Research from Brazil has found that acupuncture can reduce pain intensity and improve range of motion in women with neck and shoulder pain. Sixty women with at least one trigger point in the upper trapezius muscle, and local or referred pain lasting more than six months, were randomised into electroacupuncture (EAC), acupuncture (AC) and sham groups. Needles were inserted bilaterally into Jianjing GB-21 and Fengchi GB-20 and unilaterally into Hegu L.I.-4 and Taichong LIV-3, and a maximum of two needles on each side were inserted into ashi points. EAC was carried out with alternating frequency (2 Hz – 100 Hz), while the AC group received the same needling without electrostimulation. The sham group had needles inserted one centimetre distally from the verum acupoints. Eight acupuncture sessions were scheduled and a follow-up was conducted after 28 days. The results showed a reduction in general pain in the EAC and AC groups after eight sessions. A significant decrease in pain intensity occurred for the right trapezius in all groups and for the left trapezius in the EAC and AC groups. Intergroup comparisons showed improvement in general pain in the EAC and AC groups and in local pain intensity in the EAC group. The EAC group also showed an increase in left rotation while the AC group showed increases in inclination (sustained until follow-up) and rotation to the right. (Pain intensity and cervical range of motion in women with myofascial pain treated with acupuncture and electroacupuncture: a double-blinded, randomized clinical trial. Braz J Phys Ther. 2015 Jan-Feb;19(1):34-43).

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Labour

A study carried out in Spain has shown that acupuncture at Qihai REN-6 can decrease the time taken for the placenta to be expelled after delivery. Seventy-six women who had experienced a normal birth were randomly assigned to receive verum acupuncture at Qihai REN-6 or sham acupuncture at a non-acupuncture point level with Qihai REN-6, but slightly to the left of the anterior midline. The management of the third stage of labour was otherwise the same in both groups. Statistically significant differences were found between the two groups, with an average time to placental expulsion of 15.2 minutes in the placebo group compared with 5.2 minutes in the acupuncture group. This has implications for maternal health since a prolonged third stage of labour is considered to be a risk factor for postpartum haemorrhage. (Influence of acupuncture on the third stage of labor: a randomized controlled trial. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2015 Mar;60(2):199-205).

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Dry Eyes

Chinese researchers have found that acupuncture can result in objectively measurable improvements of tear film quantity in patients with certain types of dry eye. A total of 108 dry eye patients were randomised to receive treatment with either acupuncture or artificial tears. Each group was divided into three subgroups based on subtype of dry eye: lipid tear deficiency (LTD), Sjogren syndrome dry eye (SSDE) and non-Sjogren syndrome dry eye (Non-SSDE). The acupoints used included Jingming BL-1, Zanzhu BL-2, Yangbai GB-14, Sizhukong SJ-23, Taiyang M-HN-9, Sibai. ST-2, Hegu L.I.-4, Taichong LIV-3, Guangming GB-37, Sanyinjiao SP-6 and Fengchi GB-20. After four-weeks of treatment, compared with both baseline measurements and control groups, tear meniscus parameters (quantitative measurements of tear film quantity) were found to have increased significantly in the acupuncture group for the LTD and Non-SSDE subgroups, but not for the SSDE subgroup. (Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography for monitoring the lower tear meniscus in dry eye after acupuncture treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:492150. Epub 2015 Feb 18).

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Anaesthetic

Acupuncture can accelerate recovery of consciousness after general anaesthetic, according to a study from Italy. Fifty patients recovering from surgical anesthesia received acupuncture at a variety of point combinations: Yongquan KID-1 alone, Renzhong DU-26 alone, Yongquan KID-1 plus Renzhong DU-26, two sham points, or no acupuncture. Signs of recovery (time to first opening of eyes, ability to follow commands) appeared faster in patients who received verum acupuncture compared with those in sham and no-treatment groups. The best effects were obtained when using a combination of Renzhong DU-26 and Yongquan KID-1. (Acupuncture accelerates recovery after general anesthesia: a prospective randomized controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2015 Mar;13(2):99-104).

