Acupuncture For Cynics

Acupuncture For Cynics

Have You Always Been Curious About Acupuncture, But Were Never Quite Sure Where To Stick The Needles? If you associate acupuncture with needles, pain and weird alternative medicine then you are horribly misinformed about the benefits of the world's oldest form of medicinal treatment.

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Physiologic Effects Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves stimulation of specific anatomical locations on the skin to alter energy flow patterns throughout the body. The skin can be stimulated by manual or electrical stimulation or the more typical placement of small metallic needles. Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of Acupuncture has been utilized for treatment and prevention of multiple health conditions, such as chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, obesity, substance abuse, and asthma. Stress response and cardiovascular effects of pain have reportedly been attenuated by nonpharmacological techniques such as acupuncture it modulates the body's pain system, increases the release of endogenous opioids (53), and or decreases postoperative pain (54). In a feline cardiovascular model, the utilization of electro-acupuncture induced improvements in regional cardiac wall motion activity during myocardial ischemia (55). Furthermore, acupressure applied to females undergoing elective cesarean section with spinal...

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, one of the main forms of therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been practiced for at least 2,500 years. In acupuncture, certain points on the body associated with energy channels or meridians are stimulated by the insertion of fine needles. Unlike the hollow hypodermic needles used in mainstream medicine to give injections or draw blood, acupuncture needles are solid. The points can be needled between 15 and 90 degrees in range relative to the skin's surface, depending on treatment. Acupuncture is thought to restore health by removing energy imbalances and blockages in the body. Practitioners of TCM believe that there is a vital force or energy called qi (pronounced chee) that flows through the body, and between the skin surface and the internal organs, along channels or pathways called meridians. There are 12 major and 8 minor meridians. Qi regulates the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical harmony of the body by keeping the forces of yin and yang in...

Current theory and future directions

Integrate some of the electromagnetic aspects of nature into the mind-brain puzzle. In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is researching alternative healing modalities. Prominent among them is acupuncture, which has been used to treat depression, anxiety and panic disorder. Other alternative treatments being studied include the effects of prayer, meditation, creative writing, and yoga.

Nonwestern Medical Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has existed for thousands of years, long before Western medicine. Rather than following the disease model of Western medicine, TCM focuses on a symptom approach such that a person with PD who has mostly tremor would be evaluated and treated differently than another person whose symptoms were mostly gait and balance difficulty with no tremor. The specific symptoms of the individual signal a deficiency in the body fluids blood that is unable to properly nourish the energy flow or chi or Qi of the entire organism. There are three main symptom approaches under TCM (5). The first is Qi and blood deficiency, which is believed to arise from anger, emotional stress, frustration, and resentment. The second is phlegm-fire-agitating wind (yang), which is the result of poor diet, in particular eating greasy, fried, sweet, sugary foods and alcohol. The third is kidney and liver (yin) deficiency, which results from a lack of rest and overwork as well as part of...

The Need For Evidencebased Research

Many users of CAM fail to question the potential harm or benefit of such therapies. There is a tendency of laypersons and many alternative medicine practitioners to view anything labeled as alternative, natural, or holistic as safe. This is a false assumption and should not be made regarding any therapy. There is nothing natural about chelating minerals out of or injecting glutathione or acupuncture needles into a person's body. Conventional medicine demands that its prescribed treatments be carefully scrutinized by evidence-based research, mostly in the form of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. These trials scientifically examine both the short and long-term adverse events and potential efficacy of the treatment and also determine detailed guidelines and standards for prescribing a particular therapy. A large discrepancy exists between the popularity of CAM and the concern or interest among its many users and prescribers for good evidence-based research....

Peripheral polyneuropathy

Apart from symptomatic treatment with metamizole, acetaminophen (paracetamol), carbamazepine, amitriptyline, gabapentine and opioids, methods such as acupuncture or transcutaneous nerve stimulation have been tried with variable success. Vitamin B supplementation can help to improve peripheral polyneuropathy faster. Tight shoes or long periods of standing or walking should be avoided cold showers may relieve pain before going to bed. Uridintriphosphate (Keltican ) is approved for diabetic polyneuropathy, but data about its effectiveness are scant. Indeed, no data or evidence are available to date on its use in HIV neuropathy.

Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome

Alternative treatments for vulvar vestibulitis syndrome include acupuncture and hypnotherapy. Although few studies currently exist, there are promising data regarding the effect of acupuncture on pain reduction and overall quality of life (99). In addition, a recently published case study indicated that hypnosis reduced pain and helped re-establish sexual pleasure (100). Randomized controlled trials are needed in order to truly establish the effectiveness of these treatments. Alternative treatments seem promising, yet to date, only cognitive-behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and vestibulectomy have been empirically validated. It is also likely that concurrent treatment with multiple non-invasive methods may be even superior to single treatments, though this has yet to be investigated.

Alternativecomplimentary Treatment

Alternative medicine has been defined as the use of various treatment modalities that are not usually used in traditional medicine, taught in medical schools, or covered by insurance companies. Terminology, however, is changing and these treatments are being incorporated more and more into traditional therapies and hence the term complimentary medicine is now used more frequently (Complimentary-Alternative Medicine CAM ). In 1991, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the office for Alternative Medicine to address the growing use of these treatments. It has been estimated that two-thirds of the American population has used some form of CAM (59). Of importance, 70 ofthose patients using CAM did not disclose this use to their physician (60). In 1998 the Alternative Medicine office changed its name to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Alternative therapies include things such as imagery, biofeedback, acupuncture, reiki, dietary...

Treatments

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is conducting an ongoing series of clinical tests of alternative and complementary treatments for depression. Those that have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and compare favorably with conventional treatments include acupuncture Ayurvedic medicine meditation and a therapeutic diet designed to be free of caffeine and refined sugar.

Results

Population-Based Norms for the Mini-Mental State Examination by Age and Educational Level. Journal of the American Medical Association 18 (1993) 2386-2391. Folstein, Marshal F., Susan E. Folstein, and Paul R. McHugh. Mini-mental state A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research 12 (1975) 189-198. Lombardo, Emerson, L. Vehvilainen, W. L. Ooi, and others. Acupuncture to Treat Anxiety and Depression in Alzheimer's. The Gerontologist (October 15, 2001) 391.

Naturopathy

Over 1000 naturopaths practicing in America. Naturopathy incorporates many of the modalities of TCM and Ayurveda, such as acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, massage, and homeopathy with the goal of achieving a balance between one's physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health by allowing the body and mind to heal itself through its own natural mechanisms. Additional information can be found in Ref. (6).

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy involves the use of a therapist's hands and sometimes elbows and knees or in some cases hand-held wooden thumbs or rocks along with special ointments and aromas that are directly applied to the body's muscles and soft tissues (5). Its origins date back to over 4000 years as a form of TCM therapy to promote health and prevent disease. It is also a primary treatment in the Ayurvedic system. Similar to acupuncture theory, the direct manipulation of the body tissues is thought to activate the immune system, clear waste products from the lymphatic system, increase endorphin production, and restore chi flow. Though massage therapy is not a proven therapy specifically for PD, the potential benefits often reported include stress reduction, emotional calmness, reduced muscle stiffness and associated pain, along with increased range of motion of the limbs, neck, and trunk and increased energy levels. These benefits are often immediate and relatively short lasting thus, similar...