Scalp electro-acupuncture (EA) can be successfully used to reduce pain severity and disability in headache patients. Japanese investigators treated 54 primary headache patients at two bilateral points located on the occipital scalp with 50 Hz EA for 15 minutes, once a week for three months. Headache intensity significantly declined as a result of the treatment (mean reduction in pain scores from 7.4 at baseline to 4.9 at three months), alongside an improvement in quality of life. Monthly headache days significantly decreased (from 18 at one month to 14 at three months), accompanied by a reduction in monthly acute headache medication days (from 8 to 6.4). Depression scores also showed significant improvement.

Clinical Effect of C2 Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation Using Electroacupuncture for Primary Headache. Neuromodulation. 2018 Mar 22.

25. May 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Breast Cancer, Electro-Acupuncture

The effects of electro-acupuncture (EA) are comparable with those of the drug gabapentin (GP) for improving sleep disturbances among breast cancer survivors. American investigators analysed data from a randomised trial involving 58 breast cancer survivors who were experiencing bothersome hot flushes at least twice per day. Participants were randomly assigned to receive eight weeks of EA (twice a week for two weeks and then weekly for six weeks) or daily GP. By the end of treatment, the mean improvement in total sleep scoresw were significantly greater in the EA group compared with the GP group (-2.6 versus -0.8). EA also improved sleep compared with the GP group: By week eight, the EA group showed improved sleep duration, less sleep disturbance, shorter sleep latency, decreased daytime dysfunction, improved sleep efficiency and better sleep quality compared with baseline, whereas the GP group improved only in duration and sleep quality.
Comparative effectiveness of electro-acupuncture versus gabapentin for sleep disturbances in breast cancer survivors with hot flashes: a randomized trial. Menopause. 2016 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print].

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.

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, 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])

Pain intensity and cervical range of motion improves in women with myofascial pain who are treated with acupuncture. Sixty women presenting with at least one trigger point in the upper trapezius involving local or referred pain lasting more than six months, were randomised into electro­acupuncture (EA), acupuncture (AC) and sham groups. Eight treatment sessions were carried out and a follow-up was conducted after 28 days. There was a significant reduction in general pain levels in both the EA and AC groups after eight sessions compared with sham. EA was shown to be better than AC for local pain relief. Both treatments also resulted in small increases in cervical range of motion. (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. 2014 Nov 28;0:0. [Epub ahead of print]).

A Brazilian group has shown that electro-acupuncture (EA) can be used to promote labour as efficiently as the prostaglandin analogue misoprostol, but with fewer obstetric complications. Sixty-seven pregnant women in labour were randomised to receive either EA or misoprostol. Women who received EA experienced significantly fewer obstetric complications, along with a significantly higher frequency of vaginal deliveries.  Although they tended to have a longer duration of labour, there was also a tendency to higher patient satisfaction among patients of the EA group. (Electroacupuncture for cervical ripening prior to labour induction: a randomized clinical trial. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2011 Jun;283(6):1233-8).