The Neuroimmune Basis of Anti-inflammatory Acupuncture
Integrative Cancer Therapies 2007 (Sep); 6 (3): 251–257 ~ FULL TEXT
This review article presents the evidence that the antiinflammatory actions of acupuncture are mediated via the reflexive central inhibition of the innate immune system. Both laboratory and clinical evidence have recently shown the existence of a negative feedback loop between the autonomic nervous system and the innate immunity. There is also experimental evidence that the electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve inhibits macrophage activation and the production of TNF, IL-1beta , IL-6, IL-18, and other proinflammatory cytokines. It is therefore conceivable that along with hypnosis, meditation, prayer, guided imagery, biofeedback, and the placebo effect, the systemic anti-inflammatory actions of traditional and electro-acupuncture are directly or indirectly mediated by the efferent vagus nerve activation and inflammatory macrophage deactivation. The use of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy to conventional medical treatment for a number of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases seems plausible and should be validated by confirming its cholinergicity.
Patients Seeking Care from Acupuncture Practitioners in the UK:
A National Survey
Complement Ther Med. 2006 (Mar); 14 (1): 20–30
Who seeks acupuncture treatment? According to this survey of 9408 acupuncture patients in the UK, 74% of patients were female. The most common main problem or symptom reported by patients was musculo-skeletal (38%), followed by psychological (11%), general (9%), neurological (8%) and gynaecological/obstetric (8%), while 3% of patients were seeking treatment for their general well-being.
Acupuncture for Upper-Extremity Rehabilitation in Chronic Stroke:A Randomized Sham-Controlled Study
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2005 (Dec); 86 (12): 2248–2255
Based on ITT analyses, we conclude that acupuncture does not improve UE function or QOL in patients with chronic stroke symptoms. However, gains in UE function observed in protocol-compliant subjects suggest traditional Chinese acupuncture may help patients with chronic stroke symptoms. These results must be interpreted cautiously because of small sample sizes and multiple, unadjusted, post hoc comparisons. A larger, more definitive RCT using a similar design is feasible and warranted.
New Reporting Method for Acupuncture Services
to Begin in January 2005
Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, there will be a new reporting method for acupuncture services. Effective on that date, CPT codes 97780 (acupuncture, one or more needles; without electrical stimulation) and 97781 (acupuncture, one or more needles; with electrical stimulation) will be deleted. Four new codes have been developed for reporting acupuncture services.
Acupuncture of Chronic Headache Disorders in Primary Care: Randomised Controlled Trial and Economic Analysis
Health Technol Assess 2004 (Nov); 8 (48): 1–50
Patients in the acupuncture group experienced the equivalent of 22 fewer days of headache per year. SF-36 data favoured acupuncture, although differences reached significance only for physical role functioning, energy and change in health. Compared with controls, patients randomised to acupuncture used 13% less medication, made 23% fewer visits to GPs and took 13% fewer days off sick. The study suggests that acupuncture leads to persisting, clinically relevant benefits for primary care patients with chronic headache, particularly migraine.
Acupuncture Using Laser Needles Modulates Brain Function: First Evidence from Functional Transcranial Doppler Sonography and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Lasers Med Sci 2004 (Aug); 19 (1): 6–11
Acupuncture using laser needles is a new totally painless stimulation method which has been described for the first time. This paper presents an experimental double-blind study in acupuncture research in healthy volunteers using a new optical stimulation method. Significant changes ( p<0.05) of brain activity were demonstrated in the occipital and frontal gyrus by fMRI. Optical stimulation using properly adjusted laser needles has the advantage that the stimulation cannot be felt by the patient (painless and no tactile stimulation) and the operator may also be unaware of whether the stimulation system is active. Therefore true double-blind studies in acupuncture research can be performed.
