Latest Acupuncture Research

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  • ACUPUNCTURE IN THE LITERATURE
      PubMed Abstracts - Some citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. [Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). NCBI Copyright and Disclaimers]
    • The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Cervical Vertigo: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. -
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      The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Cervical Vertigo: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

      Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:7597363

      Authors: Hou Z, Xu S, Li Q, Cai L, Wu W, Yu H, Chen H

      Abstract
      OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for the treatment of cervical vertigo (CV).
      METHODS: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) regarding effectiveness of acupuncture for treating CV were searched in 7 comprehensive databases prior to April 2016. The data analysis was performed by using RevMan version 5.3.
      RESULTS: A total of 10 studies with 914 participants were included. Results showed that acupuncture was more effective than conventional medicine therapy (CMT) in effectiveness, improvement rate of vertigo and headache, and increased average blood flow velocity of vertebral-basilar artery. In the subgroup analysis, the results did not change in different acupuncture methods and drug categories substantially. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the results of this meta-analysis were stable. Meanwhile, the long-term safety of acupuncture for CV still remains uncertain. GRADE analysis indicated that the quality of evidence for all outcomes was from very low to low which limited the value of the meta-analysis.
      CONCLUSION: Based on the systematic review, acupuncture appeared to be a promising therapeutic approach for CV based on low or very low quality of evidence. However, large-scale and high-quality trials are required to provide stronger evidence for the conclusion.

      PMID: 28659989 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture for asthma: Protocol for a systematic review. -
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      Acupuncture for asthma: Protocol for a systematic review.

      Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jun;96(26):e7296

      Authors: Li M, Zhang X, Bao H, Li C, Zhang P

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Asthma is a common chronic disease in both adults and children. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and β2-agonists are the major medications treating asthma with many side effects. Acupuncture has been used in many diseases including asthma. We aim to assess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for asthma.
      METHODS: The following electronical databases will be searched from inception to January 1, 2017: Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), SinoMed, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database (CNKI), the Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP database), and the Wanfang database. We will also search reference lists of identified studies, potential gray literatures, relevant conference abstracts, and registers of clinical trials. Two reviewers will independently undertake study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment. Data will be synthesized by either the fixed-effects or random-effects model according to a heterogeneity test. Changes in lung function will be assessed as the primary outcome. The level of control, medication usage, quality of life, exacerbations, symptoms, adverse events will be evaluated as the secondary outcomes. The RevMan V.5.3.5 will be employed for meta-analysis. Continuous outcomes will be presented as mean difference or standard mean difference, while dichotomous data will be expressed as relative risk.
      RESULTS: This study will provide a high-quality synthesis of current evidence of acupuncture for asthma from several aspects including lung function, the level of control, medication usage, quality of life, exacerbations, symptoms and adverse events.
      CONCLUSION: The conclusion of our study will provide updated evidence to judge whether acupuncture is an effective intervention for children with asthma.
      ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: It is not necessary for ethical approval because individuals cannot be identified. The protocol will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed journal or presented at a relevant conference.
      PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO CRD42017054562.

      PMID: 28658130 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Acupuncture for polycystic ovarian syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. -
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      Acupuncture for polycystic ovarian syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jun;96(23):e7066

      Authors: Jo J, Lee YJ, Lee H

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: This systematic review aimed at summarizing and evaluating the evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using acupuncture to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), specifically focusing on ovulation rate, menstrual rate, and related hormones.
      METHODS: Fifteen databases were searched electronically through February 2016. Our review included RCTs of women with PCOS; these RCTs compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture, medication, or no treatment. Two reviewers independently extracted data. Data were pooled and expressed as mean differences (MDs) for continuous outcomes and risk ratios for dichotomous outcomes, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using a random-effects model.
      RESULTS: We found a low level of evidence that acupuncture is more likely to improve ovulation rate (MD 0.35, 95% CI: 0.14-0.56) and menstruation rate (MD 0.50, 95% CI: 0.32-0.68) compared with no acupuncture. We found statistically significant pooled benefits of acupuncture treatment as an adjunct to medication in luteinizing hormone (LH), LH/follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) ratio, testosterone, fasting insulin, and pregnancy rates, but the level of evidence was low/very low.
      CONCLUSION: There is limited evidence to judge the efficacy and safety of acupuncture on key reproductive outcomes in women with PCOS. Large-scale, long-term RCTs with rigorous methodological input are needed.

