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Home > Newsletters > December 2008 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Warm Needle Acupuncture at Pungsi (GB31) has an Enhanced Analgesic Effect on Formalin-Induced Pain in Rats

Effects of Acupuncture on Symptoms and Muscle Function in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

Plants Used in Chinese Medicine for Male Infertility Possess Antioxidant and Anti-Estrogenic Activity


Warm Needle Acupuncture at Pungsi (GB31) has an Enhanced Analgesic Effect on Formalin-Induced Pain in Rats

Kim H, et al. The Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Hoigi-dong, Dongdaemoon-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea.

Warm needle acupuncture (WNA) therapy combines the effects of acupuncture and heat produced by moxibustion. This therapy has been widely used in Korean traditional medicine to treat a number of health problems. We evaluated the analgesic effect of WNA treatment on formalin-induced pain behavior and c-Fos expression in the spinal cord of rats. Acupuncture and heat stimulation by moxibustion were performed at the Pungsi (GB31) acupoint. Needle insertion without heat stimulation (ACU) and heat stimulation without needle insertion (SWNA) were used as negative controls. WNA therapy was executed by burning 1.5g of cylinder-shaped moxa on top of the needle that was inserted at the acupoint. We measured temperatures of two different locations on the needle using an automatic temperature-acquisition system. Needle temperatures were overwhelmingly dependent on the distance from moxa while burning and showed a maximum of 44.9 degrees C at the location 7mm apart from the ground after ignition. WNA treatment was more effective than ACU or SWNA in alleviating pain during the late phase in the rat formalin test. WNA, ACU, and SWNA significantly reduced c-Fos expression in the superficial dorsal horn by 23.5, 28.3 and 19.4%, respectively.

Brain Res Bull. 2008 Nov 12.

Source: PubMed

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Effects of Acupuncture on Symptoms and Muscle Function in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

Hübscher M, et al. Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. m.huebscher@sport.uni-frankfurt.de

OBJECTIVE: This study was done to investigate the effects of a standardized acupuncture treatment on symptoms and muscle function in exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). METHODS: A prospective, randomized, controlled, observer and subject-blinded trial was undertaken. Twenty-two (22) healthy subjects (22-30 years; 10 males and 12 females) were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: real acupuncture (deep needling at classic acupuncture points and tender points; n = 7), sham-acupuncture (superficial needling at nonacupuncture points; n = 8), and control (no needling; n = 7). DOMS of the nondominant elbow-flexors was experimentally induced through eccentric contractions until exhaustion. The outcome measures were pain perception (visual analogue scale; VAS; range: 0-10 cm), mechanical pain threshold (MPT; pressure algometer), and maximum isometric voluntary force (MIVF; force transducer). Treatment was applied immediately, 24 and 48 hours after DOMS induction. Measurements of MPT and MIVF were made prior to DOMS induction as well as before and after every treatment session. VAS data were acquired after DOMS induction as well as pre- and post-treatment. Final pain, MPT, and MIVF measurements were performed 72 hours after DOMS induction. RESULTS: Following nonparametric testing, there were no significant differences between groups in outcome measures at baseline. After 72 hours, pain perception (VAS) was significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared to the sham acupuncture and control subjects. However, the mean MPT and MIVF scores were not significantly different between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Although acupuncture seemed to have no effects on mechanical pain threshold and muscle function, it proved to reduce perceived pain arising from exercise-induced muscle soreness.

J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Oct;14(8):1011-6.

Source: PubMed

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Plants Used in Chinese Medicine for Male Infertility Possess Antioxidant and Anti-Estrogenic Activity

Tempest HG, et al. Department of Biosciences, Canterbury, Kent, University of Kent, UK. helentempest@hotmail.com

In this study Chinese herbs commonly used in the treatment of male infertility were investigated for relevant biochemical activity. Male factor infertility predominantly arises via barriers to, or defects in, spermatogenesis. The process of spermatogenesis is under strict endocrine control; in addition oxidative stress has been implicated in male infertility with significant levels of reactive oxygen species detected in 25% of infertile males. A total of 37 individual herbs and seven herb decoctions used in the treatment of male factor infertility were therefore tested for endocrine activity using a recombinant yeast based assay and antioxidant activity using the FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant potential) assay. Individual herbs tested did not show androgenic properties, 20 showed strong and 10 weak anti-estrogenic activity (per g of dried herb tamoxifen equivalents ranged from 1.18-1280.66 mg and 0.06-0.98 mg, respectively). Estrogenic responses were elicited for two herbs (85.30-550 microg estradiol equivalents/g dried herb), with seven and three herbs exhibiting a strong or weak anti-androgenic response (per g of dried herb DHT equivalents ranged from 1.54-66.78 mg and 0.17-0.32 mg), respectively. Of these 37 herbs, strong (15 herbs), intermediate (7 herbs) and weak/no (15 herbs) antioxidant activity was detected (ranging from 0.912-1.26; 0.6-0.88 and 0-0.468 microg ascorbate equivalent/mg dried herb, respectively). The seven decoctions (previously used to treat patients) tested elicited strong (5 herbs) and weak (2 herbs) anti-estrogenic responses (per g of dried herb tamoxifen equivalents ranged from 1.14-13.23 mg and 0.22-0.26 mg, respectively), but not estrogenic, androgenic nor anti-androgenic, consistent with their individual composition. With regard to antioxidant activity the following responses were recorded: three strong, three intermediate and one weak (ranging from 1.02-1.2; 0.72-0.76 and 0.44 microg ascorbate equivalent/mg dried herb, respectively). The prospects for introducing Chinese herbal treatments into the Western-based medicine are discussed.

Syst Biol Reprod Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;54(4-5):185-95.

Source: PubMed

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