26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Cancer, Lung Cancer

A UK group has found acupuncture alone or in combination with morphine to be effective for the relief of breathlessness in lung cancer patients. The investigators randomised 173 patients with lung cancer and dyspnoea to an acupuncture group (A), a morphine group (M) or an acupuncture plus morphine group (AM). Acupuncture was administered at thoracic trigger points (upper sternal, paravertebral and trapezius) and Hegu L.I.-4. Semi-permanent manubrial acupuncture studs were also inserted and massaged when patients were symptomatic. All patients were allowed rescue morphine for breakthrough pain. Dyspnoea scores improved by more than 1.5 on a visual analogue scale in 74%, 60% and 66% of participants in trial arms A, M and AM, respectively, with no statistically significant difference between arms. Morphine alone increased anxiety, while acupuncture caused a significant improvement in relaxation, both alone and in combination with morphine. Acupuncture caused fewer side-effects than morphine, and was morphine sparing – median morphine dose was lower and fewer patients took morphine in arm A than arms M and AM.
A randomised study comparing the effectiveness of acupuncture or morphine versus the combination for the relief of dyspnoea in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma. Eur J Cancer. 2016 Jul;61:102-10.

Auricular acupuncture (AA) is as effective as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) in treating anxiety and depression, according to German research. One hundred and sixty two patients with a primary diagnosis of anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder were allowed to choose between treatment with AA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol) or treatment with PMR, a standardised and accepted relaxation method. Each group had treatments twice a week for four weeks. The results showed that treatment with AA significantly decreased tension, anxiety and anger/aggression throughout the four weeks, but did not elevate mood. No statistically significant differences were found between the two treatments at any time point.
Auricular Acupuncture Versus Progressive Muscle Relaxation in Patients with Anxiety Disorders or Major Depressive Disorder: A Prospective Parallel Group Clinical Trial. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Aug;9(4):191-9.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Allergies

Acupuncture’s ability to improve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis may be due to modulation of the upper airway mucosal immune response to house dust mites. Australian researchers randomised 151 individuals suffering from persistent allergic rhinitis into real, sham and no acupuncture groups. Both groups received twice-weekly treatments for eight weeks. Real acupuncture was carried out at Yintang, Yingxiang L.I.-20, Hegu, L.I.- 4, Zusanli ST-36 and Lianquan REN-23, while sham consisted of needling away from documented acupuncture points. Various cytokines, pro-inflammatory neuropeptides and immunoglobulins were measured in saliva or plasma from baseline to four-week follow-up. Statistically significant reductions in total IgE and allergen-specific IgE for house dust mite were seen only in the real acupuncture group. A significant down-regulation in pro-inflammatory neuropeptide substance P (from 408.74 to 90.77 pg/mL) was also seen with real acupuncture, 18 to 24 hours after the first treatment. Nasal obstruction, nasal itch, sneezing, runny nose, eye itch and sleep were observed to improve significantly in the real acupuncture group and continued to improve up to four-week follow-up. The authors suggest that since nasal itch, eye itch and sneezing are all symptoms that are mediated by the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a cellular receptor which plays a central role in the allergic inflammatory response, acupuncture may result in modulation of TRPV1 expression, sensitivity and/or activation.
Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Jun;116(6):497-505.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Pain

A retrospective chart review carried out by US doctors at a veterans hospital suggests that auricular acupuncture (AA) is effective in treating refractory pain conditions. One hundred and forty-seven patients who had received AA for common pain conditions, including body pain and headaches, were studied. The majority of these patients had been unresponsive to prior treatments. Treatment was carried out according to auricular mapping and a diagnostic paradigm developed by the lead author through clinical experience, with up to six points chosen on each ear based on pressure sensitivity, and stimulated with either semi-permanent needles or magnetic pellets. Most veterans received fewer than three treatments, separated by three to five months. Despite this, patients’ average pain scores decreased by almost 60%. The majority (83.6%) reported that AA was helpful, with treatment effects lasting one to three months in 47% of patients.
A case series of auricular acupuncture in a veteran’s population using a revised auricular mapping-diagnostic paradigm (RAMP-uP). Complement Ther Med. 2016 Aug;27:130-6.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Back Pain, Pregnancy

A feasibility study carried out in the UK suggests that acupuncture can add benefit to standard care (SC) for back pain in pregnancy. The pilot randomised trial assigned 125 women with pregnancy-related back pain to one of three treatment arms: SC (self-management advice and physiotherapy), SC plus true acupuncture or SC plus non-penetrating acupuncture. Physiotherapists carried out acupuncture using six to 10 bilateral points selected from an agreed list, including both local paraspinal points and distal points. Between six and eight treatment sessions were offered to participants over a period of six weeks. Patient-reported outcomes (pain, function and quality of life) favoured the addition of acupuncture to SC for pregnancy-related back pain. Analysis of health economic outcomes showed that although SC plus true acupuncture had a higher total cost than SC alone, it also achieved higher QALY (quality-adjusted life-years) gains. No evidence of serious adverse effects on mothers or birth and neonatal outcomes from acupuncture was found.
Evaluating Acupuncture and Standard carE for pregnant women with Back pain (EASE Back): a feasibility study and pilot randomised trial. Health Technol Assess. 2016 Apr;20(33):1-236.