      PMID: 28591042 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Mechanisms of Acupuncture Therapy for Cerebral Ischemia: an Evidence-Based Review of Clinical and Animal Studies on Cerebral Ischemia. -
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      Mechanisms of Acupuncture Therapy for Cerebral Ischemia: an Evidence-Based Review of Clinical and Animal Studies on Cerebral Ischemia.

      J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2017 May 19;:

      Authors: Zhu W, Ye Y, Liu Y, Wang XR, Shi GX, Zhang S, Liu CZ

      Abstract
      Ischemic stroke is a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide. As a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture has been shown to be effective in promoting recovery after stroke. In this article, we review the clinical and experimental studies that demonstrated the mechanisms of acupuncture treatment for cerebral ischemia. Clinical studies indicated that acupuncture activated relevant brain regions, modulated cerebral blood flow and related molecules in stroke patients. Evidence from laboratory indicated that acupuncture regulates cerebral blood flow and metabolism after the interrupt of blood supply. Acupuncture regulates multiple molecules and signaling pathways that lead to excitoxicity, oxidative stress, inflammation, neurons death and survival. Acupuncture also promotes neurogenesis, angiogenesis as well as neuroplasticity after ischemic damage. The evidence provided from clinical and laboratory suggests that acupuncture induces multi-level regulation via complex mechanisms and a single factor may not be enough to explain the beneficial effects against cerebral ischemia.

      PMID: 28527041 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    • Can a science-based definition of acupuncture improve clinical outcomes? -
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      Can a science-based definition of acupuncture improve clinical outcomes?

      J Integr Med. 2017 May;15(3):165-171

      Authors: Priebe T, Stumpf SH, Zalunardo R

      Abstract
      Research on acupuncture has been muddled by attempts to bridge the ancient with the modern. Barriers to effectiveness research are reflected in recurring conflicts that include disagreement on use of the most basic terms, lack of standard intervention controls, and the absence of functional measures for assessing treatment effect. Acupuncture research has stalled at the "placebo barrier" wherein acupuncture is "no better than placebo." The most widely recognized comparative effectiveness research in acupuncture does not compare acupuncture treatment protocols within groups, thereby, mutating large scale effectiveness studies into large scale efficacy trials. Too often research in acupuncture attempts to tie outcomes to traditional belief systems thereby limiting usefulness of the research. The acupuncture research paradigm needs to focus more closely on a scientific definition of treatments and outcomes that compare protocols in terms of prevalent clinical issues such as relative effectiveness for treating pain.

      PMID: 28494846 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture Points and Their Relationship with Multireceptive Fields of Neurons. -
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      Acupuncture Points and Their Relationship with Multireceptive Fields of Neurons.

      J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Apr;10(2):81-89

      Authors: Quiroz-González S, Torres-Castillo S, López-Gómez RE, Jiménez Estrada I

      Abstract
      In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture points (APs) have been emphasized as key elements that generate the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. At the spinal cord or supraspinal level, sensory neurons located in the dorsal horn receive an extensive supply of sensory information from skin and muscle receptors through peripheral afferent nerves. The stimulated skin area that influences the activity of a spinal sensory neuron is known as the peripheral receptive field (RF) of that neuron. By considering that a particular AP location involves the activation of one or various RFs, it can be assumed that several sensory central neurons are the site of convergence of the peripheral input generated by acupuncture stimulation. However, stimulation on nonacupoint sites could also activate skin areas with RFs that have been sensitized, and they could be involved in the generation of nonspecific effects of acupuncture, as seen in clinical practice. From the latter, it is suggested that effective APs, and even nonacupoints, are associated with a particular arrangement of RFs, and their study will be useful for understanding the intrinsic mechanisms of acupuncture and for the development and identification of more efficient sites and modes of acupuncture stimulation to evoke optimal therapeutic actions.

      PMID: 28483189 [PubMed - in process]

    • Modulation of neurogenesis via neurotrophic factors in acupuncture treatments for neurological diseases. -
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      Modulation of neurogenesis via neurotrophic factors in acupuncture treatments for neurological diseases.

