15. February 2016 · Comments Off on How Acupuncture Can Help Relieve COPD Symptoms · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

A recent small clinical experiment shows that acupuncture may provide important health benefits for people suffering from COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Acupuncture is usually used as an adjunct treatment to help offset labored breathing after exertion. This is the biggest problem facing patients with COPD. COPD is actually a comprehensive term that includes all lung conditions that obstruct the respiratory tract.

Doctors agree that COPD is a condition associated with old age. So far, conventional modern medicine has really no treatment that can effectively treat this disease. When treatment is given, it is meant to make the patients feel a lot better and not really treat the condition itself.

A study was conducted to rate acupuncture’s effectiveness in dealing with COPD in Vancouver. The study, which was done in Japan, had 68 adults all with COPD volunteering as test subjects. They were broken into two equal groups with one receiving 12 weeks of acupuncture treatment and the other group given placebo acupuncture (blunt needles were used that weren’t meant to puncture the skin) also for 12 weeks. All the subjects continued their medication prescribed to them by their doctors.

Walking tests were administered and monitored to see how well the patients breathed during the tests. The researchers saw that the members of the acupuncture group acupuncture were far less breathless than those in the placebo group.

Scientists studying COPD have seen that fatigue was seen in muscles that support thoracic movement in COPD patients. This may be the underlying reason for COPD.

During an acupuncture treatment for COPD, these muscles become relaxed with leads to better respiratory support. This observation needs to be proven in clinical studies of which none has been done yet. COPD is not an easy disease to treat. So far, conventional Western medicine’s answer to this disease has been fas-acting bronchodilators as they can act quickly in relieving shortness of breath and other COPD symptoms.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that all over the world, there are over 65 million people suffering from moderate to severe cases of COPD. This problem will only get worse as outdoor and indoor pollution gradually worsens over the years making the risk high for people exposed to these types of pollution every day.

01. February 2016 · Comments Off on A Recent Study Reinforces The Claim That Acupuncture Safely Relieves Allergy Symptoms · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Besides relieving pain in some patients, acupuncture has also shown to ameliorate itchy eyes and sneezing based on the findings of recent studies.

The sniffles caused by seasonal allergies can plague a lot of people. For relief, most of them turn to antihistamines. But when these medications do not work, some will try alternative forms of treatment such as acupuncture. This Eastern healing modality uses hair thin needles inserted into the skin at pressure points in the body to help quell symptoms.

Acupuncture Allergy Studies

Researchers did a study involving 422 patients who all had runny nose and other allergic nasal symptoms and who all tested positive for pollen allergies. The study, which was featured in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, required the subjects to report their symptoms and the drugs and doses they utilized to treat the symptoms.

The subjects were grouped into three: one group took antihistamines only for the symptoms. The second group was treated with sham acupuncture that involved the random placement of needles at pressure points not specifically designated for the treatment of their symptoms. The last group took antihistamines, when needed, as well as a dozen acupuncture treatments.

The researchers asked their patients about how much drugs they utilized and evaluated their symptoms after two months. Compared to the other groups, the group treated with antihistamines and acupuncture demonstrated a much better improvement of their symptoms which led to a lesser use of the drugs.

However, the group treated with false acupuncture also showed a significant reduction of their symptoms which may imply that what may be may be responsible for at least part of the improvement is the placebo effect generated by the fake acupuncture treatment.

This placebo theory was reinforced by the fact that a follow-up appointment four months later, the difference between the groups was less pronounced. Those who orchestrated the study think that the belief of the patients on how much acupuncture might help them may have something to do with the improvement of their symptoms.

The researchers concluded that further investigation into acupuncture’s potential role in treating allergies should be done if the therapy is shown to give some form of relief. They wrote that, “Compared with other anti-allergic therapies and the possible underlying mechanisms of any effect, acupuncture’s effectiveness for the treatment of seasonal allergies ought to be researched further.”

