippocampal volume.
Consequently the brain organises a series of response to produce adaptation to the stress which include
Hormone regulation involved is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Nervous system involved is the autonomic nervous system including sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system.
The immune defense system is also involved to help the body out.
First of all, inflammation in reproductive system affects fertility. Inflammation in or around ovaries affect egg development, egg quality and ovulation. Inflammation around fallopian tubes could stimulate tube spasm affecting egg and embryo passing through. Inflammation in uterus affects implantation. Even if there is inflammation in pelvic area or abdominal area could make environment not supporting fertilization and pregnancy.
Secondly, blood stagnation that is poor blood circulation in pelvic area causes poor egg quality in ovary and poor nutrition in uterus. This affects fertilization and implantation.
Thirdly, hormone imbalance is another important factor affecting fertility. Imbalanced hormone affects egg development; as a result, poor quality egg was produced. Imbalanced hormone could cause anovulation. Also imbalanced hormone affects uterine inner lining preparation which makes implantation harder.
Finally stress could affect fertility. Stress hormone called cotisol is made from progesterone in female and testosterone in male. If one is stressed, the body keeps making stress hormone which would exhaust sex hormone and this compromise fertility.
About fertility acupuncture
Women work hard with potentially increased sympathetic activity which causes poor pelvic circulation. Also there are more potential environment toxins to ovary. Many women have difficulty to get pregnant and seek help. Fertility acupuncture is an effective method to help women getting pregnant. What do you expect from fertility acupuncture? There is tons of information from internet about fertility acupuncture. There are many amazing stories that a few sessions of acupuncture helped women become pregnant. Are these stories true? I believe that this could happen from my experiences. Some women do get pregnant after a few sessions of acupuncture treatments. This really depends on what is the cause of the problems. However not everyone gets pregnant very quickly. If you see an acupuncturist for fertility treatment, you need to be prepared and have realistic expectation. If you do not get pregnant after a few sessions, don’t be discouraged. This is not because acupuncture does not work to you, but because it takes longer for you than for anyone else. Everyone is different. After a few sessions of acupuncture, some women get pregnant while others only start to see changes. Acupuncture works for infertility and this is based on scientific evidence. Acupuncture could tackle these four issues by stimulating the nerve endings at particular acupuncture points. It improves reproductive system blood flow and reduces inflammation; it regulates hormone level to correct hormonal imbalance; it reduces stress.
Acupuncture programme for IVF support
Acupuncture has been used worldwide for IVF support for over a decade. There are many promising research results for effectiveness of acupuncture on helping IVF success rates. There are many purposes for the use. Some is to reduce pain on egg retrieval; some is used simply to reduce anxiety and depression during IVF; some are used for improve egg quality etc. If you are having acupuncture for IVF, make sure you know what kind of acupuncture you are getting and what you want.
Which type of acupuncture increased pregnancy rate in IVF? There are three types of acupuncture aiming to increase pregnancy rate in IVF. Type A: acupuncture was performed around the time of embryo transfer. Type B: acupuncture was perfomed around the time of egg collection. Type C acupuncture was performed during the course of ovary stimulation.
Zheng CH et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2012)2012:543924
Thursday, 7 March 2019
There was a report that 10 patients with MP were treated with acupuncture. These patients were aged 30-70 years with MP. The causes of MP were not clear. One patient had diabetes and several were obese. Three patients had inflammatory joint disease. Four patients were receiving high doses of analgesics. Average period of symptoms was 3-4 years. All had tried conservative treatment, physiotherapy or injections and two patients had refused surgery. All patients had tender points especially at acupuncture point GB31 and upper lumba spine. This points were less tender after acupuncture treatment. An average 4-5 sessions of acupuncture was given to these patients. Electroacupuncture was applied from second session. The pain scores for all 10 patients improved by at least 50%, including that of a patient with a 20 year history. At 3-36 months follow-up, improvement was 100%. Most patients were able to stop their analgesics.
Alexander RE Acupunct (2013) 31:435-9
Wednesday, 6 March 2019
Goyata SL et al Rev Bras Enferm (2016) 69: 602-609
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Monday, 4 March 2019
No1 Stress impairs the brain. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulates our thoughts, actions and emotions through extensive connections with other brain regions. Research has shown that Acute stress impairs PFC function, while chronic stress leads to more extensive functional and structural alteration of PFC.
No2, Stress makes you anxious. Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, or unease. It can be a reaction to stress. Stress can make existing anxiety worse that makes you more anxious, irritable, agitated and unable to relax. Stress also makes you unable to concentrate and forget things.
