acupuncture parkinson’s disease

acupuncture parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common progressive neurodegenerative disease in middle aged and elderly people. The prevalence of PD in people aged more than 65 is 1.7%, posing a serious threat to the health of middle-aged and elderly people. Till now, no effective treatment is available that would slow down or halt PD progression.

It is characterized by static tremors, myotonia, bradykinesia, abnormal posture, and gait. The core pathological mechanism of PD is that degeneration or necrosis of dopaminergic neurons in the mesencephalic substantia nigra leads to a considerable reduction of the striatum dopamine content. Presently, the primary treatment of PD is dopamine substitution therapy; however, after its long-term use, its efficacy is reduced and adverse reactions are increased.

Acupuncture is most commonly used as a complementary therapy for PD. It can improve PD symptoms, reduce adverse drug reactions, prevent the progression of disease, and improve the quality of patients’ life.

Study on the mechanism of acupuncture therapy for PD

Regulating dopaminergic neuron secretion in substantia nigra:

Studies have found that acupuncture can improve the ethology and pathology of mice with PD. Its mechanism of action may be realizing the above process by increasing TH expression in the substantia nigra and reducing the loss of dopaminergic neurons in mice.

Improvement of oxidative stress:

Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) are essential enzymes that catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide in the body. It has been discovered that the function of the antioxidant system in PD model rats was decreased, whereas SOD, GSH-Px activity, and GSH content decreased. Electroacupuncture can improve the antioxidant capacity of PD model rats and reduce the damage of oxygen-free radicals on brain tissue.

Inhibition of inflammatory response:

During the PD pathological process, neuronal degeneration and necrosis and inflammatory response are related to microglial activation, the pathological characteristics of which are abnormal aggregation and phosphorylation of α-synuclein in the specific regions of the central nervous system. electroacupuncture can regulate the MAPK/JNK signaling pathway in PD model rats, decrease the expression of p-c-Jun in the substantia nigra, and reduce the expression of inflammatory factors TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-1β.

Acupuncture (Yang Mausoleum, dance tremor control area) in the rat 6-OHDA model of PD could increased the levels of CD3, CD4, and CD8 in the blood of rats and decreased the concentration of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α.


Excitatory amino acids, including glutamic acid (Glu) and aspartic acid, can cause toxic effects on neurons when they are released excessively or the inactivation mechanism is damaged. the electroacupuncture can increase the expression and activity of glutamate transporter in the brain and reduce the cytotoxicity caused by extracellular Glu.

Regulating Abnormal Calcium Homeostasis

Abnormal calcium homeostasis is one of the important factors in the apoptosis of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of patients with PD. Under normal conditions, intracellular calcium homeostasis is regulated by membrane calcium pump and intracellular calcium pool. If the cells are damaged, the permeability of cell membrane increases and a large number of extracellular calcium ions flow into the cell. Because of the damage in sarcoplasmic reticulum caused by free radical and membrane phospholipid decomposition, calcium pump inhibition leads to a decrease in calcium intake of sarcoplasmic reticulum and an increase in calcium concentration in the cytoplasm, endangering mitochondrial function and cytoskeletal structure and eventually causing irreversible cell death. Different scalp acupuncture treatment in the rat 6-OHDA model of PD, could improve the activity of Ca2+-ATPase in the substantia nigra of PD rats and intracellular calcium homeostasis. Simultaneously, it could also improve Na+-K+-ATP enzyme, Ca2+-Mg2+-ATP enzyme, and total antioxidant capacity, thereby improving brain energy metabolism, reducing brain injury by free radicals, and alleviating the apoptosis of nerve cells

Regulating mitochondrial dysfunction:

During the onset of PD, the decrease of mitochondrial complex activity in brain tissue will reduce the synthesis of ATP, thereby leading to the inability of membrane potentials to maintain balance, which in turn will cause electrons to leak from the respiratory chain, increase the production of reactive oxygen species, and cause the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Acupuncture at Baihui (DU 20) and Dazhui (DU 14) acupoints can reduce mitochondrial structural damage, and increase the activity of mitochondrial complex II.

