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March 28, 2013

So Called Auriculotherapy Ineffective to Stop Smoking

A study published by the family medicine board looked at using an electric stim device known as the Stim Flex 400a applied to ear points for the purposes of reducing smoking habits. The device has probes like a typical e-stim devices point finder. An acupuncturist trained nurses to use the device on an unspecified series of points for 20 mins. The methods section of this paper left a lot to be desired as it neither listed points, how long each point was 'stimulated' for, and the degree or amplitude of stimulation. At one point in the paper it noted that the machine does not generally produce a current that is detectable by humans.

Needless to say, the study had two groups where there was a double blinded setup, one with real stim and the other with the actual stim function broken on the machine. In the end, they noticed no significant difference between groups in terms of number of cigarettes smoked or duration of abstinence from smoking.

Though possibly proving ear acupuncture isn't as effective for smoking as we've all thought, this study design left too many variables for that statement to be made.

Journal of American Board of Family Medicine

Posted by Admin at 08:05 PM

March 25, 2013

Acupuncture Quiets Stress in Rats

A Georgetown University School of Nursing researcher (and former acupuncturist) shows preliminary results that acupuncture is reducing the rat equivalent of cortisol when they're exposed to chronic stress.

She posits that acupuncture works by quieting a key pathway — the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. The study had 3 arms including acupuncture, sham and control.

They found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway when applied to St36. The researcher adds that the rats receiving the sham electronic acupuncture had elevation of the hormones similar to that of the stress-only animals.

Common Health

Posted by Admin at 06:52 PM

March 21, 2013

Acupuncture Improves Dyspnea in COPD Patients

At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Suzuki presented his findings that Acupuncture improves dyspnea, or shortness of breath, and quality of life in COPD patients. A decrease in shortness of breath in patients with COPD is directly proportional to increased survival rates. The researchers also showed acupuncture improved arterial blood gas, rib cage range of motion, respiratory function and respiratory muscle strength. All amazing signs for this patient group.

The placebo group they compared to, received simulated needling using a Park sham device. The device uses a blunt tipped needle that looks as if it is penetrating the skin but, in reality, telescopes back into the upper part of the needle handle. Check the full text of the article below to see points used.

From first hand reports, this tremendously impressed all the docs at the conference and is further pushing them towards utilizing Acupuncture.

PubMed | Full Article PDF

Posted by Admin at 10:12 AM

March 18, 2013

MRI Proof Acupuncture Improves Hearing

Though I'm unable to find the original study, Health CMI is posing a study showing MRI proof that demonstrates that acupuncture needle stimulation increases signal strength in the auditory cortex of the brain. They manipulated SJ3/Zhongzhu) and the brain response was accompanied by an increase in auditory cortex signal strength thereby indicating the brain’s ability to react to auditory stimuli. Clinically of note, subjects with unilateral hearing loss, the side with hearing loss showed significantly increased auditory cortex fMRI signals in response to auditory stimuli following acupuncture stimulation.

Health CMI

Posted by Admin at 01:05 PM

March 16, 2013

Electroacupuncture Speeds Recovery Post Colorectal Cancer Surgery

Researchers in Hong Kong evaluated the use of electroacupuncture for patients undergoing elective laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer. They found that electroacupuncture was far better for postoperative ileus, time to ambulation, and postoperative analgesic requirement, than patients with either no or sham acupuncture.

GastroJournal Full Text

Posted by Admin at 10:51 AM

March 12, 2013

Dragon and Tiger Fighting Manipulation Better Than Plain Needle Insertion

Following up on the recent study proving deqi vs not was better for Bell's Palsy, this study showed that a particular technique (dragon-tiger fighting needling) was better than plain insertion (and PT) for non-specific low back pain.

Ninety cases divided into a dragon-tiger fighting needling group, a uniform reinforcing-reducing needling group and an intermediate frequency physiotherapy group with 30 cases in each one. The dragon and tiger fighting method involves alternately rotating the needle to the left nine times and rotating the acupuncture needle to the right six times. The clinical curative rate was 30.0% (9/30), 23.3% (7/30) and 16.7% (5/30), respectively. In comparison, the clinical efficacy in the dragon-tiger group stood out.

This study needs way more patients, and possibly a meta-analysis on technique specific methods before being truly done well.

PubMed | HealthCMI

Posted by Admin at 01:08 PM

March 07, 2013

60 Minutes Offers Further Cost Problems at Hospitals

After reading the Time health care costs expose, we found this good article done by 60 minutes back in December about hospital admissions policies and the for-profit hospital.

Hospitals can push their doctors to admit up to 20 percent of their patients and instantly turn a rural, financially troubled hospital into a profit generator off of both insurers and taxpayer dollars.

60 Minutes

Posted by Admin at 02:06 PM

March 05, 2013

Time Expose on Health Care Costs

If you haven't read the Time expose on health care costs it is an absolute must read for anyone in the healthcare field...or frankly for any US taxpayer. Truly makes the concept of Acupuncture costs and the benefits it could do absolutely miniscule compared to the cost of a few doses of motrin and a gown at a hospital.

Time Magazine

Posted by Admin at 11:09 AM