Source : HealthCMi
Acupuncture and cupping are safe and effective treatments for lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy. Researchers conducted an observational study at a hospital-based community antenatal clinic in New Zealand and determined that acupuncture produces significant positive patient outcomes, including reductions in lumbopelvic pain levels.  Lumbopelvic pain is in the lower torso, lower back, and pelvic girdle and is frequently experienced by pregnant women. Acupuncture provides an important alternative treatment option because many common prescription drugs and over-the-counter analgesics are not recommended during pregnancy.
During the study period, a total of 245 pregnant women attended the clinic, 144 (56.5%) of whom reported lumbopelvic pain as their primary or secondary complaint. Sixty-three women were excluded from the study as they either did not complete a baseline assessment or did not complete a post-treatment follow-up. Data from 81 women were included in the results. Of the women involved in the study, 45 were nulliparous (55.5%). The majority of women were in the third trimester of pregnancy (49.3%), 31 were in the second trimester (38.2%), and 10 were in the first trimester (12.3%). Most of the women were referred to the clinic by a midwife (72%).
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Source : HealthCMi.com
Acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for the alleviation of fibromyalgia. Researchers at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of Ataturk University conclude that acupuncture improves two biochemical markers and clinical outcomes for patients with fibromyalgia. Objective measures show that acupuncture increases serum serotonin levels while simultaneously reducing Substance P levels. For subjectives, the researchers document lasting subjective improvements including less pain, fatigue, and anxiety. [i]
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with a variety of symptoms including widespread pain, sleep problems, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with depression and anxiety. The exact mechanism of the disease is has not been fully identified within allopathic and hospital medicine, but it is thought that serotonin and Substance P play an important role.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved with mood, sleep, sexual behaviour, and pain regulation. Independent research confirms that fibromyalgia patients have lower serum serotonin levels compared with healthy individuals. Substance P is a neuropeptide involved in pain sensitivity, depression, and peripheral neurogenic inflammation. [ii] Excess levels of Substance P may play a role in the pathology of fibromyalgia, especially since Substance P has an active role in pain perception.
The study measures levels of these two biochemical markers along with several clinical parameters, both before and after treatment with acupuncture. A total of 75 female participants were recruited for the study. Exclusion criteria included usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and other antidepressant drugs within the past 15 days. Those who had smoked tobacco, suffered from bleeding diathesis, or had painful conditions other than fibromyalgia were also excluded.
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Source : ITV.com
From tackling period pains to numbing migraines to increasing fertility to boosting mental health, acupuncture has long been credited with helping aid various ailments. But how can a series of tiny needles take the sting out of life?
Gerad Kite believes his five element technique, which he’s used on celebrity clients like Fearne Cotton, Chris Evans and Greg James could be the answer and he joins us in studio to explain more.
Read more and watch the video here:
Source : HealthCMi
Researchers find acupuncture effective for the prevention and alleviation of migraine attacks. Migraines are the source of intense pain, lasting for hours or days. Chronic migraine sufferers may experience nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivities—making them prone to anxiety and depression. Research conducted at the 254th Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army demonstrates that electroacupuncture therapy in the projection zone and conventional acupuncture are both effective protocols for the elimination of migraine attacks.
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Source : HealthyWay.com
Cancer is terrifying. Just the word can conjure fear and worry, and until the disease impacts someone in our family, we all want to believe it won’t happen to us.
Still, the facts suggest that a different approach to thinking about cancer could save us. According to the American Cancer Society there will be more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2017 alone.
The average American has a 38.5 percent chance of being diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, according to data from the National Cancer Institute.
However, cancer facts aren’t all doom and gloom. The same federal data shows that 67 percent of people diagnosed with cancer are alive five years after their diagnoses.
The prognosis for people diagnosed with cancer is improving, largely because of earlier detection. The World Health Organization says that early detection greatly increases the chances of survival and successful treatment for people diagnosed with the disease.
Because of this, it’s critical to know the early warning signs of cancer.
Many women are caregivers—focused on taking care of other people’s needs before addressing their own, so it’s easy for us to dismiss slight pains or twinges. However, even seemingly harmless symptoms can indicate that something is amiss in your body.
