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Home > Newsletters > December 2004 >

Recent Research

 

Acupuncture and Maternity Care

  Electrostimulation of Auricular Points is More Effective for
 Chronic Neck Pain than Manual Auricular Acupuncture
  Combination Effects of Herbs in a Multi-herbal Formula
  Acupuncture for Depression during Pregnancy

Acupuncture and Maternity Care

A study was conducted outlining the circumstances of use and patient perspectives regarding the acupuncture service offered in an antenatal clinic at an Australian public hospital. Study participants were recruited from women attending the antenatal clinic. Upon completion of their course of acupuncture treatment, 52 women were given a questionnaire, of which 37 (71%) were completed and returned. Of the 37 women who attended the acupuncture clinic, 18 (49%) had previously used at least one form of complementary medicine and therapy. The most common reason for treatment was physiological symptoms including back pain, symphysis pubis dysfunction and sciatica. All 37 women stated that the acupuncture improved their well-being and this finding was statistically significant (P<0.001). These findings are offered as a means of identifying potential issues for future investigation in this under-researched area.

N.Hope-Allan, et al. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2004 Nov;10(4):229-32


Electrostimulation of Auricular Points is More Effective for
  Chronic Neck Pain than Manual Auricular Acupuncture

In a randomized, double-blinded, controlled study, the hypothesis that auricular electroacupuncture relieves pain more effectively than conventional manual auricular acupuncture was tested. 21 patients with chronic cervical pain without radicular symptoms with insufficient pain relief (visual analogue scale >5) were treated with standardized analgesic therapy. All patients received disposable acupuncture needles on the dominant side on the following acupuncture points: cervical spine, shen men, and cushion. In 10 patients, needles were continuously stimulated (2-mA constant current, 1 Hz monophasic) by using the electrical point stimulation device P-STIM. In 11 control patients, no electrical stimulation was administered. All needles were withdrawn 48 h after insertion. Acupuncture was performed once a week for 6 weeks. The patients had to complete a questionnaire assessing pain intensity, psychological well-being, activity, sleep, and demand for rescue medication (lornoxicam and tramadol). The reduction in pain scores was significant in the electrical acupuncture group. Similarly, psychological well-being, activity, and sleep were significantly improved in patients receiving electrical acupuncture, and consumption of rescue medication was significantly less. These results
demonstrate that continuous electrical stimulation of auricular acupuncture points by using the new point stimulation device P-STIM improves the treatment of chronic cervical pain in an outpatient population. Therefore, continuous electrical stimulation of auricular acupuncture points by using the new point stimulation device P-STIM significantly decreases pain intensity and significantly improves psychological well-being, activity, and sleep in chronic cervical pain patients.

Sator-Katzenschlager,S.M Electrical stimulation of auricular acupuncture points is more effective than conventional manual auricular acupuncture in chronic cervical pain.in Anesth.Analg. 2003, Vol. 97)5) p. 1469-


Combination Effects of Herbs in a Multi-herbal Formula

Herbal formulas of traditional Japanese (Kampo), Chinese and Korean medicines usually comprise multiple herbs in a single formula. These medicines are expected to show their clinical effects by chemical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical combination effects of multi-herbs. However, little effort has been made so far to scientifically clarify the nature of such combination effects. Interestingly, for example, though a Kampo medicine Juzen-taiho-to (Shi-Quan-Da-Bu-Tang in Chinese) stimulates the immune functions of Peyer's patch cells, none of its single component herbs shows such activity. We thus examined the combination effect of herbs in the Juzen-taiho-to formula for the expression of its immuno-stimulating activity. Juzen-taiho-to, a composite formula of 10 herbs, has been generally considered to comprise two kinds of basic formula, each of which consists of four different herbs in addition to two others. The combinations of herbs based on these two basic formulas were evaluated for their stimulating activities on cytokine production from murine Peyer's patch cells both in vitro and ex vivo. Combined decoction of six among 10 herbs in Juzen-taiho-to is crucial for the expression of its stimulating activity on Peyer's patch cells. 3D-HPLC analysis of the ingredients in the fractions from the combined decoctions indicated that, in addition to quantitative changes of ingredients, alterations occur in their chemical composition by decoction of different herbs. The stimulating activity of Juzen-taiho-to on Peyer's patch cells results from the combination effect of its six essential component herbs. This combination effect is based on physicochemical interactions among the ingredients of the component herbs.

Kiyohara H, Matsumoto T, Yamada H. Combination Effects of Herbs in a Multi-herbal Formula: Expression of Juzen-taiho-to's Immuno-modulatory Activity on the Intestinal Immune System Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 Jun 1; 1(1): 83-91.


Acupuncture for Depression during Pregnancy

There are not many medically acceptable treatments available for depression during pregnancy. The aim of this randomized controlled pilot study was to determine whether acupuncture can possibly be used as a treatment for depression during pregnancy. A small sample of sixty-one pregnant women with major depressive disorder was randomly assigned to one of three treatments delivered over 8 weeks: an active acupuncture (SPEC, N=20), an active control acupuncture (NSPEC, N=21), and massage (MSSG, N=20). Acupuncture treatments were standardized and double-blinded, but individually tailored. According to the results, the response rates at the end of the acute phase were statistically significantly higher for SPEC (69%) than for MSSG (32%), with an intermediate NSPEC response rate (47%). The SPEC group also exhibited a significantly higher average rate of reduction in BDI scores from baseline to the end of the first month of treatment than the MSSG group. Responders to the acute phase of all treatments combined had significantly lower depression scores at 10 weeks postpartum than nonresponders. In conclusion, acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.

Manber R., et al. Acupuncture: a promising treatment for depression during pregnancyJ Affect Disord. 2004 Nov 15;83(1):89-95.


This Month's Articles

December 2004
Volume 2, Number 8

What Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Do For You During the Flu Season

The Difficult Problem of Mold Infestation - Part II-A

An Introduction to Medical QiGong

Recent Research

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