      Biochem Pharmacol. 2017 Apr 29;:

      Authors: Shin HK, Lee SW, Choi BT

      Abstract
      Acupuncture is one of the main healing arts in Oriental medicine. It has long been used in East Asian countries, including Korea and China, and is thought to be an effective alternative treatment for various neurological diseases. The therapeutic effects of acupuncture come from inserting a needle at specific acupoints on the body surface, with subsequent delivery of stimulation via manual rotation or electric pulses (electroacupuncture, EA). In various neurological disease models, peripheral nerve stimulation using acupuncture or EA may have protective effects on neural tissues by increasing expression of neurotrophic factors (NTFs), such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial-derived neurotrophic factor, in the central nervous system, especially the brain. In addition, acupuncture may contribute to recovery from functional impairments following brain damage by encouraging neural stem cell proliferation, which is active at the initial stage of injury, and by further facilitating differentiation. Hence, acupuncture may act as a stimulator activating peripheral nerves at specific acupoints and inducing the expression of various NTFs in the brain. Subsequently, NTFs induced by this treatment trigger autocrine or paracrine signaling, which stimulates adult neurogenesis, thereby exerting therapeutic effects on functional impairments in neurological diseases. Acupuncture may offer an alternative treatment that promotes adult neurogenesis through the expression of NTFs in the brain. It may also have synergistic effects when combined with pharmacological interventions, again facilitating neurogenesis. This review examines recent studies concerning the effects of acupuncture and EA on adult neurogenesis associated with NTF expression in neurological diseases, in particular stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

      PMID: 28461125 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    • Acupuncture for enhancing early recovery of bowel function in cancer: Protocol for a systematic review. -
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      Acupuncture for enhancing early recovery of bowel function in cancer: Protocol for a systematic review.

      Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Apr;96(17):e6644

      Authors: Liu YH, Ye Y, Zheng JB, Wang XQ, Zhang Y, Lin HS

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Cancer patients undergoing surgical procedure often suffer from bowel dysfunction and postoperative ileus (POI). Cancer management for early recovery of bowel function is still a challenging topic. Acupuncture has been commonly used in a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of acupuncture therapy to reduce the duration of POI and enhance bowel function in cancer patients.
      METHODS: We will systematically screen all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published through electronically and hand searching. The following search engines including Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP Information, Wanfang Data, one Japanese database (Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic) and 2 Korean Medical Databases (Korean Studies Information, and Data Base Periodical Information Academic) will be retrieved. Supplementary sources will be searched including gray literature, conference proceedings, and potential identified publications. Two reviewers will independently conduct the trial inclusion, data extraction and assess the quality of studies. The time to first passing flatus and time to first bowel motion will be assessed as the primary outcomes. Adverse effects, time to first bowel sound, visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, hospital stay, and postoperative analgesic requirement will be measured as secondary outcomes. Methodological quality will be evaluated according to the Cochrane risk of bias. Details of interventions will be assessed by the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture (STRICTA) checklist. All analyses will be applied by RevMan (version 5.3) and StataSE (version 12).
      ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This systematic review will provide up-to-date information on acupuncture therapy for early recovery of bowel function in cancer patients. This review does not require ethical approval and will be reported in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a relevant conference.
      TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO CRD42016049633.

      PMID: 28445263 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • The effectiveness of acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic interventions on treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis. -
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      The effectiveness of acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic interventions on treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017 May;27:11-18

      Authors: Yeganeh M, Baradaran HR, Qorbani M, Moradi Y, Dastgiri S

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common health problems in adults. The impact of LBP on the individual can cause loss of health status and function related to pain in the back. To reduce the impact of LBP on adults, drug therapy is the most frequently recommended intervention. But over the last decade, a substantial number of randomized clinical trials of non-pharmacological intervention for LBP have been published.
      OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic (non-pharmacological) interventions on the treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain in Iran.
      STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
      METHODS: A systematic literature search was completed without date restrictions up to May 2013 in five major databases (Medline, CINAHL, Science Direct, CAJ Full-text Database, and Cochrane databases). Only randomized controlled trials published in Persian (Farsi) or English languages were included. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. The quality of the papers was assessed using the Cochrane Back Review Risk of Bias criteria.
      RESULTS: Initial searches revealed 415 papers, 382 of which were excluded on the basis of abstract alone. After excluding 23 papers due to duplication, the remaining 10 trial papers were subjected to a more detailed analysis of the full text, which resulted in three being excluded. The seven remaining trials had a lack of methodological and clinical homogeneity, precluding a meta-analysis. The trials used different comparators with regards to the primary outcomes, the number of treatments, the duration of treatment and the duration of follow-up.
      CONCLUSION: This systematic review demonstrates that acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic may have a favorable effect on self-reported pain and functional limitations on NSCLBP. However, the results should be interpreted in the context of the limitations identified, particularly in relation to the heterogeneity in the study characteristics and the low methodological quality in many of the included studies.