Auricular acupuncture (AA) may be useful in the treatment of paediatric migraines in the emergency department (ED), according to preliminary research from the USA. In a prospective cohort study, 19 paediatric patients presenting with active migraines received a single AA treatment using semi-permanent needles inserted at a maximum of three acupoints located according to electrical resistance or pressure along two auricular migraine lines. Fifteen minutes after the treatment all subjects reported improvement or resolution of migraine, with a clinically and statistically significant mean reduction in pain of seven points on a ten point scale.
Auricular Acupuncture for the Treatment of Pediatric Migraines in the Emergency Department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 May 2. [Epub ahead of print].

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Anxiety, Ear Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture (AA) can decrease pre-competition anxiety in adolescent athletes, Iranian authors report. Forty-five adolescent football players received either AA, sham AA or no treatment, four hours before a competition event. AA was carried out with needle stimulation at two ear points – Relaxation and Shenmen. Sham acupuncture used placebo needles at the same points. Participants completed an anxiety questionnaire and had their heart rate and skin conductance measured before and after the intervention. The results showed that acupuncture had a significant effect on cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety, but not on self-confidence. In addition, acupuncture significantly decreased skin conductance in the acupuncture group compared to the sham and no treatment groups.
Acupuncture Anxiolytic Effects on Physiological and Psychological Assessments for a Clinical Trial. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:4016952.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Fertility, Infertility

A pilot pragmatic trial carried out in Australia suggests that acupuncture can halve the time taken for sub-fertile women to conceive. Fifty-six sub/infertile women were offered either acupuncture plus lifestyle modification, or lifestyle modification only. Acupuncture was administered weekly over a three-month period using a manualised TCM treatment protocol, and was tailored to each patient’s TCM diagnosis, menstrual cycle phase, emotional state, biomedical condition and presenting signs and symptoms. Results indicated a statistically significant increase in fertility awareness in the acupuncture group compared to lifestyle only participants. There was no statistical difference in the pregnancy rate, with seven women achieving pregnancy during the course of the study intervention, however those receiving acupuncture conceived within an average of 5.5 weeks, compared to 10.67 weeks for the lifestyle only group.
Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:3587569.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Tinnitus

Scalp electro-acupuncture can reduce tinnitus intensity and improve quality of life of individuals with tinnitus, according to a study from Brazil. Fifty participants with tinnitus were randomised to acupuncture or no treatment. Those in the acupuncture group received bilateral electro-stimulation of the vestibulocochlear scalp line, twice-a-week for five weeks. The data showed a reduction of 50% in tinnitus intensity in the acupuncture group. There was no change in tinnitus intensity in the control group. Acupuncture also resulted in a decrease of tinnitus influence on quality of life from grade 4 (severe interference in quality of life) to grade 2 (mild interference in quality of life), whereas there was no difference in the controls.
Effectiveness of acupuncture therapy as treatment for tinnitus: a randomized controlled trial. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Jul-Aug;82(4):458-65.

26. January 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Electro-Acupuncture, Infertility, Pregnancy

Electro-acupuncture (EA) may improve reproductive hormone levels in patients with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), according to preliminary research from China. Twenty-one patients with DOR received EA over 12 weeks (five times a week for four weeks, followed by three times a week for eight weeks). Standardised EA treatment was provided using two alternating point prescriptions: A (Zhongliao BL-33) and B (Tianshu ST-25, Zigong M-CA-18 and Zhongji REN-4). Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were observed to fall by almost half from baseline to week 12, and this decrease persisted until 12 weeks post-treatment, with no significant side effects. In addition, oestradiol and luteinising hormone (LH) levels, FSH/LH ratios and irritability scores were improved at weeks 12 and 24. Approximately 30% of patients reported subjective increases in menstrual volume after treatment.
Electroacupuncture for reproductive hormone levels in patients with diminished ovarian reserve: a prospective observational study. Acupunct Med. 2016 May 13. pii: acupmed-2015-011014.