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Acupuncture Helps to Repair Brain Damage Done by Drug Abuse

There have been several reports before of research and theories about the usefulness of acupuncture in treating addiction but few have yielded concrete proof, that is until now. A recent study found that acupuncture at the Zusanli point significantly decreased the activation of heroin cues in the brain. Heroin cues are responsible for inducing sensations linked to reward and craving in the mind and the acupuncture used in this study quickly suppressed these sensations.
Drug addiction and abuse is a serious problem for a lot of people and overcoming that addiction sometimes seems insurmountable but this research proves that acupuncture can be an essential part of rehabilitation.

www.nrronline.org/article.asp?issn=1673-5374;year=2012;volume=7;issue=33;spage=2607;epage=2616;aulast=Cai;type=0

Press Release-Quit Smoking with Acupuncture

Quit Smoking via Acupuncture With Flashpoint Acupuncture, Quakertown, PA- November 20, 2014
Added: (Mon Nov 17 2014)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Flashpoint Acupuncture will be celebrating the Great American Smokeout, 2014 on Thursday, November 20, 2014. On this day, we will be offering $35 auricular acupuncture treatments from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Treatments are in a group setting and will last between 20-30 minutes, the cost is $35 per person and a reservation is required. The sessions are geared toward addiction problems to help people kick the smoking habit.

November 20th, is the Great American Smokeout. It’s a time when millions of Americans take their first steps to kick the smoking habit. Every year, more than 3 million Americans try to quit smoking, but only half of them succeed. Most experts agree that quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. More than 25 diseases are associated with tobacco use, including cancer of the lungs, bladder, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, uterus and cervix. Smoking also raises the chances of developing emphysema, and increases the risk of having a stroke by 30 percent. There is plenty incentive to quit, but it isn’t easy. The good news is that acupuncture has helped millions of people to kick the smoking habit.

Flashpoint Acupuncture wants to help you increase your chances of success of kicking the habit and becoming smoke-free and healthier. Using acupuncture to quit smoking yields enormous benefits. Aside from taking care of the stumbling blocks that can cause you to resume the habit, acupuncture can help restore your body to a healthy state of balance and well-being. If you are ready to become smoke-free, acupuncture can provide you with the support you need.

Some of the largest stumbling blocks to becoming smoke-free are the stress, anxiety and depression associated with quitting. Fortunately, acupuncture treatment is quite successful at calming and relaxing the mind, reducing anxiety and alleviating depressive feelings. Specific acupuncture points in the ear are used to accomplish this." says Friselina Locadia, L.Ac, owner and Acupuncturist in charge of the quit smoking event. "In addition, these points will help to suppress your appetite, and reduce food and nicotine cravings."

About the Company:
Flashpoint Acupuncture has upheld its mission in Quakertown, PA to promote the overall health, well-being and highest quality of life of all patients through acupuncture, complementary modalities and education. The clinic is located in the Atrium building at 127 S. 5th Street, Suite 100, Quakertown, PA 18951. For more information or to arrange an appointment, please call 215-536-7200 or to see a complete list of services visit their website at www.flashpointacupuncture.com.

http://www.pressbox.co.uk/Health/Quit_Smoking_via_Acupuncture_With_Flashpoint_Acupuncture_Quakertown_PA-_November_20_2014_1538709.html

The Most Shocking Meta-Study of Fertility Acupuncture

A growing number of new parents are telling their friends and families that acupuncture helped them conceive – after seemingly nothing else worked. Acupuncturists who specialize in reproductive medicine, providing acupuncture within a Western medical setting as an adjuvant to in-vitro fertilization, report success rates of 70% and higher among patients in their own clinics.

This is greater than the success rate of IVF alone. However, a meta-analysis of a number of scientific studies on the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjuvant to IVF, published in the June 2013 issue of the Oxford Journal, found that acupuncture was ineffective for increasing the success rate of IVF.

In fact, the study's authors went on to conclude that acupuncture actually decreased the success rate of IVF. Needless to say, the conclusions of this meta-analysis have come as a shock to all of us who have witnessed quite the opposite.  It makes you question why there is such a discrepancy between the success rates of controlled clinical trials and the reported success rates from patients? Are the controlled clinical trials somehow fundamentally flawed? These are the right questions to be asking.

Let's take a look at the ways in which the effects of acupuncture on IVF are currently being quantified by researchers.