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Moxibustion, Osteoarthritis

Six-weeks of treatment with moxibustion seems to improve physical and mental quality of life in patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Chinese investigators randomly allocated 150 patients with KOA to either a true moxibustion group (n=77) or a sham moxibustion group (n=73), who received treatment three times a week for six weeks. Participants in the true moxibustion group experienced significantly greater improvement in general health scores than the sham group at weeks 6 and 12. Participants in the true moxibustion group also experienced statistically significantly greater improvement in vitality scores than the sham group at week 12. (Effectiveness of moxibustion treatment in quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 21)15;2015:569523. Epub 2015 Jan 21).

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: IVF

Individualised treatment with ‘whole-systems traditional Chinese medicine’ (WS-TCM, that includes a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and dietary and lifestyle recommendations) may be of benefit when added to IVF treatment, according to an American research team. In a retrospective cohort study, 1231 IVF patient records were reviewed to assess the effect of adjuvant WS-TCM on IVF outcomes. Three groups of patients were compared: IVF with no additional treatment; IVF plus acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer; and IVF plus WS-TCM. Of 1069 non-donor and 162 donor IVF cycles WS¬TCM was associated with greater odds of live birth compared with all other groups. (Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in vitro fertilization outcomes. Reprod Biomed Online. 2015 Feb 24. pii: S1472-6483(15)00092-9. [Epub ahead of print]).

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Electro-Acupuncture

Acupuncture may be a useful adjunct to pharmacological pain management after total hip (THR) or total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. Clinicians from the US investigated data from a sample of 2,500 patients undergoing total joint replacement, who were offered elective postsurgical acupuncture (at no additional cost) as an adjunct therapy to opioids for pain management. There was an average 45% reduction in self-reported short-term pain following acupuncture (with 41% of patients reporting moderate/severe pain prior to receiving acupuncture, and only 15% experiencing moderate / severe pain after acupuncture). (Acupuncture Provides Short-Term Pain Relief for Patients in a Total Joint Replacement Program. Pain Med. 2015 Jan 13. doi: 10.1111 /pme.12685. [Epub ahead of print]).

Use of electro-acupuncture (EA) therapy can increase the time taken for patients to self-administer anaesthetic after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). In a small preliminary study carried out in Taiwan, 47 patients who underwent TKA were randomly divided into three groups: a control group (CG) who received patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), an EA Group the operated leg (for 30 minutes on the first two postoperative days), and a non-point group (NPG), who received EA at a location one centimetre lateral to both Zusanli ST-36 and Yanglingquan GB-34. The time until patients first required PCA in the CG was 34 minutes, which was significantly shorter than the 92 minutes seen in the EAG and 91 minutes in the NPG. There was no effect of EA on the total dosage of PCA required, and no point-specific effect was seen. (Single-blinded, randomised preliminary study evaluating the effects of 2 Hz electroacupuncture for postoperative pain in patients with total knee arthroplasty. Acupunct Med doi:10.1136 / acupmed-2014-010722. [Epub ahead of print])

24. September 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Allergic Rhinitis, Allergies

The American Academy of Otolaryngology’s new Clinical Practice Guideline recommends acupuncture for patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) who are interested in nonpharmacological therapy. A Guideline Development Group (20 experts in otolaryngology, allergy, immunology, nursing, CAM and consumer advocacy) developed the recommendations based on supporting evidence (randomised controlled trials with limitations, observational studies with consistent effects and a preponderance of benefit over harm). Acupuncture was recognised as an effective alternative to medical therapies, and associated with a reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life for patients. Its advantages were listed as including the avoidance of medication use (with its associated potential side-effects) and better alignment with patient values. (Clinical practice guideline: allergic rhinitis executive summary. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Feb;152(2):197- 206).

A newly published meta-analysis of 13 papers (2365 participants) by Chinese authors further supports the use of acupuncture in AR, concluding that it can exert a significant reduction in nasal symptom scores, medication use and serum IgE levels, as well as an increase in quality of life compared with controls. (Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy 2015 Jan-Feb;29(1):57-62 doi: 10.2500/ajra.2015.29.4116).