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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Acupuncture for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Acupuncture is an important mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Empirically derived by thousands of years of observation, Chinese medical doctors recorded their treatments almost 2000 years ago in the then modern text, Yellow Emperor's Book of Internal Medicine. Although the physiologic reasoning may seem bizarre to modern allopathic physicians, accepting and understanding the basic tenets does then provide a logical choice of therapy that has withstood the test of time,longer than any current Western therapeutics. Every patient, both responsive and unresponsive to conventional medical therapy, should be given the choice of undergoing a course of acupuncture. Pelvic floor dysfunction and, in particular, pelvic pain, represents as much a dilemma for TCM acupuncture as it does for Western medicine. Precise diagnoses are difficult to differentiate. Indeed, every medical condition mentioned in this book can cause pelvic dysfunction in male and females. Acupuncture does have a...

Preface to the First Edition

Alternative therapies include acupuncture, energy healing, folk medicines, herbal medicines, homeopathy, massage, and megavitamins, to name only a few. Millions of people in the third world have used and will always use herbal medicines because they believe in them and regard them as their medicine, in contrast to the allopathic (conventional Western) system of medicine brought in from outside. These medicinal herbs are available locally and are prescribed by traditional practitioners of medicine who are part of the community and in whose presence the patient feels comfortable. In Western countries, there is now an increased use of herbal medicines, largely because of a belief that powerful synthetic agents used in Western medicine can exert more unwanted side effects and are too often used indiscriminately and irrationally. Many of our present medicines are derived directly or indirectly from higher plants. Although several classic plant drugs have lost much ground to synthetic...

Treatment Philosophies

A fundamental concept of acupuncture is the balanced flow of life energy, Qi, through the body. The Qi flows in well-defined, but as yet undetectable vessels called meridians. When the flow of Qi is blocked, by disease or injury, symptoms of illness, e.g., pain, swelling, and tenderness, manifest themselves. Acupuncture points are well-demarcated areas along these vessels, which are known to unblock the flow of Qi. This is known as the Principle Meridian System, with which Western medical doctors are most familiar. This is also the simplest, most straightforward system in acupuncture for resolving the blockages. Patients with pelvic floor problems are anything but straightforward. Their treatments will involve other, more complex meridian systems in addition to the previously discussed Principle Meridian System. The next deeper system is known as the Distinct Meridian System. According to traditional acupuncture theory, this system can provide direct access to an organ and help to...

Contributions of anthropology Helpseeking behaviour

It would be a mistake to believe that traditional healers are confined to developing countries or to ethnic minority groups in developed countries. Alternative medicine flourishes where Western biomedicine is perceived by the public to be ineffective, and psychiatry is one of those areas. Patients with psychiatric conditions are very likely to seek help from acupuncture, spiritual healing, homeopathy, or herbal remedies, in addition to consulting the general practitioner or psychiatrist. A sympathetic enquiry will elicit a number of sources of alternative medicine in the neighbourhood of the psychiatric facility. The efficacy of these treatments for any psychiatric condition has not been established, but it is a sobering thought that rauwolfia, an effective herbal antipsychotic, was used by Indian traditional healers for hundreds of years before chlorpromazine was introduced.

Types of Complementary Therapies

Encourage changes in behavior or symptom relief. Visualization and imagery techniques involve the induction of a relaxed state followed by use of a visual image, such as a pastoral scene, that enhances the sense of relaxation. Progressive relaxation involves sequential tensing and relaxing of muscles. Acupuncture. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles at special points on the body. Although details of practice may differ between individual schools, all traditional Chinese medical theory is based in the Taoist concept of yin and yang and the flow of Qi (energy) along hypothesized channels in the body. Stimulating acupuncture points situated on these channels provides one way of altering the flow of energy. Modern scientific understanding views acupuncture points as corresponding to physiologic and anatomic features such as peripheral nerve junctions. Massage. Therapeutic massage involves manipulation of the soft tissue of whole or partial body areas to induce general...

Degenerative Disease Of The Cervical Spine

A wide variety of alternative treatments have also been utilized for treatment of symptomatic spondylosis. Often, these treatments are invoked if preliminary conventional methods have failed or if the patient wants to avoid surgery. Acupuncture, deep muscle stimulation, chiropractic manipulation, biofeedback and other such methods remain alternatives. The rationale and results of such techniques are beyond the scope of this chapter. In the authors' experience, some patients appear to obtain some improvement of their pain symptoms from such techniques. It is unclear, however, if this represents the natural history of the disease since, again, as for steroid injections, the techniques involved do not appear to directly alter the underlying pathophysiology of the pain.

Liaison with traditional healers

Traditional healers are common in most low-income countries and, despite the presence of practitioners of modern medicine, people routinely consult traditional healers in the first instance. Indeed this situation is aggravated in countries where the public know that even if they do consult primary care or specialist clinics, there is unlikely to be an available supply of medicine. In Western countries there has also been a resurgence of alternative healers such as homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and shiatsu. More research needs to be done on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in people who consult traditional healers, but it is likely that the prevalence is at least as high as it is in people who consult primary care doctors. Collaboration and exchange of ideas is likely to be helpful. There has already been considerable cross-fertilization and many if not most traditional healers are familiar with concepts of psychosis, depression, epilepsy, and alcohol abuse, and have...

