Chinese Herbal Formula Does
Not Improve Allergy Suffering When Combined With Acupuncture
The authors assessed whether adding a Chinese herbal medicine formula to
acupuncture would affect the severity of symptoms and quality-of-life scores
among patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Between July and December 1999,
65 patients received acupuncture twice a week for eight weeks plus either a
Chinese herbal drug formula (n=33) or placebo (n=32) at a dosage of four
capsules, three times daily.
Sixty-one patients completed the study (31 in the intervention group and 30 in
the control group). After eight weeks, no significant difference was found
between the two groups in the severity of nasal and non-nasal symptoms and in
the Rhino conjunctivitis and Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores.
Intention-to-treat analysis of categorical variables showed moderate-to-marked
improvement rates of 72.7% and 81.2% for intervention and control groups,
respectively. Six patients reported mild adverse events-three from each of the
The Chinese herbal formulation under investigation did not provide additional
symptomatic relief or improvement in quality-of-life scores among patients with
seasonal allergic rhinitis who were receiving acupuncture.
Xue, C.C., et al. Effect of adding a Chinese herbal preparation to acupuncture
for seasonal allergic rhinitis: randomized double-blind controlled trial.
Hong Kong Medical Journal 9(6):427-434.
Note: To understand the full implication of this study, readers should obtain
the full text of the journal article to determine the herbal formula the
researchers used. -- Editor
Acupuncture Available in Boston Area Teaching
Acupuncture is widely used by the American public, but little
is known about its availability and use in academic medical settings. The
authors performed a pilot study to compare acupuncture services provided by
hospitals affiliated with a major academic teaching institution and a parallel
survey of services provided through an acupuncture school in one city in New
England. Between December 2000 and July 2001, a telephone survey was conducted
of the 13 hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School and the clinics
affiliated with the New England School of Acupuncture.
Acupuncture was available in eight of the 13 hospitals.
Acupuncture was provided in ambulatory clinics in all eight hospitals but was
available to inpatients in only one hospital. Six hospitals delivered
acupuncture through an outpatient pain treatment service, one through a women's
health center, one through an HIV clinic, and one hospital delivered acupuncture
through two services -- a program in the anesthesia department and a
multi-disciplinary holistic program in a primary care department. In contrast,
the acupuncture school clinics provided services through an on-site clinic at
the school, through acupuncture departments at two community-based hospitals,
and through a network of 12 satellite acupuncture-dedicated clinics operating
throughout the state.
Acupuncture is available on a limited basis in a majority of
the teaching hospitals in this city. At the acupuncture school clinics, there
are few barriers to care. Future health care studies will need to examine the
role of acupuncture in diverse geographic settings and to examine its impact on
quality of care, teaching and its role in research in academic centers.
Highfield, E.S., et al. Availability of acupuncture in the
hospitals of a major academic medical center: a pilot study. Complementary
Therapies in Medicine 11(3):177-83.
Acupuncture Shows Promise for
In a randomized, two-group clinical study, researchers used
acupuncture for relieving menopausal hot flushes, sleep disturbances and mood
changes. The experimental acupuncture treatment consisted of specific
acupuncture body points related to menopausal symptoms. The comparison
acupuncture treatment consisted of a treatment designated as a general tonic
specifically designed to benefit the flow of Qi.
Results from the experimental acupuncture treatment group
showed a decrease in mean monthly hot flush severity for site-specific
acupuncture. The comparison acupuncture treatment group had no significant
change in severity from baseline over the treatment phase. Sleep disturbances in
the experimental acupuncture treatment group declined over the study. Mood
changes in both the experimental acupuncture treatment group and the comparison
acupuncture treatment group showed a significant difference between the baseline
and the third month of the study. The researchers conclude that acupuncture
using menopausal-specific sites holds promise for nonhormonal relief of hot
flushes and sleep disturbances.
Cohen, S.M. et al. Can acupuncture ease the symptoms of
menopause? Holistic Nursing Practice 17(6):295-9.