Dr. Jongbae of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the Regional Center for Neurosensory Disorders, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study, and Dr. Remy Coeytaux of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, both supported this view.

The two doctors agreed that the benefits of acupuncture are only now beginning to be widely appreciated. There are more than enough clinical researches that have been done for the last 15 years involving meta-analyses of patients and they all point to the efficacy of acupuncture for the relief of allergy symptoms.

Both doctors agree that certain questions important need to be asked that can help clarify certain issues with regards to acupuncture allergy treatment. Some of these questions include:

  1. Compared with other treatment modalities, how does acupuncture fare?
  2. Which of the several approaches or traditions of acupuncture treatment is proper or the most effective for a given clinical indication?
  3. What process measures or results should a researcher be evaluating in clinical trials involving acupuncture?
  4. From the policymakers, payer, or patients’ viewpoint, is the effectiveness of the effect, related to acupuncture for a specific clinical indication ‘worth it’?”

The author of that study, Dr. Benno Brinkhaus of the Berlin-based Charité University Medical Center’s Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics responded to an e-mail query about the study. He said that as a researcher, acupuncturist, and medical doctor, he would advocate the use of acupuncture if the patient suffers from serious sides effects caused by conventional drugs or if he’s is not satisfied with the results of the traditional anti-allergic drug treatment. He also recommended acupuncture because it is a safe form of treatment.

 

Gigi Terinoni is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in Louisville, CO. She is also a certified massage therapist, yoga instructor and the founder of Dova Center for Health and Healing.

01. February 2016 · Comments Off on A Recent Study Has Proven that Acupuncture Works in Treating Crohn’s Disease · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease, a recent study has found out. This conclusion was reached by researchers from the Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The results of their study were printed in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science. The aim of the study was to see if acupuncture was aviable treatment for intestinal fibrosis among patients with Crohn’s disease. The researchers observed how acupuncture affects the growth of Col I (type I collagen)and bFGF in the intestines of rats suffering from Crohn’s disease. The expression of bFGF and Col I was markedly reduced after the administration of acupuncture. This proved that acupuncture was able to decrease the abnormal high levels of these substances. Acupuncture of King of Prussia prevents intestinal fibrosis of Crohn’s disease sufferers by lowering the abnormally high levels of bFGF and Col I.

Acupoints

In the study, the acupoints CV 6 (Tsihai) and St25 (Chanshu) was stimulated with needles. The modes of treatment in the other groups included electroacupuncture and moxibustion. No acupuncture treatment was given to the control group. The moxibustion and electroacupuncture groups manifested significant improvements while the control group showed no improvements whatsoever. The researchers concluded that moxibustion and acupuncture and can lower excessive deposition thus treating fibrosis in Crohn’s disease sufferers.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

An inflammatory disease of the intestines, regional enteritis or Crohn’s disease can affect any region of the gastrointestinal tract (mouth to anal sphincter). Fatigue, dermatological disorders, arthritis, eye disorders, weight loss, vomiting, stomach pain and bloating, and diarrhea are its most common symptoms. Crohn’s disease is deemed to be the result of an autoimmune system disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. There is evidence that genetics does play a part in its etiology, but there is also substantial evidence that the environment contributes to this condition. Smokers are twice as likely to develop Crohn’s disease compared to those who don’t. Most doctors’ goal is to control the symptoms since there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. It can raise the risk of cancer in the affected parts of the intestines and may result in growth failure in children.

Ulcerative Colitis

Usually confused with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease often affects the colon and the terminal ileum. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, always affects the colon but seldom impacts the terminal ileum. Crohn’s disease always affects the anus while ulcerative colitis oftentimes does not. Crohn’s generates snakelike or patchy intestinal ulcerations while ulcerative colitis leaves a continuous path of ulceration. In Crohn’s disease ulceration is deep while in ulcerative colitis it is shallow. Because of this, Crohn’s disease can lead to stenosis of the intestines. The study also reveals that acupuncture is able to stave off intestinal fibrosis, which thus helps prevent stenosis.