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. .

Welcome to my blog

Leading acupuncture specialist for facial rejuvenation, pain relief, stress relief, fertility, fatigue, anxiety.
Based at Kensington and Chelsea at 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. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

My Website

My Guest blog articles and Reviews

Guest blog articles
https://anamayahealth.blogspot.com/2018/03/dr-maggie-ju-talks-about-vulvodynia.html

Reviews
M Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
M Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 1 September 2014 P9

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Why is it good to eat garlic during coronavirus outbreak?

The benefits of garlic to health have been indicated for centuries and the wide variety of effects garlic preparations and extracts has been reported are beneficial and useful. Recently garlic extract Allium sativum and its derivatives been proposed as promising candidates for maintaining the homeostasis of the immune system. A review assessed the most recent experimental results. They suggested that garlic boosts the functioning of the immune system by stimulating certain cell types, such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils, by mechanisms including modulation of cytokine secretion, immunoglobulin production, phagocytosis, and macrophage activation.

References
Arreola R et al J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630. doi: 10.1155/2015/401630. Epub 2015 Apr 19.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Why is it good to drink ginger tea during coronavirus outbreak?

Ginger can help your defence system.

Macrophages a type of defence cells in the body play a dual role in host defence. They act as the first line of defence by mounting an inflammatory response to antigen exposure and also act as antigen presenting cells and initiate the adaptive immune response. They are also the primary infiltrating cells at the site of inflammation. Inhibition of macrophage activation is one of the possible approaches towards modulating inflammation. Ginger, an herbal product with broad anti inflammatory actions was shown that it regulates immune function by inhibiting macrophage activation. A study has shown that ginger ginger improves on cytotoxicity induced by paraben (p-hydroxybenzoic acid) on red blood cells (RBC) in vitro from healthy adult human beings (25-30 years).

Ginger can help protect human bronchial epithelial cells.

Traditionally, ginger is used as an antiinflammatory drug. A recent study tested the effect of ginger extract in inflammation of human bronchial epithelial cells. They found that ginger extracts can reduce inflammatory substances production and suggested that distinct ginger compounds could be used as antiinflammatory drugs in respiratory infections.

Ginger reduces inflammatory and oxidative stress

This review investigated the effects of ginger supplementation on markers of inflammatory and oxidative stress. They evaluated the effects of ginger on some inflammation markers including serum CRP (C-reactive protein), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-alpha), IL-6 (interleukin-6), PGE2 (prostaglandin E2), TAC (total antioxidant capacity), and MDA (malondialdehyde). The results of this study indicated a statistically significant effect of ginger on serum CRP, TNF-α, IL-6, TAC, and MDA levels following ginger supplementation in compared to the controls. Also, the effects of ginger on serum PGE2 was marginally significant. They suggested that ginger supplementation has a significant effects on serum inflammatory and oxidative stress markers.

References

Tripathi S et al BMC Complement Altern Med. 2008 Jan 3;8:1. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-8-1.

Ginger extract inhibits LPS induced macrophage activation and function.

Asnani V, Verma RJ. Acta Pol Pharm. 2006 Mar-Apr;63(2):117-9. Aqueous ginger extract ameliorates paraben induced cytotoxicity.

Podlogar JA, Verspohl EJ. Phytother Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):333-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3558. Epub 2011 Jun 23. Antiinflammatory effects of ginger and some of its components in human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells.

Jalali M et al Phytother Res. 2020 Mar 8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6638. [Epub ahead of print]

The effects of ginger supplementation on markers of inflammatory and oxidative stress: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Acupuncture for in vitro fertilization in women with poor ovarian response

Approximately 15% of couples worldwide are affected by infertility which is caused by various factors. Poor ovarian response (POR) is one reason for infertility. Poor ovarian response (POR) has been accepted as a predictor of delivery in women over 40 undergoing IVF. The criteria of diagnosis of POR are: 1) advanced maternal age (≥40 years) or any other risk factor for POR; 2) a previous POR (≤3 oocytes after a conventional stimulation protocol); or 3) an abnormal ovarian reserve test (i.e., antral follicle count (AFC) <5-7 follicles or anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) <0.5-1.1 ng/ml). AMH is used as a predictor for ovarian reserve, and a higher level of AMH tends to increase during natural pregnancy. Low AFC is the basis for diagnosing POR, and AFC testing is more accurate than basal follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) testing for women aged over 44 years in predicting IVF outcome.

Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility and has been very popular in assist IVF. This is because it improves the endometrium, promotes ovulation, and reduces pain during egg retrieval, and improves fertilization rates. Consequently it increases pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF. A study evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) after IVF, in women with POR from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Their result has shown that clinical pregnancy rate is 37.8% in acupuncture group vs 24.3% in control group. This study suggests that acupuncture may improve CPR, AMH, AFC and the number of retrieved oocytes in women with POR undergoing IVF.

References
Jang S et al Integr Med Res. 2020 Jun;9(2):100395. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2020.02.003. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Imperial’s scientists are leading the response to the coronavirus

The world’s most advanced centre for disease and emergency analytics is where Imperial’s scientists are leading the response to the coronavirus.

J-IDEA, the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics, headquartered at Imperial College London, was only setup last year to rapidly respond to emergencies such as pandemics, extreme climate events, and natural and humanitarian disasters. Not long after it was launched, the first cases of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 from Asia was reported.

Imperial’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC-GIDA) is leading the College’s COVID-19 epidemiological response, working closely with institutes across the School of Public Health under the umbrella of J-IDEA, as the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team.

Since January the teams have responded rapidly to the emerging coronavirus threat and have analysed the continuously changing data in real-time, and produced more than a dozen reports on the pandemic, which have informed governments and health services around the world.

References
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/196659/the-disease-outbreak-centre-where-scientists/

Friday, 24 April 2020

Acupuncture helps orofacial pain

Orofacial pain is most commonly caused by the disease of the teeth. Dental caries and periodontal diseases, musculoskeletal and neuropathological diseases are the most common cause of orofacial pain. Patients with orofacial pain had elevated anxiety values and correlation between elevated anxiety and intensity of pain. The management of the pain is challenging. Medication and complementary methods were applied. A study evaluated 557 patients with orofacial pain based for their pain management and found that the most common form of therapy is Michigan stabilization splint: for disc displacement of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in 38.9% of patients and in combination with physiotherapy in 18.7% of patients; for osteoarthritis of TMJ in 28.4% and in combination with physiotherapy in 26.4% of patients. The treatment with anticonvulsant drugs for trigeminal neuralgia predominates in 54.3% of patients, which is combined with acupuncture in 25.7% of patients and only acupuncture in 17.1% of patients.

References
Badel T et al Acta Clin Croat. 2019 Jun;58(Suppl 1):82-89. doi: 10.20471/acc.2019.58.s1.12.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Acupuncture reduces head and neck myofascial pain.

Persistent head and neck myofascial pain is among the most common pain complaints. Acupuncture is one of the least invasive and effective methods to release the pain. A recent review provided the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of localized persistent myofascial head and neck pain. This review analysed six randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). All included studies reported reduction in pain intensity scores in the groups receiving acupuncture when compared to sham needling/no intervention. They suggests that acupuncture may be an effective and safe method in relieving persistent head and neck myofascial pain.

References
Farag AM et al Complement Ther Med. 2020 Mar;49:102297. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102297. Epub 2020 Feb 1.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Having blepharitis, tried acupuncture?

The eyelids which cover the eyes and protect them from debris and injury have lashes with short, curved hair follicles on the edge of the lids. These follicles contain oil glands. These oil glands can sometimes become clogged or irritated, even inflammation. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis usually affects both eyes along the edges of the eyelids.

Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that's difficult to treat. Blepharitis can be uncomfortable and unsightly. But it usually doesn't cause permanent damage to your eyesight, and it's not contagious.

Symptoms of blepharitis include: watery eyes, red eyes, burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, itchy eyelids, red, swollen, inflamed eyelids, flaking skin around the eyes, crusted eyelashes, oily eyelids, a feeling that something is in or on the eyes, sensitivity to light, crusted eyelashes, etc. Risk factors to have blepharitis include: having eyelash mites or lice, bacterial infection, medication side effects, a malfunctioning oil gland. There are two types of blepharitis: 1) anterior eye inflammation occurs on the outside of your eye where your eyelashes are located. Dandruff on your eyebrows and allergic reactions in your eyes can cause anterior eyelid inflammation. 2) posterior eyelid inflammation occurs on the inner edge of eyelids closest to your eye. A malfunctioning oil gland behind your eyelash follicles usually causes this form of inflammation.