Main Influence of Acupuncture on Parkinson’s Disease

Improvement of Life Quality of PD Patients

Although the drugs can improve the motor function of patients with PD, they often produce a series of side reactions, resulting in a large number of complications, affecting the patient’s mental status and daily life. The efficacy of acupuncture on patients of PD with depression was assessed by using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) score and UPDRS before and after treatment. The results showed that the scores of HAMD and UPDRS III decreased after acupuncturing Fengfu and Taichong points on the 14th day after treatment. The effective rate was 80.9% in the treatment group and 28.6% in the control group (P < 0.05), suggesting that acupuncture at Fengfuxue and Taichong had a significant effect on PD depression

Relief of Movement Dysfunction

Recent report used the “skull base seven points” acupuncture method to evaluate the efficacy of Parkinson’s disease. It is believed that the “Skull Base Seven Points” acupuncture method can improve PD patients’ clinical symptoms and its clinical effect is better than that of conventional western medicine. It can improve the limb flexibility of patients with PD, and improve the patient’s stiffness, flexion posture and facial appearance.

Effect of Acupuncture on Electroencephalogram in PD Patients

The frequency of brain electrical activity can reflect the functional status of a certain area of the brain and is an important parameter in brain development and aging. Reduced metabolism of brain cells, slower nerve fiber conduction velocity, and degeneration of neurons may increase the power of the θ and δ bands and reduce the power of α and β bands. Studies showed that the power of brain electrical activity in PD patients had increased in the θ and δ bands and decreased in the α and β bands, and this change degree of brain power spectrum was positively correlated with the condition of PD. Quantitative EEG analyses were performed in 45 patients with PD before and after acupuncture treatment. They found that the relative power values of α and β waves were significantly increased after 30 days’ acupuncture, and the relative power values at θ and δ bands were significantly decreased, which showed that acupuncture improved the brain function of patients with PD. The objective evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture on PD was also supported by the observation.

thread embedding acupuncture

thread embedding acupuncture

Thread Embedding Therapy is the method of using disposable special acupuncture needles to implant absorbable biomedical material into specific acupoints. This method prevents and treats diseases by continuous stimulation of the acupoints. Thread embedding acupuncture (TEA) is special type of acupuncture that inserts medical threads (eg, catgut or polydioxanone (PDO)) into subcutaneous tissue or muscles at specific points (eg, traditional acupuncture points or tender points). The embedded thread gradually softens, decomposes and dissolves with time in the subcutaneous tissue or muscle.

The complete absorption times differ with the types of threads. The absorption of PDO is known to be slow during first 3 months and proceeds until 180–210 days. When compared with acupuncture, TEA may produce a strong and long-lasting therapeutic effect.

With the availability of safe absorbable medical threads such as PDO, TEA has been widely used for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain in Korea, China and Taiwan. Treatments with TEA include frozen shoulder, chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee.

New developments with biomedical materials have made the treatment very safe, effective and almost painless, so more and more patients are opting for this treatment. It is used to treat many common diseases including diseases that are otherwise difficult to treat, beauty concerns, weight loss, and other fields.

Indications: using the same indications as traditional acupuncture, Thread Embedding Therapy is applied to the correct acupoints.

Digestive system diseases: chronic gastritis, constipation, diarrhea, and simple obesity. Also included are: gastric ulcers, painful or irregular dysmenorrhea, and amenorrhea

Asthma, stroke, acne, rhinitis, pharyngitis, epilepsy, eczema, chronic bronchitis, and digestive disorders after radiotherapy for cancer.

The Course of Treatment:

Treatment intervals and the length of a course of treatment will depend on the condition being treated, and the related thread absorption. Usually this will be one treatment every 10 days, for 8 to 10 treatments in a course. The treatment interval can be appropriately extended, such as every 3-4 weeks or even longer in the late treatment for beauty, weight loss, and health care.

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Thread Embedding Therapy may not be undertaken for cystitis, or ulcer damage to avoid infection.
  • Thread Embedding Therapy may not be undertaken with patients suffering from serious skin diseases, severe diabetes and any hypofunction of skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by various diseases.
  • Thread Embedding Therapy may not be undertaken with patients who have a tendency to bleeding with thrombocytopenia.
  • Patients with psychentonia, profuse sweating, extreme tiredness or hunger are not suitable.
  • Treatment may not be used during the menstrual period.
  • Thread Embedding Therapy may not be undertaken in the abdomen, lumbosacral portion and Hegu(LI04), Sanyinjiao(SP6) of pregnant women.
  • Thread Embedding Therapy may not be undertaken, or only used cautiously, in children under 7 years of age
why do celebrities use acupuncture?

why do celebrities use acupuncture?

