Posts Tagged ‘Acupuncture’
Sunday, February 6th, 2011
Acupressure Helps Students (and Employees) Stay More Awake, Ian Wahl
The more things change, the more they stay the same. When I was in college 40 something years ago (yeah, I am really that old), I had plenty of teachers who were so boring that I thought my brains would melt out of my ears. Apparently, throughout the history of education, students have tried all sorts of remedies to stay attentive when a boring professor, or lack of proper sleep, sends them drifting off in a college class. Drinking coffee, taking commercially available tablets alleged to stop the dozing, or indulging in high-sugar snacks are just a few of them. Now, according to a University of Michigan study, Acupressure may bring new hope to those struggling to stay awake in the classroom.
The study involved teaching students to self-administer Acupressure to a variety of body points on their legs, feet, hands and heads. Some of these points were known to cause more stimulation, others greater relaxation. A total of 39 students in a 3-day On Job/On Campus program took part in the study. The results were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
“Our findings suggested that Acupressure can change alertness in people who are in classroom settings for a full day which could be very good news for students who have trouble staying alert at school.” This comment comes from the director of the study, Dr. Richard E. Harris, Ph.D., in the Dept. of Internal Medicine and a researcher with the U-M Health System’s Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.
The 39 students were taught to self-apply Acupressure regimens on either 5 stimulation points or 5 relaxation points. Techniques consisted of light tapping with the fingers and massaging with thumbs or forefingers. On day one, the first group self-administered Acupressure to the stimulation points followed by the relaxation points on days 2 and 3. The second group used relaxation points the first day and stimulation points on days 2 and 3. The Acupressure was administered mid-day during the student lunch period.
Students rated their level of sleepiness in the morning, afternoon and after class using the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) for evaluation. (The SSS is a self-measurement tool for assessing sleepiness on an 8-point rating from wide awake to fast asleep.)
In each case, the stimulation group had significantly less fatigue than the other group and this has interesting implications for future studies, said Dr. Harris, who himself is a trained acupuncturist. “The study showed that a stimulation Acupressure regimen leads to a statistically significant reduction in sleepiness compared to an Acupressure treatment that focuses on relaxation,” he said.
“The idea that Acupressure can have effects on human alertness needs more study, including research that can examine the scope of influence Acupressure can have on alertness and fatigue,” said Dr. Harris. That research can have an impact on performance in the classroom and in other areas of life where a high state of alertness is mandatory or desirable.
While classroom performance (or employee performance) is often affected by nutrition as well as food and environmental allergies and sensitivities, sometimes we all just need a boost in the middle of the day. At the Wahls of Wellness, we recommend massaging or tapping on the following acupressure points during the day to stimulate alertness:
KD 27: Tap these two points which are located on either side of the breastbone just below the collarbone. If you place your hands as though you were Abe Lincoln holding on to his coat lapels, your extended thumbs will be located around the KD 27 acupoint just below the collarbone.
REN 17 and REN 6: Massage in a circular motion, at the same time, the acupoints REN 17 (located in the center of the chest between the breasts) and REN 6 (located two finger widths below the navel)
DU 20: Massage in a circular motion the top of the head
ST 36: Massage the acupoint located on the front of the leg, one hand width (four fingers) below the kneecap, on the outside, in the depression between the shinbone and the leg muscle.
By performing these simple acupressure massage techniques, a person can enjoy a natural mid-day energy boost without the use of stimulants.
If you would like more information about acupuncture and how it can help you live a more full life, give us a call at 847 392-7901.
Source: University of Michigan, September 2005. http://www.med.umich.edu/opm/newspage/2005/acupressure.htm
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
Acupuncture Is Making Life Easier For Those Fighting Cancer
There’s nothing enjoyable about fighting for one’s life when the diagnosis is cancer. The pain, nausea and sickness that accompany the disease or the treatment just add insult to injury.
But time and time again, studies have shown that Acupuncture helps those with the pain of cancer or the sickness resulting from treatment.
In 1986, two doctors in London studied whether or not patients at a Pain Clinic in a cancer hospital could benefit from Acupuncture treatment. The results were quite promising. This study found that 82 percent of the patients treated with Acupuncture received a benefit that lasted for hours or even days. Patients who were suffering from muscle spasms or unpleasant sensations such as itching, prickling or burning were among those who received the greatest help.
In 2009, a study executed by Jeanette Ezzo, a Maryland researcher, and a research group investigated the relief that might be provided to those who were receiving chemotherapy. It is very typical for those receiving chemotherapy to suffer vomiting and nausea. Acupuncture and self-administered acupressure were tested together on this study.