If you have difficulty to get rid of blepharitis, try acupuncture to help.
A case report of acupuncture on chronic blepharitis. A woman aged 61-year-old had a chronic blepharitis on her right upper eyelid for one and half years. The eyelid was red and swollen. It felt stinging. She had three acupuncture treatments. After one treatment the redness and swellings were much better and after three treatment, the blepharitis was completely gone and the eyelid was clear of inflammation.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Acupuncture helps to recover from dental surgery

Surgical removal of the impacted or semi-impacted third molars is a routine procedure performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The edema and limitation of mouth opening can be triggered by the inflammatory process initiated by surgical trauma. Usually its presence contributes to the increase of pain because there is an increase of tissue tension. Acupuncture therapy helps the maintenance of immune function and restores homeostasis, promotes muscle relaxation, therefore it is selected as an adjunctive treatment for this surgery in a research. The aim is that acupuncture treatment can minimize the symptoms of these occurrences. The result has shown that acupuncture was effective in reducing postoperative residual edema and intraoperative bleeding.

References
Gil MLB et al J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2020 Mar 20. pii: S2005-2901(20)30078-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2020.03.063. [Epub ahead of print]

Monday, 20 April 2020

How does acupuncture assist IVF success?

Infertility is defined as failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of regular and unprotected sexual intercourse. One in six couples have difficulty to conceive. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the therapeutic options for couples with infertility, however IVF success rate is not 100%. Acupuncture can activate nerve fibers and peripheral afferent receptors, produce sensory interactions at various levels of the central nervous system, and release various transmitters and modulators, thus producing anti-inflammatory signals as well as neuroendocrine and neuroimmune signals. Acupuncture is one of the candidates that applied during IVF procedure to increase its success rates.

The mechanisms of acupuncture related to application of IVF is

1, modulating neuroendocrine factors. Acupuncture improves female infertility through modulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary– ovarian (HPO) axis, estrogen regulation, and increased ß-endorphins to correct the imbalance of the endocrine system. Acupuncture can stimulate ovulation through modulation of the HPO axis in women with anovulatory infertility.

2, increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. As a result, acupuncture increases endometrial and follicular receptivity, and also helps repair the endometrial lining; it improves the quality of oocytes produced by the follicles. Acupuncture can reduce uterine contractility to prevent embryo expulsion after ET. Therefore, Acupuncture increases pregnancy rates in patients undergoing IVF.

3, modulating immune factors. Acupuncture moudlates immune system. I-helper cells are a type of immune cells which is related to pregnancy and is affected strongly by pregnancy hormones. If there is a dysregulation of T-helper cells systemically and locally, pregnancy failure will occur. Acupuncture has been reported to increase T-helper cells both locally and systemically, thus, increasing pregnancy rates.

4, reducing stress, anxiety. During IVF procedure, a woman’s psychological status affects the IVF success rate greatly. Acupuncture is very effective for reducing stress and anxiety caused by changes in the cortisol hormone and the psychologic effects of IVF itself. This is because acupuncture modulates neuropeptide in the amygdala, increasing ß-endorphin production, suppressing the system’s sympathetic nerves, increasing vagus-nerve activity, and increasing levels of neurotropic factors in the hippocampus. In addition, acupuncture affects the hypothalamic–pituitary– adrenal axis so to change the physiologic response to stress.

References
Djaali W Med Acupunct. 2019 Dec 1;31(6):361-365. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1394. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Acupuncture increases pregnancy success rates of IVF

A recent research studied the effectiveness of acupuncture on pregnancy success rates for women undergoing in vitro fertilization. In this study, women with unexplained infertility were recruited. 36 women were in acupuncture group and they received 3 sessions of acupuncture treatment during IVF procedure. Pregnancy rates and anxiety levels were measured. The result has shown that clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth rates were higher in acupuncture group (23) compared to control group (12) which was nearly doubled; anxiety levels were lower in acupuncture group compared to control group. The conclusion is that three sessions of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer significantly increased the pregnancy rates in women with unexplained infertility and significantly reduced anxiety levels that occurred before embryo transfer.

