August 31, 2005
Nei Guan (PC6) Stimulation helps reduce GERD mechanism
A neat study showed that minor stimulation at Nei Guan (Pericardium 6) caused 40% fewer relaxations of the Esophogeal sphincter (a known mechanism in the causes of Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disorder (GERD)): Link
I like the way this was done. Mild electrical stimulation on PC6 and the same at a "sham" point near the hip. As opposed to judging the efficacy by pure patient reporting this was marked evidence in actual muscle workings within the body structure. These types of studies are exactly what Acupuncture needs, because though the mechanism for GERD is not totally understood, if we can prove that it has a direct effect on the mechanism, not on what the patient perceives, that my friends is hard, reproducible science.
August 26, 2005
The Fibromyalgia Flip-Flop
A new study being presented to the 11th Congress of Pain (love that name) at the Mayo Clinic will show that Acupuncture is more effective than “sham” acupuncture in treating the pain, chronic fatigue and anxiety associated with Fibromyalgia: Link
As you may recall, I recently posted a study that showed that sham and regular Acupuncture are no different in treating Fibromyalgia: Previous Post
Does this vindicate the discussion we had that the first study was flawed, using poorly chosen points? Alternately, does this basically mean that both studies may be flawed and a new mega study needs to be completed? It seems to me that every day conflicting evidence such as this is reported.
August 17, 2005
The Needle, Number 13 on Forbes' 20 Most Important Tools
I thought this was interesting. Forbes magazine is doing a top 20 most important tools to civilization. Ranked in there with a nod to Acupuncture is the needle coming in at Number 13, being preceded by the Candle at #14 and beaten by the Lathe at #12. Read about the needle here.
August 09, 2005
Branching Out: Autism and Vaccines? Is there a link?
To turn away from Oriental Medicine for a second, I wanted to comment on a blog post by a great citizen advocate, RFK, Jr. In the Huffington Post he talks about the lack of accountability the CDC and FDA have had over Thimerosal and proposes using populations that don't get vaccines (like Amish or Christ Scientists) to see further research on the topic. This is in follow up to his well written and must read piece in Rolling Stone two months ago.
Two differing sides of this topic can be seen at the FDA site (in the form of a study) and the Thimerosal News site. I'm curious to see everyone's opinion on this. I tend to agree with RFK, Jr, but I'll admit my knowledge is not extensive on the topic. Additionally, would a study comparing children who received vaccines to small populations like the Amish or those who don't receive them really be a "causal" link, or just show that there could be many differences between these children.
Update: I found this article on Slate after continuing my research on this topic.
August 08, 2005
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August 06, 2005
Jacksonville acupuncturist charged with insurance fraud
Being in a state where only 1 in every 300 patients have actual insurance coverage for their Acupuncture treatments, something like this is just baffling to me. The chiropracter I work with has said things like this were rampant in the beginning years when Chiro's first got covered. He said taking insurance is like sending a note to a mystical place loaded with money, and that 30-90 days later it sends you a glorious check. This guy in FL, unfortunately, decided to just keep sending note after note, even if the patient wasn't a patient of his or even if they hadn't come in that week: Link
For those of you who also aren't even familiar with CPT codes and insurance billing, the AAOM task force came up with general guidelines as to what to charge for Acupuncture. Additionally, I have written out a how to for the new CPT at the APA website.