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June 2014 Acupuncture Research Update

New Brain Study - Acupuncture Fights Depression

 

This article on HealthCMi.com discusses new promising research with scientific evidence that acupuncture can help to fight depression. Acupuncture has been used for a long time to treat symptoms of mental illness and stress and it has long been believed that it also had positive anti-depressant like effects. However until recently there was insufficient scientific evidence to make these claims concretely. But a 2013 study performed by Chinese researchers uncovered preliminary evidence to suggest the scientific reasons acupuncture acts like an natural anti-depressant. Since the initial experiments on rats with induced depressive activity further research has come out to substantiate these claims. Electro-acupuncture was applied to the depressed rodents and after a two week period they began to exhibit signs that their depression had faded as they would climb and explore more, two tendencies that when absent a re associated with depression. While the findings are relatively new it’s a promising start and a great reason to con sider acupuncture as an alternative when facing depression.

 

Links to the Articles:

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1244-acupuncturebraincellgb34du20

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813990/

 

 

 

 

CUHK Research Indicates Acupuncture can Improve Cognitive Functions of Elderly

 

This article on HealthCanal.com details the latest research into the beneficial effects of acupuncture in adults over 65. Avery recent study has just concluded in China that indicates acupuncture helps improve the cognitive functions of adults65-79 who suffer from MCI. MCI is short for Mild Cognitive Impairment and while not threatening in and of itself, has been known to lead to early onset Dementia. While the pilot study was done using a small subject base the findings were conclusive enough to lead to further testing with a much larger test group. One of the lead researchers on the experiment, Professor Albert Leung, said “We are delighted to see that acupuncture treatments help improve the cognitive functions of the elderly. We shall further ascertain its efficacy through our pilot clinical research project.” One disease linked to dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which over 5 million Americans currently suffer from. With Alzheimer’s and Dementia becoming an increasingly serious problem for today’s elders it’s certainly worth investigating the options for its prevention. And with more research being done after promising early results, acupuncture should definitely be taken into consideration to offset these diseases.

 

Links to Articles:

http://www.healthcanal.com/alternative-therapies/46963-cuhk-research-indicates-acupuncture-can-improve-cognitive-functions-ofelderly.html

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture May Be Helpful for Chronic Pain: A Meta-Analysis

 

This article discusses the widespread problem many Americans suffer from in Chronic Pain. According to the article Chronic Pain- pain anywhere in the body lasting three to six months- affects 100 million American adults and is a top reason why adults go to the doctor and is estimated to be costing Americans $635 billion per year. Chronic Pain often leads people not to pursue active lifestyles in an effort to alleviate the pain and until recently western medicine has been at a loss for drug free approaches to treating Chronic Pain. This is changing however as acupuncture is becoming a much more viable option for millions of Americans suffering from Chronic Pain who are looking to treat the source of the problem rather than just the symptoms. For a long time western medicine dismissed acupuncture as having a placebo effect on patients and insisting that acupuncturists cited bogus studies and science but a bulk of recent research has revealed concrete evidence that acupuncture in rodents stimulates adenosine. Adenosine is a strong pain reliever produced naturally by the body. With the tests being done on rats this also rules out the placebo effect making it clear that acupuncture is a viable and drug free way to treat Chronic Pain.

 

Link to Article:

http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/091012

 

 

 

 

Using Acupuncture to Treat Premenstrual Syndrome

 

Recent research has found real acupuncture to be effective in treating the symptoms of menopause and PMS. It was initially published in the Journal of Menopause because the symptoms can be very similar to PMS and the study found that real acupuncture as opposed to “sham” acupuncture yielded tangible results in reducing hot flashes and other symptoms. Jamie Starkey from the Cleveland Clinic who was interviewed for an article with CBS said “So, patients will typically come in to see an acupuncturist if they’ve been on medication that’s not working. They can use acupuncture to start tapering down off of their medication, or to eliminate the need to use medication altogether.”

 

The results of the study linked below also demonstrate how the researchers dealt with the alleged placebo effect often asserted about modern acupuncture research. In their clinical tests a group was given “sham” acupuncture to no effect whatsoever while another group was treated with real acupuncture which showed significant reduction in symptoms of test subjects. With this and more research coming out regularly it’s no wonder western medicine is finally starting to come around to understanding the tangible benefits of a natural, side-effect free, alternative to treating pain and discomfort of all kinds. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of issues listed above consult an acupuncturist about what they can do to help; their answer is likely to be “A lot.”

 

Links to Articles

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12410369

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/01/30/dr-max-gomez-study-finds-acupuncture-can-relieve-pms/

http://aim.bmj.com/content/29/1/27.abstract

 

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