Read more here : https://www.healthyway.com/content/learn-the-cancer-symptoms-that-women-are-most-likely-to-ignore
Source : HealthCMi.com
Acupuncture is effective for insomnia relief. Research published by Zhejiang Chinese Medical University finds acupuncture more effective than a powerful sleep drug for improving sleep duration, quality, latency, efficiency, and daytime functioning. Acupuncture achieved a 92.9% total effective rate and the drug zopiclone achieved a 67.9% total effective rate. 
Zopiclone is a central nervous system depressant used for helping patients fall asleep and maintaining sleep throughout the night. The Zhejiang Chinese Medical University research indicates that acupuncture is more effective than zopiclone for improving these sleep parameters. Zopiclone is limited to short-term use because patients develop tolerance or dependence, risking the possibility of addiction. Although a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent used as a sedative, zopiclone enhances GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) via benzodiazepine receptors. Consequently, withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of benzodiazepines. The research indicates that acupuncture is an effective alternative without the adverse effects associated with drug intake.
Acupuncture improved sleep latency for patients in the study. This is the time to transition from wakefulness to sleep. Acupuncture also improves sleep efficiency. This is the percentage of total time spent sleeping at night while in bed. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these parameters are paramount to an accurate differential diagnosis. Imbalances preventing falling asleep and imbalances causing patients to wake have differing causes within TCM. As a result, acupuncture and herbal medicine modifications are based on how easily patients fall asleep, how often they wake, and what times of day they wake.
Read more on this article here : http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1816-acupuncture-outperforms-drug-for-insomnia-relief
Source : The Guardian
Doctors in China have been pushing needles into patients’ skin, supposedly to restore the flow of healing “qi energy”, for more than 4,000 years. Sometimes it feels as though researchers in the west have been arguing about the practice for almost as long. After more than 3,000 clinical trials of acupuncture, many scientists are convinced that despite the benefits that patients might think they experience, the whole thing is simply a highly convincing placebo (pdf).
But are the sceptics missing something? A steady trickle of neuroscience studies suggests that relying on patients’ pain ratings in acupuncture trials might be hiding important changes in the brain.
Just as they do with drugs, scientists test whether acupuncture works against a placebo – a convincing but sham alternative. Methods vary but this often involves placing needles at non-acupuncture points, and using retractable needles that don’t penetrate the skin. The aim is to control for the effects of patients’ positive belief in a therapy: simply thinking that your pain is about to decline can trigger the brain to release natural pain-relieving molecules called endorphins (a type of opioid, chemically similar to painkillers such as morphine). The central assumption is that such effects occur equally whether patients get a placebo or an actual treatment.
The key test, then, is the difference between the two: if both groups report the same level of pain relief, scientists conclude that the treatment being tested doesn’t work. When acupuncture is subjected to trials like this, there is only a small effect above placebo, and often no difference at all.
Neuroscientists have been studying how acupuncture affects the brain. It’s clear from many imaging studies that causing pain by inserting needles into the skin does influence brain activity, presumably by activating nerves close to the acupuncture point. Intriguingly, being pricked with needles seems to reduce activity in areas of the brain normally associated with pain, dubbed “the pain matrix”, says Hugh MacPherson, an acupuncture researcher at the University of York. “Rather than activating the pain matrix, it actually de-activates it.”
Sceptics argue that because of the lack of effect in clinical trials, such results are irrelevant. “It wouldn’t be at all surprising if being impaled with needles produced a signal in the brain,” says David Colquhoun, a pharmacologist at University College London and a prominent sceptic of alternative medicine. “It doesn’t tell you anything about how useful the needles are to patients.”
But a new generation of brain imaging studies is suggesting that perhaps researchers should refine their testing methods. There are now several trials showing that even when patients in acupuncture and placebo groups report similar drops in pain, the physical effects of treatment can be very different.
