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Old 02-23-2008, 06:07 PM
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Default Acupuncture - testing the meridians

I thought this study was very interesting in that it tested insertion of needles at points defined in acupuncture versus just pressure at those points vs sham accupunture at points other than those defined in TCM

Acupuncture relieves cancer chemotherapy fatigue


Quote:
* 14:59 20 December 2007


* NewScientist.com news service
* Danny Penman

Acupuncture could help relieve the crippling fatigue associated with chemotherapy treatment in cancer patients. That is the conclusion of scientists at the University of Manchester, UK, who say their preliminary results are so promising that further research needs to be carried out to study the effect in more detail.

Crippling and long-lasting fatigue is one the most common side-effects of chemotherapy. The new work indicates that acupuncture can boost energy levels and radically improve a patient’s quality of life.

Numerous trials have shown that acupuncture appears to work for a variety of conditions. Last year, two studies demonstrated that acupuncture may help boost fertility after IVF, although a third study failed to demonstrate an effect. The US National Institutes of Health says that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by anaesthesia and cancer chemotherapy, as well as dental pain following surgery.

In the latest study, 47 patients suffering from moderate to severe fatigue were enrolled in a randomised placebo-controlled trial at Manchester’s Christie Hospital. The patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups to receive either
  • acupuncture or
  • acupressure – placing physical pressure on acupuncture points with hands or objects – or
  • sham acupressure.
Quality of life

“People felt better and had more energy after the acupuncture,” says Alexander Molassiotis, professor of cancer and supportive care at the University of Manchester who led the work.

“Patients had the energy to walk to the shops and to socialise, so their quality of life improved significantly,” he says.

The acupuncture group received six 20-minute sessions spread over three weeks. During these sessions the characteristic thin needles were inserted about 2 centimetres into the patients’ body at three points. The points were selected for their supposed propensity to boost energy levels and reduce fatigue.

Patients in the acupressure group were taught to massage the same acupuncture points for one minute a day for two weeks.

The sham acupressure group was taught the same technique, but told to massage different points on the body not associated with energy and fatigue.

Patients in the acupuncture group reported a 36% improvement in fatigue levels, whilst those in the acupressure group improved by 19%. Those in the sham acupressure group reported a 0.6% improvement.


Needle mystery


Molassiotis says that the improvements were not down to the placebo effect. “Our trial was able to take this into account,” he says. But he says a bigger trial is needed to properly characterise the effect and is planning one in the near future.

Nobody is sure how acupuncture actually works, but researchers have previously suggested that it might reduce fatigue by stimulating the body to release endorphins – morphine-like chemicals that block pain signals and induce a feeling of well-being.

Kat Arney, of Cancer Research UK, welcomes the new findings but is more cautious about their significance.

“This was a very small study and bigger randomised controlled trials are needed before we know for sure if acupuncture or acupressure is effective at relieving some of the side effects of cancer therapy,” she says.

Journal reference: Complementary Therapies in Medicine (DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2006.09.009)
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:31 PM
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Default Dr. Oz: Energy Medicine

--- moved this post to a separate thread on energy medicine in general ---

Last edited by scorpiotiger; 02-23-2008 at 06:51 PM. Reason: didn't really fit
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:53 AM
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I wonder if different needle depths produce different results? or is it so defined? does it depend on the individual? some people have thinner skin than others.. I would imagine pain threshold would be a factor?
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:35 AM
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The place that is the acupuncture point is only found at one particular depth. The "deqi" sensation (an ache, nUmbness, warmth, whatever) tells the patient and practitioner when the needle is in the right place. There is no benefit, then, in altering the depth of the needle.

