A leading acupuncture specialist for pain relief, vulvodynia, fertility and miscarriage, facial rejuvenation, stress and anxiety. This blog introduces acupuncture research update to help you understand acupuncture.
Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju
Tuesday, 6 June 2023
Look after your overall health with facial acupuncture
Anxiety, a common result of stress, can bring about both emotional and physical symptoms. Increased heart rate, nausea, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, and headaches are some of the physical manifestations of anxiety. While it is normal to feel anxious in stressful situations, persistent or unexplained anxiety can become abnormal and disruptive to one's overall well-being.
The frontal lobe, located at the front of the brain beneath the frontal bone, plays a crucial role in cognitive skills such as emotional expression, personality, problem-solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is the largest lobe of the brain, comprising about one-third of its total mass, and is responsible for controlling muscle movements and speech. The frontal lobe enables us to adapt and respond to changes effectively. However, acute stress can impair its function, affecting complex and flexible thinking by increasing the release of dopamine and noradrenaline. Chronic stress can lead to structural changes in the frontal lobe, weakening the structures responsible for regulating the stress response while strengthening those that promote it. Consequently, stress and anxiety can manifest as tension in the forehead.
The connection between the mind and body has been recognized for centuries. Ancient civilizations believed that emotions were linked to disease and often prescribed visits to spas or seaside resorts as part of the healing process. Today, we widely acknowledge the powerful mind-body connection, where emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly impact our health. It is common knowledge that excessive stress can make us sick, emphasizing the link between stress and our overall well-being.
Facial acupuncture offers an effective method to release stress, alleviate anxiety, and promote relaxation of both the mind and body. This ancient practice involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the face, stimulating the body's natural healing mechanisms. The needles used in facial acupuncture are much smaller and thinner compared to those used in other acupuncture techniques, making the treatment gentle and virtually painless.
By targeting specific acupuncture points on the face, facial acupuncture can stimulate the release of endorphins, our body's natural painkillers and mood regulators. This helps to promote a sense of calm and relaxation, reducing stress levels and alleviating anxiety. Moreover, facial acupuncture improves blood circulation, which nourishes the skin, promotes collagen production, and enhances overall facial appearance.
Beyond the physical benefits, facial acupuncture also supports mental and emotional well-being. This practice can help harmonize the mind-body connection. Patients often report feeling a sense of tranquility, improved mental clarity, and enhanced emotional resilience after facial acupuncture sessions.
In conclusion, taking care of our overall health is essential in today's fast-paced and stressful world. Stress and anxiety can have detrimental effects on both our physical and mental well-being. Facial acupuncture offers a holistic approach to health by addressing the mind-body connection. By releasing stress, alleviating anxiety, and promoting relaxation, this ancient practice can help us achieve a state of well-being and enhance our overall quality of life. So, why not give facial acupuncture a try and experience the profound benefits it can bring to your health and wellness journey?
Sunday, 4 June 2023
The Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Ear Pain: An Ancient Remedy for Modern Ailments
There are various causes of chronic ear pain, including:
Otitis Media: This is one of the most common causes of ear pain, especially in children. It refers to the inflammation or infection of the middle ear, which can lead to persistent discomfort.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders: Dysfunction of the TMJ, the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull, can result in referred pain to the ear. People with TMJ disorders often experience ear pain along with jaw pain and difficulty in jaw movement.
Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: The Eustachian tubes are small passages that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat. Dysfunction of these tubes can cause pressure imbalances, leading to ear pain.
External Ear Infections: Infections of the outer ear, commonly known as swimmer's ear, can cause persistent ear pain. These infections are usually caused by bacteria or fungi and are often associated with moisture trapped in the ear canal.
Barotrauma: Sudden changes in air pressure, such as during air travel or scuba diving, can cause barotrauma. This condition involves injury to the middle ear due to pressure imbalances, resulting in ear pain.
Tinnitus: Although not a direct cause of pain, tinnitus, the perception of ringing or buzzing sounds in the ear, can be associated with chronic ear pain. The persistent presence of tinnitus can lead to distress and discomfort.
While conventional treatments such as medication and surgery are often prescribed, alternative therapies like acupuncture have gained recognition for their potential effectiveness in relieving ear pain. In recent years, research has shed light on the potential benefits of acupuncture for ear pain, providing insights into its effectiveness and mechanisms of action.
Numerous studies have investigated the use of acupuncture for ear pain, particularly in cases of chronic otalgia or discomfort that persists for extended periods. One systematic review found that acupuncture showed significant pain reduction compared to control groups. The review highlighted the potential of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy in the management of ear pain, particularly in cases where conventional treatments may be limited or ineffective.
Acupuncture's effectiveness in treating ear pain may be attributed to various mechanisms. Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals, thereby reducing discomfort and improving the body's self-regulatory mechanisms. The specific acupuncture points chosen for treating ear pain may vary depending on the underlying cause and the individual's unique condition.
It is worth noting that acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by trained practitioners using sterile needles. Adverse effects are typically minimal and include mild bruising, bleeding, or temporary discomfort at the needle insertion sites.
In conclusion, acupuncture holds promise as a complementary therapy for ear pain, offering an alternative or adjunctive approach to conventional treatments. Its ancient origins, coupled with growing scientific evidence, suggest that acupuncture may be effective in reducing ear pain and promoting overall well-being. While further research is necessary to validate its efficacy and mechanisms of action, acupuncture's non-invasive nature and minimal side effects make it an attractive option for individuals seeking natural alternatives for ear pain management.
Links between C-section Scar and Infertility: Understanding the Impact and Exploring Treatment Options
Visualizing C-section scar defects using techniques such as transvaginal ultrasound and hysteroscopy has provided valuable insights into their nature and characteristics. A typical transvaginal ultrasound image of a cesarean section scar defect reveals a wedge-shaped anechoic area that can partially or completely affect the myometrium (the muscular layer of the uterus). This finding suggests impaired healing, although the precise mechanism is still unclear.
Several factors contribute to poor wound healing and the development of C-section scar defects. Inadequate closure of the uterine incision, postoperative infections, and underlying health conditions like diabetes or collagen disorders can all impair the healing process. Reduced blood flow to the affected tissue also predisposes patients to incomplete or delayed healing. Histopathological studies have shown different thicknesses of the myometrium along the scar, with disordered muscular fibers and elastosis, further supporting the notion of impaired healing.
The clinical consequences of C-section scar defects extend beyond infertility. Women with these defects may experience abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), dysmenorrhea, pelvic pain, postmenstrual spotting, adenomyosis, endometriosis, abscess formation, cesarean scar ectopic pregnancy, and even spontaneous miscarriage. The scar tissue can disrupt the normal functioning of the uterus, impacting the implantation of embryos and the progression of a healthy pregnancy.
Studies have indicated that abnormal uterine bleeding caused by previous surgical incisions, the presence of fluid-filled pouches at the scar site due to impaired wound healing, and thinning of the anterior uterine wall can all contribute to infertility. The process of embryo implantation, a critical step in achieving pregnancy, relies on the interaction between a receptive uterus and a competent blastocyst. Any factor that affects the endometrium, such as C-section scar defects, can potentially hinder this process.
In light of these findings, exploring effective treatment options for C-section scar defects is crucial. Acupuncture has emerged as a potential therapy to reduce inflammation and promote smoother healing, including for C-section scars. A recent review examined the efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars resulting from tissue trauma, and all studies reported positive outcomes in terms of scar symptom improvement. Although treatment protocols varied in terms of frequency, duration, number of treatments, and specific acupuncture points used, the overall findings suggest that acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on scar healing.
While more research is needed to fully understand the intricacies of the relationship between C-section scars and infertility, the existing evidence highlights the importance of identifying and addressing these scar defects. Women who have undergone C-sections and are experiencing difficulties conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy should consult with their healthcare providers. Medical professionals can use transvaginal ultrasound, hysteroscopy, and other diagnostic tools to assess the extent of scar defects and explore potential treatment options, which may include acupuncture or other therapies aimed at improving scar healing.
In conclusion, C-section scars have been found to have links to infertility, among other clinical consequences. Understanding the impact of these scars on a woman's reproductive health is crucial for appropriate management and treatment.
