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Acupuncture for fertility and miscarriage
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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
Wednesday, 30 October 2019
Connection between mind and body has been discovered for centuries. In ancient time, it was believed that emotions were linked to disease and patients were advised to visit spas or seaside resorts when they were ill. Today it is widely accepted that there is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health. There is common sense ‘too much stress makes you sick' which means that there is a links between stress and health. There was a survey in the UK has shown that workers have high stress and little autonomy, have more than twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome—a precursor of heart disease and diabetes. By measuring heart rate, and cortisol and adrenaline levels, researchers also found that stress affects the autonomic nervous system and neuroendocrine function. Other recent research showed that acute and chronic psychological stress, related to low socio-economic status, can increase the risk of heart attack by increasing circulating levels of platelet–leukocyte aggregates. It was also suggested that there was link between stress and other conditions, such as infertility, chronic pain, fatigue, acne etc. Mind body therapies are helpful in managing these conditions by promoting relaxation. Acupuncture is one of the mind body therapy techniques that can relax body and mind to ease the symptoms of the conditions and improve psychological functioning and quality of life.
Acupuncture releases tension of the body and mind
When the body or mind is stressed, muscles reflex and are tense up instantly. This creates lot of tensions to the body and mind. If the stress is prolonged, muscles are constantly in contracting state and tension is building up. This constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow and energy supply to the organs and tissues such as muscles, tendons and nerves etc. One may feel stiff or tight with or without pain in the body. This may trigger stress related disorders, for example, anxiety, tension type headache, migraine, other chronic pain conditions and this also affects many systems in the body such as nervous system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system and endocrine system, reproductive system etc. Initially this affects system function in short term and this can cause pathological changes of the affected system in long run. There are many tips to teach you how to relieve stress and release the tension of the body and mind. Which one works for you? Sometimes you might find none of the tips works. Do you know acupuncture is very effective to release tension from the body and mind?
V Brower EMBO Rep (2006) 7:358-361
Thursday, 24 October 2019
Dubois J et al PLoS One. 2019 Oct 23;14(10):e0224098. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224098. eCollection 2019.
Klein SD et al PLoS One. 2015 Oct 29;10(10):e0141985. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141985. eCollection 2015.
There is emerging evidence that acupuncture is effective for treating patients with depression. A study from the University of York UK has shown that acupuncture is also cost effective for treating depression. They compared the cost of acupuncture, counselling or usual care for depression based the price of the interventions. They measured quality adjusted life years (QALYs) in analysis. They found that acupuncture and counselling have higher mean QALYs and costs than usual care. They have shown that acupuncture has an increased cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £4,560 per additional QALY and is cost-effective with a probability of 0.62 at a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20,000 per QALY. Counselling compared with acupuncture is more effective and more costly with an ICER of £71,757 and a probability of being cost-effective of 0.36. Acupuncture is cost-effective compared with counselling or usual care alone.
Depression and acupuncture
There is another study about acupuncture on personality traits in derpression from China. 48 patients completed the study. The Minnesota Multiple Personality Inventory (MMPI) was used for evaluation. Self-rating depression scale (SDS), self-rating anxiety scale (SAS) and Montgomery asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) were used to assess the psychological state. Assessments were done before and after the treatment. These patients were received acupuncture treatments for 24 weeks in acupuncture group. After treatment, patients psychological state improved significantly in acupuncture group and control group. In treatment group severity of depression had significantly decreased after 24 weeks of treatment compared with that before the treatment. MADRS, SDS and MMPI scores decreased significantly. In control group these scores also decreased. The decrease of these scores was greater in treatment group compared with control group.
10.1016/j.mehy.2015.05.013. [Epub ahead of print]
Spackamn E et al PLoS One (2014) 9:e113726
Wang WD et al Chin J Integr Med 2013 19:777-782
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Arranz L et al studied the effect of acupuncture in 34 women aged 30-60 with anxiety diagnosed and impaired immune function. Acupuncture was performed manually on 19 acupoints. A single session 30 min was employed. Before acupuncture and 72 hours after acupuncture, immune function was measured by blood test. They found that the best effect was seen at 72 hours after a single acupuncture treatment. They also studied long term effect of acupuncture. 12 patients completed 10 sessions in a year until the anxiety symptoms disappeared. The immune function was measured after a month at the end of a year treatment. They found that the immune function in these women was returned to the level closed to that in healthy control women. This study suggested that acupuncture improve immune function in women caused by anxiety.
