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Acupuncture for Pain Research

Adenosine A1 receptors mediate local anti-nociceptive effects of acupuncture Nanna Goldman, Michael Chen, Takumi Fujita, Qiwu Xu, Weiguo Peng, Wei Liu, Tina K Jensen, Yong Pei, Fushun Wang, Xiaoning Han, Jiang-Fan Chen, Jurgen Schnermann, Takahiro Takano, Lane Bekar, Kim Tieu & Maiken Nedergaard Nature Neuroscience 13, 883–888 (2010) doi:10.1038/nn.2562 2010 Published online 30 May 2010 Abstract Acupuncture is an invasive procedure commonly used to relieve pain. Acupuncture is practiced worldwide, despite difficulties in reconciling its principles with evidence-based medicine. We found that adenosine, a neuromodulator with anti-nociceptive properties, was released during acupuncture in mice and that its anti-nociceptive actions required adenosine A1 receptor expression. Direct injection of an adenosine A1 receptor agonist replicated the analgesic effect of acupuncture. Inhibition of enzymes involved in adenosine degradation potentiated the acupuncture-elicited increase in adenosine, as well as its anti-nociceptive effect. These observations indicate that adenosine mediates the effects of acupuncture and that interfering with adenosine metabolism may prolong the clinical benefit of...

Electro-acupuncture shows promise for knee arthritis

A modern twist on traditional acupuncture may bring some pain relief to people with knee arthritis, at least in the short term, a small study suggests   The study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of electro-acupuncture among 40 adults with knee osteoarthritis — the common “wear-and-tear” form of arthritis in which the cartilage cushioning the joints breaks down. Electro-acupuncture is similar to traditional acupuncture, where fine needles are inserted into specific points in the skin. What’s different is that the practitioner fits the needles with clips that are attached to a small device that delivers a continuous electrical impulse to stimulate the acupuncture point. Among the patients in the current study, those who had a daily electro-acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater improvement in their pain compared with patients who received a “sham” version of the therapy. Patients in that latter group received acupuncture, but the needles were inserted at random points on the skin rather than traditional acupuncture sites. And while the needles were attached to the electrical device, it was not actually turned on. The findings suggest that true electro-acupuncture may offer at least short-term pain relief to knee arthritis sufferers, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Sadia Ahsin of the Army Medical College Rawalpindi in Pakistan. Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,000 years in Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. According to traditional medicine, specific acupuncture points on the skin are connected to internal pathways that conduct energy, or qi (“chee”), and stimulating these points with a fine needle promotes the healthy flow of...

Acupuncture Research

Acupuncture has been employed as a health care modality for over 3,000 years. Practitioners of this ancient medical practice have experienced clinical success with a variety of health issues. Today, acupuncture is receiving wide acceptance as a respected, valid and effective form of health care. When most people think about acupuncture, they are familiar with its use for pain control. But acupuncture has a proven track record of treating and addressing a variety of endocrine, circulatory and systemic conditions. Acupuncture and modern medicine, when used together, have the potential to support, strengthen and nurture the body towards health and well-being. What is known about the physiological effects of acupuncture Over the last few decades, research has been conducted seeking to explain how acupuncture works and what it can and cannot treat. The 1997 National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus on Acupuncture reports that “studies have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple biological response, mediated mainly by sensory neurons, to many structures within the central nervous systems. This can lead to activation of pathways, affecting various physiological systems in the brain, as well as in the periphery.” The NIH Consensus also suggests that acupuncture “may activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad spectrum of systemic effects. Alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohomones, and changes in the regulation of blood flow, both centrally and peripherally, have been documented. There is also evidence of alterations in immune functions produced by acupuncture. Below are current theories on the mechanism of acupuncture: 1. Neurotransmitter Theory – Acupuncture affects higher brain areas, stimulating the secretion of betaendorphines and enkephalins...

Research found acupuncture for low back pain are more effective

A German research found acupuncture for low back pain are more effective. German doctors found that acupuncture treatment for low back pain is more effective (almost twice) than the conventional therapy, a combination of drugs, physiotherapy and exercises. Dr. Michael Haake from the University of Regensburg, who presided over the clinic trial, said: “Acupuncture provide a effective way to treat low back pain, and has less effects.” Acupuncture is more effective than Physical therapy In the clinical trials, Dr. Haake and his colleagues recruited 1162 patients with chronic low back pain. These patient in average have 8 years of low back pain. These 1162 patients were divided into three groups and received 30 minutes treatment twice per week for a total five weeks. One group received acupuncture treatment; the second group received “Sham acupuncture” treatment; The last group received conventional routine treatment, a combination of drugs, physiotherapy and exercises. 6 months after treatment, a questionnaire has sent to patient who received the treatment. Of which nearly half of the patient who received acupuncture treatment (47.6%) claimed the treatment is effective, compare to the conventional therapy group, only 27.4% found the treatment helpful. The result showed that low back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional therapy. Researchers believe acupuncture may change the mechanism of brain receiving pain signals, or acupuncture may stimulate brain to release a natural analgesic substances leading to pain relief. References: Arch Intern Med. 2007; Vol. 167 Issue 17 pp: 1892 -1898′, ‘Acupuncture Back Pain...