Materials And Methods

The dried forms of AM root and CA tuber were purchased from Teo Acupuncture & Medical Hall, where the breast cancer patients get their prescription. The herbs were crushed into small pieces with an electronic microniser. As a first step in the fractionation process, we chose the ethanolic extract of these herbs. 170 g of AM and 180 g of CA were extracted with 80 ethanol at room temperature until exhaustion. The preparation was filtered with Whatman filter paper GF A, concentrated under reduced pressure and freeze dried.

Nonspecific Back Pain

Patients complain of discomfort across the lower back, usually in an L3-S1 distribution with associated buttock and lateral back pain. The pain may radiate into the legs and be associated with non-specific paresthesiae. The relationship with exercise, rest and posture is varied. Some will complain that any movement is painful and they may, in extreme cases, take to a wheelchair, whilst, at the other end of the spectrum, continual gentle movement is reported as beneficial, leading to a lifetime of fidgeting and moving to get comfortable . There is usually a long history of analgesic use, partially effective at best. Most patients will have undergone outpatient physiotherapy and many will have attended alternative practitioners (chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture, etc.). Treatments will frequently be described as effective, but only in the short term, or becoming less effective over the years. Other treatments - TENS, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. - may be tried, with benefit in...

Complementary Therapies for Symptom Control

Therapies such as acupuncture, massage, relaxation therapy, and hypnosis are widely used for symptom control by the general public. Acupuncture, for example, is widely used in the United States to treat conditions such as back pain, and massage therapy is sought to help treat for anxiety disorders. Similarly, complementary therapies are increasingly used to treat symptoms of cancer or its treatment. A description of the most important complementary therapies is given below, followed by a review of the evidence for their effects against cancer-related symptoms. On the basis of this evidence, the following principles apply to the use of complementary modalities for cancer symptoms Acupuncture is indicated to help control chronic cancer pain that remains severe despite medication or when medication causes unacceptable adverse effects. Hypnosis or acupuncture is often effective for poorly controlled acute or subacute nausea in cancer patients.

Chinese Medicine

The methods of diagnosis are observing the patient's outward appearance, demeanor, body language, complexion, and tongue the smell of the breath, skin, and secretions and the tone and strength of the voice. Questions are asked regarding symptoms, medical history, diet, and lifestyle. A palpation test, which is the taking of the pulse, is conducted at six different locations at three depths on each wrist, with an analysis involving 28 different qualities. Once a diagnosis is made, the treatments involve one or more of the following acupuncture which reestablishes the flow of energy to affected organs through needle stimulation, herbs and herbal combinations, diet adjustments, massage and manipulation, and therapeutic exercise specifically qigong. For more information contact American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, 4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 201, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607, 919-787-5181 National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, P.O. Box 77511, Seattle...


TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) can also cause a loss of bone support. Ear and jaw pain and difficulty in opening the mouth are symptoms, often a result of underlying muscle tension. Bruxism, or grinding of teeth, is usually a part of the syndrome. Calcium, 1 g, and magnesium, 350 mg, taken twice daily can relax muscles. Acupuncture, biofeedback, imagery, and craniosacral osteopathy are therapies that can bring relief.

Pain Assessment

The pain management plan contains both pharmacological and nonpharma-cological strategies for managing the patient's pain. Pharmacological strategies involve using pain medication. Nonpharmacological strategies involve treatments other than medication. These include massage, imagery, music, distraction, humor, acupuncture, chiropractic interventions, hypnosis, herbal therapies, therapeutic touch, and transcutaneous electronerve stimulation. Surgical interventions are also sometimes performed to relieve pain.

Nausea and Vomiting

There is solid evidence that acupuncture reduces postoperative nausea and vomiting. A meta-analysis of 19 studies involving 1,679 patients showed that acupuncture reduced both nausea (relative risk compared to placebo control, 0.4 95 CI, 0.2-0.7 5 trials) and vomiting (relative risk compared to placebo control, 0.5 95 CI, 0.35-0.65 8 trials) in the immediate postoperative period. These findings were robust to sensitivity analyses of study size and quality.110 The results for chemotherapy-associated nausea are less clear. In one study, women undergoing myeloablative chemotherapy were randomized to acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, or antiemetic medication. The mean number of vomiting episodes in the three groups was 6.3, 10.7, and 13.4, respectively, with highly significant differences between acupuncture and placebo.111 The effects of acupuncture on nausea and vomiting, however, do not appear to persist. One estimate is that the effects of treatment do not last more than approximately...

Patient Examples

Physical examination reveals a delicate, thin, balding man. Palpation of the lower abdomen acupuncture points (CV2,3,4, ST25,30, SP12,KI11) detects tenderness. Turning the patient prone and palpating the buttock area (BL27-34) also reveals tender acupuncture points. I elect to give the patient a KI-BL circuit treatment. I have provided a diagram of the KI-BL Distinct Meridian Channel and the organ coverages (Figures 9-5.1 and 9-5.2). Needles are placed at the abdominal points first, and then the patient is turned prone. When I place the needles in the buttock, frank muscle twitches are noted. This would indicate correct assessment of pathology amenable to an acupuncture approach. Figure 9-5.1. Kidney-Bladder Distinct Meridians. (Courtesy of Acupuncture Energetics, by J Helms, Medical Acupuncture Publishers, Berkeley, CA,1995.) Figure 9-5.1. Kidney-Bladder Distinct Meridians. (Courtesy of Acupuncture Energetics, by J Helms, Medical Acupuncture Publishers, Berkeley, CA,1995.) Figure...