No3, Stress spoils your look. Stress creates tension on the face to make the expression muscles contract, as a result it pulls the skin and folds it creating wrinkles. If the stress is prolonged, the blood vessels are contracting reducing blood circulation on the face making the skin dry and collagen production is reduced and existing collagen is damaged which contributing to creating wrinkles. It accelerates aging process. Stress hormones increases oil production I the skin and makes acne worse.
No4, Stress makes you tense. Tension triangle is involved in the face, head, neck and shoulders. The muscles in this triangle are very sensitive to stress and emotions causing tension for these muscles. According to research, in the first two or three seconds of emotional upset, the muscles around the eyes, mouth and jaw almost always tighten. Prolonged stress leads to a chronic shortening of the muscles. Under stress circumstances, people hold their body in tension without realizing it; Tension will build up over time when the stress is persisting.
No5, Stress makes you ache. Stress can trigger tension headache. A tension-type headache is the most common type of headache and can be triggered by stress. It may feel like a constant ache that affects both or one side of the head. One may also feel the neck muscle tighten and feeling of pressure behind the eyes.
No6, Stress makes digestion bad. When stress attacks, you can have abdominal cramps accompanied with diarrhea and/or constipation. Stress causes more acid production in the stomach causing bloating and pain in the abdomen. Stress inflames bowels causing diarrhea and constipation. In irritable bowel syndrome, sustained cortisol activity during stress is associated with an increase in gastrointestinal symptoms.
No7, Stress makes you sleepless. Stress can cause insomnia. In the state of stress, the body releases stress hormones –chemicals such as glucocorticoids to help the body to cope with the situation. Glucocorticoids can disrupt sleep and make sleep difficult.
No8, Stress makes you tired. When under stress, the body needs to make great efforts to cope by releasing extra chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the action. The blood is diverted to muscles and the brain function is minimized. If you are stressed, emotionally you may feel tired, agitated, anxious, worried or depressed and having difficulty to relax; physically you may feel lack of energy, tired all the time.
No9, Stress makes your hormones imbalanced. Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol altering the body metabolism. Consequently, you would see signs of weight changes gaining weight or losing weight in short period of time. Also, you may see persistent acne. Menstrual cycles change is an important sign of imbalanced hormones.
No10, Stress affects your fertility. Disruption of production of hormones could lead to loss of hormone balance. Physical and emotional stress can cause menstrual cycles changes such as irregular periods and it can affect fertility. Stress triggers the release of stress hormone cortisol, which changes the body metabolism. Cotisol is made from progesterone in female and testosterone in male. If under stress, the body keeps making stress hormone which would exhaust sex hormone and this compromise fertility.
Acupuncture can effectively relieve stress in holistic way to help all aspects above and restore your health.
Sunday, 3 March 2019
Functional gastrointestinal disorders affect 35% to 70% of people at some point in life, women more often than men. The symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort with or without diarrhoea and constipation. Stress plays an important role. Stress can trigger and worsen gastrointestinal pain and other symptoms, and vice versa. The brain connects with the body through nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system triggers fight or flight response while the parasympathetic system calms the body down. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic system help regular digestion. Psychological stress act at these systems causing digestion problem. When one is stressed, this trigger fight or flight response, digestion slows down, and the body uses all its blood and energy to fight causing abdominal pain and other related symptoms. Vice versa persistent gastrointestinal problems can heighten anxiety and stress.
Acupuncture can help reduce stress, improve digestive function and release abdominal pain.
Acupuncture creates microinjury to the body, reduces stress and keeps immune system well functioned.
Jennifer N. Morey, et al Curr Opin Psychol. 2015 Oct 1; 5: 13–17.
Saturday, 2 March 2019
There was a study involved 18000 patients with chronic pain including low back pain. This study showed that the effect of acupuncture was more than placebo. There was a further evidence provided by research from Germany showing that acupuncture is effective for chronic low back pain and acupuncture was highly accepted and had positive effects in patients with chronic low back pain. This was a randomized controlled trial. There were 143 participants with chronic low back pain. 74 patients were offered acupuncture twice a week, while other 69 patients were not given acupuncture as a control. Acceptance of acupuncture, health-related quality of life and pain/symptoms were assessed. The result of the study showed that acceptance of acupuncture was excellent. 89% of the patients would like to have TCM integrated treatment and 83% would have paid for TCM if necessary. Physical functioning, general health, vitality and emotional role were all better in patients with acupuncture treatment compared with control group. Pain relief in acupuncture group was superior to the control group. For instance, pain with sitting/standing, pain upon carrying loads of 10 kg or more and pricking in hands and feet were significantly reduced. Author’s conclusion was that acupuncture was highly accepted and had positive effects in patients with chronic low back pain. Acupuncture can be an effective, well tolerated therapy with no major side events.
