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 and acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure have shown early positive findings for their use in the management of dyspnea. Jobst compared the effects of 'traditional' and 'placebo' acupuncture in 24 COPD patients with 'disabling breathlessness'.71 During 13 treatment sessions administered over three weeks acupuncture needles were inserted according to 'traditional acupuncture points', while in the other group the placebo needles were inserted in non-acupuncture 'dead points'. Both groups did improve their dyspnea on two different measurement scales and at the end of the six MW, the acupuncture group had significantly greater improvement than the placebo. Acupuncture was tested in 20 patients with cancer-related breathlessness.72 Initially the patients received needles for ten minutes, these were then left in place for 90 minutes. Seventy per cent of the patients reported significantly improved relief in breathlessness, anxiety and relaxation that peaked at 90 minutes and lasted up to six hours. A...

Accessing Acupuncture

You may be familiar with acupuncture, the art of inserting fine, sterile needles into different areas of the body for treatment of any number of disorders. Acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), came into use in the United States in the 1970s and is often used for pain relief. Some traditional medical doctors now train in the use of acupuncture. TCM acupuncturists often combine treatments with the use of herbs. This section looks more closely at how acupuncture can help ease your endometriosis pain and how you can find a licensed acupuncturist.

Electrodermal testingelectroacupuncture

This is a test used by alternative or complementary health workers. The device used for this in vivo test is made up of a galvanometer that measures the activity of the skin at designated acupuncture points. The patient holds the negative electrode in one hand, while the positive electrode is pressed upon the points. Vials of food extracts in contact with an aluminium plate are also within the circuit. A drop in electrical current is diagnostic of an allergy to that particular food. There is no clearly described theory behind the procedure, and furthermore no clinical or scientific evidence that electro-dermal testing can diagnose food allergy.


Acupuncture is the insertion of small needles along various parts of your body. The theory behind acupuncture involves rebalancing your body's power as it runs through energy fields called meridians. Though still not completely accepted by traditional Western medicine, acupuncture has been shown in various clinical trials to benefit both female and male fertility problems. One such study was conducted by the University of Heidelberg in Germany and published in 1992 by Gynecological Endocrinology. The study involved 90 women with irregular menstrual cycles. Half of these women were given acupuncture at treatment points on their ears. The remaining women were treated with hormones. The study found that women treated with acupuncture had 22 pregnancies. Women treated with hormones had 20 pregnancies. It was also noted that several undesirable side effects were seen among the women in the hormone group, but no side effects occurred in the acupuncture group. The study concluded that...

Easing the pain with just a little prick

Are you looking for a little extra pain relief from your endometriosis Acupuncture may be an option. Acupuncture and herbal medicines are frequent treatments for endometriosis and other pelvic disorders. These herbal medicines include plant elements, such as roots, barks, flowers, and fruits, and the formulas prescribed vary from person to person. Common acupuncture points in the treatment of endometriosis are the ears, abdomen, wrists, feet, legs, and back. Needles remain in place for 20 to 45 minutes. So how does acupuncture really work An acupuncturist inserts needles into certain points on your body to stimulate nerve endings and release endorphins (neurotransmitters) that have pain-relieving qualities. You may need up to six treatments before you feel significant pain relief. Some of the goals of acupuncture and herbal medicines are to break up stagnation of blood by moving blood from one place to another, thus stopping the pain. Each point of needle placement and herb has its...

Bringing Power Relations into the Study of Medical Pluralism

Research on this phenomenon has to recognize that, as Stoner (1986, p. 47) asserts, p luralism can now be examined as a multiplicity of healing techniques, rather than of medical systems. Indeed, in its response to the growing popularity of the holistic health movement, biomedical physicians in the United States have increasingly been incorporating various therapeutic techniques, from homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, and bodywork, into their regimen of treatment in an effort to create an integrative medicine. Brodwin (1996) asserts that the study of medical pluralism had reached a theoretical impasse because efforts to categorize plural medical systems often produced rigid functionalist typologies or broke down in a welter of incomparable terms. Medical anthropologists turned to concerns such as the political economy of health, biomedical hegemony, alternative medical systems in Western societies, reproduction, the mindful body, the social dynamics of clinical encounters,...

Holistic New Age and Folk Medicine

New Age healers are especially drawn to Eastern religious systems that involve entering into meditative states that heighten receptivity to the inflow of a higher spiritual energy, variously referred to as ch 'i, prana, kundalini, animal magnetism, or divine white light. Yoga, t'ai chi ch'uan, Ayurvedic medicine, shiatsu, acupuncture, and various Eastern massage systems are studied for their advocacy of attitudes and lifestyles geared to the renovation of our moral and spiritual lives. Although each of these healing systems has its own philosophical basis and history, Americans tend to approach them with agendas left over from such nineteenth-century movements as mesmerism, spiritualism, and The-osophy. Even acupuncture, whose ability to alleviate pain A wide variety of folk and ethnic remedies exist alongside medical science. Botanical and herbal remedies, while ordinarily aimed at promoting health rather than curing illness, represent a noninvasive approach to physical well-being....