For example, Richard Harris, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues used brain scans to investigate whether acupuncture triggers an endorphin hit in the same way that placebos do. They gave fibromyalgia patients – a condition characterised by chronic, widespread pain – either real or placebo acupuncture (using retractable needles at non-acupuncture points) then scanned their brains using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. PET scans can’t see endorphins directly, but can detect the opioid receptors that these molecules target. Opioid receptors are present on the surface of nerve cells in the brain. When “locked” by endorphins (or other opioid molecules such as morphine), they prevent the cell from sending pain signals. In Harris’s experiment, a drop in the number of free, or unlocked, receptors in the patients’ brains would show that endorphins had been released.
After a single acupuncture session, as well as over a month-long course of treatment, both groups of patients reported a similar reduction in pain. In the placebo group, the PET scans did indeed show fewer free opioid receptors in areas of the brain associated with the regulation of pain, suggesting their pain relief was caused by endorphins. Harris assumed that in the real acupuncture group, he’d see something similar. “I expected that we would probably see the exact same thing between real and sham acupuncture, or that acupuncture might do it better,” he says. Instead, he saw the opposite. Within 45 minutes of the needling session, the number of free opioid receptors in the patients’ brains didn’t fall; it surged. “I was completely floored,” he says. Whatever the acupuncture was doing, it wasn’t working as a placebo.
It was the first hint, says Harris, that the central tenet of placebo-controlled trials – that placebo effects are always the same regardless of whether patients receive a real or fake treatment – might be wrong. “It has been assumed by the pain community that the placebo effect should be embedded in the active treatment group,” he says. “But it looks like actually placebos just do something completely different from the actual treatment … Both things are not necessarily operating together.”
Harris thinks that rather than representing a drop in endorphin levels, his results reveal an increase in the overall number of receptors. Other researchers have found that stimulating isolated neurons (nerve cells) directly causes extra opioid receptors to be expressed on the surface of those cells. Harris speculates that stimulating patients’ nerves with acupuncture needles might have a similar effect.
If he’s right, it’s tantalising evidence that while placebo acupuncture eases short-term symptoms by triggering pain-relieving endorphins, the real thing might actually help to reverse the underlying pathology of a disease. For example, fibromyalgia patients have fewer opioid receptors than healthy volunteers, leaving them less responsive to endorphins and overly sensitive to pain, but in Harris’s study, acupuncture “seemed to normalise the values back to healthy control levels,” he says. The larger that change, the more patients’ pain fell.
Harris is seeking funding to follow up on his results, including testing whether fibromyalgia patients who receive true acupuncture do better long-term.
More recently, research from Harvard Medical School has raised similar questions. A series of studies led by Vitaly Napadow, a neuroscientist at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts general hospital and Harvard Medical School, also concluded that patients’ initial pain ratings can hide important differences. He tested a therapy called electro-acupuncture, in which a mild electric current is passed through the needles.
Napadow focused on carpal tunnel syndrome, in which a squeezed nerve at the wrist causes numbness and pain. Unlike many chronic pain disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with physiological changes that can be measured objectively – nerve impulses at the wrist travel more slowly, for example.
In a randomised controlled trial published in March, 80 patients received either real electro-acupuncture or a fake version (in which retractable needles were placed at non-acupuncture points, with no electric current), in 16 sessions over eight weeks. Immediately after the treatment, all the patients reported similar reductions in their symptoms. Scientists would normally conclude from this result that the acupuncture didn’t work. But as in Harris’s trials, the underlying physiological effects were very different. The true acupuncture groups showed measurable improvements in the speed of nerve transmission and in the somatosensory cortex that weren’t seen in the placebo group. And only the true acupuncture groups still had reduced pain after three months. The larger the physiological changes measured by the team immediately after treatment, the better the patients felt three months later.
For MacPherson, the acupuncture advocate from the University of York, that’s a compelling result. “He’s showing changes in the brain in response to acupuncture that are clearly linked to the person’s improving clinical symptoms,” he says. MacPherson cautions that decisions regarding whether acupuncture should be prescribed to patients must always be based on clinical improvements in trials, not mechanistic studies, but he describes Harris and Napadow as “pioneers”, arguing that research like this is important for understanding how acupuncture might work, and suggesting how clinical trials could be better designed to pick up its effects.
