28. March 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Caesarean

An integrative medicine programme that includes acupressure can significantly reduce epidural use and caesarean section rates when added to usual antenatal care. Australian doctors randomised 176 first-time mothers to either usual care or a protocol that included standard care plus a two-day antenatal education programme in six evidence-based complementary medicine techniques (acupressure based on Debra Betts’ Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief in Labour DVD, visualisation/relaxation, breathing, massage, yoga, and partner support). A significant difference in epidural use was found between the two groups – 23.9 per cent in the intervention group, versus 68.7 per cent for standard care. The intervention group participants also reported reduced rates of medical or surgical augmentation during labour, caesarean section, length of second stage, perineal trauma and need for resuscitation of the newborn.
Complementary therapies for labour and birth study: a randomised controlled trial of antenatal integrative medicine for pain management in labour. BMJ Open. 2016 Jul 12;6(7):e010691.

28. March 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Pain

The beneficial effects of a course of acupuncture treatment for patients with chronic pain appear to persist for at least 12 months, according to a secondary analysis of data from the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. Professor Hugh MacPherson and co-authors used meta-analytic techniques to determine the trajectory of post-treatment pain scores from 20 high quality randomised trials of acupuncture for chronic pain, including data from 6376 patients. In trials comparing acupuncture to a no acupuncture control (wait-list, usual care, etc), about 90 per cent of the benefit of acupuncture relative to controls was sustained at 12 months from the end of treatment. In trials comparing acupuncture to sham, approximately 50 per cent of the benefit for acupuncture relative to sham was sustained at 12 months. The authors conclude that patients can be reassured that the treatment effects of acupuncture are long-lasting and that this should be taken into account in studies of the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture.
The persistence of the effects of acupuncture after a course of treatment: A meta-analysis of patients with chronic pain. Pain. 2016 Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print].

28. March 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture

A new landmark survey of 89,000 acupuncture patients being treated for musculoskeletal pain has found that 93 per cent report their acupuncturist was successful in treating their primary complaint. Most of these patients had experienced chronic pain for many years and had been seeing an acupuncturist as a last resort, so they were not likely to get spontaneously better. In addition, 99 per cent of patients surveyed rated the quality of care and service received from their acupuncturist as good to excellent. These levels of patient satisfaction exceed national benchmark averages for conventional care providers. The results were taken from a validated, government-developed survey tool. Only 0.014 per cent (13 out of 89,769) of patients reported a minor adverse event, with no serious ones reported.
Acupuncture: Does Acupuncture Provided Within a Managed Care Setting Meet Patient Expectations and Quality Outcomes? A 2-Year Retroactive Study of 89,000 Managed Network Patients. American Specialty Health Incorporated Health Services Department.

28. March 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Tai Chi Chuan

A group of American authors has created an evidence map of the effect of tai chi on various health outcomes, based on a systematic review of 107 systematic reviews. The map identified a number of areas with evidence of a potentially positive treatment effect on patient outcomes, indicated by statistically significant pooled treatment effects in systematic reviews, and based on a substantial number of research studies. These included hypertension, fall prevention, cognitive performance, osteoarthritis, depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pain, balance and muscle strength.
An evidence map of the effect of Tai Chi on health outcomes. Syst Rev. 2016 Jul 27;5(1):126.

28. March 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Osteoarthritis, Tai Chi Chuan
28. March 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Heart Failure, Tai Chi Chuan

Tai chi has additional psychological benefits for patients with heart failure (HF) compared with a heart health education programme. American investigators randomised 100 patients with chronic systolic HF to a 12-week group tai chi program or an education control. At 12 weeks, semi-structured interviews were conducted on a random subset of participants. Positive themes emerged from both groups, however those in the tai chi group reported not only self-efficacy and social support, but overall empowerment, with additional gains such as internal locus of control, self-awareness and stress management.
The Impact of Tai Chi Exercise on Self-Efficacy, Social Support, and Empowerment in Heart Failure: Insights from a Qualitative Sub-Study from a Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One. 2016 May 13;11(5):e0154678.