Monday, March 31, 2014

Your Seasonal Acupuncture Session

Spring is officially here!  And that means change right?  Longer days, warmer weather, flowers blooming…just to name a few, but what about us?  With all these changes going on around us, our bodies are naturally bound to react, and to prevent flu-like symptoms or other negative effects this spring, we recommend getting your dose of seasonal acupuncture.

Whenever there is a season change, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) beliefs, the energy frequency of the body or a person’s “qi,” may not be in harmony with the season’s frequency. A person’s may be blocked, leading to negative side effects from bodily sickness to mood swings. Acupuncture move you so that you may easily align yourself with the season's shift.

Why is now the perfect he time to get acupuncture? According to TCM, transitions like season changes are times of turmoil.  People by nature are imbalanced and so these transitions exacerbate the imbalances in a person that are already there.

People may argue, why receive a treatment for something if I’m not sick?  The answer is this: prevention.  Here are the top three reasons why you should come in for an acupuncture treatment at the beginning of Spring and every season:

  1. Prevention – Help your body avoid illness during a seasonal transition.
  2. If you have had issues in the past like chronic illness or allergies, this is the time to get a tune-up!
  3. Acupuncture strength is that it works beautifully at prevention.

Call Health On Point today to schedule your Seasonal Session!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Acupuncture Emergency Room Hospital Care Gets A Yes

Acupuncture integrates into hospital emergency room care and helps relieve pain and nausea.

A new study conducted at the Northern Hospital in Melbourne, Australia demonstrates that acupuncture is safe and effective for the treatment of pain and nausea in the emergency room setting. The research reveals that adding acupuncture to conventional biomedical care results in better patient medical outcomes.
The study was conducted between January and August of 2010. A total of 200 patients presenting to emergency room triage with pain and/or nausea were treated with both acupuncture and biomedical care. This integrative medicine group was compared with another group receiving only biomedical ‘western medicine’ care. The acupuncture group responded with an 84.8% response rate that they would consider repeating acupuncture care. Of that 84.8%, a total of 53.5% noted “definitely yes” to repeating acupuncture care in the emergency room setting.

The most common conditions treated with acupuncture were musculoskeletal concerns. Abdominal and flank pain were the second most common condition. Reviewing all conditions, the integrative medicine acupuncture group demonstrated significant gains over the biomedicine group in significant decreases in both pain and nausea.

The researchers conclude that acupuncture is both safe and effective. They also note that acupuncture is “acceptable” to patients in the emergency room setting. As a result, the researchers have called for a study to understand the cost-effectiveness of implementing acupuncture into the emergency medicine department.

Related research finds acupuncture cost-effective for the treatment of pain. 
Researchers from the University of York, UK, investigated the economic value of acupuncture for the treatment of lower back pain, neck pain, dysmenorrhea, migraines, arthritis and headaches. The researchers documented correlations between the clinical benefits of acupuncture and medical cost savings. The researchers concluded, “Acupuncture appears to be a cost-effective intervention for some chronic pain conditions.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Research: Acupuncture Reduces Pain

Acupuncture effectively reduces pain according to research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Acupuncture groups had significantly greater reductions of pain than both non-treatment control groups and sham (imitation/placebo) control acupuncture groups in multiple high quality studies. Specifically, acupuncture was found effective for reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis, chronic headache, shoulder pain, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, neck pain and back pain.
Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York and Technical University, Munich underscored the importance of this latest research. They note that prior meta-analyses and systematic reviews of acupuncture for the treatment of pain included research of “variable quality.” In this new study, the scope was “restricted to high-quality trials.”
The researchers started with 31 eligible studies with a total of 19,827 patients. Studies were accepted only from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Sweden. Only studies with controls were included. Controls included no-acupuncture and sham/placebo acupuncture. All studies were conducted between 1996 and 2008. The researchers refined the studies down to 29 from the original 31 to preserve the highest quality evidence profile.
The clinical results demonstrated acupuncture to provide a “good response” to pain reduction in 50% of all cases. Sham/placebo acupuncture groups demonstrated the ability to reduce pain in 42.5% of cases and no-acupuncture controls demonstrated pain reduction in 30% of all cases. Some concern was expressed by the researchers that the sham/placebo acupuncture groups received active true acupuncture because some of the sham/placebo techniques “involved skin penetration.” They note that the sham/placebo acupuncture may not be “physiologically inactive.” As a result, some of the successes with sham/placebo acupuncture may reflect true acupuncture results. The researchers note “trials that include sham acupuncture as a comparison may underestimate the effects of acupuncture on pain reduction.” Another consideration is that these controlled studies involve blinding and standardization. As a result, the benefits of acupuncture may be underestimated because a true clinical setting involves customization of acupuncture procedures according to an individual patient’s differential diagnosis.
The researchers note that many established guidelines recommend acupuncture. They cite, for example, that the American College of Physicians’ guidelines recommend acupuncture for the treatment of back pain. Also, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines officially recommend acupuncture treatments for both chronic headaches and migraines when unresponsive to pharmaceutical medications.
This level of meticulous review establishes acupuncture as a standard and effective tool for the treatment of pain. This research has been published just after a recent discovery by investigators at Rutgers University Medical School, New Jersey that acupuncture reduces inflammation. The surgery department researchers proved that electroacupuncture fights infections including polymicrobial peritonitis and reduces severe systemic inflammation due to infections, sepsis. The researchers documented that the anti-inflammatory effects of electroacupuncture “are voltage dependent.” Non-acupuncture points (sham points) did not exert anti-inflammatory responses and “electroacupuncture with a wooden toothpick” did not reduce inflammation. Only true acupuncture was effective in regulating both dopamine and cytokine levels and produced anti-inflammatory effects that prevented death.
The researchers note that the anti-inflammatory mechanism of electroacupuncture is “mediated by the sciatic and vagus nerves that modulates the production of catecholamines in the adrenal glands.” The researchers documented that electroacupuncture reduced lipopolysaccharide-induced serum levels of cytokines, reduced inflammation and prevented death due to sepsis.
There is a powerful take away from the latest research. Not only is acupuncture effective but it is irresponsible and uninformed to dismiss it. The data is in and acupuncture is a valuable treatment modality. There is a great need in modern clinical settings to provide enhanced relief from pain to alleviate suffering. Moreover, acupuncture’s anti-inflammatory actions demonstrate that it saves lives by preventing sepsis.
If you are curious about acupuncture and would love to experience the benefits for treatment firsthand, call Health On Point to schedule a consultation today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