      PMID: 28438274 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Acupuncture plus moxibustion for herpes zoster: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. -
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      Acupuncture plus moxibustion for herpes zoster: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

      Dermatol Ther. 2017 Mar 24;:

      Authors: Coyle ME, Liang H, Wang K, Zhang AL, Guo X, Lu C, Xue CC

      Abstract
      Herpes zoster is an acute inflammatory condition which can have a significant impact on quality of life. Antiviral therapies are effective, but do not meet patients' expectations of symptomatic relief. Acupuncture and moxibustion have been used for herpes zoster; this systematic review evaluated their efficacy and safety. Nine English and Chinese databases were searched from their inceptions to March 2016. Randomized controlled trials evaluating the combination of acupuncture plus moxibustion in adult herpes zoster were included. Outcomes included pain intensity and duration, quality of life and adverse events. Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan software (version 5.3). Nine studies (945 participants) were included. Studies were of low to moderate methodological quality based on risk of bias assessment. Pain intensity (visual analogue scale) was lower among those who received acupuncture plus moxibustion compared with pharmacotherapy (one study; MD -8.25 mm, 95% CI -12.36 to -4.14). The clinical significance of this result is yet to be established. Some benefits were seen for other pain and cutaneous outcomes, and global improvement in symptoms. Mild adverse events were reported in the intervention groups. Acupuncture plus moxibustion may improve pain and cutaneous outcomes, although current evidence is limited by the number of studies and methodological shortcomings.

      PMID: 28338265 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

    • Acupuncture and moxibustion for chronic fatigue syndrome in traditional Chinese medicine: a systematic review and meta-analysis. -
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      Acupuncture and moxibustion for chronic fatigue syndrome in traditional Chinese medicine: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Mar 23;17(1):163

      Authors: Wang T, Xu C, Pan K, Xiong H

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: As the etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is unclear and the treatment is still a big issue. There exists a wide range of literature about acupuncture and moxibustion (AM) for CFS in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). But there are certain doubts as well in the effectiveness of its treatment due to the lack of a comprehensive and evidence-based medical proof to dispel the misgivings. Current study evaluated systematically the effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion treatments on CFS, and clarified the difference among them and Chinese herbal medicine, western medicine and sham-acupuncture.
      METHODS: We comprehensively reviewed literature including PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, CBM (Chinese Biomedical Literature Database) and CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) up to May 2016, for RCT clinical research on CFS treated by acupuncture and moxibustion. Traditional direct meta-analysis was adopted to analyze the difference between AM and other treatments. Analysis was performed based on the treatment in experiment and control groups. Network meta-analysis was adopted to make comprehensive comparisons between any two kinds of treatments. The primary outcome was total effective rate, while relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used as the final pooled statistics.
      RESULTS: A total of 31 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were enrolled in analyses. In traditional direct meta-analysis, we found that in comparison to Chinese herbal medicine, CbAM (combined acupuncture and moxibustion, which meant two or more types of acupuncture and moxibustion were adopted) had a higher total effective rate (RR (95% CI), 1.17 (1.09 ~ 1.25)). Compared with Chinese herbal medicine, western medicine and sham-acupuncture, SAM (single acupuncture or single moxibustion) had a higher total effective rate, with RR (95% CI) of 1.22 (1.14 ~ 1.30), 1.51 (1.31-1.74), 5.90 (3.64-9.56). In addition, compared with SAM, CbAM had a higher total effective rate (RR (95% CI), 1.23 (1.12 ~ 1.36)). In network meta-analyses, similar results were recorded. Subsequently, we ranked all treatments from high to low effective rate and the order was CbAM, SAM, Chinese herbal medicine, western medicine and sham-acupuncture.
      CONCLUSIONS: In the treatment of CFS, CbAM and SAM may have better effect than other treatments. However, the included trials have relatively poor quality, hence high quality studies are needed to confirm our finding.