Fathima Mohammed Ahamed, et al JBRA Assist Reprod. 2023 Jan-Mar; 27(1): 134–141.
Cathy Tuckey et al Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.
Saturday, 3 June 2023
Unveiling the Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Treating Raynaud's Syndrome
Raynaud's syndrome, also referred to as Raynaud's disease or Raynaud's phenomenon, is a vascular disorder that affects the small blood vessels in the extremities, primarily the fingers and toes. This condition leads to the narrowing of blood vessels, resulting in restricted blood flow, discoloration, and discomfort in the affected areas. Although the exact cause of Raynaud's syndrome remains unknown, it is believed to involve abnormal regulation of blood vessel constriction and dilation in response to cold temperatures or emotional stress.
One of the distinctive features of Raynaud's syndrome is the occurrence of sudden episodes of color changes in the affected areas. Typically, these color changes progress in a predictable pattern, starting with the affected areas turning white, then transitioning to blue, and finally becoming red. These color changes are accompanied by sensations of cold, numbness, and tingling. The affected areas may also experience a throbbing or swelling sensation as they warm up and blood circulation improves.
Raynaud's syndrome predominantly affects women more than men. The reasons behind this gender disparity are still unclear, but it is thought to be influenced by hormonal factors. The condition is often triggered by exposure to cold temperatures or emotional stress. When faced with these triggers, the smaller arteries that supply blood to the skin undergo vasospasm, a process where they contract and limit blood supply to the affected areas. Over time, these small arteries can thicken slightly, further restricting blood flow.
The symptoms of Raynaud's disease are characterized by cold fingers or toes, color changes in the skin in response to cold or stress, and a numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or stress relief. During an episode of Raynaud's, the affected areas of the skin typically turn white first. Subsequently, they often turn blue, feel cold and numb. As circulation improves and the affected areas warm up, they may turn red, throb, tingle, or swell. It is worth noting that Raynaud's can also affect other areas of the body, including the nose, lips, ears, and even nipples.
Cold temperatures are the most common triggers for Raynaud's attacks. Exposure to cold environments such as immersing the hands in cold water, handling frozen objects, or being in chilly air can prompt an episode. Emotional stress is also known to trigger Raynaud's symptoms in some individuals.
While Raynaud's syndrome can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life, there are steps that individuals can take to manage and alleviate its symptoms. The primary goal of treatment is to prevent episodes and protect the extremities from the cold. This can be achieved through lifestyle modifications such as dressing warmly, wearing gloves or mittens when outdoors in cold weather, and using hand and foot warmers. In more severe cases, medication may be prescribed to help improve blood flow and reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
In conclusion, Raynaud's syndrome is a vascular disorder characterized by the narrowing of blood vessels in the extremities, leading to restricted blood flow and subsequent discoloration and discomfort. While the exact cause of this condition remains unknown, it is believed to involve abnormal regulation of blood vessel constriction and dilation in response to cold temperatures or emotional stress. Understanding the triggers and taking appropriate measures to protect the extremities can help individuals manage Raynaud's syndrome and minimize its impact on their daily lives.
Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Treating Raynaud's Syndrome
While conventional medical treatments for Raynaud's syndrome exist, some individuals seek alternative therapies such as acupuncture to manage their symptoms. Here, we explore the effectiveness of acupuncture in alleviating the symptoms of Raynaud's syndrome.
Several studies have explored the efficacy of acupuncture in managing Raynaud's syndrome, albeit with mixed results. Some research suggests that acupuncture can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of attacks, decrease pain and duration of symptoms, and improve overall quality of life for individuals with Raynaud's syndrome.
For example, this article presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of Raynaud's syndrome. The study aims to assess the impact of acupuncture on various outcomes, including remission incidence, daily attack frequency, and cold stimulation test results. By synthesizing the available evidence, this analysis provides valuable insights into the potential benefits of acupuncture for individuals with Raynaud's syndrome.
Results: The meta-analysis incorporated data from six trials involving a total of 272 participants. Pairwise meta-analyses revealed several notable findings. Firstly, acupuncture was associated with a significantly increased remission incidence. Secondly, it led to a decrease in the daily number of attacks. Additionally, acupuncture showed an increased incidence of positive cold stimulation tests.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis, acupuncture appears to be a potentially effective treatment option for Raynaud's syndrome. The analysis showed that acupuncture increased remission incidence, decreased the frequency of daily attacks, and enhanced the incidence of positive cold stimulation tests.
Fangwen Zhou Acupunct Med. 2023 Apr; 41(2): 63–72.
Friday, 2 June 2023
Numb toes and feet, acupuncture can help
Numb toes and feet can be a distressing condition characterized by a loss of sensation or feeling in these extremities. Alongside this, individuals may experience abnormal sensations like a pins-and-needles feeling, burning, or tingling. This common problem primarily affects the nerves that supply the toes and feet, resulting in a lack of responsiveness to stimuli. Fortunately, acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medical practice, has shown promising results in addressing numbness and promoting nerve recovery.
When our toes and feet come into contact with the environment, sensory nerves transmit signals to the brain, enabling us to perceive sensations such as pressure and temperature. However, if these nerves become damaged, the signals may no longer reach the brain. Consequently, numbness occurs, and the affected areas lose the ability to sense touch, heat, or cold. Typically, this numbness is caused by peripheral nerve damage, rather than issues in the spinal cord or brain. Injuries to the toes, feet, hips, or lower back can often contribute to the development of numbness in these areas.
While numbness itself may not be life-threatening, it is essential to have it evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine its underlying cause and initiate appropriate treatment. Ignoring numb toes and feet can lead to further damage due to a lack of sensation, increasing the risk of injury. This is why seeking proper care is crucial for overall well-being.
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese therapeutic technique, has gained recognition in recent years for its potential in promoting nerve recovery and alleviating numbness.
The precise mechanism by which acupuncture addresses numbness is not fully understood, but it is believed to work by stimulating the nervous system and promoting blood circulation. Acupuncture needles are inserted into points that correspond to the affected areas, activating the body's natural healing processes. This can help improve nerve function, reduce inflammation, and restore sensation to the toes and feet.
Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating numbness and peripheral neuropathy, the condition commonly associated with numbness in the extremities. A study found that acupuncture significantly reduced numbness and improved nerve conduction in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Another study reported that acupuncture provided relief from peripheral neuropathy symptoms, including numbness and pain.
One of the advantages of acupuncture is its relatively low risk of adverse effects compared to pharmaceutical interventions. It is a non-invasive procedure that can be customized to each individual's specific needs. In conclusion, numb toes and feet can be a bothersome condition caused by peripheral nerve damage. While it may not be life-threatening, seeking medical attention is crucial to determine the underlying cause and prevent further damage. Acupuncture has shown promise in helping with nerve recovery and alleviating numbness. By stimulating specific points on the body, acupuncture promotes the body's natural healing mechanisms, improving nerve function and restoring sensation to the affected areas.
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
Abdominal adhesions and acupuncture
However, an alternative therapy called acupuncture has shown promise in the management of abdominal adhesions. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves stimulating specific points on the body using thin needles. The practice is believed to enhance nerve function, improve blood flow to the abdomen, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, although further research is needed to establish its efficacy in this area.
There have been case reports highlighting the potential benefits of acupuncture in treating intestinal obstruction caused by adhesions. In one such case, a 27-year-old man who had undergone an appendectomy presented with severe abdominal pain, distension, nausea, and vomiting. Alongside standard medical management, acupuncture was performed at specific acupoints, including CV12 and ST36, resulting in a noticeable improvement within six hours. Similarly, a 65-year-old woman with a history of abdominal surgery experienced significant abdominal pain and vomiting due to bowel obstruction. After acupuncture treatment at acupoints CV12, ST25, CV4, ST36, and PC6, her colostomy began to function within three hours.