Writing Case Reports – Author Guidelines for Acupuncture in Medicine
Acupuncture in Medicine 2004 (Mar); 22 (2): 83–86 ~ FULL TEXT
Case reports are particularly valuable in specialist clinical areas such as acupuncture to report new adverse events and to suggest possible new hypotheses. They can also be used to report events that have been reported previously but are rare or serious, in order to illustrate their frequency. They may illuminate the wider side of clinical practice by describing personal experiences of one practitioner. Constraints to writing case reports include finding time, working in isolation, and not having enough experience at the task. This article reproduces and develops a set of guidelines that were previously published, in an attempt to help authors to write thorough but succinct reports in a structured manner.
An Audit of the Effectiveness of Acupuncture on Musculoskeletal Pain in Primary Health Care
Acupuncture in Medicine 2002 (Mar); 20 (1): 22–25
We found an association between the general practitioner using fewer needles and patients experiencing greater pain relief. This could be a reflection of treating myofascial pain syndromes, which often appear to respond well to a single needle in the key trigger point. Overall, we found that sixty-nine percent of patients had a good or excellent response to acupuncture treatment.
Informed Consent for Acupuncture An Information Leaflet
Developed by Consensus
Acupuncture in Medicine 2001 (Dec); 19 (2): 123–130
Patients have the right to be fully informed about the likely benefits and risks of any proposed examination or treatment, and practitioners are obliged to obtain informed consent beforehand. Accurate information about the risks of acupuncture is available following publication of the results of two prospective surveys. An informed consent form is provided.
Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture: The STRICTA Recommendations
Acupuncture in Medicine 2002 (Mar); 20 (1): 22–25
Acupuncture treatment and control group interventions in parallel-group randomised trials of acupuncture are not always precisely reported. In an attempt to improve standards, an international group of experienced acupuncturists and researchers devised a set of recommendations, designating them STRICTA: STandards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture. FULL TEXT available
Characteristics of Visits to Licensed Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, and Naturopathic Physicians
J Am Board Fam Pract 2002 (Nov-Dec); 15 (6): 463–480 ~ FULL TEXT
More than 80% of visits to CAM providers were by young and middle-aged adults, and roughly two thirds were by women. Children comprised 10% of visits to naturopathic physicians but only 1% to 4% of all visits to other CAM providers. At least two thirds of visits resulted from self-referrals, and only 4% to 12% of visits were from conventional physician referrals. Most visits to chiropractors and naturopathic physicians, but less than one third of visits to acupuncturists and massage therapists, were covered by insurance.
Relief of Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain by Manual Acupuncture to Tender Points –– A Sham-controlled Randomized Trial
Complement Ther in Med 2002 (Sept); 10 (4): 217–222 ~ FULL TEXT
Acupuncture applied to tender points appears to have short-term effects on neck and shoulder pain and stiffness, but this study was unable to demonstrate any long-term superiority over sham acupuncture.
Acupuncture: Efficacy, Safety and Practice
Up to five million people may have consulted a therapist specialising in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the last year with an incalculable extra number consulting a doctor or other health professional practising CAM. A new report from the British Medical Association, published today (6–25–2000), looks at the usefulness, safety and availability of acupuncture – one of the most widely requested treatments.
Clinical Trials of Acupuncture: Consensus Recommendations for Optimal Treatment, Sham Controls and Blinding
Complement Ther in Medicine 2001 (Dec); 9 (4): 237–245 ~ FULL TEXT
Evidence of effectiveness is increasingly used to determine which health technologies are incorporated into public health provision. Acupuncture is a popular therapy that has been shown to be superior to placebo in the treatment of nausea and dental pain, and promising for migraine and osteoarthritis of the knee. For many other conditions, such as chronic pain, in which acupuncture is often used, the evidence is either insufficient or negative. Misleading results may occur for a number of reasons. False negative results may arise from inadequate treatment schedules and inappropriate control interventions. This consensus document considers these issues with the aim of improving the design of efficacy trials of acupuncture in order that they are more likely to be conclusive and more meaningfully interpreted. The FULL TEXT file is available
Acupuncture ~ A Complementary Treatment in General Practice
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2002; 122 (9) May 10: 921–923
THIS REVIEW FOUND THAT: Acupuncture is the complementary treatment most commonly used by general (medical) practitioners. UNFORTUNATELY: "78% had acupuncture courses of less than four weeks’ duration" AND THE MAJOR COMPLAINT WAS "Lack of time was regarded as the major limitation to the use of acupuncture." YEAH…ESPECIALLY THE TIME THEY INVESTED TO LEARN IT! UGH!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain Treated with Low-level Laser and Microamperes Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation: A Controlled Study
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002; 83 (7) Jul: 978–988
Significant decreases in MPQ score, median nerve sensory latency, and Phalen and Tinel signs after the real treatment series but not after the sham treatment series. Patients could perform their previous work (computer typist, handyman) and were stable for 1 to 3 years.