The research group found that, “acupuncture has demonstrated benefit for chemotherapy-induced acute vomiting.” It also determined that, “Self-administered acupressure appears to have a protective effect for acute nausea and can readily be taught to patients.” Further studies are needed to provide complete verification of the benefits.
Then treatments such as chemotherapy produce sickness and vomiting as a side effect, the usual medical solution is to give more drugs to combat those side effects. Rather than involve oneself in a never-ending round of drug-taking, it is always wise to see if a minimally invasive and nearly painless method of treatment such as Acupuncture can help before resorting to more drugs.
Avoiding more drugs leaves the body with a maximum amount of innate healing power with which to deal with the cancer.
Source: http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab002285.html, http://www.acupuncture.com/research/cancerpain.htm, http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/acupuncture/healthprofessional/allpages#Reference6.17
Sunday, May 30th, 2010
Check back soon for more articles…Ian Wahl
Acupuncturre’s Pain Relief Equal to Painkilling Drugs
A team of scientists from two British universities carried out brain scans on patients while they underwent Acupuncture treatment. The scans showed differences in the brain’s response to acupuncture needles compared with tests using dummy needles that did not puncture the skin.
Doctors found that the part of the brain that manages pain and the nervous system showed pain relief levels of as much as 15 per cent.
Dr. George Lewith, from the University of Southampton’s Complementary Medicine Research Unit, said the improvement is “exactly the same size of effect you would get from…real painkillers (pharmaceuticals) for chronic pain. The evidence we now have is that acupuncture works very well on pain.”
The patients in the study were put through three tests in random order, while ‘brain maps’ were created using sophisticated scans at University College London. In one test, researchers used blunt needles that pricked the skin, but which the brain registered as the sensation of touch. Dummy needles, where the tip was pushed back once it touched the skin, were then used, and in the third test the patients underwent acupuncture treatment with real needles.
The acupuncture needles had two measurable effects on the patients’ brains: as with the dummy needles, the brain released natural opiates in response to the expected effect of the needles.
But the scans showed that the real needles had an extra effect and stimulated another part of the brain called the ipsilateral insular. This improved pain relief of 10-15% was similar to the effect of taking conventional analgesic drugs.
Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Check back soon for more articles…Ian Wahl
“Brain Fog” and Hormone Levels During Menopause Improve Markedly From Acupuncture Treatment
For many women, menopause is a difficult time. Mood swings, weight gain, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, forgetfulness – these symptoms and more can make life miserable. For some women, menopause comes and goes in a hurry. Unfortunately, for many more, the entire process can take as long as five years.
One of the symptoms of the process of menopause that is often mentioned is “brain fog.” This condition is accompanied by fluctuations in hormone levels. Symptoms may be alleviated by replacement hormones, but some of these drugs have turned out to be dangerous. Specifically, Equilin, Estradiol, Estrone and Mestranol were found to be carcinogenic after they had been prescribed to women for years.
Fortunately, a far less invasive form of treatment has been developed using Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Beijing, this treatment was tested on thirty-five women with thirty more women with similar symptoms serving as a control group. After 24 treatments over 4 weeks, the Acupuncture treatment was found to be more effective than medicine.
In the Acupuncture group, 12 cases were fully recovered, 16 cases improved “markedly,” and 6 cases improved. The total effective rate was calculated as high as 97.14 percent. Only one patient did not show any significant improvement.
What is even better is that medical tests of the hormone levels of these women confirmed that they weren’t just feeling better and thinking more clearly, their bodies and hormone levels had actually changed. Hormone tests after the course of treatment showed a shift of key menopausal-related hormone levels to more normal ranges.
At the Wahls of Wellness, we add herbal therapies to this program of treatment. The combination of herbs and acupuncture, along with essential oils and aromatherapy (when indicated) as well as working with women to enhance their inner HealingSpirit, offers the possibility of even more improvement in the lack of mental clarity and in reducing hot flashes and night sweats—those common symptoms that are so often associated with menopause.
Source: Perimenopausal Brain Fog, Acupuncture and Herbs to Stimulate Brain Activity, May 2005, http://www.itmonline.org/arts/brainfog.htm
Source: Menopause article, 18 December 2009, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000894.htm
Source: TOXNET article on Estradiol, http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~pqhcYF:1, 1999
Source: TOXNET article on Mestranol, http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~xKhEH8:1, 1999
Source: TOXNET article on Estrone, http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~QaQVi0:1, 2005
Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Check back soon for more articles from Ian Wahl
Acupuncture Found to be Better than Drugs for Headache Relief
If you are one of the approximately 45 million people in the United States that suffers from a chronic headache condition, there is some very good news that may help eliminate the need to take medication.