Orthodox Public Health and Alternative Practices

The World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly advocated cooperation between conventional physicians and alternative practitioners because neither one is likely to disappear. In the United Kingdom in 1995, one in seven people visited alternative practitioners. In the Netherlands, a survey of 293 conventional generalists showed that many believe in the efficacy of certain alternative practices manual therapy, yoga, acupuncture, hot baths, and homeopathy. In Germany, a distinction is made between scientifically supported alternatives such as naturopathy, which stimulates the body's own healing resources, and unscientifically based alternatives. The former are covered by some insurance policies and the state plan pays a subsidy to patients using them. In Norway, a group of conventional physicians and alternative practitioners are meeting to promote closer cooperation (Rankin-Box).

Finding a competent practitioner

Be sure the practitioner you choose is licensed if the treatment has a licensing procedure. Many alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and chiropractic, have strict criteria for licensure. Finding a practitioner that uses techniques outside mainstream medicine can be more challenging than finding a traditional medical doctor. One of the drawbacks to alternative therapies is that licensing of practitioners isn't as stringent as the licensing of medical doctors, so you may not know whether your practitioner has had adequate training. A well-intentioned but untrained practitioner can do a lot more harm than good In order to find a competent practitioner, we recommend you start with the governing boards or licensing bodies of the professions that have them, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), naturopathy, or acupuncture, to name a few. (We list the governing bodies of many alternative treatments in the sections describing them.) If you want to find out or you're unsure...

Considering Alternative Therapies and Remedies to Relieve the Pain

Avoiding the pitfalls of alternative medicine Considering acupuncture Trying a chiropractor Melting under massage Mastering meditation techniques Decreasing pain with exercise or yoga Going herbal Using aromatherapy ever before have so many people looked for alternatives to traditional W Western medicine herbs, acupuncture, Eastern medicine, and other alternatives are all getting a close look. But you may be asking Why the popularity of alternative treatments After all, traditional medicine today is as advanced as it's ever been and improving all the time. So why are so many people looking for alternative treatments

Review of cessation studies

Grade A In a comprehensive systematic review of 188 randomized controlled trials of the efficacy of a wide range of interventions aimed at helping people to stop smoking, it was concluded that simple advice, even on one occasion only, given by a doctor in general or family practice or in a hospital clinic to all smokers who consulted, resulted in sustained cessation of about 2 and that additional encouragement and support (additional visits, exhaled CO measurement, letters, etc.) further enhances this effect.28 Whether similar interventions delivered by nurses are equally effective remains uncer-tain,29 although there is evidence that nurse support, subsequent to doctor advice, can enhance the effect of this.30 This comprehensive review25 also endorsed the use of nicotine replacement therapy but concluded that a variety of other smoking cessation interventions - hypnosis, acupuncture, aversion therapy, and pharmacologic agents other than nicotine, which are sometimes advocated - have

California Holistic New Age Healing Center

English-Lueck (1990) conducted an ethnography of the holistic health New Age movement in Paraiso (pseudonym), a California community consisting largely of white upper-middle- and upper-class residents. Despite its relative ethnic homogeneity, Paraiso's residents adhered to a variety of lifestyles. These included millionaires, university students, and members of unconventional congregations, such as the Unitarian Universalist Church, the Unity School of Christianity, and the Church of Religious Science. Paraiso has numerous self-help groups, 36 schools that offer workshops and lectures on alternative medicine, and three schools that offer training in various alternative therapies, including massage, acupuncture, and hypnosis. The local community college, the university extension program, the YMCA, herbal stores, a Taoist sanctuary, and a Yogic Institute ashram also offer workshops on alternative therapies.

Ethical And Legal Issues

Alternative medicine covers a dizzyingly heterogeneous group of medical theories and practices. Alternatives range from the different forms of faith healing, Christian Science, and folk medicine to allegedly scientific systems like homeopathy, chiropractic, and visualization therapy. Also included under the term are acupuncture herbalism iridology the traditional medicines of India, China, Japan, the Philippines, and indigenous peoples holistic medicine naturopathy (treatment using agents or elements found in nature) shamanism yoga radiesthesia (therapy based on detection of natural waves of force emanating from nature) color healing aromatherapy transcendental meditation crystal therapy thalassotherapy (treatment based on sea bathing, sea voyages, etc.) massage therapy midwifery and many others. Certain shared negative elements justify lumping together such diverse medical theories and practices. They include marginal social standing or fringe status exclusion from mainline...