      PMID: 28335756 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Depression-Related Insomnia Compared with a Control Group: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. -
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      The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Treating Depression-Related Insomnia Compared with a Control Group: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

      Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:9614810

      Authors: Dong B, Chen Z, Yin X, Li D, Ma J, Yin P, Cao Y, Lao L, Xu S

      Abstract
      Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as monotherapy and as an alternative therapy in treating depression-related insomnia. Data Source. Seven databases were searched starting from 1946 to March 30, 2016. Study Eligibility Criteria. Randomized-controlled trials of adult subjects (18-75 y) who had depression-related insomnia and had received acupuncture. Results. 18 randomized-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) were introduced in this meta-analysis. The findings determined that the acupuncture treatment made significant improvements in PSQI score (MD = -2.37, 95% CI -3.52 to -1.21) compared with Western medicine. Acupuncture combined with Western medicine had a better effect on improving sleep quality (MD = -2.63, 95% CI -4.40 to -0.86) compared with the treatment of Western medicine alone. There was no statistical difference (MD = -2.76, 95% CI -7.65 to 2.12) between acupuncture treatment and Western medicine towards improving the HAMD score. Acupuncture combined with Western medicine (MD = -5.46, CI -8.55 to -2.38) had more effect on improving depression degree compared with the Western medicine alone. Conclusion. This systematic review indicates that acupuncture could be an alternative therapy to medication for treating depression-related insomnia.

      PMID: 28286776 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Evidence and expert opinions: Dry needling versus acupuncture (II) : The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) White Paper 2016. -
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      Evidence and expert opinions: Dry needling versus acupuncture (II) : The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) White Paper 2016.

      Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Feb;23(2):83-90

      Authors: Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM

      Abstract
      In the United States and other Western countries, dry needling has been a topic in academic and legal fields. This White Paper is to provide the authoritative information of dry needling versus acupuncture to academic scholars, healthcare professionals, administrators, policymakers, and the general public by providing the authoritative evidence and expertise regarding critical issues of dry needling and reaching a consensus. We conclude that Dr. Travell, Dr. Gunn, Dr. Baldry and others who have promoted dry needling by simply rebranding (1) acupuncture as dry needling and (2) acupuncture points as trigger points (dry needling points). Dry needling simply using English biomedical terms (especially using "fascia" hypothesis) in replace of their equivalent Chinese medical terms. Dry needling is an over-simplified version of acupuncture derived from traditional Chinese acupuncture except for emphasis on biomedical language when treating neuromuscularskeletal pain (dry needling promoters redefined it as "myofascial pain"). Trigger points belong to the category of Ashi acupuncture points in traditional Chinese acupuncture, and they are not a new discovery. By applying acupuncture points, dry needling is actually trigger point acupuncture, an invasive therapy (a surgical procedure) instead of manual therapy. Dr. Travell admitted to the general public that dry needling is acupuncture, and acupuncture professionals practice dry needling as acupuncture therapy and there are several criteria in acupuncture profession to locate trigger points as acupuncture points. Among acupuncture schools, dry needling practitioners emphasize acupuncture's local responses while other acupuncturists pay attention to the responses of both local, distal, and whole body responses. For patients' safety, dry needling practitioners should meet standards required for licensed acupuncturists and physicians.

      PMID: 28265852 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Neurobiological Mechanism of Acupuncture for Relieving Visceral Pain of Gastrointestinal Origin. -
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      Neurobiological Mechanism of Acupuncture for Relieving Visceral Pain of Gastrointestinal Origin.

      Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2017;2017:5687496

      Authors: Zhang F, Wu L, Zhao J, Lv T, Hu Z, Weng Z, Wang S, Wu H, Liu H

      Abstract
      It is currently accepted that the neural transduction pathways of gastrointestinal (GI) visceral pain include the peripheral and central pathways. Existing research on the neurological mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) in the treatment of GI visceral pain has primarily been concerned with the regulation of relevant transduction pathways. The generation of pain involves a series of processes, including energy transduction of stimulatory signals in the sensory nerve endings (signal transduction), subsequent conduction in primary afferent nerve fibers of dorsal root ganglia, and transmission to spinal dorsal horn neurons, the ascending transmission of sensory signals in the central nervous system, and the processing of sensory signals in the cerebral cortex. Numerous peripheral neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and cytokines participate in the analgesic process of EA in visceral pain. Although EA has excellent efficacy in the treatment of GI visceral pain, the pathogenesis of the disease and the analgesic mechanism of the treatment have not been elucidated. In recent years, research has examined the pathogenesis of GI visceral pain and its influencing factors and has explored the neural transduction pathways of this disease.

