Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Community Acupuncture starts on May 26th!

Just a reminder that Acupuncture Happy Hour at Health on Point will begin during Memorial Weekend on Saturday, May 26th. Feel free to contact us and let us know if you plan on attending. Walk-ins are also welcomed!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Discounted acupuncture for our community!

On Saturday, May 19th, Health On Point will offer selected treatments during the downtown Iowa City Farmers' Market. Conveniently located across from the market, clinic treatments will be available indoors and expand to the courtyard (as weather permits). Included with treatment is specially compounded herbal tea for the season. New to acupuncture or a regular? Join us! Feel free to call and schedule a time slot, but walk-ins are welcomed! 

We look forward to providing affordable treatments for our supportive community. Have a Happy spring with acupuncture happy hour!

Research: Ear Acupuncture Benefits The Heart

Researchers have discovered that auricular acupuncture benefits the heart by increasing heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is the body’s ability to regulate the time interval between heart beats and is an index of the body’s ability to maintain control of the heart beat rate and rhythm through vagus nerve activity. A lowering of HRV is found in unhealthy and highly stressed individuals. Acupuncture’s ability to raise HRV is of importance because reduced HRV is linked to mortality after myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, diabetic neuropathy and low survival rates in premature babies. A reduction of HRV is also common in patients with PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) and for individuals with increased heart rates due to stress.

Acupuncture’s ability to raise HRV was measured using electrocardiograms (ECGs) and an HRV Mediolog AR12 system. The evidence-based research concludes that “HRV changes significantly during auricular acupuncture…” and that “HRV total increases during auricular acupuncture….” The research team, based in China and Austria, measured significant increases in HRV when needling Ear-Shenmen (earpoint: Heart). Ear-Shenmen is located on the external ear at the bifurcating point between the superior and inferior antihelix crus at the lateral third of the triangular fossa. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ear-Shenmen is used for sedation, relaxing the mind, pain relief and clearing the heart.

Researchers from the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience discovered similar results last year. They measured that needling acupuncture point CV17 increases HRV. They concluded that acupuncture at CV17 “causes the modulation of cardiac autonomic function.” The research measured the mechanism by which acupuncture at CV17 is able to activate the autonomic nervous system to control the heart rate by increasing vagal activity.
For references to this article, contact us!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Research: Anti-Pain Discovery

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Neuroscience Center published a new method to eliminate pain using an acupuncture point location as a basis for the procedure. It all began when researchers New York stated, “acupuncture releases a natural pain-relieving molecule into the body…. Adenosine is a key to reducing pain during acupuncture treatment.”

Nociceptors, commonly referred to as pain receptors, are blocked by adenosine. Acupuncture stimulates the natural production of adenosine within the body. Even more intriguing is that this research discovered a natural residual pool of an adenosine precursor (adenosine monophosphate, AMP) at the acupuncture point St36 (Zusanli) prior to acupuncture needling. Manual acupuncture stimulation at St36 increases adenosine levels. It is postulated that acupuncture stimulates the conversion of AMP reserves into adenosine thereby reducing pain.

Based on these findings, the researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill decided to inject prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) into UB40 (Weizhong), an acupuncture point located at the back of the knee. PAP is an ectonucleotidase that converts AMP to adenosine. The results showed a powerful dose dependent antinociceptive response in mice. Antinociception was boosted by adding additional AMP and was blocked with adenosine antagonists. The researchers note that this approach “locally inhibits pain for an extended period of time” and “exploits a molecular mechanism that is common to acupuncture….” The researchers add that this approach to pain management would “bypass side-effects associated with opioid-based analgesics, and hence could provide a novel abuse-resistant way to treat pain.” The researchers also note “our study reveals that key mechanisms associated with Eastern and Western medicine can be merged and exploited to locally inhibit acute and chronic pain for an extended period of time.”

1.    PAPupuncture has localized and long-lasting antinociceptive effects in mouse models of acute and chronic pain. Molecular Pain. 2012, 8:28. doi:10.1186/1744-8069-8-28. Julie K Hurt. Mark J Zylka.
2.    Goldman N, Chen M, Fujita T, et al. Adenosine A1 receptors mediate local anti-nociceptive effects of acupuncture. Nat Neurosci 2010.
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