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 is based upon TCM and is one of the main therapies used by TCM physicians, but also practiced by naturopaths, osteopaths, and a variety of healthcare professionals. Acupuncture involves the placement of needles at specific points along meridians with the goal of restoring the balance of yin and yang and proper chi or qi flow to promote health. Persons with PD receiving acupuncture report a reduction in pain and sometimes improved sleep and mood and increased energy. Reduction of pain has consistently been reported by persons receiving acupuncture for a variety of conditions. Stimulation of the nerve fibers with the acupuncture needles is thought to activate the nervous, lymphatic, and electromagnetic pathways and result in a release of hormones that reduce pain as well as stimulate the immune system and improve circulation. Treatments often last 40 to 90 minutes while laying on one's back with needles in place and to be effective may need to be done a minimum of one to...

Neurological side effects 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.

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...

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....

Acceptance of Jennerain Vaccination

The principle for traditional variolation by inhalation is explained above. Chinese vaccinators justified the incision method of vaccination by borrowing from principles of meridian points in acupuncture. The two spots on each arm where the vaccine was to be injected were controlling the five viscera and six bowels (wuzang liufu).12 Some vaccinators prescribed ways to measure the whereabouts of the spots (e.g., the first spot was at the length of the middle finger of the child up to the elbow, the other was at the palm's length from the first spot up the arm) 31 . In other words, the vaccine injected into the correct reflexive points would most effectively liberate taidu deep inside the body 32 .

Opioidresistant pain

A variety of non-drug treatments are also available for the management of intractable pain. These may consist of simple counter-irritation with cold compresses, hot water bottles or ointments. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is of benefit in a wide range of conditions causing localized pain, particularly of muscle origin. This is believed to be due to stimulation of large nerve fibres which release the inhibitory neurotransmitter 7-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the dorsal horn. A similar effect may account for the success of acupuncture whether by deep needling alone or combined with electrostimulation. A number of psychological methods of pain relief (e.g. relaxation therapy) are also employed.

Future Directions

We have come a long way in our understanding of BPD. Outcome data for the approaches described in this chapter have shown that while there is no cure for BPD, most people can be helped substantially (Clarkin et al., 1999 Eckert & Wuchner, 1996 Koerner & Linehan, 2000). Currently, there is an ongoing study that randomly assigns patients to Linehan's DBT, Kernberg's TFP, or a control group (Kernberg, 2002) this study should help us to understand more about the disorder by seeing the differential effects of different treatments. More studies that employ neuropsychological testing could greatly improve our understanding of how people with BPD process information. In his review, Soloff et al. (2000) concludes that many medications are being used without an adequate research base further research into the use of medications is not only warranted but, I would argue, an ethical necessity. To date, alternative medicine approaches, such as herbal remedies, acupuncture, and homeopathy, have...

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...