Why acupuncture is effective for low back pain?
There are several mechanisms that explained the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain relief. Acupuncture stimulates nerve endings located in muscles and other tissues leading to production of endorphins and other neurohormonal factors. Acupuncture reduces inflammation by releasing vascular and immunomodulatory factors. Acupuncture increases local blood circulation and improves muscle stiffness, joint mobility and swelling. Also how brain and spinal cord processing pain has been altered. In neuroscience, the default mode network (DMN) is a functional network of brain regions that show increased activation during wakeful rest. In patients with low back pain, this DMNconectivity has changed. Acupuncture has been widely accepted for effective low back pain treatment. How acupuncture affect DMN is not clear. Tang et al studied this subject. They used RsfMRI technique to analyse the connectivity of DMN and recruited 20 patients with low back pain and 10 health subjects for controls. They found that there was less connectivity within the DMN in patients with low back pain than healthy subjects, mainly in the dorsolateral, prefrontal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulated gyrus and precuneus. After 4 weeks acupuncture treatment, patients brain connectivitys were restored almost to the levels seen in healthy controls. Reductions in clinical pain were correlated with increases in DMN connectivity. It can be seen from this data, modulation of the DMN by acupuncture is related to its therapeutic effects.
Standardization of acupuncture points for low back pain
TCM diagnoses and treatment recommendations for specific patients with chronic low back pain vary widely across practitioners. If you go and see a few different acupuncturists, you would get acupuncture at different points. There are no standardized acupuncture points for any conditions. A study has shown that twenty diagnoses and 65 acupoints were used at least once; and only one point UB23 was used for every patient by most acupuncturists. In China standardization of acupuncture points was encouraged to achieve best outcome of the treatment. There was a study compared the efficacy of standardized acupuncture and individualised acupuncture points. In this study up to 15 sessions of acupuncture treatments were offered. The standardized acupuncture was based on the acupuncture intervention from a large multicenter trial previously performed. 78 patients were in the standard acupuncture group and 72 patients were in the individual acupuncture group. Both acupuncture interventions were applied by the same medical doctor specialized in western general medicine (25 years of clinical practice) and trained in Chinese medicine with 20 years' experience in treating low back pain with acupuncture. The result has shown that the average pain severity after 8 weeks and 26 weeks did not differ significantly between both groups. This study has shown the possibility of standardization of acupuncture treatment for chronic back pain patients.
Which acupuncture points are frequently used in lower back pain?
There are over 400 acupuncture points in human body according to Chinese medicine theory. The selection of appropriate acupuncture points is the first step to obtain therapeutic effects. How acupuncturists select acupuncture points? There are three basic principles to select acupuncture points: the first is local acupoints near the area where symptoms occur; the second is distant acupoints along the meridian and the third is distant acupoints based on symptom differentiation. Lee SH et al analysed acupuncture points from 53 studies using modern techniques to extract most commonly used acupuncture points. There were 33 most frequently used acupoints for lower back pain (LBP). The most frequently used acupoints in the treatment of low-back pain were BL23 (51%), BL25 (43%), BL24 (32%), BL40 (32%), BL60 (32%), GB30 (32%), BL26 (28%), BL32 (28%), and GB34 (21%). All local acupoints for LBP are on the Bladder and the Governing vessel especially at the low back position of these meridians. Most of the distant acupoints are on the Bladder and Gallbladder meridians. The acupoints include seven acupoints (BL23, BL24, BL25, BL26, and BL32 as local points and BL40 and BL60 as distal points) on the bladder meridian and two acupoints (GB30 as a local point and GB34 as a distal point) on the gallbladder meridian.
Pach D et al (2013) Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013:125937
Hogeboom CJ et al (2001) Complement Ther Med 9:154-66
Tang WJ et al Acupunct Med 2013 Nove 26. Doi:10.1136/acupmed-2013-010423
Cheshire A et al BMC Complement Altern Med (2013)13:300
Lee SH et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2013) 2013:402180
Weiss J et al J Altern Complement Med (2013) 19:935-41
Hsu C et al BMC Complement Altern Med (2014) 14:276
Koppenhaver SL et al Man Ther (2015) Mar 13. pii: S1356-689X(15)00051-X. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.03.003. [Epub ahead of print]
Friday, 1 March 2019
Acker H et al Med Hypotheses. 2015 Sep;85(3):371-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.05.013. Epub 2015 May 22.
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