Researchers at Duke University Medical School have shown that Acupuncture is more effective than drugs in reducing both the severity and the frequency of chronic headache conditions.
“Acupuncture is becoming a favorable option for a variety of purposes ranging from enhancing fertility to decreasing post-operative pain because people experience significantly fewer side effects, and it can be less expensive than other options,” said Dr. Tong Joo Gan, a Duke anesthesiologist who lead the study. “This analysis reinforces that Acupuncture also is a successful source of relief from chronic headaches.”
It’s interesting to note that the U.S. National Institute of Health began recommending Acupuncture as a viable treatment to help people with a chronic headache condition over 10 years ago.
Duke researchers looked into more than 30 studies involving over 4,000 patients who suffered migraine headaches, tension headaches and additional headaches with multiple symptoms. All of the studies they looked at were conducted over a period of time that lasted for more than 4 weeks.
One of the main findings of the study had to do with the comparison of Acupuncture to the effectiveness of drugs. In the 17 different studies comparing Acupuncture to medication, Acupuncture provided relief to 62 percent of the patients while only 45 percent found headache relief with drugs.
With Acupuncture known to provide this type of relief, often in a matter of 5 or 6 treatments that last only about 30 minutes, it seems clear that headache sufferers should put aside their medications and seek the relief offered through his age-old treatment. “One of the barriers to treatment with Acupuncture is getting people to understand that while needles are used, it is not a painful experience,” said Dr. Gan. “It is a method for releasing your body’s own natural painkillers.”
According to researchers, over 20 million American women are among the 45 million people that suffer chronic headaches. Based on the experiences of the majority who were involved in these studies, it would be wise for drug users to consider putting away their medications. Many people could find long-term relief with some relaxing and healing visits to an acupuncturist.
Source: Duke University Medical Center. “Duke Study: Acupuncture Offers Better Headache Relief over Medication.” December 2008. http://durham.mync.com/site/Durham/news/story/20465/duke-study-acupuncture-offers-better-headache-relief-over-medication/
Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Check back soon for more articles…Ian Wahl
Acupuncture Improves Fertility in Men, Too
It’s become rather commonly known that Acupuncture has produced some very positive and even remarkable success stories in solving fertility problems in women. Now, new research shows there’s a very good possibility that Acupuncture might hold some enhancement benefits for their male counterparts as well.
Over the years, women have born all of the children as well as the brunt of criticism when they are unable to do so. In reality, men suffer from infertility issues almost as frequently as women. According to statistics from the National Infertility Association (an organization also known as RESOLVE), between 35% and 40% of infertility problems among couples are actually caused by male conditions.
Male fertility issues commonly fall into the categories of low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape, abnormal sperm size and reduced motility (capability of movement). Additional influencing factors can also fall into the areas of lifestyle, genetics and physiological changes, but these were not really major areas of consideration for this study.
Twenty-eight men who were diagnosed with idiopathic (unknown) infertility issues were chosen for this study. Sperm samples were taken from each man prior to the start of the study with each individual asked to abstain from sexual contact for 3 days prior to sampling.
A portion of the men received Acupuncture twice per week over a 5-week period, while the control group received no such treatment.
Overall, the men in the Acupuncture group showed significant improvements in sperm motility; number and percentage of healthy sperm produced; and showed significant changes in sperm structure and quality.
For instance, while median motility levels increased some in the control group, they increased from 44.5% to 50% in the Acupuncture group. At the start, the percentage of healthy sperm among men in the Acupuncture group and their sperm volume were on the low side. After 10 sessions of treatments, the healthy sperm of the average person in the group had increased four-fold, with the number of sperm per sample increased five-fold. In addition, significant changes in sperm structure and quality were seen in the samples from the Acupuncture group. There was little to no significant changes in the sperm of the control group.
The authors concluded that despite the inability of Acupuncture to significantly reduce some sperm abnormalities, the treatment could be used to improve overall sperm quality, leading to the possibility of increased fertility.
At the Natural Fertility Health Centers, one of our sister clinics, we offer our DADS program to help enhance male fertility. This simple program not only helps balance the male hormonal system, but also helps relieve stress, raise virility levels, and increases feelings of better health and well-being.
For more information on all of our fertility programs for men and women Click Here.
SOURCE: Acupuncture Today http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2005/oct/10infertility.html