The use of acupuncture anesthesia for open heart surgery was introduced in China four decades ago. Although the use of it has declined in recent years, there is a renewed interest in it in China due to the escalating medical costs associated with open heart surgery.
This study designed by scientists from China and USA (Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Shu Guang Hospital and George Washington University, Washington, USA) has sheded some new light on a combined approach of acupuncture plus local anaesthesia in patients undergoing open heart operation under cardiopulmonary bypass.
Compared with the general anesthesia patients, the acupuncture and local anaesthesia patients used less of narcotic drugs and shorter stay in intensive care unit. Surprisingly they also had less postoperative pulmonary infection. Using acupuncture to aid with open heart surgery reduced cost of the treatment significantly.
The results of the study were published in the current issue of International Journal of Cardiology.
Acupuncture helps a girl with concussions – USA Today.
The current issue of BJOG, a leading publication in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, features a study on acupuncture and premenstrual syndrome. In attempt to evaluate current evidence, the researchers searched for high quality studies and included 10 of them in this review.
The results showed that acupuncture is superior to all controls. Four studies comparing the effects of acupuncture with different doses of progestin and anti-anxiety medications also supported the use of acupuncture. Acupuncture significantly improved symptoms when compared with sham acupuncture, ruling out the improvements were due to the placebo effect.
The researchers concluded that considering the potential of acupuncture, it needs to be further rigorously studied.
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?
This doco is an amazing story on stroke recovery with help of acupuncture. It makes me nostalgic for China as most of the movie was filmed in one of the hospitals I have completed my acupuncture training.
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.
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)
ABC news have published a video on menopausal hot flashes and acupuncture. We had a number of positive studies recently on hot flashes and acupuncture. Among them hot flashes in experienced by breast cancer patients (a side effect of estrogen-antagonist treatment). Acupuncture has also been shown to be effective for hot flashes experienced by men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer (a side effect of LH-RH agonists and Antiandrogens). Ask me about the studies in the comments if interested.
Short-term acupuncture treatment may result in long-term improvement in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Pain.
The researchers have followed up patients with carpal tunnel syndrome after 7 and 13 months. The patients were divided into two groups. One group of patients had taken steroids for one month. Another group had one moth of acupuncture. The acupuncture group had a significantly better improvement throughout the 1-year follow-up period.
The findings are inline with research on Carpal Tunnel syndrome and acupuncture published in The Clinical journal of pain in 2009.
A dramatic improvement showed following acupressure for complex regional pain syndrome is reflected in these images below:
This is not an x-ray, it is a bone scan. A radioactive substance injected into one of blood vessels shows an increased circulation to the joints in the affected area. And following a course of acupressure the bone scan looks almost normal!
At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. Acupuncture was also spotlighted in the plenary session.
Neuroscientist Ji-sheng Han, director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at Peking University and founder of the Chinese Association for the Study of Pain talked about his new studies and perspective on evaluating acupuncture vs placebo:
Just inserting needles under the skin does not work, at least not in rats which are impervious to sham treatments that can nonetheless get results (placebo) in humans. More »
At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. I will cover the studies in more detail in another post, but there is a quick observation I would like to share here.
As far as physical therapies are concerned, acupuncture was a hand down winner in terms of number of studies presented at the congress: there were 14 abstracts on acupuncture presented, but only 4 for physiotherapy, 1 for osteopathy and none for chiropractic.
This illustrates how much interest and attention acupuncture is receiving from the scientists compared to other modalities.
One of my fertility patients emailed me today that the number of celebs who endorse acupuncture for infertility is growing and I should have this on my blog.
In May Celine Dion announced she was pregnant with twins. The 42 year-old Canadian singer underwent 6 cycles of IVF. She credited acupuncture for the success in her last IVF cycle.
Last week a 41-year-old pop diva Mariah Carey announced that she was pregnant. And she has new mom Celine Dion to thank for her pregnancy – she tried acupuncture to help her conceive after hearing the Canadian superstar rave about the treatment.
Thanks to Andrea for sharing this and thanks to idf-fotos for the photo of Celine Dion.
Here you can find a great webinar on natural ways to optimise ovarian reserve including acupuncture and herbal medicine. The webinar is put together for general public by one of my colleagues in United States Dr. Brandon Horn, PhD, JD, LAc, FABORM.
It takes about an hour and 20 minutes.
Learn and take control!
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.