There was another report comparing acupuncture with clonazepam in treating GAD. 80 patients were participated the study. 40 patients were acupuncture group and another 40 patients were in clonazepam group. Twelve medridians acuppoints were applied. Meaning quick needling at the apecific acupoints of each meridian for example, LU7, LI4 and HT7were applied. The total treatments were 6 weeks. Hamilton Anxiety Scal (HAMA) and brain activity were used to evaluate the effects. The improvements of the total HAMA scores could be seen in 2, 4 and 6 weeks in both group but the improvements were greater in acupuncture group. The brain activity was improved in both groups. So acupuncture could be a potential option for treatment of GAD.
Arranz L et al Am J Chin Med (2007) 35:35-51
Zhou XF et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2013) 33:395-8
Monday, 14 October 2019
DNA damage may exert its effect at different stages of the reproductive procedure, beginning from the pre-implantation development of the embryo to the achievement and sustaining of pregnancy and finally the creation of healthy offspring. An inverse relationship has been reported between the likelihood of achieving pregnancy either by natural intercourse or by application of ART and the presence of high sperm DNA fragmentation levels. Men with abnormal semen parameters have a higher risk of high levels of DNA fragmentation. Men with infertility have increased levels of fragmented sperm DNA and vice versa. Abnormal chromosome rate which triggers DNA fragmentation is higher in poor quality sperm samples. Research has shown that Sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation has been positively correlated with lower fertilization rates in IVF, impaired implantation rates, an increased incidence of abortion and disease in offspring. For example, a study investigated correlation of fertilization rate with sperm DNA fragmentation in A 85 couples undergoing infertility treatment with IVF/ICSI. The result has shown that fertilization rate was inversely correlated with DNA fragmentation. In addition, the slower embryo development and worst morphology on day 6 was correlated with higher sperm DNA fragmentation. There was a negative correlation between DNA fragmentation and the implantation rate. Analysis from a study including 2969 couples has shown that there was a significant increase in miscarriage in patients with high DNA damage compared with those with low DNA damage.
As mentioned above, sperm DNA damage is a useful biomarker for male infertility diagnosis and prediction of assisted reproduction outcomes. It shows more promise than conventional semen parameters from a diagnostic perspective. Another recent study has shown that it is associated with reduced fertilization rates, embryo quality and pregnancy rates, and higher rates of spontaneous miscarriage and childhood diseases; A study involved in 2,756 couples, 965 pregnancies has also shown that high-level sperm DNA fragmentation has a detrimental effect on outcome of IVF/ICSI, with decreased pregnancy rate and increased miscarriage rate. The analysis by type of procedure (IVF vs. ICSI) indicated that high sperm DNA damage was related to lower pregnancy rates in IVF but not in ICSI cycles, whereas it was associated with higher miscarriage rates in both IVF and ICSI cycles.
Sperm DNA damage is often the result of increased oxidative stress in the male reproductive tract, the potential contribution of antioxidant therapy. Do you know that acupuncture improves sperm quantity and quality? Acupuncture could reduce oxidative damage and is a potential useful therapy to treat sperm DNA damage.
Muriel et al Fertil Steril (2006) 85:371-83
Robinson et al HumRepord (2012) 27:2908-17
Zhao et al Fertil Steril (2014) 102:998-1005
Sunday, 13 October 2019
Bidouee F et al J Kidney Dis Transpl (2011) 22:1039
40 patients have low sperm count or abnormal sperm shapes. 28 of them received acupuncture treatment twice a week for 5 weeks while other 12 patients did not receive treatment as control. At the end of the treatment, sperm counts were significantly increased and sperm shapes were significantly improved in acupuncture group compared to control group.
Pei J et al Fertil Steril (2005) 84:141-7
3 weeks of acupuncture increased sperm quality
A study about effect of acupuncture on male infertility was published in 1984 in German. There were 28 males with infertility. They received 10 treatments for 3 weeks. Sperm count, concentration and motility were evaluated before and after acupuncture treatment. Result showed that in all cases sperm quality was improved.
Fischl F et al Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd (1984) 44:510-2
Acupuncture helps fertilisation of ICSI in male infertility
There was a case report that acupuncture improves sperm quality and the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). 22 male patients with infertility who failed ICSI participated the study. They received acupuncture treatment twice a week for 8 weeks followed by ICSI. At the end of the treatment, sperm motility and normality was improved. The fertilisation rates after acupuncture treatment were 66.2% significantly higher than that before the treatment (40.2%). Embryo quality was also improved. Acupuncture has a positive prospect for men with infertility undergoing ICSI treatment.
Zhang M et al J Huazhong Uni Sci Technology Med Sci (2002) 22:228-30
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