Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in Walnut Creek, California
Specializing in women's health, internal medicine and neurology - infants, children, adults and seniors
"Just because we cannot explain exactly the mechanism by which a treatment works, doesn't mean that it doesn't work." Heinz Endres, M.D. when talking about acupuncture and low back pain.
There are many recent studies on acupuncture. The following are a sampling of some interesting studies/articles. Unfortunately, studies on Chinese Herbal Medicine are far and few between. Hopefully the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine will continue to fund groundbreaking studies on acupuncture.
12/20/04 NIH & University of Maryland press releases
This four year University of Maryland study of 570 patients, aged 50 or older with osteoarthritis of the knee found that "acupuncture significantly reduces the pain & functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee. " Additionally, Stephen Straus, M.D., Director of the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (a branch of the NIH) stated that "acupuncture can serve as an effective addition to a standard regimen of care & improve quality of life for knee osteoarthritis suffererers."
According to the principal investigator, Dr. Marc Hochberg, "Many people with osteoarthritis live with debilitating pain, which forces them to limit their activities. This research shows that acupuncture, when used along with medication, can help to relieve symptoms and improve people's ability to participate in their usual activities." http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/acupuncture.htm
2/2002 BJOG - An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
A report on a study investigating the use of acupuncture during labour as a compliment or alternative to conventional analgesia found that acupuncture treatment during labour "significantly reduced the need of epidural analgesia." In addition, patients reported significantly greater degree of relaxation than the control group. http://www.bjog.org/details/journalArticle/124807/Acupuncture_treatment_during_labourx2014a_randomised_controlled_trial.html
Acupuncture Shows Promise in Improving Rates of Pregnancy Following IVF
First reported in the British Medical Journal, this study supports the use of acupuncture for use in infertility stating "the results...point to a potential complementary treatment that may improve the success of IVF..."
6/2007 Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease
This University of Louisville Medical Center clinical trial examined the effect of acupuncture on PTSD. Common symptoms of depression, anxiety and impairment were analyzed. Researchers found that acupuncture provided treatment effects similar to cognitive behavioral therapy. Results of treatment with acupuncture was maintained for 3 months after the cessation of the treatment regiment.
12/31/09 Journal of Clinical Oncology
This recent study by the Dept. of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, found acupuncture to be as good as drug therapy (Effexor - venlafaxine) at easing hot flashes in breast cancer patients.
According to researcher, Eleanor Walker, M.D. "acupuncture offers patients a safe, effective and durable treatment option for hot flashes, something that affects the majority of breast cancer survivors. Compared to drug therapy, acupuncture actually has benefits, as opposed to more side effects..."
In the study, 2 weeks after the treatments stopped, the drug therapy group experienced an increase in hot flashes; the acupuncture group did not experience such an increase until 3 months after treatment.
"Most breast cancer patients treated with acupuncture also reported an improvement in their energy, clarity of thought and sense of well being. About 25% of women in the acupuncture group also reported an increase in their sex drive."
2/17/10 BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
In a recent review of 27 studies, researchers in South Korea found that acupuncture may be more effective than drugs or herbal medicine. The study concluded that "compared with pharmacological treatment or herbal medicine, acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction in pain."
Menstrual pain is commonly associated with bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and headaches. 10 percent of younger women report that their symptoms are so severe, they are unable to work, resulting in billions of dollars in lost wages and productivity on the job annually.
In the largest investigation of acupuncture vs. conventional nonsurgical treatment for low back pain, the German researcher, Heinz Endres, M.D. stated, "acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain. Patients experienced not only reduced pain intensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain - and therefore in their quality of life."
2/22/10 Medline Plus
In referring to acupuncture treatment for depression during pregnancy, the study's author, Rachel Manbar, stated, "we tested acupuncture as a standalone treatment, and the results are very positive." Manbar is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, Sleep Medicine Center in Redwood City. According to the March of Dimes, as many as 20% of women may experience depression during pregnancy. The women in the study were all diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. 63% reported a positive response as opposed to 44.3 percent in the control group. A response rate was defined as a 50% reduction in symptoms of depression.
Wall Street Journal 3/23/10 This very interesting recent article discusses neuroimaging and other tools that show "that it (acupuncture) seems to calm areas of the brain that register pain and activate those involved in rest and recuperation. Doppler ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas. Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside." The report describes a particularly interesting study showing the positive brain pattern response to acupuncture by carpal tunnel and fibromyalgia patients.
