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Acupuncture + surgery = less pain, less drugs, less side effects

Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina analysed the results of 15 clinical trials on the effectiveness of acupuncture. The researchers concluded that patients getting acupuncture before or during various types of operations had significantly less pain afterwards than patients who did not get acupuncture.

Acupuncture also reduced other side effects associated with the pain drugs and surgery. Acupuncture patients experienced 1.5 times lower rates of nausea, 1.6 times fewer reports of dizziness and 3.5 times fewer cases of urinary retention compared to patients had surgery and no acupuncture.

“The use of acupuncture is still very under-appreciated…” Dr. Tong-Joo Gan, vice chairman of Duke’s anaesthesiology department said in an interview to Reuters

The research was presented at a conference of the American Society for Anaesthesiology in San Francisco.

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Acupuncture meets antibiotics – “All the doctors told us he was going to die”

Mar. 27- Two years ago, Ivan Toirac was admitted to Mercy Hospital in a coma following a drug overdose.

“All the doctors told us he was going to die, or was going to be like a vegetable for the rest of his life,” recalled his father, Arturo Toirac.

Then Patty Hutchison began working with the hospital’s doctors. Founder of Mercy’s holistic care program, she began acupuncture therapy on him.

“The first thing that happened was his kidneys, which were totally closed according to the doctors, opened up,” Arturo says. “My son is alive, talking to us and recognizes us.”

“Patty, she’s all right,” adds Ivan, his voice labored but clear.

What makes Mercy’s program unusual is that Hutchison practices on site, integrating her primary treatments — acupuncture, homeopathy and cupping — with that of the hospital’s 700 doctors.

“There is not just one way of doing things . . . we integrate,” Hutchison says. “If you need an antibiotic, that is fine. But after you take the antibiotic, there are probiotics to put the intestinal flora back in so you don’t catch something else.”

The medical community is starting to take notice.

“It’s growing because our medical knowledge only takes us so far,” says Dr. Hugo Gonzalez, chief medical officer for Sister Emmanuel Hospital, a Coconut Grove facility that treats long-term care patients, in stays of 25 days or more. “Holistic offers an additional way to help people.”

The University of Miami’s medical school, for example, has provided alternative medical care through its Complementary Medicine Program for a decade. The program is housed in a building on the grounds of the Jackson Memorial Hospital campus.

“It’s an important program for patients,” says Dr. Pascal Goldschmidt, dean of the UM’s Miller School of Medicine.

“With the patient population I work with . . . cancer therapy . . . Patty works on relaxation and to ease nausea and some of the vomiting,” says registered nurse Karen Stephenson, oncology clinical specialist coordinator at Mercy.

Hutchison says she has treated approximately 300 patients since 2005. Each patient is visited an average of five times. Doctors are coming along, too. “It’s tough to accept something new; most doctors are not educated about this in medical school. I would like to see it grow. It’s a good tool to have here,” Stephenson says.

Teaching hospitals, such as UM’s medical school, now require courses in complementary alternative medicine (CAM). In fact, 78 percent of medical schools required courses in CAM in 2004, up from 26 percent in 2001, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Some studies on acupuncture have shown promise (…) There is no evidence, however, that acupuncture can be directly linked to bringing someone like Ivan Toirac out of a coma, says substance abuse expert Dr. Lauren Williams, assistant professor of psychiatry for the University of Miami.

“Acupuncture has been used in the treatment of addiction, but it’s always been an adjunct to psychosocial programs. Proponents say acupuncture works for them, but it’s not mainstream and not a stand-alone treatment by any means,” Williams says.

“Cancer, in particular, is a multidisciplinary disease,” says Dr. Jorge Antunez De Mayolo, a hematologist oncologist at Mercy. “It requires multiple medical specialties to handle each aspect. Patty does Oriental medicines, helps with massage, acupuncture, the control of pain. Physical therapists help us keep patients ambulatory. Nutritionists regulate caloric intake to help patients overcome the side effects of medicines. Psychologists help with coping. None of us has a predominant role.”

Acupuncture for nausea goes mainstream

Yesterday (Oct 17), American Society of Anesthesiologists have updated the guidelines for managing post operative nausea. And now the guidelines include acupuncture. This is of a great significance, as now acupuncture will find it’s way into the leading hospitals worldwide.
Anesthesiologists have known the value of acupuncture for pain relief for decades. Maybe this is why the studies on acupuncture and nausea conducted in 2004 (1 and2) have found their way into their guidelines so quickly.

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A study: acupuncture and massage significantly improve the well-being of cancer patients

A new Perth study has found acupuncture and massage significantly improve the well-being of cancer patients.

More than 500 patients in the study began using complementary treatments in addition to traditional medicine like chemotherapy and morphine over a 17-month period.

The researchers at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital found the therapies relieved physical symptoms such as nausea and pain, while improving the patient’s overall quality of life.

The director of the Cancer Support Centre, David Joske, says the treatments worked extremely well but more research needs to be done “to start to ask how can we get the best out of these two worlds which in the past really have been mutually exclusive in our society”.

He says he hopes the study gives greater credibility to the benefits of complementary medicine.

source: www.abc.net.au

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Melbourne’s Northern Hospital embraces acupuncture

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the new face of emergency medicine in Australia. In a radical departure from accepted hospital practice across the nation, the Emergency Department at the Northern Hospital in Melbourne is incorporating ancient techniques into its new approach to care.

When patients arrive at casualty, they will now be treated with acupuncture to reduce symptoms such as pain and nausea. Final year acupuncture students at RMIT University will deliver the treatment, which will be used in conjunction with standard medical practice.

Read the article here

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Acupuncture is more effective than the leading medication at reducing nausea and vomiting after major breast surgery

Read the story on Sciencedaily.com

DURHAM, N.C. – In the first such clinical trial of its kind, researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that acupuncture is more effective at reducing nausea and vomiting after major breast surgery than the leading medication

The researchers also found that patients who underwent the 5,000-year-old Chinese practice reported decreased postoperative pain and increased satisfaction with their postoperative recovery. In conducting the trial, the researchers also demonstrated that the pressure point they stimulated possesses previously unknown pain-killing properties.

Results of the Duke study were published Sept. 22, 2004, in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia.

Treating postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is an important medical issue…

Acupuncture as good as medicine after an operation: study

A team of Hong Kong and Australian scientists reviewed 26 trials which looked into use of  pericardium 6, acupuncture point in the wrist to relieve the post-operative symptoms.

Acupuncture was just as effective as routine anti-sickness drugs in preventing nausea and vomiting, but had few side effects and was cheaper, the study found.