Interest in Acupuncture is heating up

The scientific interest in Acupuncture is increasing. I used actual data from pubmed for this graph.  The image shows number of studies on acupuncture from 1996 to 2012.  I’ve excluded data from 2013, as it is still November.

Run Forrest, run!

No. Forrest Gump’s mother haven’t thought of him having acupuncture for his legs. But the movie advertised my services in another way. In one of the scenes, a poster in the window says: Use Vitalis!

Ok, a more serious post next time. I promise!

Acupuncture for Bell’s Palsy

An American celebrity Carnie Wilson: “Who believes in Acupuncture? I’m treating my Bell’s Palsy with it. IT’S WORKING.” (more on medicaldaily.com)

Acupuncture for Bell’s palsy has been recommended for Bell’s Palsy by World Health Organisation since 2002. There were a number of controlled trials which looked into it’s effectiveness. The latest study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has shown no only that acupuncture is effective for Bell’s Palsy. It also showed, that stronger acupuncture stimulation was leading to significantly better results.

This finding will help us to treat Bell’s Palsy with acupuncture more effectively. It is also important, because it adds to the evidence that acupuncture effect is much more than just a placebo.

Reference: reference:
Xu SB, et al “Effectiveness of strengthened stimulation during acupuncture for the treatment of Bell palsy: A randomized controlled trial” CMAJ 2013; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.121108

Acupuncture helps people with concussions

Acupuncture helps a girl with concussions – USA Today.

Why we procrastinate about long-term health goals

This post is not directly about acupuncture, but needles are a part of the picture.

Dan Ariely is a behavioural economist and an author of a great book Predictably Irrational. In this video he explains reward substitution, one of strategies he used to overcome procrastination and achieve long-term health goals.

What is your strategy?

Hypothyroidism – how acupuncture can help

How acupuncture helps hypothyroidism? A group of scientists from China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing researched neuroendocrine system of rats with hypothyroidism to understand the effects of acupuncture.

Their findings were that acupuncture regulates serum levels of T3 and testosterone,  Beta endorphins in the hypothalamus and plasma nucleotides. This was noted as the possible mechanism of action of acupuncture for hypothyroidism in their study published in the journal of Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion (1999-01).

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be also helpful to reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism.  It can help with the side-effects of your thyroid medication.  I would not recommend stopping your medication after you start acupuncture treatment without discussing it with your prescribing doctor first.

Further reading:

Yu Qian, et al. Acupuncture use to treat hypothyroidism in patients recovering from severe brain injuries. China Journal of Acupuncture. 1996;16(8):1-3.

Hou Yu-duo1, at al. Experimental Study of Fire Needle Intervention in the Treatment of Hypothyroidism with Western Medicine. Journal of Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2011

Shao Wei Weng, et al. Treating hypothyroidism with moxibustion. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture. 1984

Wang Xiu Jie, et al. Treating coma due to myxedema (coma due to hypothyroidism) with acupuncture. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 1998;14(4)

Acupuncture under-prescribed in favour of drugs for neck pain

Researchers at Duke University and University of North Carolina observe that doctors are over-prescribing drugs for the treatment of chronic neck pain.

They found that more than 56 per cent of neck pain patients were using over-the-counter medications, while 29 per cent reported using strong narcotics and 23 per cent used weak narcotics.

Dr Adam Goode, who led the study, commented: “Rehabilitation conditioning and acupuncture studies have shown to be effective treatments that were less frequently used by patients with chronic neck pain.”

Published in November issue of Arthritis Care and Research, the study noted that some effective treatments were being overlooked in favour of other over-used options.

Acupuncture for amblyopia or “lazy eye”

Amblyopia, better known as “lazy eye” may affect up to 5% of the children. The condition is caused by brain and one of the eyes not communicating properly. And this study to be published in the Journal of Optalmology promises that acupuncture may be able to help to speed the recovery.

Lazy Eye or amblyopia Acupuncture

The Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences (DOVS) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Shantou University jointly conducted two clinical trials. 171 randomly chosen children who had lazy eyes were treated. Read more