These case reports demonstrate the potential effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving symptoms and promoting bowel function in cases of adhesive bowel obstruction. Supporting this notion, a research study conducted in China examined the effects of acupuncture on adhesive ileus, a common type of bowel obstruction resulting from abdominal surgery. The study involved 40 patients with adhesive ileus, who were divided into two groups: an acupoint group and a non-acupoint group. Both groups received standard treatment for adhesive ileus, but the acupoint group also underwent electroacupuncture at specific acupoints, including Zhigou (TE6) and Zusanli (ST36). The results showed that the acupoint group experienced faster relief from abdominal pain and distension compared to the non-acupoint group. Additionally, the acupoint group showed improved outcomes in terms of the time to first voluntary defecation and solid food intake.
While these case reports and research findings provide encouraging evidence for the potential benefits of acupuncture in treating abdominal adhesions and related complications.
Wen Q et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2012) 32:961-5
How can acupuncture help female infertility? Research updates
One key aspect of acupuncture's mechanism of action in enhancing female fertility lies in its ability to regulate reproductive hormones. There are five crucial hormones involved in the reproductive process: GnRH, FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone. Maintaining a delicate balance of these hormones at the appropriate levels is vital for the proper functioning of the reproductive system and successful conception. However, when these hormones become imbalanced and their levels fluctuate, women may experience difficulties in getting pregnant. Acupuncture plays a crucial role in restoring the balance of these hormones, thereby promoting a conducive environment for pregnancy.
Another significant way in which acupuncture works to improve female fertility is by enhancing ovarian function. By reducing inflammation within the ovaries and enhancing blood supply to these organs, acupuncture helps create a healthier environment for follicle development, ovulation, and overall ovarian function. This positive influence on ovarian health contributes to the improvement of female fertility.
Furthermore, acupuncture has been found to promote embryo implantation, a critical stage in the reproductive process. By modulating the maternal immune response to embryos, acupuncture assists in establishing the pathway for material exchange between the mother and the developing embryo. This process facilitates embryo development and growth within the uterine lining, enhancing the chances of successful implantation and pregnancy.
In summary, acupuncture offers several mechanisms through which it can positively impact female fertility. By regulating reproductive hormones, acupuncture helps maintain a balanced hormonal environment necessary for successful conception. Furthermore, acupuncture improves ovarian function by reducing inflammation and enhancing blood supply to the ovaries. Lastly, acupuncture aids in promoting embryo implantation by mitigating the maternal immune response and facilitating the development and growth of the embryo within the uterine lining.
As research in the field of acupuncture continues to progress, further insights into its precise mechanisms of action and potential applications in treating female infertility are expected to emerge. These findings hold promise for the development of more effective and targeted treatment approaches that can help countless women struggling with infertility achieve their dream of starting a family.
Jing-yu Xu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 3854117.
Acupuncture is effective for premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has established guidelines for the diagnosis of POI. According to these guidelines, the diagnostic criteria include age younger than 40, oligo/amenorrhea for at least 4 months, and FSH levels higher than 25 mIU/ml on two occasions separated by at least 4 weeks. While the exact causes of POI remain unclear, they may be associated with genetic factors, iatrogenic causes, autoimmunity, unhealthy lifestyle, and psychological stress.
In Western medicine, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the primary treatment option for POI. However, acupuncture has emerged as a potential alternative for improving ovarian function in Chinese women with POI who desire to conceive. Clinical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating POI, as it has been shown to alleviate clinical symptoms, slow down female genital atrophy, regulate hormone levels, and improve pregnancy rates.
For instance, a research study analyzing eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted before 2014 found that acupuncture significantly reduced serum FSH levels, and more women receiving acupuncture reported a resumption of menstrual cycles. Another study investigated the effect of acupuncture on POI in a total of 66 randomly assigned patients, divided into an observation group and a control group. Both groups underwent treatment for three menstrual cycles. The study observed a decrease in FSH and LH levels, along with an increase in E2 levels after treatment. Furthermore, the observation group exhibited increased serum levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC), surpassing those in the control group. Additionally, a separate study demonstrated that after three menstrual cycles, FSH levels significantly decreased, E2 levels increased, the endometrium thickened, and menstrual symptoms improved. These findings suggest that acupuncture therapy effectively improves ovarian function and alleviates low estrogen symptoms in patients with POI.
In conclusion, POI is a condition characterized by a decline in ovarian function before the age of 40, leading to female infertility. Current treatment options primarily revolve around hormone replacement therapy in Western medicine. However, acupuncture has shown promise in improving ovarian function and addressing the symptoms associated with POI. Clinical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in regulating hormone levels, reducing FSH levels, and improving menstrual cycles. Acupuncture may serve as a valuable adjunct or alternative therapy for women with POI who desire to conceive.
Yang Fu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 9053930.
Junyoung Jo et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 842180.
Lin-Lin Wang et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2021 Jul 12;41(7):742-6.
Tuesday, 30 May 2023
Acupuncture lowers FSH level to help you to get pregnant.
For women who desire to conceive, it is essential that their ovaries are functioning properly and producing eggs. A normal range of FSH levels indicates healthy ovarian function. Conversely, if FSH levels are low within the normal range, it signifies that the ovaries are functioning effectively.
Research suggests that acupuncture can be beneficial in improving ovarian function and reducing FSH levels. A systematic review was conducted to evaluate the existing evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of acupuncture in patients with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), characterized by elevated FSH levels. The review included an analysis of eight selected RCTs.
The results of the systematic review revealed that acupuncture had a significant impact on lowering serum FSH levels. This finding provides evidence to support the claim that acupuncture can effectively improve ovarian function in individuals with elevated FSH levels.
In conclusion, FSH, produced in the brain, stimulates follicle development in the ovaries, leading to the production of estrogen and progesterone. If the ovaries are not functioning properly, they fail to respond to FSH stimulation, prompting the brain to increase FSH production. Elevated FSH levels indicate a need for the ovaries to work harder. For women who wish to conceive, it is crucial for their ovaries to be functioning adequately, as indicated by normal FSH levels. Acupuncture has been shown in a systematic review to improve ovarian function and lower FSH levels, providing a potential therapeutic option for individuals with primary ovarian insufficiency.
Junyoung Jo, et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 842180.
Yang Fu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 9053930.
Monday, 29 May 2023
Low AMH to get pregnant, acupuncture can help. Research update
Due to its consistent levels, the AMH test can be conducted on any day of a woman's menstrual cycle. Women with a limited number of remaining follicles typically exhibit low levels of AMH. As a woman ages, her AMH levels decline. It is important to note that AMH only indicates the quantity of remaining eggs and does not provide information on their quality. Female age is a crucial factor in estimating the probability of conception since it strongly affects egg quality. Low levels of AMH alone do not predict low success rates in in vitro fertilization (IVF) for women under 35. In cases where AMH is low due to age, the quality of the eggs may also be compromised as they accumulate mutations over time. With fewer developing eggs in the ovaries, the likelihood of releasing and fertilizing a mature and healthy egg diminishes. Consequently, the chances of abnormal fertilization and miscarriage increase.
Recent studies have suggested that acupuncture, performed at different stages of the menstrual cycle, could elevate AMH levels and increase the Antral Follicle Count (AFC) in patients with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Acupuncture has been found effective in improving ovarian function by enhancing blood circulation, thereby aiding follicle development and increasing the chances of obtaining high-quality eggs.
Yang Fu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 9053930.
Sunday, 28 May 2023
Acupuncture Enhances Fertility to Boost IVF Success
For instance, one study demonstrated that acupuncture can improve the production of high-quality embryos in IVF patients. Another study revealed that acupuncture treatment leads to increased levels of estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) in IVF patients, facilitating enhanced blood flow in the endometrial artery. These physiological changes are crucial for successful embryo transfer. Moreover, three studies reported significant differences in persistent pregnancy rates between the two groups following a follow-up period. One study showed that IVF-ET patients treated with acupuncture had a higher live birth rate. Additionally, acupuncture was found to enhance endometrial morphology and regulate menstruation in IVF-ET patients. Further studies demonstrated that acupuncture significantly increased E2 levels, the number of retrieved ova, and the production of high-quality embryos in IVF patients.
Another noteworthy finding was that acupuncture could elevate blood E2 and P levels while reducing the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). By improving the levels of sex hormones and promoting a favorable endometrial condition, acupuncture contributed to an increased clinical pregnancy rate in IVF-ET patients. Moreover, acupuncture played a crucial role in diminishing the occurrence of OHSS and alleviating anxiety levels among patients.
