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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

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)

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TMJ Acupuncture

Eating a chocolate can be painful experience when you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder(TMD or TMJD). But it is only one of numerous symptoms TMJD can cause. Symptoms may include headaches or migraines, tooth pain, and others.

Journal of Orofacial Pain has published a systematic review on acupuncture for treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders.

The review included 19 randomized controlled trials. The results concluded that acupuncture was more effective for TMD symptoms than physical therapy. Acupuncture was also more effective than indomethacin plus vitamin B1 therapy, and a wait-list control. Acupuncture was safe with no serious adverse events reported by the studies.

Three of the studies, included in the review, compared acupuncture to a placebo. Researchers concluded acupuncture had a therapeutic effect beyond placebo.

For some very helpful and detailed explanation of temporomandibular joint visit Dr Paul Smedley’s website.

Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography
Ref: J Orofac Pain. 2010 Spring;24(2):152-62.
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How acupuncture heals the root cause of PCOS

Acupuncture PCOSThe cause of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS has not yet been agreed upon by scientists. And now there is  another possible scenario of pathogenesis, which looks very viable.

Apart from the well-known insulin resistance and hormone imbalance, there is one more process happening in the PCOS women’s bodies. The name of it is high sympathetic nerve activity, which, studies show, is present with PCOS patients.

Sympathetic nervous system innervates and regulates almost all of the internal organs, including hormone glands. It also innervates ovaries.

The interesting bit is that scientists believe, that sympathetic hyperactivity could develop before the hormone imbalance, and therefore be the root cause of PCOS.

The reason this is on my blog is that acupuncture has been researched to normalise the sympathetic nervous system. It can restore regular ovulation especially in patients with less androgenic hormonal profile and a less pronounced metabolic disturbance.

If you need help with PCOS, seek an acupuncturist with in depth knowledge of these studies and good understanding of electro-acupuncture. If the wrong frequency of stimulation is administered, it can cause further activation of sympathetic nervous system, which would be harmful to PCOS patients.

Note that sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system dysfunction can also explain pathophysiology of other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

[References]

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

Acupuncture treatment for heart failure

Acupuncture Heart

Heart Acupuncture BMJAcupuncture remarkably improves exercise tolerance in patients with heart failure says Dr Johannes Backs from University Hospital of Heidelberg in Germany.

His placebo controlled study included 17 patients with congestive heart failure. The patients were randomised to receive acupuncture or placebo – a needle that simulates the procedure without piercing the skin.

No improvement in cardiac ejection fraction or peak oxygen uptake was seen. But the six minute walk distance was ‘remarkably increased’ in the acupuncture group by 32m on average, compared to a drop of 1m in the placebo group.

Dr Johannes Backs said: ‘This is the first indication that acupuncture may improve exercise tolerance in CHF patients- when given in addition to optimised standard heart failure medication.’

Previous studies summarised by American researchers in Cardiology In Review have suggested that acupuncture could be sympatholytic in heart failure. They found that sympathetic activation during acute mental stress was virtually eliminated after acupuncture.

Another review published in Heart and Lung found that acupuncture was also holding a promise as a treatment for cardiac arrhythmias. According to the eight studies reviewed, 87% to 100% of participants converted to normal sinus rhythm after acupuncture.

(Ref: Cardiol Rev. 2004 May-Jun;12(3):171-3.; Heart doi:10.1136/hrt.2009.187930; Heart Lung. 2008 Nov-Dec;37(6):425-31. Epub 2008 Sep 11.)

The study can be found in Heart / British Medical Journal

Acupuncture vs drugs

Acupuncture vs drugs pain relief

Amusing reasoning of advantages of acupuncture over drugs for pain relief in an article on military medicine:

“Imagine being a military medic on a combat patrol that is ambushed and suffers casualties. Although several of your wounded troops have painful injuries, their trigger fingers still work and you need them to continue fighting. Instead of morphine, you grab your acupuncture needles and quickly stimulate the appropriate auricular acupoints. Pain relief is an essential component of combat casualty care; however, the use of narcotics risks taking the service member completely out of the fight. Beyond pain control, the potential advantages of BA (battlefield acupuncture) to the injured warrior include staying in the fight with no alteration in sensorium and no nausea or vomiting. In addition, the use of narcotics would force the transport of patients on litters. More combat team members would be required to carry a patient than are required to provide ambulatory assistance for a patient still lucid enough to walk.”

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Success at Last: Couples fighting infertility might have more control than they think

Success at Last
Couples fighting infertility might have more control than they think
By Deborah Kotz
Posted 4/29/07

Tracy Ryan had given up hope of having a second child. Two years of trying to conceive, including three failed artificial inseminations, had finally culminated in a successful in vitro fertilization-and 2-year-old Christopher. But further attempts at in vitro had left Ryan, 35, disappointed and exhausted. Desperate to feel better, the stay-at-home mom from Fair Haven, N.J., decided to try acupuncture, kick her six-can-a-day Diet Pepsi habit, and eat more fish, fruits, and vegetables. Eight weeks later and slimmer by 7 pounds, Ryan was shocked to discover that she was pregnant. “I was literally shaking when I saw the pregnancy test,” she says. “My husband made me buy a different brand to verify it.”

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