These are single studies, however, and not everyone is convinced. “I think there is nothing that can’t be explained by bad statistical practice and cherry picking of evidence,” says Colquhoun. He describes Harris and Napadow’s research as the sort of thing that merits the hashtag neurobabble (or even neurobollocks). “Looking for explanations of a phenomenon before there’s any proven phenomenon to investigate is a waste of time,” he insists.
But Harris is unfazed, arguing that regardless of the sceptics, wider opinion is moving towards an acceptance of acupuncture. “Some people are not willing to change, despite the evidence,” he says. “But gradually, we are seeing a shift.”
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Source : NBC Boston
It is a known way to relieve pain in people, and now the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the first in the country to try acupuncture on a giraffe.
A nearly 2,000-pound patient named Sukari suffers from arthritis. The life expectancy for the species is usually in the teens, but Sukari is 24 years old and showing signs of aging.
When she started slowing down, the animal keepers and other veterinary professionals started various medical treatments before deciding to introduce acupuncture.
“There were a lot of things we had to consider,” Dr. Jeremy Goodman, the zoo’s executive director, said. “Will the giraffe tolerate it? Would it be effective? Would the keepers be able to administer it, and how safe would it be?”
Officials brought in a certified veterinary medical acupuncturist who used to intern at the zoo to begin treatments in March.
“She had a little bit of hesitation right at the first treatment, some of the tail flicking and swishing,” said Dr. Diva Malinowski Green.
While she administers the acupuncture, the keepers feed Sukari as a way to distract her and give her positive reinforcement for standing still.
The treatment for the animal is similar to human acupuncture in that the goal is to relieve pain by hitting certain points that reduce inflammation and assist with blood flow. The needles are also the same, even though the animal patient is much bigger.
“The points are very much the same across species; however, because this species is built a little bit differently, you have to adapt the points,” Green said.
After 45 minutes and 14 needles focused on the area around her hips, Sukari is finished with the session. She receives the treatment every other week, and so far, those at the zoo believe it is working.
“We think it really is keeping her arthritis at bay,” Goodman said. “We know eventually her time will come, but until that point, and we hope it’s not for a while, she’s going to have a great life here.”
Source : Health CMI
Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Researchers find acupuncture effective for normalizing hormone levels and improving the overall health of patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Scientific data demonstrates that acupuncture produces significant improvements in menstrual regularity, restores ovulation pattern regularity, increases pregnancy rates, regulates hormonal secretions, normalizes basal body temperature patterns, and increases embryo survival rates. Fertility enhancements provided by acupuncture apply to both natural conception and IVF (in vitro fertilization) patients.
Research published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion entitled Advances In Clinical Research On Acupuncture Moxibustion Treatment For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome cites several clinical studies. Let’s take a look at the finings. Chen et al. applied stimulation with acupuncture at sacral plexus acupoints and paraspinal acupoints. Acupuncture treatment sessions were regularly administered over the course of three menstruation cycles. Upon completion of all acupuncture therapy, follow-up examinations (including ultrasound imaging) demonstrated significant improvements in menstrual regularity, ovulation frequency, and cervical mucus consistency. In addition, the pregnancy rate of patients in the study increased significantly.
Read More here : https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1725-acupuncture-regulates-hormones-boosts-fertility
Source : India Today
Samuel L Jackson's Instagram is filled with food pictures--the kind of food lesser mortals like us are never going to enjoy. But that's not the point; the point is, that despite being such a foodie as Samuel L Jackson is, at the age of 68, how does he keep so fit and hale and hearty?
Actor Samuel L Jackson's weekly workout regime includes heavy-duty exercises like Pilates and weight training. The 68-year-old actor undergoes an intense fitness routine. He also fits in some time for relaxation, reports metro.co.uk.
"I do Pilates three times a week, weight training and conditioning three times a week and acupuncture and massage twice a week," Jackson said.
The Django Unchained actor loves having therapeutic after-care treatment, including the Chinese method of putting needles into the skin to target pressure points, as well as cupping to help with any aches and pains or inflammation he is left with after his workout.
"I love acupuncture and cupping," he said.
The actor also indulges in playing golf if he gets some free time.
Read more here : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/hollywood-samuel-l-jackson-fitness-workout-pilates-weight-training-acupuncture-lifest/1/925203.html