Pain - well, some are more sensitive than others, as with anything, but mostly the needle insertion is painless. The needles are really very fine, and we have a way of inserting them that reduces any sensation.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:25 AM
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When I was undergoing acupuncture, there were two spots that were a bit painful but not exceeding so. On the side of my hand in the muscle in the web between the thumb and index finger. And on top of my forearm, near my elbow. Most of the dozens of other acupuncture points, I couldn't feel.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:40 AM
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Mostly, they are painless, as Iggy says.
But, there is one point in the palm of the hand that just plain HURTS, and there is no other way to describe it!
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:30 PM
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Iggy, you had acupuncture? for what? did it help?
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xania View Post
The place that is the acupuncture point is only found at one particular depth. The "deqi" sensation (an ache, nUmbness, warmth, whatever) tells the patient and practitioner when the needle is in the right place. There is no benefit, then, in altering the depth of the needle.
ok.. that makes sense. you go down till you get the body response - the "deqi" sensation - that you are looking for.

then, what do you think is going on when just pressure is used... and still invokes some fraction of the same response?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xania View Post
Pain - well, some are more sensitive than others, as with anything, but mostly the needle insertion is painless. The needles are really very fine, and we have a way of inserting them that reduces any sensation.
well, that's good to know..
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:05 PM
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I don't know what response occurs with pressure only. It is not a technique I have ever used (there is a reason they call us acuPUNCTURists!) but pressure does seem to have an effect in some circumstances.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:04 PM
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Xania, when you practice acupuncture.. does it always involve stimulating 2 points? Is the idea that you are stimulating energy flow between the 2 points?
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiotiger View Post
Iggy, you had acupuncture? for what? did it help?
On Xania's advice, I submitted to acupuncture for asthma, and it worked big time. I haven't had acupuncture in about a year and have had no more asthma attacks. I also take a homeopathic when I feel a little wheezing coming on. Arrowwind told me about the homeopathic, Tartephedreel.

My sister has severe asthma, but acupuncture didn't help her, but acupuncture did help her shingles. I think that my sister has been on heavy steroids for so long that her natural steroid production (cortisol) has completely shut down.
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:23 PM
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Xania just mentioned that the acupuncture works well with the shingles cases that she has had. so, I guess if you have shingles, acupuncture is something you should try.

also, there are quite a few studies of shingles (herpes zoster) and acupuncture. here is one:

Observation on therapeutic effect of pricking blood therapy combined with acupuncture on herpes zoster

Quote:
Department of Dermatology, Jimo Third People's Hospital, Shandong 266200, China.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the therapeutic effects of pricking blood therapy combined with acupuncture and routine western medicine on herpes zoster.

METHODS: Two hundred and forty cases were randomly divided into 2 groups, 120 cases in each group.
  • The treatment group were treated with acupuncture combined with pricking blood therapy on the point with the most pain, and cupping and surround needling;
  • the control group with external application and oral administration of Aciclovir plaster and Aciclovir tablets, respectively. Their therapeutic effects were compared.
RESULTS: The total effective rate was 92.5% in the treatment group and 55.8% in the control group with a very significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.01). The time of producing killing pain, stopping vesication and scabbing in the treatment group was shorter than that in the control group.

CONCLUSION: The pricking blood therapy combined with acupuncture is an effective therapy for herpes zoster.
Xania... what is pricking blood therapy? (doesn't sound pleasant...)
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:25 AM
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Pricking an acupuncture point with a triangular-shaped needle, with the intention of releasing two or three drops of blood. It is helpful in cases of localised pain (eg. following shingles or trauma) To a Western mind, it will be seen as a way of stimulating movement of blood, lymph etc.. An Easterner will see it as releasing an acute obstruction or stagnation. Choose your viewpiont!
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiotiger View Post
Xania, when you practice acupuncture.. does it always involve stimulating 2 points? Is the idea that you are stimulating energy flow between the 2 points?
I recall an esteemed lecturer on TCM telling us -acupuncture students- that the most elegant treatment is the treatment of one needle! He admitted that he had not yet been able to perform that treatment and neither have I.
But No, it isn't a matter of joining up two areas.
For instance, if someone is having a heart attack and waiting for medical help to arrive, the best acupuncture point to use is Pericardium 7, in the middle of the wrist crease. That will help to ease pain, help the heart to function a little better and and, I have heard, aids long term recovery,
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:54 AM
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so, Xania, what are you doing when you stimulate a point? or is it not stimulating in the Eastern way of thinking? what are you doing when you insert the needle?

(a lot of questions.. I know, but it is not often that there is an acupuncturist on a forum! and I would like to have a better understanding of what is supposed to be happening according to the Eastern way of thinking).
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