One often-cited study, published in Fertility and Sterility in March of 2009, utilizes the so-called Paulus protocol, which is usually described as PC-6, SP-8, Liv-3, DU-20, LI-4, and four specific auricular points needled 25 minutes before IVF, and ST-26, SP-10, SP-6, LI-4, and the same auricular points needled 25 minutes after IVF.  Half of the 150 patients received acupuncture, and half did not.  All patients then completed a questionnaire about their anxiety and optimism.  No difference was shown in the pregnancy rates between the two groups.

The most notable problem with this particular study is that there is no acknowledgement of pattern diagnosis. In addition, the study does not replicate what is generally done in a real clinical setting in which the patient receives acupuncture treatments for several weeks or even months to address the underlying issues that are causing the infertility. The patient may be advised to make new dietary choices in following a pre-natal fertility-promoting diet and possibly utilizing herbal medicine in addition to acupuncture according to tongue and pulse diagnosis.

Further investigation reveals that the study was funded by Organon USA, which is a pharmaceutical company that “favors the man-made over the organic approach to medicines,” and manufactures contraceptives, anesthetics, treatments for mental health disorders (Remeron), fertility (Follistim), and bladder cancer (Tice/BCG).  They have a vested interest in acupuncture being proven ineffective, wouldn’t you agree?

Other studies usually replicate this same protocol, often using a sham acupuncture group (non-insertion of acupuncture needles at the same acupuncture points with special needles that appear to get shorter when “inserted”), instead of a control group which receives IVF only. Many of these studies show higher rates of pregnancy for the sham acupuncture than with the real acupuncture.

Besides the problems stated above (no attention to pattern diagnosis, no long-term pre-natal acupuncture treatments to address underlying health issues, and vested interests by those funding the studies), the use of sham acupuncture introduces a host of new complications.

Sham acupuncture is stimulating the acupoints, so it is not really a “sham.” It also adds a strong placebo effect, which may be quite significant. We know very little about the needling method used for the true acupuncture group. Was the stimulation too strong, and potentially draining for patients with deficiency patterns? Did the needling startle already anxious patients? We do not have the answers to these questions.

A final issue not being addressed in the conclusions of these studies is that if one particular acupuncture protocol is ineffective for IVF, this does not mean acupuncture treatment as a whole is ineffective for IVF.  Making such a statement would be similar to conducting numerous studies on the use of aspirin to treat H. Pylori infection, finding that it is ineffective and can even make patients feel worse, and then concluding that pharmaceuticals do not treat H. Pylori.

When pattern diagnosis is not taken into account, we might even say that such a conclusion about acupuncture and IVF is similar to saying that aspirin doesn't treat stomach pain, so therefore pharmaceuticals don't work for treating stomach pain.  No one with a PhD or MD would ever make such a conclusion about pharmaceuticals and stomach pain because it's ridiculous! Making a similar conclusion about acupuncture and IVF is just as absurd.

So what can we conclude from taking a closer look at the scholarly research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for increasing IVF success?

The studies are clearly not a reflection of the way in which acupuncture is practiced in the real world, by practitioners who fully understand the complex ancient theories underlying the practice of acupuncture.

Actual clinical IVF success rates with highly educated practitioners are reported to be 70% and higher, as opposed to the typical IVF success rate of around 25%. In addition, patients receiving acupuncture from a qualified practitioner in a real-world setting are typically counseled to eat a fertility-enhancing diet, use herbal medicinals, and do various exercises that promote blood flow to the uterus and pelvic region. There is no reason to conclude that such a combination of therapies is ineffective for helping couples to conceive.

Sources:
http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/6/696.short
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028208000125
http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/112/112102.html

Acupuncture Shown to Help Alzheimer’s Patients

A study done in August 2014 tested the effects of acupuncture on Alzheimer’s patients by MRI scan. The scan showed enhanced hippocampal connectivity in the subjects. The Hippocampus is the area of the brain associated with processing memory and emotion. Acupuncture has already been shown in the past to help offset dementia and Alzheimer’s by stimulating the brain before these diseases fully develop but to see that it may even help patients after they’ve developed the disease is truly a breakthrough. If a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s it affects the whole family so it’s certainly worth talking to an acupuncturist to help them live better, for themselves and the family. These tests are preliminary but promising and will certainly lead to further investigation into the possible benefits of acupuncture for those suffering from Alzheimer’s but for now this is a big step forward.

 

Links to the Articles:
- www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1281-acupuncture-mri-scan-shows-alzheimer-s-disease-benefit