In conclusion, acupuncture has emerged as a valuable technique in the realm of IVF treatments. The evidence from various studies suggests that acupuncture can significantly improve fertility outcomes by enhancing the production of high-quality embryos, regulating sex hormone levels, and promoting a conducive endometrial environment. Furthermore, acupuncture helps reduce the risk of OHSS and alleviates anxiety in patients undergoing IVF. These findings highlight the potential of acupuncture as an effective adjunct therapy to enhance the success of IVF procedures and ultimately fulfill the hopes and dreams of individuals seeking to conceive.
Jing-yu Xu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 3854117.
Friday, 26 May 2023
Acupuncture releases tension headache and migraine effectively
Acupuncture plays a pivotal role in the treatment and prevention of tension-type headaches, migraines, and other chronic headache disorders. Its effectiveness has been well-documented in various studies, highlighting its potential as an alternative therapeutic option. Additionally, cost-effectiveness analyses conducted in the United Kingdom and Germany have indicated that acupuncture is a viable and economically feasible treatment choice within these countries.
Recognizing its therapeutic benefits, the European Federation of Neurological Societies recommends acupuncture as a complementary and optional treatment for headaches. This endorsement further solidifies the role of acupuncture in addressing these debilitating conditions and underscores its legitimacy as a therapeutic intervention.
The effectiveness of acupuncture in managing tension-type headaches and migraines has been substantiated through rigorous scientific investigation. In controlled trials, patients receiving acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain intensity and frequency of headaches compared to those receiving routine care alone. Furthermore, acupuncture has been shown to outperform sham acupuncture, which serves as a placebo control, highlighting the specific therapeutic effects of this ancient practice.
In addition to its efficacy, acupuncture has demonstrated cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive treatment option for individuals suffering from headaches. Economic evaluations conducted in the United Kingdom and Germany have revealed that acupuncture is not only clinically beneficial but also financially feasible, providing a favorable cost-benefit ratio for patients and healthcare systems alike.
The recognition of acupuncture's potential benefits in headache management has led to its inclusion as a recommended treatment modality by the European Federation of Neurological Societies. This acknowledgment from a prominent neurological authority lends credibility to acupuncture and encourages healthcare providers to consider it as an adjunctive therapy for patients experiencing headaches.
In conclusion, tension-type headaches and migraines are debilitating conditions that significantly impact patients' lives. Acupuncture has emerged as an effective and cost-efficient treatment option for these types of headaches, as well as other chronic headache disorders. Its ability to reduce pain intensity and frequency of attacks, coupled with its endorsement by the European Federation of Neurological Societies, further solidifies its role in headache management. By harnessing the potential of acupuncture, healthcare providers can enhance the quality of life for patients suffering from these distressing conditions.
Jaung-Geng Lin, et al Am J Transl Res. 2022; 14(3): 1469–1481.
Remy R Coeytaux et al Headache 2016 Jul;56(7):1238-40.
Thursday, 25 May 2023
Can't get pregnant? What happened to the uterus? Acupuncture improves endometrial receptivity to get pregnant naturally and via IVF.
Research has indicated that a thin endometrium is closely associated with a low pregnancy rate. When the average size of follicles reaches 18 mm and the endometrial thickness is less than 7.0 mm, embryo implantation is greatly affected. While higher-quality embryos are typically selected for transfer in in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) cycles, only a few of them successfully implant. Studies have shown that up to 75% of pregnancy losses can be attributed to implantation failure, with two-thirds of IVF-ET implantation failures being linked to low endometrial receptivity.
Therefore, improving endometrial receptivity is crucial for achieving natural pregnancy or increasing the success rate of IVF-ET. A thin endometrium is one of the most significant factors contributing to low ER, where it is defined as a thickness of less than 7.0 mm during the middle luteal phase (after ovulation) between days 6 and 10. Research has demonstrated a close relationship between low pregnancy rates and a thin endometrium. When the average size of follicles reaches 18 mm and the endometrial thickness is less than 7.0 mm, embryo implantation is greatly affected. Clinical studies have shown that an endometrial thickness of more than 8 mm is more favorable for successful embryo implantation and development. Endometrial thickness, pattern, and blood supply are closely associated with embryo implantation. Studies suggest that increasing uterine blood flow and endometrial thickness positively impact ER and enhance the implantation and clinical pregnancy rates in IVF-ET cycles.
Although significant advancements have been made in embryo quality, little progress has been achieved in improving the poor quality of ER over the past three decades since the introduction of IVF. Acupuncture, as a non-drug therapy, has been chosen by many infertile couples as a treatment option.
Can acupuncture improve endometrial receptivity?
A recent study conducted a thorough analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to examine the potential of acupuncture in improving endometrial receptivity (ER). The analysis included a total of 3041 patients. The findings of the study indicated that there is some evidence suggesting that acupuncture might enhance the pregnancy rate, embryo transfer rate, and endometrial thickening.
In another recent review, researchers examined the data from 14 trials involving 1564 women participants. The review spanned from the inception of the trials up until 26 February 2022, and its objective was to explore the dosage-dependent effectiveness of acupuncture in improving endometrial receptivity.
The results of this review revealed that receiving acupuncture treatment for only 2 or 4 days did not lead to improvements in uterine blood flow, endometrial receptivity, or pregnancy rates. However, when acupuncture treatment was administered for an entire menstrual cycle, significant improvements were observed in uterine blood flow, endometrial thickness (the lining of the uterus), endometrial receptivity, and there was a higher pregnancy rate compared to the control group.
Furthermore, the review found that when acupuncture treatment was continued for three menstrual cycles, even greater enhancements in uterine blood flow, endometrial thickness, endometrial receptivity, and pregnancy rates were observed compared to the control group.
Based on the evidence from the reviewed studies, it appears that acupuncture may have a positive impact on endometrial receptivity. Longer durations of acupuncture treatment, such as a full menstrual cycle or three cycles, seem to yield more significant improvements in uterine blood flow, endometrial thickness, and pregnancy rates when compared to shorter treatment durations. However, it is important to note that further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and effectiveness of acupuncture in improving endometrial receptivity.
Xiaoyan Zheng, et al Front Public Health. 2022; 10: 858587
Yajing Zhong et al BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019; 19: 61.
Wednesday, 24 May 2023
Rib cage pain and muscle spasm, acupuncture can help
Muscles Attached to the Rib Cage:
Intercostal Muscles: These muscles are located between the ribs and play a crucial role in the movement of the rib cage during breathing. They consist of three layers: external, internal, and innermost intercostal muscles.
Serratus Anterior Muscle: Situated on the side of the chest, this broad and curved muscle aids in stabilizing the scapula and assists in movements involving the arms and rib cage.
Pectoralis Minor Muscle: It is one of the two muscle sets connecting the bones of the chest to the shoulder and upper arm. The pectoralis minor muscle contributes to the movements of the rib cage and shoulder.
External Abdominal Obliques: These muscles have their origins along the lateral ribs (5 through 12) and are part of the abdominal musculature. They provide support to the rib cage and assist in trunk rotation and lateral bending.
Muscles Attached to the Sternum:
Sternocleidomastoid: This muscle runs along the side of the neck and attaches to the sternum. It aids in neck movement and plays a role in the elevation of the rib cage during inspiration.
Pectoralis Major: Situated in the chest region, this muscle attaches to the sternum and clavicle. It is responsible for movements involving the arms and contributes to the elevation of the rib cage during breathing.
Sternohyoid and Sternothyroid Muscles: These muscles are located in the neck region and attach to the sternum. They primarily assist in swallowing and other neck movements.
Xiphoid Process: The xiphoid process is the lower end of the sternum, and it serves as an essential attachment point for the tendons of the diaphragm, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis muscles. These muscles play a crucial role in respiration and core stability.
Acupuncture for Rib Cage Pain and Muscle Spasms
When it comes to rib cage pain and muscle spasms, acupuncture can provide both local and systemic benefits. By targeting acupoints near the affected area, such as the intercostal muscles or the chest wall, acupuncture helps to stimulate blood circulation and release endorphins, the body's natural pain-relieving chemicals. This localized effect can ease pain, reduce inflammation, and relax tense muscles, allowing for improved mobility and function.
