15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Ear Acupuncture

The analgesic effects of auricular acupuncture (AA) may be explained by stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagal nerve (ABVN). German investigators extracted data on the localisation of AA points commonly used to treat pain from a meta-analysis of 17 RCTs, and evaluated them according to an anatomical map of auricular afferent nerve supply. Fifteen out of 20 AA points used in the treatment of pain were found to be situated in areas mostly innervated by the ABVN, whereas sham points were generally located on the helix of the auricle, which is innervated by cervical nerves.

Transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation (taVNS) might be a mechanism behind the analgesic effects of auricular acupuncture. Brain Stimul. 2017 Aug 2. pii: S1935-861X(17)30853-7.

15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Ear Acupuncture, Substance Abuse

Ear acupuncture improves quality of life and helps maintain positive outcomes in substance abuse treatment, report American investigators. In a randomised study, 100 patients enrolled in a substance abuse programme received either usual care alone, or usual care plus acupuncture using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) ear acupuncture protocol. NADA patients received at least two twice-weekly bilateral ear acupuncture treatments, while seated together in a group of up to 20 patients. Patients self-reported alcohol, tobacco and drug use prior to starting the programme at programme completion and at three and six month follow-up. Participation in the NADA group was positively associated with quality of life scores, feeling better about oneself, improved energy, likelihood of employment upon discharge, along with decreased alcohol and tobacco use at three- and six-month follow up. The results also showed that patients in higher risk populations (non-white, criminal history, initial positive drug test) were more likely to complete the treatment programme when participating in NADA treatment.

NADA Ear Acupuncture: An Adjunctive Therapy to Improve and Maintain Positive Outcomes in Substance Abuse Treatment. Behav Sci (Basel). 2017 Jun 16;7(2). pii: E37.

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, 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.