04/25/10 OBGYN & Reproduction Week
Reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, this study on 43 women with breast cancer being treated with aromatase inhibitors and experiencing joint pain, found that they "experienced significant improvement in joint pain and stiffness over the course of the study." The study further states that "pain severity declined, and overall physical well-being improved." 20% of the participants reported that they no longer needed pain medication after receiving acupuncture. http://www.cancercompass.com/cancer-news/article/33099.htm?c=NL20100324
More than 15,000 adults with chronic headaches were followed in this German study. The participants had all been suffering from either migraine or tension-type headaches at least twice a month for one year or more.
Patients received up to 15 acupuncture sessions over 3 months. At the end of the study, patients reported greater pain improvement than those who stayed with their usual care alone. Acupuncture patients reported a substantial decrease in headaches from 8.4 over 3 months, to 4.7 at the end of the study.
According to the the lead researcher, Dr. Stefan N. Willich of the Charite University Medical Center in Berlin, "acupuncture plus routine care in patients with headache was associated with marked clinical improvements compared with routine care alone." http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSCOL65489320080826
4/01 Acupuncture Today
This article describes in detail the Italian research on migraines. The study found that "acupuncture improved symptoms of migraine without aura "more significantly" than any type of pharmacological therapy. " http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=27706
This recent study found that acupuncture "deactivated pathways that govern pain." Dr. Hugh MacPherson of the University of York stated: "These results provide objective scientific evidence that acupuncture has specific effects within the brain which hopefully will lead to a better understanding of how acupuncture works."
He further stated that "we believe it can help relieve a number of conditions, including depression which we have recruited 640 people for another study where half will receive acupuncture and the others counselling." The British National Insitute for Health & Clinical Excellence last year recommended acupuncture as a treatment option for NHS patients with lower back pain. The same team of researchers are studying the effectiveness of acupuncture on irritable bowel syndrome & depression.
Duke University Medical Center analyzed the results of 15 clinical trials on the effectiveness of acupuncture. According to the Reuters article, "the 15 trials showed that patients getting acupuncture before or during various types of operations had significantly less pain afterward than patients who did not get acupuncture." The patients required less morphine or other opioid medication after surgery further reducing the associated side effects of nausea & vomitting from these types of drugs.
The acupuncture patients experienced 1.5 times lower rate of nausea, 1.6 times fewer reports of dizziness & 3.5 times fewer cases of urinary retention compared to the other patients.
3/08/11 Journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia
In this study, acupuncture applied to the wrist point, P6 was used on 264 patients undergoing laparoscopic hysterectomy. The study found less nausea and vomiting in the acupuncture group over the control group. Overall, patients reported a greater satisfaction with the management of their postoperative nausea and vomiting with acupuncture.
November, 2001 Journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia
This Department of Anesthesia, Yale University School of Medicine study of 91 patients ages 19 to 66 years used Traditional Chinese Medicine ear acupuncture to treat preoperative anxiety. The study found that ear acupuncture decreased preoperative anxiety in patients undergoing surgical procedures. The study concluded that "ear acupuncture is easy to administer, is relatively inexpensive, and has minimal adverse efects. In additionk, all participants were able to perform their regular activities without restrictions in the preoperative holding areas." The study found ear acupupuncture particularly suited to patients who are anxious but reluctant to accept a pharmacological intervention.
February, 2002 Journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia
The purpose of the study was to assess the effectivenss of acupuncture in reducing anxiety. The study found that auricular acupuncture was effective in reducing anxiety, particularly when the "relaxation" point was stimulated.http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/92/2/548.full?sid=febf134a-a7d0-480a-94d6-318c81dab966
February, 2007 Journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia
This German study of 68 adult patients with dental anxiety compared the effectiveness of intranasal midazolam with ear acupuncture in reducing anxiety before a dental procedure. The study concluded that ear acupuncture was as effective as anti-anxiety medication in treating anxiety in dental patients, with no sedative side effects.
January, 2011 Journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in preventing malnutrition by improving gastric emptying in critically ill patients. The study demonstrated that acupuncture was more effective than the standard promotility medication in treating delayed gastric emptying. The study concluded that acupuncture at PC 6 "may be a convenient and inexpensive option (with few side effects)) for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in critically ill patients."
3/8/08 Clinical & Experiemental Allergy
This Mt. Sinai School of medicine study on mice with established peanut allergies found that when gien a formula of nine Chinese herbs, the mice were completely protected from a dangerous reaction to peanuts. The protection lasted at least 4 weeks after the termination of treatment. The researchers surmised that the protection of the heral formula may result from a shift in the immune balance away from the allergic response.
Want more information? Need to make an appointment?
Feel free to call my office at 925 9334848. You will receive a prompt return phone call.