Monday, 22 May 2023
Acupuncture helps to raise progesterone level to get pregnant
If fertilization does not occur, the level of progesterone drops, leading to the onset of menstruation. However, in the event of fertilization and successful implantation, the placenta generates a significantly higher amount of progesterone during pregnancy. Throughout this period, progesterone plays a crucial role in preventing miscarriage. It achieves this by reducing the maternal immune response, enabling the acceptance of the pregnancy. Moreover, progesterone decreases the contractility of the uterine smooth muscles, thereby promoting a stable environment for the embryo and fetus to develop.
A recent study has examined the effects of acupuncture on women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). The findings revealed that acupuncture can increase the levels of estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) in these patients, while also promoting blood flow in the endometrial arteries. Specifically, acupuncture was found to elevate both E2 and P levels in the bloodstream, thereby reducing the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potential complication of IVF treatment. These results suggest that acupuncture has the potential to restore the balance and regularity of sex hormones in infertile women. This is achieved by decreasing the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), while simultaneously increasing E2 and P levels. Such hormonal equilibrium is beneficial for optimal follicle development and maturation, regular ovulation, and the normal physiological function of the uterine lining.
In summary, progesterone plays a vital role in the female reproductive system. It is primarily produced in the ovaries, with its secretion intensifying after ovulation. Progesterone levels are highest during the luteal phase, specifically from day 19 to day 22 of the menstrual cycle. Its functions include preparing the uterine lining for implantation, inhibiting further ovulation, and thickening the cervical mucus to impede sperm penetration. In the absence of fertilization, progesterone levels decline, resulting in menstruation. However, during pregnancy, the placenta assumes the responsibility of progesterone production, safeguarding against miscarriage and facilitating the development of the embryo and fetus.
Recent research has highlighted the potential of acupuncture in enhancing hormone levels and promoting blood flow in women undergoing IVF treatment. Acupuncture has been shown to increase estradiol and progesterone concentrations while reducing the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. These findings suggest that acupuncture can restore hormonal balance in infertile women by regulating FSH, LH, E2, and P levels. Ultimately, this normalization promotes follicle development, regular ovulation, and optimal functioning of the uterine lining.
Jing-yu Xu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 3854117.
See dentist and get acupuncture, have you expected that?
Orofacial pain, also known as facial pain, refers to a discomfort experienced in the front part of the head, including the oral cavity. It is a common issue seen in primary care settings. A study conducted in British primary care involving 2,504 adult patients found that nearly a quarter of them reported orofacial pain. The most frequent cause of orofacial pain is dental problems, such as tooth decay, periodontal diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and neuropathological conditions. Patients with orofacial pain often experience elevated anxiety levels, and there is a correlation between anxiety and the intensity of the pain. Managing orofacial pain can be challenging, and it typically involves the use of medications and complementary therapies.
Acupuncture has been recognized by dentists as an effective method for relieving orofacial pain. The UCLA School of Dentistry offers a unique program based on evidence and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory to train dentists in acupuncture and its integration with Western allopathic medicine. This program equips participants with the knowledge to diagnose and understand the pathophysiology of acute and chronic oral pain conditions from an integrative East-West perspective. Additionally, graduates of the program learn basic acupuncture techniques that can be safely administered to patients.
In a study involving 557 patients with orofacial pain, different treatment approaches were evaluated. The most common form of therapy was the use of a Michigan stabilization splint, which was employed in 38.9% of patients with disc displacement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and combined with physiotherapy in 18.7% of cases. For TMJ osteoarthritis, the splint was used in 28.4% of patients and combined with physiotherapy in 26.4% of cases. The predominant treatment for trigeminal neuralgia was the administration of anticonvulsant drugs in 54.3% of patients, often in combination with acupuncture (25.7%) or as acupuncture alone (17.1%).
Acupuncture for Dental Pain Relief
Acute dental pain is the primary reason people seek dental services. If you have experienced dental pain, have you considered trying acupuncture to alleviate it? A study conducted at the After-Hours Emergency Dental Clinic of Piracicaba Dental School and the Emergency Center Dental Specialties I in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing the intensity of acute dental pain in patients awaiting emergency dental care. The study included 120 patients who underwent one session of acupuncture, and pain intensity was measured using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The results showed a reduction in pain intensity in all 120 patients. This study suggests that acupuncture can be a valuable adjunctive technique for pain control in patients with acute dental pain, contributing to their overall health improvement and well-being. Therefore, considering acupuncture for your dental pain may be worth a try.
Acupuncture for Recovery from Dental Surgery
The surgical removal of impacted or semi-impacted third molars (wisdom teeth) is a common procedure performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The inflammatory process triggered by surgical trauma can lead to edema (swelling) and limited mouth opening. This, in turn, increases pain due to heightened tissue tension. Acupuncture therapy is known to help maintain immune function, restore homeostasis, and promote muscle relaxation. Consequently, it has been studied as an adjunctive treatment for this type of surgery. The goal is to minimize the symptoms associated with postoperative edema and bleeding. The research has shown that acupuncture is effective in reducing residual edema and intraoperative bleeding following dental surgery. Therefore, acupuncture can be beneficial in aiding recovery from dental surgical procedures.
Badel T et al Acta Clin Croat. 2019 Jun;58(Suppl 1):82-89. doi: 10.20471/acc.2019.58.s1.12.
Grillo CM J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Apr;7(2):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 Apr 11.
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Sunday, 21 May 2023
New Research Shows the Benefits of Acupuncture in Treating PCOS
One of the key benefits of acupuncture for PCOS is its ability to improve ovulation rates, pregnancy rates, insulin resistance, negative emotions, hormone imbalances, and lipid metabolism dysfunctions. By normalizing the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis, which plays a crucial role in the menstrual cycle, acupuncture aids in the restoration of regular menstrual periods.
Recent reviews have provided encouraging evidence supporting the use of acupuncture in PCOS treatment. For instance, when combined with metformin, a commonly prescribed medication for PCOS, acupuncture was found to enhance pregnancy rates, ovulation rates, and insulin resistance compared to metformin alone. Additionally, combining acupuncture with moxibustion (the burning of herbs near specific acupuncture points) improved pregnancy and ovulation rates, reduced miscarriage rates, and helped restore hormonal balance and metabolic indicators.
Acupuncture has also shown promise in assisting PCOS patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). It increased clinical pregnancy rates, ongoing pregnancy rates, and reduced the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Moreover, acupuncture demonstrated efficacy in improving glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in patients with PCOS.
Several PCOS symptoms can be effectively addressed through acupuncture. Ovulatory dysfunction, characterized by poor egg quality, is a prominent fertility-related concern in PCOS. Acupuncture has been shown to enhance oocyte quality and embryonic development potential by regulating signaling pathways, follicle growth, and early-stage oocyte recruitment.
Hyperandrogenism, a significant clinical feature of PCOS, can also be mitigated with acupuncture. Numerous studies have indicated that acupuncture can lower testosterone levels in women with PCOS.
Furthermore, acupuncture has shown efficacy in improving insulin resistance, particularly in obese PCOS patients. Many clinical studies have demonstrated the positive impact of acupuncture on glucose and lipid metabolism dysfunctions, which are commonly found in obese PCOS patients. By regulating gene expression and methylation associated with glucose metabolism, acupuncture offers potential benefits for PCOS patients with diabetes.
Patients with PCOS often face emotional challenges such as depression and anxiety. Acupuncture can help improve depression and anxiety scores by regulating the levels of norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT) in the serum and reducing sympathetic nerve activity.
The emerging research highlights the potential of acupuncture as a complementary therapy for PCOS. Its ability to address ovulatory dysfunction, hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, metabolic dysfunctions, and emotional disorders makes it a promising treatment option.
Yang Ye et al Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022; 13: 1035929.
Saturday, 20 May 2023
Acupuncture Plays an Important Role in Women's Health
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) style of acupuncture, which incorporates principles of balancing energy flow and promoting overall well-being, emerged as the most commonly employed acupuncture style, accounting for 86% of treatments. This approach aligns with the holistic perspective of TCM, focusing on restoring balance and harmony within the body to alleviate symptoms and enhance health.