References

Guven PG et al Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Mar;59(2):282-286. doi: 10.1016/j.tjog.2020.01.018.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Acupuncture is effective for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome


Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a condition in which pelvic pain is accompanied with bladder pain, urination pain, frequent urination and urgency, and/or sexual dysfunction that last for longer than 3 months. A study summarised research paper up to February 2019 about acupuncture on CP/CPPS with total 11 studies involved in 748 patients with CP/CPPS. The result has shown that acupuncture significantly reduced the pain score for CP/CPPS ad improved patient’s quality of life with little side effects.

References
Li J et al Pain Res Manag. 2020 Mar 9;2020:5921038. doi: 10.1155/2020/5921038. eCollection 2020.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Acupuncture has better effect than medication for migraines

Migraine is very common type of headaches and acupuncture is very effective for it. This review summarized current data with high quality trials. They found high quality of evidence indicating that the effective rate of acupuncture was superior to western medicine in treatment of migraine. acupuncture reduced more headache days and the times of using painkiller and was more effective in reducing the frequency and degree of headache than western medicine.

References
Li YX et al Pain Res Manag. 2020 Mar 23;2020:3825617. doi: 10.1155/2020/3825617. eCollection 2020.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Acupuncture is effective for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) presents as chronic pain in the region of the pelvis, and often associated to ejaculatory pain, urination pain lasting for at least 3 to 6 months. The benefits of acupuncture on CP/CPPS have been well established. How many sessions of treatments were required for this condition? A paper analysed existing data involved in ten studies of 329 participants. Overall, more acupuncture sessions received for CP/CPPS patients is associated with increased symptom relieving. After 6 sessions of treatments, the pain started to decrease; after 18 sessions of treatment significant improvement of pain was observed. The conclusion is that there is dose-response relationship between acupuncture sessions and CP/CPPS outcome. Prolonged acupuncture sessions were associated with less NIH-CPSI score. 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.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Having low back pain, tried acupuncture?

There are various types of acupunctures. Manual acupuncture is most common used. Electroacupuncture is used by some acupuncturists. Do these two acupuncture have different effects? A recent study compared effectiveness of electroacupuncture (EA) to manual acupuncture (MA) on pain and disability in patients with chronic low back. 66 patients with chronic low back pain were offered 12 sessions of acupuncture either manual acupuncture or electroacupuncture. The result has shown that improvements in pain intensity and disability were observed in both groups and there were no differences between them. The effects were maintained after 3 months of follow-up. This suggested that both therapies had similar efficacy in reducing pain and disability for chronic nonspecific low back pain.

References
J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2020 Mar 26. pii: S2005-2901(20)30079-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2020.03.064. [Epub ahead of print]

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Diabetes is a risk factor for the progression and prognosis of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a novel virus which has lots of unknown factors. Is diabetes a risk factor affecting the progression and prognosis of COVID-19? A total of 174 consecutive patients confirmed with COVID-19 were studied. They found that patients with diabetes were at higher risk of severe pneumonia, release of tissue injury-related enzymes, excessive uncontrolled inflammation responses and hypercoagulable state associated with dysregulation of glucose metabolism. Moreover, serum levels of inflammation related biomarkers such as IL-6, C-reactive protein, serum ferritine and coagulation index, D-dimer, were significantly higher in diabetic patients compared with those without. This suggests that patients with diabetes are more susceptible to an inflammatory storm eventually leading to rapid deterioration of COVID-19. The conclusion is that diabetes should be considered as a risk factor for a rapid progression and bad prognosis of COVID-19.

References
Guo W Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2020 Mar 31:e3319. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3319. [Epub ahead of print]

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Acupuncture is effective for sciatic pain.

Sciatica or sciatic pain is one of the causes for low back pain. A study examining the effect of acupuncture in treating sciatica. 57 patients with non-acute sciatica aged 35-70 were recruited. The acupuncture treatment was administered twice weekly for 4 weeks. The pain was measured before and 4 weeks after acupuncture treatments. Result has shown that the pain is significantly improved for all patients. They suggested that acupuncture is safe and may effectively relieve symptoms and disability in patients with non-acute sciatica.

References
Liu CH et al J Pain Res. 2019 Dec 31;12:3511-3520. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S210672. eCollection 2019.

Acupuncture helps sleep quality in patients with insomnia by altering brain activities

Primary insomnia is that people have difficulty in falling sleep and difficulty in maintaining sleep. People with insomnia has caused an inc...