      PMID: 28243252 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture as anticancer treatment? -
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      Acupuncture as anticancer treatment?

      Contemp Oncol (Pozn). 2016;20(6):453-457

      Authors: Frączek P, Kilian-Kita A, Püsküllüoglu M, Krzemieniecki K

      Abstract
      The mystery of Traditional Chinese Medicine has been attracting people for years. Acupuncture, ranked among the most common services of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, has recently gained a lot of interest in the scientific world. Contemporary researchers have been continuously trying to shed light on its possible mechanism of action in human organism. Numerous studies pertaining to acupuncture's application in cancer symptoms or treatment-related side effects management have already been published. Moreover, since the modern idea of acupuncture's immunomodulating effect seems to be promising, scientists have propounded a concept of its potential application as part of direct anti-tumor therapy. In our previous study we summarized possible use of acupuncture in management of cancer symptoms and treatment-related ailments, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain, xerostomia, vasomotor symptoms, neutropenia, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, lymphoedema after mastectomy and peripheral neuropathy. This article reviews the studies concerning acupuncture as a possible tool in modern anticancer treatment.

      PMID: 28239282 [PubMed - in process]

    • Unforgettable Ups and Downs of Acupuncture Anesthesia in China. -
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      Unforgettable Ups and Downs of Acupuncture Anesthesia in China.

      World Neurosurg. 2017 Jun;102:623-631

      Authors: Jin L, Wu JS, Chen GB, Zhou LF

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Acupuncture anesthesia originated from the pain relief and pain prevention theory in acupuncture and moxibustion. This technique is a new exploration of anesthesiology and an original achievement of China, representing a landmark combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medicine.
      OBJECTIVES: The aim of this historical vignette to introduce acupuncture anesthesia with its meaningful history, especially the use in neurosurgery to the public.
      DESIGN: This historical vignette introduced the development, mechanism research, awake craniotomy, in order to analyze the utility of acupuncture anesthesia, its global impact, the current situation and future of acupuncture anesthesia.
      CONCLUSION: Acupuncture anesthesia was initiated in 1958, and, reflecting the historical background of China after the 1960s, the use of this technique spread widely throughout the country. Reaching other countries after 1971, acupuncture anesthesia had a significant influence, drawing attention from medical academia worldwide. Thus, acupuncture anesthesia has made a special contribution to the medical science of modern China.

      PMID: 28214637 [PubMed - in process]

    • Acupuncture for acute hordeolum. -
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      Acupuncture for acute hordeolum.

      Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 02 09;2:CD011075

      Authors: Cheng K, Law A, Guo M, Wieland LS, Shen X, Lao L

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: Hordeolum is an acute, purulent inflammation of the eyelid margin usually caused by obstructed orifices of the sebaceous glands of the eyelid. The condition, which affects sebaceous glands internally or externally, is common. When the meibomian gland in the tarsal plate is affected, internal hordeolum occurs, while when the glands of Zeis or Moll associated with eyelash follicles are affected, external hordeolum, or stye occurs. The onset of hordeolum is usually self limited, and may resolve in about a week with spontaneous drainage of the abscess. When the condition is severe, it can spread to adjacent glands and tissues. Recurrences are very common. As long as an internal hordeolum remains unresolved, it can develop into a chalazion or generalized eyelid cellulitis. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical therapy aimed to treat disease by using fine needles to stimulate specific points on the body. However, it is unclear if acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for acute hordeolum.
      OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review was to investigate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture to treat acute hordeolum compared with no treatment, sham acupuncture, or other active treatment. We also compared the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture plus another treatment with that treatment alone.
      SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL, Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS), three major Chinese databases, as well as clinical trial registers all through 7 June 2016. We reviewed the reference lists from potentially eligible studies to identify additional randomised clinical trials (RCTs).
      SELECTION CRITERIA: We included RCTs of people diagnosed with acute internal or external hordeola. We included RCTs comparing acupuncture with sham acupuncture or no treatment, other active treatments, or comparing acupuncture plus another treatment versus another treatment alone.
      DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methodological procedures used by Cochrane.
      MAIN RESULTS: We included 6 RCTs with a total of 531 participants from China. The mean age of the participants ranged from 18 to 28 years. Four RCTs included participants diagnosed with initial acute hordeolum with a duration of less than seven days; one RCT included participants diagnosed with initial acute hordeolum without specifying the duration; and one RCT included participants with recurrent acute hordeolum with a mean duration of 24 days. About 55% (291/531) of participants were women. Three RCTs included participants with either external or internal hordeolum; one RCT included participants with only external hordeolum; and two RCTs did not specify the type of hordeolum. Follow-up was no more than seven days after treatment in all included RCTs; no data were available for long-term outcomes. Overall, the certainty of the evidence for all outcomes was low to very low, and we judged all RCTs to be at high or unclear risk of bias.Three RCTs compared acupuncture with conventional treatments. We did not pool the data from these RCTs because the conventional treatments were not similar among trials. Two trials showed that resolution of acute hordeolum was more likely in the acupuncture group when compared with topical antibiotics (1 RCT; 32 participants; risk ratio (RR) 3.60; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.34 to 9.70; low-certainty of evidence) or oral antibiotics plus warm compresses (1 RCT; 120 participants; RR 1.45; 95% CI 1.18 to 1.78; low-certainty of evidence). In the third trial, little or no difference in resolution of hordeolum was observed when acupuncture was compared with topical antibiotics plus warm compresses (1 RCT; 109 participants; RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.96 to 1.04; low-certainty of evidence). One RCT mentioned adverse outcomes, stating that there was no adverse event associated with acupuncture.Three RCTs compared acupuncture plus conventional treatments (two RCTs used topical antibiotics and warm compresses, one RCT used topical antibiotics only) versus the conventional treatments alone. One of the three RCTs, with very low-certainty evidence, did not report the resolution of acute hordeolum; however, it reported that acute hordeolum relief might be higher when acupuncture was combined with conventional treatments than with conventional treatments alone group (60 participants; RR 1.80; 95% CI 1.00 to 3.23). Pooled analysis of the remaining two RCTs, with low-certainty evidence, estimated resolution of acute hordeolum was slightly higher in the combined treatment group compared with the conventional treatment alone group at 7-day follow-up (210 participants; RR 1.12; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.23; I(2) = 0%). None of the three RCTs reported adverse outcomes. Among the included RCTs, four participants, two from the acupuncture plus conventional treatments group and two from the conventional treatments alone group, withdrew due to exacerbation of symptoms.
      AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Low-certainty evidence suggests that acupuncture with or without conventional treatments may provide short-term benefits for treating acute hordeolum when compared with conventional treatments alone. The certainty of the evidence was low to very low mainly due to small sample sizes, inadequate allocation concealment, lack of masking of the outcome assessors, inadequate or unclear randomization method, and a high or unreported number of dropouts. All RCTs were conducted in China, which may limit their generalizability to non-Chinese populations.Because no RCTs included a valid sham acupuncture control, we cannot rule out a potential expectation/placebo effect associated with acupuncture. As resolution is based on clinical observation, the outcome could be influenced by the observer's knowledge of the assigned treatment. Adverse effects of acupuncture were reported sparsely in the included RCTs, and, when reported, were rare. RCTs with better methodology, longer follow-up, and which are conducted among other populations are warranted to provide more general evidence regarding the benefit of acupuncture to treat acute hordeolum.

      PMID: 28181687 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • The role of touch in acupuncture treatment. -
      Related Articles

      The role of touch in acupuncture treatment.

      Acupunct Med. 2017 Apr;35(2):148-152

      Authors: Chae Y, Olausson H

      Abstract
      Acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment that is characterised by the insertion of a needle at a particular location on the body. Acupuncture stimulation includes sensory-discriminative and affective-social touch dimensions. In this review, we discuss the role of touch during acupuncture stimulation with an emphasis on the therapeutic, sensory-discriminative and affective-social aspects. In the discriminative dimension, de qi, which is associated with needling, includes a combination of various sensations, such as heaviness, numbness, soreness and distension. Achieving the appropriate de qi sensation appears to be fundamental to the therapeutic outcome following acupuncture treatment. In the affective dimension, the acupuncture procedure typically includes gentle manual touch stimulation, which induces feelings of calm and well-being, perhaps by activating C tactile fibres. Enhanced activity of C tactile afferents may induce a 'limbic touch' response, resulting in emotional and hormonal reactions. Because acupuncture is a 'therapist intensive' and complex intervention, it is necessary to understand the role of social touch between the practitioner and patient. Both sensory-discriminative and affective-social touch aspects play an important role in the therapeutic effect of acupuncture treatment in clinical practice.