The survey further revealed that acupuncture treatments for women's health typically occurred on a weekly basis, with 75% of practitioners recommending this frequency. This consistent and regular approach allows for the gradual but steady improvement of symptoms and overall health.
Menstrual health conditions were the primary focus for 92% of practitioners, with dysmenorrhea (period pain), irregular periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menstrual headaches being the most commonly treated issues. Acupuncture has shown promising results in reducing menstrual pain and regulating menstrual cycles by influencing hormonal balance, promoting blood circulation, and reducing inflammation.
Fertility-related conditions constituted a significant portion of acupuncture treatments for women, with 76% of practitioners addressing these concerns. Many women seek acupuncture to support their general fertility health or alongside in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies. Acupuncture has been found to enhance fertility outcomes by improving ovarian function, regulating hormone levels, and reducing stress and anxiety associated with infertility treatments.
Moreover, acupuncture has proven effective in managing pregnancy-related conditions, with 85% of practitioners offering treatments for various issues. Nausea during pregnancy, back/hip or pelvic pain, breech presentation, and pre-birth preparation were the most frequently addressed concerns. Acupuncture can help alleviate pregnancy discomfort, reduce nausea and vomiting, and promote optimal fetal positioning. Additionally, pre-birth acupuncture sessions have been associated with shorter labor durations and reduced rates of medical interventions during childbirth.
In conclusion, acupuncture has emerged as a popular and effective therapy for women's health in Australia and New Zealand. With its emphasis on holistic healing and personalized treatment plans, acupuncture offers a valuable approach to address menstrual health conditions, fertility-related issues, and pregnancy discomfort. As more women seek natural and integrative healthcare options, acupuncture continues to play a significant role in promoting women's overall well-being and enhancing their quality of life.
Sandro Graca et al BMC Complement Med Ther. 2022; 22: 94.
Friday, 19 May 2023
Having blepharitis, tried acupuncture?
Blepharitis is often a chronic ailment that proves challenging to treat effectively. It can cause discomfort and diminish the aesthetic appearance of the eyes. However, it is important to note that blepharitis generally does not result in permanent damage to eyesight, nor is it contagious.
A range of symptoms may indicate the presence of blepharitis, including watery and red eyes, a burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, itchy eyelids, redness, swelling, and inflammation of the eyelids, flaking skin around the eyes, crusting of the eyelashes, oily eyelids, a persistent sensation of foreign objects in or on the eyes, light sensitivity, and crusted eyelashes. Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing blepharitis, such as the presence of eyelash mites or lice, bacterial infections, side effects from medication, or a malfunctioning oil gland.
Blepharitis can be classified into two types: anterior and posterior. Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outer portion of the eyes where the eyelashes are situated. Factors like dandruff on the eyebrows or allergic reactions in the eyes can trigger this type of eyelid inflammation. On the other hand, posterior blepharitis affects the inner edge of the eyelids, closest to the eyes. This form of inflammation is typically caused by a malfunctioning oil gland situated behind the eyelash follicles.
If you are struggling to find relief from blepharitis, acupuncture may offer a potential solution. There is a case report detailing the effects of acupuncture on chronic blepharitis. In this report, a 61-year-old woman had been experiencing chronic blepharitis on her right upper eyelid for one and a half years. The affected eyelid exhibited redness, swelling, and a stinging sensation. After undergoing three acupuncture treatments, notable improvements were observed. Following just one treatment, the redness and swelling had significantly subsided, and by the completion of the third treatment, the blepharitis had completely resolved, leaving the eyelid free from any signs of inflammation.
In summary, the eyelids act as protective shields for the eyes, shielding them from debris and potential harm. However, they can be susceptible to conditions such as blepharitis, which causes inflammation along the eyelid margins. Although blepharitis can be chronic and difficult to treat, it rarely causes permanent damage to eyesight and is not contagious. Symptoms may include watery and red eyes, burning or stinging sensations, itchy eyelids, redness, swelling, inflammation, flaking skin, crusting of the eyelashes, oily eyelids, and a sensation of foreign objects or light sensitivity. Risk factors include eyelash mites or lice, bacterial infections, medication side effects, and malfunctioning oil glands. Acupuncture has shown promise in treating blepharitis, as demonstrated in a case report where significant improvements were observed after three acupuncture sessions.
Thursday, 18 May 2023
Ulcerative Colitis and the Potential Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture, a practice rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, has been used in China for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, and its popularity has been growing in Western countries as well. In this context, a study was conducted to investigate the effect of acupuncture on patients with ulcerative colitis.
The study involved 29 patients with mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis, with an average age of 37.8 +/- 12.0 years. These patients underwent a series of 10 acupuncture sessions over a period of 5 weeks and were subsequently followed up for 16 weeks. The goal was to determine whether acupuncture could provide additional therapeutic benefits for individuals with mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis.
The results of the study indicated that acupuncture appeared to offer an additional therapeutic benefit in patients with this condition. The treatments showed positive effects, suggesting a potential improvement in the symptoms experienced by the participants. By stimulating specific points on the body, acupuncture may help regulate the body's immune response and reduce inflammation in the colon and rectum. This could potentially alleviate symptoms such as recurring diarrhea, abdominal pain, and urgency to empty the bowels.
In conclusion, ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation in the colon and rectum, leading to various distressing symptoms. While traditional treatment options exist, alternative therapies like acupuncture have shown promise as complementary approaches. The aforementioned study suggests that acupuncture may offer additional therapeutic benefits for patients with mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis.
Stefanie Joos Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Sep;41(9):1056-63.
Wednesday, 17 May 2023
Acupuncture Helps to Release Ankle and Foot Pain Effectively
Numerous studies have investigated the efficacy of acupuncture in managing pain for a range of musculoskeletal issues, including headaches, neck pain, elbow pain, and wrist pain. With regard to foot and ankle pain, a systematic review was conducted to assess the impact of acupuncture on pain intensity, functional status, and overall quality of life in adults. The review included four randomized controlled trials (RCTs), involving a total of 211 participants.
The findings of the systematic review were encouraging. Acupuncture was found to be efficacious in providing pain relief and improving functional status for individuals with plantar fasciitis in both short- and intermediate-term follow-ups. Similarly, for participants suffering from Achilles tendinopathy, acupuncture was shown to be effective in relieving pain in the short and intermediate term. Importantly, no adverse events were reported, indicating that acupuncture is a safe treatment option for foot and ankle pain.
The results of this systematic review suggest that acupuncture can be a valuable tool for addressing ankle and foot pain. By targeting specific acupuncture points and stimulating the body's natural healing response, acupuncture promotes pain relief and enhances functional status. The absence of adverse events further supports the safety of this treatment modality.
While the exact mechanisms behind acupuncture's effectiveness are still being explored, research has shown that it can modulate pain pathways, release endorphins, and reduce inflammation.
Moreover, acupuncture offers a holistic approach to pain management. It not only targets the physical symptoms but also addresses the underlying imbalances in the body. This comprehensive approach makes acupuncture a valuable addition to conventional treatments for ankle and foot pain.
In conclusion, acupuncture has demonstrated its efficacy in relieving ankle and foot pain associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy. The results of a systematic review indicate that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment option, offering pain relief and improved functional status. By considering acupuncture as part of a comprehensive pain management plan, individuals suffering from ankle and foot pain can find relief and enhance their overall quality of life.
Kien Trinh et al Med Acupunct. December 2021; 33(6): 386–395.
Tuesday, 16 May 2023
Acupuncture helps reduce side effects of chemotherapy
Acupuncture is a treatment method that has shown promise in alleviating the side effects of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a widely used cancer treatment that involves the use of medication to destroy cancer cells. Although there are various types of chemotherapy drugs, they all function by inhibiting the reproduction of cancer cells, thereby impeding their growth and spread within the body.Unfortunately, chemotherapy can also harm healthy cells in the body, including blood cells, skin cells, nerve cells, and stomach cells. Consequently, patients often experience several side effects as a result of this treatment. Common side effects of chemotherapy drugs include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, fever, mouth sores, pain or numbness, constipation, easy bruising, and bleeding.
