Acupuncture Research and What's New!
The most recent change for the public to recognise and feel comforted by is the acknowledgement of the Government for The British Acupuncture Council to be on the Accredited Voluntary Register. This shows recognition of the high standard of education that members must achieve to be registered and licensed to practice acupuncture.
Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study
By ANAHAD O'CONNOR
Gordon Welters for The New York Times Acupuncture may be helpful in treating migraines, arthritis and chronic pain.
A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.
The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients.
The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.
“This has been a controversial subject for a long time,” said Dr. Andrew J. Vickers, attending research methodologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the lead author of the study. “But when you try to answer the question the right way, as we did, you get very clear answers.
“We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”
Acupuncture, which involves inserting needles at various places on the body to stimulate so-called acupoints, is among the most widely practiced forms of alternative medicine in the country and is offered by many hospitals. Most commonly the treatment is sought by adults looking for relief from chronic pain, though it is also used with growing frequency in children. According to government estimates, about 150,000 children in the United States underwent acupuncture in 2007.
But for all its popularity, questions about its efficacy have long been commonplace. Are those who swear by it experiencing true relief or the psychological balm of the placebo effect?
Dr. Vickers and a team of scientists from around the world — England, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere — sought an answer by pooling years of data. Rather than averaging the results or conclusions from years of previous studies, a common but less rigorous form of meta-analysis, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues first selected 29 randomized studies of acupuncture that they determined to be of high quality. Then they contacted the authors to obtain their raw data, which they scrutinized and pooled for further analysis. This helped them correct for statistical and methodological problems with the previous studies, allowing them to reach more precise and reliable conclusions about whether acupuncture actually works.
All told, the painstaking process took the team about six years. “Replicating pretty much every single number reported in dozens of papers is no quick or easy task,” Dr. Vickers said.
The meta-analysis included studies that compared acupuncture with usual care, like over-the-counter pain relievers and other standard medicines. It also included studies that used sham acupuncture treatments, in which needles were inserted only superficially, for example, or in which patients in control groups were treated with needles that covertly retracted into handles.
Ultimately, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues found that at the end of treatment, about half of the patients treated with true acupuncture reported improvements, compared with about 30 percent of patients who did not undergo it.
“There were 30 or 40 people from all over the world involved in this research, and as a whole the sense was that this was a clinically important effect size,” Dr. Vickers said. That is especially the case, he added, given that acupuncture “is relatively non invasive and relatively safe.”
Researchers have concluded that electro-acupuncture shows some promising effects on tinnitus. Fifty patients were randomly assigned to three treatments: manual acupuncture(MA, electro-acupuncture(EA), or placebo acupuncture (PL). The MA group received traditional Chinese acupuncture method at GB8, TH17, GB2, GB20, Du20, TH3 and St36. The Ea group had the same points with electrical stimulation. The placebo group had blunt non-penetrating needles. The results showed a 41% decrease in interference by tinnitus.
(Results published in Acupuncture Magazine - Winter edition). Blood flow effect of acupuncture on the human meridian
Published on Thursday, 13 May 2010 Posted in Recent research archive
Background: It has been known for thousands of years that humans have
meridian lines. Objective:
To understand the effects of induction of Qi by
acupuncture in the meridians. Design, Setting, and Patients: The study was
performed in 56 healthy volunteers who were randomly selected from the
university population at Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science,
Taiwan. Blood flow at the acupoints of Lieque (LU 7) and Chize (LU 5) of
the right hand, or a nonacupuncture point chosen freely near LU 5, was
Acupuncture stimulation of a human LU 7 point for
about 15 seconds, until the De Qi sensation was achieved. Main Outcome Measure:
Skin blood flow detected using a laser Doppler flowmeter.Results:
When LU 7 was stimulated by acupuncture, the blood flow was increased after the De Qi sensation; as long as the participant was
getting the emergence of a strong De Qi feeling or feeling a flow of
numbness to reach LU 5, there was a visible peak of upward LU 5 blood
This hot, numb feeling that developed within a few
minutes after acupuncture was most likely caused by the circulation of
tissue fluid inside the meridian. copyright 2010 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Authors: Kuo T.-C. Chen Y.-J. Kuo H.-Y. Chan C.-F.
Journal: Medical Acupuncture. 22(1)(pp 33-40), 2010
Faced with the need to develop new research models in order to properly measure treatment outcomes, the BAcC established the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre (ARRC) in 1994. Other key aims were to: collect acupuncture research data from available sources
increase awareness of the effectiveness of traditional acupuncture by providing good quality information to practitioners, other health service providers, journalists, researchers, government bodies and the public
liaise with other researchers and establish a network of research-active practitioners
produce review papers on the latest evidence-based clinical trials into the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of specific conditions
encourage and support BAcC members' research projects
conduct the BAcC’s own research projects
Acupuncture and tennis elbow
In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety (Wu 1999).
Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of tennis elbow, such as pain and inflammation by:
stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors (e.g. neuropeptide Y, serotonin), and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Han 2004, Zhao 2008, Zhou 2008, Lee 2009, Cheng 2009);
delivering analgesia via alpha-adrenoceptor mechanisms (Koo 2008);
increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties (Goldman 2010);
modulating the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network (Hui 2009);
reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.
There are many more Research items on the British Acupuncture website
Thank you for visiting acupuncture-in-shrewsbury.co.uk and I hope you found this site useful.