News tagged with acupuncture

Related topics: pain

A closer look at the placebo effect

Placebos are "dummy pills" often used in research trials to test new drug therapies and the "placebo effect" is the benefit patients receive from a treatment that has no active ingredients. Many claim that the placebo effect ...

Jul 13, 2011
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Placebo effects of different therapies not identical

Not all placebos are equal, and patients who respond to one placebo don't always respond to others, according to research published July 31 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Jian Kong from Massachusetts General Hospit ...

Jul 31, 2013
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Acupuncture of benefit to those with unexplained symptoms

Attending frequently with medically unexplained symptoms is distressing for both patient and doctor and effective treatment or management options are limited: one in five patients have symptoms that remain unexplained by ...

May 29, 2011
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Acupuncture might ease fatigue linked to breast cancer

(HealthDay)—Offering breast cancer patients a relatively short regimen of acupuncture alongside standard treatment can help alleviate some of the crippling fatigue that often accompanies the disease, according ...

Nov 02, 2012
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Study: Relaxation good therapy for hot flushes

Women who have undergone group therapy and learned to relax have reduced their menopausal troubles by half, according to results of a study at Linköping University and Linköping University Hospital in Sweden.

Nov 23, 2012
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Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating fine filiform needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes. The word acupuncture comes from the Latin acus, "needle", and pungere, "to prick". In Standard Mandarin, 針砭 (zhēn biān) (a related word, 針灸 (zhēn jiǔ), refers to acupuncture together with moxibustion).

According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are situated on meridians along which qi, the vital energy, flows. There is no known anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians. Modern acupuncture texts present them as ideas that are useful in clinical practice. According to the NIH consensus statement on acupuncture, these traditional Chinese medical concepts "are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture."

The earliest written record that is available about acupuncture is Huangdi Neijing (黃帝內經 or Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon), which suggests acupuncture originated in China and would explain why it is most commonly associated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Different types of acupuncture (Classical Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Vietnamese and Korean acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.

Acupuncture has been the subject of active scientific research since the late 20th century but it remains controversial among Western medical researchers and clinicians. Due to the invasive nature of acupuncture treatments, it is difficult to create studies that use proper scientific controls.:126 Some scholarly reviews have concluded that the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment can be explained primarily through the placebo effect, while other studies have suggested some efficacy in the treatment of specific conditions. The World Health Organization published a review of controlled trials using acupuncture and concluded it was effective for the treatment of 28 conditions and there was evidence to suggest it may be effective for several dozen more. Additionally, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Medical Association (AMA) and various government reports have studied and commented on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of acupuncture. There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles, and that further research is appropriate.

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