However, emerging research has revealed that acupuncture can effectively alleviate cancer pain and mitigate the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Studies have indicated that acupuncture may reduce the consumption of opioids following surgery and, consequently, minimize opioid-related side effects. A systematic review demonstrated that patients who received acupuncture during various surgeries, particularly abdominal surgeries, required significantly fewer analgesics compared to those in the sham placebo group.
Moreover, acupuncture has shown promise in reducing postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Many individuals undergoing chemotherapy experience neuropathic symptoms, which arise as a result of the neurotoxic nature of certain chemotherapy drugs. Although chemotherapy-induced neuropathy is typically reversible, it can take months or even years to fully recover. In fact, up to 76% of patients have reported experiencing neuropathic symptoms after undergoing chemotherapy.
To evaluate the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, a pilot non-randomized controlled trial was conducted. The study involved six patients who received acupuncture treatment for 10 weeks, and changes in nerve conduction studies were measured. The results indicated that at the three-month follow-up after acupuncture treatment, five out of six patients demonstrated improvement in nerve conduction studies, whereas only one out of five patients in the control group showed improvement.
Additionally, acupuncture has shown potential in relieving chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which is characterized by neuropathic pain. CIPN commonly manifests as tingling, burning, or pricking sensations in the hands, arms, legs, or feet, although it can affect other parts of the body as well. Patients with CIPN may also experience sensitivity to pain, decreased physical activity, and motor symptoms, such as dropping items and difficulty performing daily activities.
In recent years, acupuncture has gained attention for its noninvasive nature and safety. It has been widely used in the treatment of diabetes-related neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, and CIPN. A recent study analyzed the effects of acupuncture using data from six high-quality randomized control trials involving 386 cancer patients. The findings indicated that acupuncture significantly improved pain scores and effectively relieved CIPN pain and functional limitations.
In conclusion, acupuncture has emerged as a potential adjunctive therapy for managing the side effects of chemotherapy. Its noninvasive nature and demonstrated effectiveness in alleviating pain and other symptoms make it a promising option for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Tsai-Ju Chien, et al Integr Cancer Ther. 2019; 18: 1534735419886662.
Monday, 15 May 2023
How doe acupuncture release pain? research updates.
Recent studies have revealed that subcutaneous mast cells are involved in the mechanism of analgesia induced by acupuncture. The high density of skin mast cells in acupuncture points makes them highly sensitive to mechanical stimulation. The accumulation of mast cells and the dense arrangement of collagen fibers, microvessels, and nerves form the basis for acupoints as the reaction sites of acupuncture.
During acupuncture manipulation, the activation of the mast cells occurs via the collagen network, resulting in the migration, aggregation, and activation of mast cells. Acupuncture can also lead to the deformation of collagen fibers and activation of TRPV channels on the mast cell membrane, thus stimulating mast cells to release bioactive substances and activate nerve receptors, thereby generating an analgesic effect.
In essence, the interaction between mast cells and acupuncture points is essential in producing the analgesic effect of acupuncture. Acupuncture stimulation triggers the release of mast cell-derived mediators, including histamine, serotonin, cytokines, and neuropeptides, which contribute to the analgesic effects of acupuncture. Moreover, mast cells are activated by acupuncture manipulation through mechanical stimulation, leading to the release of various substances that can activate nerve receptors, thereby causing pain relief.
Furthermore, studies have shown that the analgesic effects of acupuncture are partly dependent on the activation of mast cells. Acupuncture manipulation has been demonstrated to increase the number of mast cells and the release of mast cell-derived mediators, leading to enhanced analgesic effects.
In conclusion, acupuncture is a promising analgesic therapy, and its mechanism of action is closely related to mast cells. The high concentration of mast cells in acupuncture points makes them highly sensitive to mechanical stimulation, leading to the release of various bioactive substances that contribute to the analgesic effects of acupuncture. Therefore, further research is required to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of acupuncture in diseases involving mast cell activation.
Li-Na Wang et al Cells. 2022 Mar; 11(5): 809.
Yingchen Li et al Cells. 2022 Mar; 11(5): 860.
Sunday, 14 May 2023
Acupuncture reduces pain of knee arthritis-research updates
Fortunately, acupuncture has been found to be a highly effective way of reducing arthritic knee pain without any adverse side effects. Research has proven this. For instance, one paper analyzed eleven randomized clinical trials (CTs) involving 2484 patients with knee arthritis. The meta-analysis showed that acupuncture had a beneficial effect on knee osteoarthritis by reducing pain and improving patients' functional activities. The authors concluded that acupuncture has a beneficial effect on pain relief and improves functional activities. Therefore, this treatment can be recommended as a beneficial alternative therapy for patients with KOA, especially chronic patients and those currently undergoing long-term pain, to help improve their quality of life.
Another paper investigated the effect of acupuncture on 625 patients with knee arthritis. The results showed that pain was significantly reduced in the acupuncture group compared to the waiting-list control group. Additionally, another paper analyzed nine trials with 724 patients with knee arthritis. The results demonstrated that acupuncture effectively reduced knee pain.
Overall, these studies provide robust evidence that acupuncture can significantly reduce arthritic knee pain without any adverse side effects. Patients with KOA may benefit greatly from acupuncture treatment, especially chronic patients who are currently undergoing long-term pain. By reducing pain and improving functional activities, acupuncture can help patients improve their quality of life. Therefore, acupuncture can be recommended as an effective alternative therapy for patients with KOA.
Hao Tian et al Biomed Res Int. 2022: 6561633.
Jiali Liu et al Chin Med. 2022; 17: 67.
Xingzhen Lin et al Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Feb 25; 101(8): e28838.
Saturday, 13 May 2023
Do you know that acupuncture releases neck pain and associated symptoms effectively?
A review was conducted to summarize the latest scientific evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating acute, subacute, and chronic neck pain. The review included 27 studies that represented individuals with various types of neck pain. Three studies involved individuals with whiplash-associated disorders, five studies explored chronic myofascial neck pain, five studies focused on chronic pain due to arthritic changes, six studies involved chronic non-specific neck pain, two studies addressed neck pain with radicular signs, and six studies focused on subacute or chronic mechanical neck pain.
The review revealed that acupuncture was beneficial for pain intensity at immediate-term follow-up compared to sham acupuncture, short-term follow-up compared to sham or inactive treatment, and short-term follow-up compared to sham treatment for disability. Furthermore, the review found that acupuncture was effective in improving pain intensity and neck disability compared to wait-list control at short-term follow-up. The results indicated that acupuncture can effectively relieve pain in individuals with chronic neck pain compared to the control groups.
A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in Norway to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck and shoulder pain in female office workers. The trial randomly assigned twenty-four female office workers (age 47 +/- 9 years old) who had been experiencing neck and shoulder pain for 12 +/- 9 years to either a test group or a control group. The test group received acupuncture treatment ten times over three to four weeks. The results showed that pain-related activity impairment at work was significantly less in the test group compared to the controls by the end of the treatment. The acupuncture group also exhibited significant differences from the control group in quality of sleep, anxiety, depression, and satisfaction with life. Additionally, at six months and three years follow-ups, the acupuncture group showed further improvements in most variables and remained significantly different from the control group. The trial concluded that intensive acupuncture treatment may improve activity at work and several relevant social and psychological variables for women with chronic neck and shoulder pain, and that the effect may last for at least three years.
In conclusion, chronic neck pain is a significant and widespread health issue that can be debilitating. However, acupuncture has emerged as an effective treatment option for individuals suffering from chronic neck pain. The review and clinical trial provide robust scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain, with significant improvements observed in pain intensity, disability, quality of sleep, anxiety, depression, satisfaction with life, and activity at work. These findings suggest that acupuncture is a promising alternative treatment option that can improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from chronic neck pain.
Jaung-Geng Lin, et al Am J Transl Res. 2022; 14(3): 1469–1481.
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Friday, 12 May 2023
Acupuncture for chronic shoulder pain
Acupuncture has been identified as a safe and effective therapy for treating chronic shoulder pain. A randomized trial conducted in Germany involved 424 outpatients who suffered from chronic shoulder pain for more than six weeks. The study showed that acupuncture significantly reduced shoulder pain and improved shoulder movement at three months post-treatment and immediately after the end of treatment.