You're Invited! An Insomnia Workshop

Last week we announced our first joint event with Hearland Yoga! On the evening of March 26th, join us (1/2 block west) for an incredible hands-on event. You will receive auricular acupuncture in conjunction with guided breathing and relaxing yoga poses to enhance your sleep. Let us help you feel settled both physically and emotionally. We at Health On Point are preparing care packages for each individual attending. You may register by phone or directly online. Information is found in the poster below! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Acupuncture Reduces Stroke Risk Discovery

Acupuncture decreases the risk of stroke for patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Stimulation of acupoints has been proven to reduce stroke risk and post-stroke depression. An investigation of 29,636 patients with TBI reveals that patients receiving acupuncture have a “lower probability of stroke than those without acupuncture treatment during the follow-up period.” Patients from 2000-2008 were reviewed from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Follow-ups continued through the end of 2010. The study “showed significantly decreased risk of new-onset stroke events for patients with TBI who received acupuncture treatment. The present study is the first to report that acupuncture treatment was associated with reduced stroke risk for patients with TBI.”

The researchers note that acupuncture provides other medical benefits to patients with TBI. They noted, “Our previous study found that patients with TBI who received acupuncture treatment had less emergency care and hospitalization in the first year after injury compared with control.” Another study cited in the research “proved that acupuncture improves cognition and perception of sleep or sleep quality.”

The researchers uncovered numerous studies demonstrating that acupuncture is effective “in improving stroke patients’ physical abilities.” They also found concrete evidence showing that acupuncture helps to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve the “lipid profile.” They note that this type of research helps to explain why acupuncture is effective in reducing the risk of stroke in TBI patients.

The study is important in that the sample size is large and that strict study designs were used. Additionally, the researchers sorted for socio-demographics and preexisting medical conditions to ensure accurate results. As a result, the researchers give a 95% rating of confidence to the study’s outcome.

The breakdown shows some interesting results. Overall, incidence rates for strokes in TBI patients decreased from 7.5 per 1,000 patients in the non-acupuncture group to 4.9 in the acupuncture group. Sorted by gender, females without acupuncture had an incidence of 6.5 per 1,000 but with acupuncture had an incidence of 4.6. For males, the incidence was 7.9 per 1,000 for non-acupuncture patients and 5.2 for acupuncture patients. For TBI patients from ages 20-44, the incidence was 2.1 for non-acupuncture patients and 1.2 for acupuncture patients. For ages 45-64, the incidence was 10.6 for non-acupuncture patients and 7.4 for acupuncture patients. For TBI patients 65 and older, the incidence was 28.4 per 1,000 for non-acupuncture patients and 18.0 for acupuncture patients.

In other recent related research, investigators discovered that combining acupuncture with conventional medications decreases post-stroke depression (PSD). Researchers examined 150 patients in a controlled single blind study. They concluded that acupuncture combined with medications synergistically improves patient outcomes by decreasing post-stroke syndrome, improving limb function and benefitting serum biochemistry. The study group receiving both acupuncture and medications had significantly better patient outcomes than the medication only and acupuncture only groups. This research supports the integration of acupuncture into conventional medical settings for patients who have suffered a stroke.

If you or a loved one have suffered a stroke, consider trying acupuncture at Health On Point. Appointments are available throughout the day to suit your needs!
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