Acupuncture as Complementary Therapy for Back Pain
Holist Nurs Pract 2001; 15 (3) Apr: 35–44
Research has demonstrated that acupuncture may benefit those who suffer from back pain when they have failed to respond to previous treatment by drugs, bed rest, epidural injection, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractics, and surgery. Acupuncture is a powerful and complementary therapy for back pain.
Acupuncture Treatment During Labour:
A Randomised Controlled Trial
BJOG 2002; 109 (6) Jun: 637–644
Acupuncture treatment during labour significantly reduced the need of epidural analgesia . Parturients who received acupuncture assessed a significantly better degree of relaxation compared with the control group. No negative effects of acupuncture given during labour were found in relation to delivery outcome.
Texas Attorney General Restricts Acupuncturists from "Manipulation"
For the past several years, the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) has received complaints, some quite serious, of patients injured by acupuncturists allegedly performing spinal manipulations. The TBCE forwarded the complaints to the appropriate regulatory body, the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners (TSBAE), with the appeal for them to take action. Read the decision by the Texas Attorney General.
Acupuncture Superior to Drug Therapy for Migraines
In one of the largest studies of its kind to date, a team of investigators in Italy examined the effectiveness of acupuncture versus a variety of pharmacological therapies in treating migraines. Their results, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, revealed that patients given acupuncture experienced fewer migraine episodes, missed fewer days from work, and suffered no side effects compared to patients on conventional drug therapy. They also found acupuncture to be more cost–efficient, estimating a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in private and social health expenditures if it were used to treat headaches alone instead of drugs.
Acupuncture and Stroke Recovery
Johansson et al (1993) investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture as a supplement to physical therapy in recovery from stroke. Pang (1994) investigated two particular scalp acupuncture techniques in order to compare their effectiveness in treating apoplexy following stroke.
Acupuncture and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Two recent studies compare acupuncture with "sham" and demonstrate significant improvements in asthma symptons.
Acupuncture and Raynaud’s Disease
A recent study indicates that acupuncture surpasses drug treatment for Raynaud’s disease, a vascular disorder that causes the small arteries of the hands and, less commonly, the feet to spasm during exposure to cold or stress. The appendages go white and sometimes hurt due to insufficient blood flow.
Acupuncture and Crack–Cocaine Addiction
Lipton et al (1994) investigated ear acupuncture in treatment of cocaine dependency over a one–month period. 150 patients were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a placebo–control group. Konefal, Duncan and Clemence (1994) found a 57% reduction in the time it took to achieve a negative urine test with acupuncture.
Acupuncture Wins British Medical Association Approval
Acupuncture should become more widely available on the NHS and family doctors should be trained in some of its techniques, a BMA inquiry has concluded. The therapy has proved effective in treating back and dental pain, nausea and vomiting, and migraine, the BMA’s Board of Science and Education has found after a two year study.
Beyond Endorphins in Acupuncture Analgesia:
The Science Behind the Art
In the last 20 years much has been written about acupuncture and its efficiency in relieving pain. The ancient Chinese clinicians practised acupuncture based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles using well established guidelines. Their reasoning were based on empirical responses rather than scientific principles. This discussion hopes to bring to highlight some recent research findings.
Which Diseases Can Be Helped by Acupuncture?
HealthWorld has excerpted sections from Lewith’s "Acupuncture: It’s Place in Western Medical Science"