In another clinical trial, researchers studied the effects of acupuncture on shoulder pain in patients aged 25 to 83 years. Six months after treatment, the acupuncture group showed a significantly greater improvement in pain intensity compared to the control group. This suggests that acupuncture can provide effective long-term relief for patients with shoulder pain.
Research has also investigated the effectiveness of specific acupuncture points for treating shoulder pain. Some points have been found to be more effective than others.
Overall, acupuncture offers a promising treatment option for individuals with chronic shoulder pain. Its safety and effectiveness have been demonstrated in several clinical trials, and further research could help identify the most effective acupuncture points for treating this condition.
Jaung-Geng Lin, et al Am J Transl Res. 2022; 14(3): 1469–1481.
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Thursday, 11 May 2023
Acupuncture is effective for sciatica.
Acupuncture has been recommended as an effective method for pain relief in patients with sciatica. A recent review aimed to assess the published clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy for treating sciatica. The review analyzed a total of 30 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), involving 2,662 participants. The results showed that the clinical efficacy of acupuncture was superior to that of medicine treatment (MT) in improving the total effective rate, reducing the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain score, increasing pain threshold, decreasing recurrence rate, and having fewer side effects.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients with sciatica. It can be considered a suitable replacement for medicine treatment (MT). This conclusion is supported by the results of the analyzed RCTs, which demonstrated that acupuncture therapy had superior clinical efficacy compared to medicine treatment in terms of pain relief, recurrence rate, and side effects.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. It is believed to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and restore balance to the body's energy flow. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions, including chronic pain.
While the mechanisms by which acupuncture provides pain relief are not fully understood, several theories have been proposed. One theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Another theory proposes that acupuncture stimulates the release of neurotransmitters that block pain signals in the spinal cord and brain.
Regardless of the mechanism, the clinical evidence suggests that acupuncture therapy can be an effective and safe treatment for patients with sciatica. The results of the analyzed RCTs demonstrate that acupuncture therapy has superior clinical efficacy compared to medicine treatment. This finding is significant because many patients with sciatica suffer from persistent pain lasting a year or more, which can eventually lead to neurological deficits and functional disability.
In conclusion, acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients with sciatica. It can be considered a suitable replacement for medicine treatment and may provide a much-needed alternative for patients who have not found relief from traditional medical treatments. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which acupuncture provides pain relief and to optimize its use in the treatment of sciatica.
Zhihui Zhang et al Front Neurosci. 2023; 17: 1097830.
Wednesday, 10 May 2023
Acupuncture releases chronic pelvic pain (CPP) regardless causes- research update.
Acupuncture is a widely practiced treatment modality for various diseases, particularly in pain management. In a previous large-scale study involving 17,922 patients, acupuncture intervention was found to be more effective in reducing pain compared to sham and no acupuncture intervention for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headache. A more recent updated analysis involving 20,827 patients has also demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture for non-specific musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain.
A recent review analyzed data on the use of acupuncture for pain management in CPP from January 2011 to September 2022. The study involved 1,455 CPP patients, of whom 867 were females and 588 were males. These patients underwent acupuncture treatment, either alone or in combination with other interventions, for a period of 2 weeks to 6 months, with some trials also assessing pain levels during follow-up periods ranging from 12 weeks to one year.
The findings of the review indicate that acupuncture treatment, either as adjunctive therapy or monotherapy, is effective in reducing pain levels in CPP patients. This suggests that acupuncture treatment alone may have beneficial effects for the management of CPP, regardless of the underlying causes of the condition.
In conclusion, chronic pelvic pain is a common condition that can be difficult to manage. Acupuncture is a promising treatment modality for CPP and has been shown to be effective in reducing pain levels in CPP patients. The review suggests that acupuncture treatment alone may have beneficial effects for the management of CPP, and may be considered as a viable treatment option for patients suffering from this condition. Further research is needed to fully elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of CPP.
Kent Yu-Hsien Lin, et al Healthcare (Basel). 2023 Mar; 11(6): 830.
Tuesday, 9 May 2023
Having pain and not tried acupuncture yet? Here is what you need to know about acupuncture. Acupuncture is becoming mainstay treatment of pain release.
While painkillers can be effective in managing pain, they also have potential side effects such as addiction, drowsiness, and damage to brain function. Consequently, many people are turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, which is known for its few side effects.
Acupuncture has gained popularity as a method of pain management around the world. Originally from China, acupuncture has been shown to have positive analgesic effects in many studies. Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated that the neuromodulation of acupuncture can control pain and inflammation in various diseases. It has an excellent curative effect in relieving headaches, neuropathic pain, back pain, knee osteoarthritis, and more.
Several international clinical guidelines suggest that the effect of acupuncture on pain is comparable to traditional pharmacology or interventional technology. Due to its positive effect and superior safety, it is more acceptable to the general population. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized that acupuncture alleviates pain. Modern research suggests that acupuncture stimulates acupoints and modulates neurotransmitters, producing analgesic effects.
A recent research paper analyzed the progress and research trends of acupuncture analgesia in the last 10 years, from 2011 to 2021. The study included 4,781 English articles in the bibliometric analysis, indicating that the publication of acupuncture analgesia research has more than doubled in the past decade, from 304 in 2011 to 687 in 2020. Of the 1,043 journals that published acupuncture analgesia research, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine had the largest number of publications (7.8%), followed by Medicine (4.8%) and Acupuncture in Medicine (4.8%). A total of 91 countries have published publications on acupuncture treatment for pain, with 32 countries publishing more than 20 articles. The top five countries in terms of the number of publications were China (1,577 articles), the United States (1,205 articles), South Korea (465 articles), England (330 articles), and Germany (258 articles).
In conclusion, pain is a common experience that can have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life. While painkillers can be effective in managing pain, they can have potential side effects that can be damaging to brain function. Acupuncture has been shown to have positive analgesic effects with few side effects. The increasing popularity of acupuncture as a method of pain management is reflected in the growing number of publications on acupuncture analgesia research. As more people seek alternative therapies for pain management, acupuncture is likely to continue to gain in popularity.
Menglong Zhang, et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 1451342.
Monday, 8 May 2023
Acupuncture effectively reduces knee pain.
A systematic review of five randomized controlled trials involving 1334 patients with chronic knee pain or knee osteoarthritis compared the effects of acupuncture with sham acupuncture or no intervention. The results showed that acupuncture was significantly superior to sham acupuncture and no additional intervention in improving pain and function in patients with chronic knee pain. The differences were still significant at long-term follow-up, indicating that acupuncture can provide lasting relief.
Furthermore, individual studies have shown that acupuncture can provide short-term and long-term pain relief and improve physical function in patients with knee pain. For example, one study showed that acupuncture groups exhibited superior pain improvement and physical function in the short term (up to 13 weeks). Another study demonstrated that acupuncture was associated with significantly reduced chronic knee pain at 12 weeks.
Additionally, research has indicated that the dose of acupuncture may be associated with treatment outcomes in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Higher dosages of acupuncture were related to better relief of pain and dysfunction, highlighting the importance of tailoring treatment to individual patient needs.
Acupuncture activates the body's natural healing mechanisms. Acupuncture is believed to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers, and stimulate blood flow to the affected area, promoting healing.
Acupuncture is a safe and minimally invasive therapy that can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. It is especially beneficial for patients who cannot tolerate or do not want to take medications.
In conclusion, acupuncture is a viable and effective therapy for chronic knee pain. It can provide significant pain relief and improve physical function, even in the long term. Acupuncture may be particularly beneficial for patients with knee osteoarthritis, and the dose of acupuncture may influence treatment outcomes. Patients with chronic knee pain should consider acupuncture as a safe and minimally invasive alternative to traditional treatments.
Jaung-Geng Lin et al Am J Transl Res. 2022; 14(3): 1469–1481.
White A, et al Rheumatology (Oxford) 2007;46:384–390.
Zhang Q et al Acupunct Med. 2017;35:392–403.
Lin X et al, J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016;98:1578–1585.
Sun N et al,Acupunct Med. 2019;37:261–267.
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