      PMID: 28151404 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Acupuncture for chronic diarrhea in adults: Protocol for a systematic review. -
      Related Articles

      Acupuncture for chronic diarrhea in adults: Protocol for a systematic review.

      Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Jan;96(4):e5952

      Authors: Qin Z, Li B, Wu J, Tian J, Xie S, Mao Z, Zhou J, Kim TH, Liu Z

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: As 2 major common types of chronic diarrhea, functional diarrhea (FD) and diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) affect 1.54% to 1.72% of people in China. Acupuncture is commonly used in clinical practice for patients with chronic diarrhea. Here, we present a protocol of systematic review aimed at systematically review all the clinical evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating FD and IBS-D in adults.
      METHODS: The review will be performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Statement. We will search the following databases from their inception to January 2017: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, China Biology Medicine disc, Wan-Fang Data, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Citation Information by National Institute of Informatics, Oriental Medicine Advanced Searching Integrated System by Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, and Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator (J-stage). Clinical trial registrations will also be searched. Primary outcome measures are the change of bowel movements. The secondary outcomes include stool consistency, quality of life scales, other standardized rating scales, patient satisfaction, and acupuncture-related adverse effects assessment.
      ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review does not require ethical approval and will be disseminated electronically or in print.
      PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42015017574.

      PMID: 28121941 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    • Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research -
      Related Articles

      Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research

      Book. 2017 01

      Authors: MacPherson H, Vickers A, Bland M, Torgerson D, Corbett M, Spackman E, Saramago P, Woods B, Weatherly H, Sculpher M, Manca A, Richmond S, Hopton A, Eldred J, Watt I

      Abstract
      BACKGROUND: There has been an increase in the utilisation of acupuncture in recent years, yet the evidence base is insufficiently well established to be certain about its clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Addressing the questions related to the evidence base will reduce uncertainty and help policy- and decision-makers with regard to whether or not wider access is appropriate and provides value for money.
      AIM: Our aim was to establish the most reliable evidence on the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic pain by drawing on relevant evidence, including recent high-quality trials, and to develop fresh evidence on acupuncture for depression. To extend the evidence base we synthesised the results of published trials using robust systematic review methodology and conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of acupuncture for depression.
      METHODS AND RESULTS: We synthesised the evidence from high-quality trials of acupuncture for chronic pain, consisting of musculoskeletal pain related to the neck and low back, osteoarthritis of the knee, and headache and migraine, involving nearly 18,000 patients. In an individual patient data (IPD) pairwise meta-analysis, acupuncture was significantly better than both sham acupuncture (p < 0.001) and usual care (p < 0.001) for all conditions. Using network meta-analyses, we compared acupuncture with other physical therapies for osteoarthritis of the knee. In both an analysis of all available evidence and an analysis of a subset of better-quality trials, using aggregate-level data, we found acupuncture to be one of the more effective therapies. We developed new Bayesian methods for analysing multiple individual patient-level data sets to evaluate heterogeneous continuous outcomes. An accompanying cost-effectiveness analysis found transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to be cost-effective for osteoarthritis at a threshold of £20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year when all trials were synthesised. When the analysis was restricted to trials of higher quality with adequate allocation concealment, acupuncture was cost-effective. In a RCT of acupuncture or counselling compared with usual care for depression, in which half the patients were also experiencing comorbid pain, we found acupuncture and counselling to be clinically effective and acupuncture to be cost-effective. For patients in whom acupuncture is inappropriate or unavailable, counselling is cost-effective.
      CONCLUSION: We have provided the most robust evidence from high-quality trials on acupuncture for chronic pain. The synthesis of high-quality IPD found that acupuncture was more effective than both usual care and sham acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the more clinically effective physical therapies for osteoarthritis and is also cost-effective if only high-quality trials are analysed. When all trials are analysed, TENS is cost-effective. Promising clinical and economic evidence on acupuncture for depression needs to be extended to other contexts and settings. For the conditions we have investigated, the drawing together of evidence on acupuncture from this programme of research has substantially reduced levels of uncertainty. We have identified directions for further research. Our research also provides a valuable basis for considering the potential role of acupuncture as a referral option in health care and enabling providers and policy-makers to make decisions based on robust sources of evidence.
      TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN63787732.
      FUNDING: The National Institute for Health Research Programme Grants for Applied Research programme.


      PMID: 28121095



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