Finding a licensed acupuncturist

Acupuncture became an officially recognized treatment for pain by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997, so you can find a physician trained in acupuncture more easily now than even ten years ago. Physicians can be certified in acupuncture after taking a 200- to 300-hour training course. They're then members of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA). The FDA regulates acupuncture needles and tools, so standards are high but the FDA doesn't regulate the practitioner, so be careful. You can get a listing of medical doctors in your area who perform acupuncture by contacting the AAMA at its toll-free number at 800-521-2262 or by searching its Web site at Acupuncture-trained physicians are licensed or certified through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. To confirm your practitioner's certifications, check out the NCCAOM's Web site at www.

Integration of Alternative and Complementary Medicine into Palliative Care

Patients and their families may be subject to strong pressures to utilize ethnomedical practices and procedures believed to be efficacious. Recent immigrants may utilize products obtained abroad or from Mexico and Central America. Practices vary widely, including acupuncture for pain, cupping or coining, dietary prohibitions based on hot-cold belief systems, Chinese herbal products, Ayurvedic patent medicines, and full-blown rituals including chanting and the sacrifice of animals. A skilled practitioner creates an open

Nonpharmacologic Modalities

Are best suited for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, and adolescents. Physical techniques include kinesthetic or tactile stimulation, heat and cold applications and massage as well as the more complex modalities of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS), acupuncture, acupressure and electro-acupressure.

Biomedicine and Moral Agency in a Complex World

From that point, an increasing awareness about the exclusion of women's experiences, achievements, and life histories from academic disciplines led me to engage also with such issues in relation to people of color and nonwestern ways of knowing. Motivated by a strong desire to reach beyond these boundaries of exclusion and marginal-ization, I broke with my family's (western) medical tradition and studied eastern philosophy and acupuncture, and worked as a practitioner in this field for several years. Out of the realization that any cultural transformation toward a new integrative medicine would ultimately need to arise from within western culture itself, I pursued further studies in philosophy and the history of western science. Since embarking on my career in molecular biology, I have been committed to building bridges between science and other ways of knowing. This chapter was written for some of my colleagues as an invitation to conversation and possibly to a shared questioning and...

Nonpharmacologic Modalities Cognitive Behavioral and Physical Therapies for Analgesia and Anxiolysis

Physical nonpharmacologic agents are becoming increasingly relevant to ED pain management. In addition to the traditional techniques noted above, the less commonly used physical modalities such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and acupuncture, particularly the newer electroacupressure techniques,17 may have some potential role in the ED environment in the future. Although specific technical skills and equipment are required, there is no need for intravenous access, and there is no systemic effect or depression of respirations or mental status.

Patterns of Disease and Patterns of Culture

The influence of culture can be seen in how people care for symptoms before they receive a diagnosis. Groups vary in their willingness to undertake preventive measures they vary in how they perceive and classify symptoms. Across the world, people employ diverse markers to decide who will be labeled disease-ridden or contagious they differentially rank which diseases are seen as important or unimportant. What treatment, if any, sick people choose, whether they take medication, how they manipulate their diseases for other ends, whether therapy succeeds -culture influences diseases through these pathways as well as through the patterned work of nerves, muscles, and bones. Whether one thinks of body disorder as influenced by Chinese energy meridians, Tibetan pulses, Latin American hot cold states, or immune system function is largely a product of where one is and with whom one interacts. Available healing traditions range from the grand and ancient ones of Chinese acupuncture

Psychological Methods

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can work well if introduced early enough in labour. The technique depends on the gate theory of pain transmission (as described by Melzack and Wall 1965). Stimulation must be applied to the dorsal columns of the spinal cord in the mid-thoracic region, above the level of the affected nerve roots, i.e. T10. TENS is effective early in labour but begins to lose its effect after 5 cm cervical dilatation is reached. Acupuncture has been advocated for use in labour but it is not in common use in the UK.

The Referral Process

If a patient is ready to accept referral, a staff member who is familiar with treatment resources can assist the patient in making an appointment or plans to enter a treatment program. Each ED should provide a resource list for staff and a printed handout or brochure for patients with names, addresses, and phone numbers of treatment programs. The following resources should be available inpatient detoxification outpatient detoxification acupuncture methadone maintenance outpatient individual and group counseling residential communities self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Alanon programs focused on the needs of women and programs that are culture specific.

Opioidresistant pain

A variety of non-drug treatments are also available for the management of intractable pain. These may consist of simple counter-irritation with cold compresses, hot water bottles or ointments. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is of benefit in a wide range of conditions causing localized pain, particularly of muscle origin. This is believed to be due to stimulation of large nerve fibres which release the inhibitory neurotransmitter 7-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the dorsal horn. A similar effect may account for the success of acupuncture whether by deep needling alone or combined with electrostimulation. A number of psychological methods of pain relief (e.g. relaxation therapy) are also employed.

Foot Reflexology

Like Acupuncture or Acupressure, Reflexology is a science of stimulating specific points on the surface of the body (e.g., on soles), which have a correspondence or a link with the internal organs. However, unlike Acupuncture, no needles or special instruments are required. You need not go to a doctor. You can treat yourself in your own home, at any convenient time.