July 29, 2005
Acupuncture News Bonanza!
All the major news agencies are scooping stories on Acupuncture left and right this week, and all of them mostly positive.
Acupuncture May Improve Sperm Quality - Fertility and Sterility is posting an article claiming that men treated with "standard" Acupuncture points showed marked improved in sperm count and quality. The news orgs are all short coming in details about the study.
Acupuncture May Relieve Tension Headaches - German researchers have basically replicated the previous migraine study for use with tension headaches. They found identical findings. Acupuncture dramatically decreased the severity and frequency of headaches with long standing results. However, their sham group, also did very well. What kills me is that the sham group used similar points but only inserted the needles just under the skin. How that qualifies as sham I have no freaking idea.
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of AIDS Drugs - One of my old intern locations, the Aids Care Project/Pathways to Wellness in Boston studied HIV positive and AIDS patient's reported side effects. The study showed that not only did Acupuncture decrease known adverse events from the meds, but also promoted compliance with the medications. Interesting design by using a 3 week course of focused Acupuncture, then 3 weeks of non-standard to see if there was a difference. This was presented to the International Aids Society.
July 27, 2005
First School in PA accepting it's first students for Master's Program
The Won Institute in Glenside, PA is opening it's doors come September for the first ever Masters degree program in the state of PA. It is also the first Acupuncture school in the state, given that up until 2 years ago, Pennsylvania had a law banning non-licensed needling. Not only did this mean no student could needle, but no one from out of state could either.
The Philly Weekly picked up on the story here, with a quote from our hard working President of the APA Ben Griffith.
Unlike many of my colleagues, I actually welcome the soon to be competition. The more there are, the more popular it's going to get. And if friend's of mine in Vermont can do okay in places that have populations of less than 10,000, then by god there's plenty of room for Acupuncturist's in the 5th most popular city in the country.
July 19, 2005
Study shows Acupuncture's effects on Overactive Bladders in women
A small study of women with overactive bladders and incontinence showed that Acupuncture provides definitive short term relief. Long term follow-ups have yet to be made: Link
The study design had 3 groups: a specific treatment for overactive bladders, a general relaxation Acupuncture treatment, and a control. The specific treatment worked the best, on both the incontinence, as well as the frequency and urgency symptoms. Not surprisingly, the general Acupuncture treatment also worked on the incontinence, but not so much on the urgency and frequency. The control did significantly worse.
The study was from Obstetrics and Gynecology.
July 18, 2005
Looking for a job in Acupuncture or to sell your practice? Look no further!
Just a friendly reminder that if you are either looking for a job as an Acupuncturist, are thinking of selling your practice, or are interested in buying one, the TCM Student Message Boards are the place to go.
Check out our Acupuncture Jobs Forum for the latest listings.
July 08, 2005
Study on Threadlike structures in body possibly Meridians?
You can all thank naturaldoc for this one. This is an article from last month's Anatomical Record. The article discusses a rediscovery of threadlike structures or tubules on the surfaces of the organs of mammals. They were originally discoverd in 1966 by Bonghan Kim and named Bonghad Ducts. Kim posited that these ducts traversed the surface of the organs and even thread subcutaneously throughout the body. The connection here, is he thinks these are what the meridians really are.
What's interesting about these ducts is that they go throughout organs, and are small enough to actually go within the blood vessels. To anyone who has ever tried to describe that what we call Blood stagnation is actually a 'stagnation of energy within the blood' this makes a whole lot of sense now. The liquid/cells flowing within these ducts contain a single DNA chromosome and can have a therapeutic effect on the body.
Read the whole thing for yourself. Download the PDF.
July 06, 2005
Second study questions 'real' Acupuncture
A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine has supposedly shown that Acupuncture is no more effective than "Sham" Acupuncture in treating fibryomyalgia patients. The reports coming out of the AP and webMD are not good reporting so if anyone has medline access and can send me the whole article please do so.
The study compared a traditional TCM treatment with a "sham" group of non-point needling, and non-insertion needling. It's hard to determine from the articles whether all three were effective or not, but the point was that they all did about the same. Recently, JAMA had an article in May showing that Acupuncture and "sham" Acupuncture were both good at treating migraine headaches, but that they did so equally.
So my question is: are all of our recent grads of OCOM's doctoral going to school for naught? If more and more of these studies keep coming out saying that you can just put the needles anywhere our profession may be in serious danger.
Update 7/12/05: Thanks to my old friend KK who sent me the actual study, I've noticed a couple of things in reading it.
1. There were 3 treatment groups. A set protocol for TCM Acupuncture, treatment for a supposedly unrelated condition (menstrual pain from Heat), and non-traditional point needling. The non-traditional points were oddly chosen in areas that in my mind could control qi flow to the limbs.
2. The point selection I found quite strange from a TCM point of view:
Treatment alternated btwn:
a. LI11, Sp9, Cv12, St25, Kd7, TW5, YT
b. BL 43, 44, 17, 18, 20, 22, Kd7
Interestingly the sham group was:
Lu7, Sp10, Cv3, Lv2, Kd5
I've never heard of a treatment protocol like either of the above for either fibromyalgia or for menstrual pain due to heat. Kd7, LI11, St25 for pain? eh?
3. Previously successful studies involved the use of electro-acupuncture while this is notably missing it.
4. The sample sizes on all of these groups are somewhat limited (~24 people).