Sometimes, we do bonkers things to look beautiful and improve our skin, but is sticking needles in your face going too far?

Acupuncture, the practice of sticking said needles into your body, is an ancient Chinese medical practice that has been alleged to work wonders on the body. Some celebrities swear by it.

It may seem strange, but celebrities everywhere are getting acupuncture treatments. You might wonder why anyone would want their body stuck with a bunch of tiny needles, but many have claimed that it helps them experience feelings of peace, health and energy.

Celebrities who use Acupuncture:


  • Jennifer Lopez: Dropped 15 pounds due to acupuncture.
  • Kim Kardashian: Uses acupuncture to relax.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow: Uses acupuncture to relieve back pain and menstrual cramps.
  • Celine Dion: Became pregnant with twins thanks to acupuncture.
  • Sheryl Crow: Treated breast cancer with acupuncture.
  • Stephen Collins: Called acupuncture a “vacation in the day”.
  • Natalie Portman: Used acupuncture to relieve stress during pregnancy.
  • Mariah Carey: Increased fertility and decreased stress due to acupuncture.
  • Robert Downey Jr.: Acupuncture keeps him healthy.
  • Sandra Bullock: Says acupuncture keeps her looking young.
  • Jennifer Aniston: Acupuncture aided in weight loss, made her skin glow, and helped to de-stress.

Acupuncture is officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO)

How Does Acupuncture Work?

‘Acupuncture involves stimulating certain points on the body, with a specialised needle of various lengths and sizes that penetrate the skin to various depths’, explains Dr Tsagaris.

The acupuncture points are carriers of vital energy which interconnects and interfers with all aspects of our body and mind. Not only do these points have an effect on the organs, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems but also emotional and cognitive functions too.

So essentially, we’re tapping into our internal energies via specific points on our body and there are numerous ailments that acupuncture can help to fix.

What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture?

Not only is acupuncture used for health reasons, but also it is very popular in the area of cosmetics. According to many experts, acupuncture is similar to a Botox treatment when applied to the face. Practitioners claim that it helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines as well as lift saggy skin and improve skin texture in a very subtle way. for cosmetic acupuncture, needles are inserted into deeper layers of the face and neck and they change the muscle blood flow locally at different levels. This treatment can increase the hydration levels and elasticity of the skin, enhancing volume for a rejuvenated appearance whilst triggering the production of collagen and elastin.

So How Does That Effect The Rest Of Your Body?

The point is that the body is interconnected via this invisible energy and certain parts of the body are more connected. Our skin health is related to the rest of our body. For example, Dr Tsagaris explains how the heart is linked to circulation in the skin, and the lungs are more connected to pore size. The spleen is connected to sebum production and the liver to pigmentation or age spots.

Acupuncture Helps Celebrities Manage Pain

There are many demands on celebrities, from demanding schedules to maintaining their good looks. But even more important is being able to stay active. Pain is one reason many performers, athletes and actors aren’t able to stay as active as they would like. Many celebrities use acupuncture to help them manage chronic pain and heal from injuries.

According to mega-star Katy Perry in an interview, “My knees are giving out on me now. I do acupuncture every two to three days.” Similarly, Madonna uses acupuncture after a concert to help her manage joint pain.

Using acupuncture on a regular basis reduces inflammation and heals bruising by promoting good blood flow. It also promotes endorphin release which alleviates pain. Acupuncture also often works when other forms of pain management fails.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Inserting needles in your skin is a terrifying concept for many but Dr Tsagaris maintains that it is not a painful procedure. ‘The sensation is variable according to the individual and any sensitivity accelerates the healing response and regenerative abilities of the skin.

acupuncture for relaxation

acupuncture for relaxation

These days, stress has become part and parcel of our lives. Though it is not a good state of mind to be in, it warns that you are going to encounter many problematic situations.

Some people may feel without stress one cannot feel motivated to work, but this is not the right way to think. In small amounts, stress could be a good thing, but not for a longer period of time, as it may lead to a situation where one has to face many consequences related to stress.

When the pressure becomes an unreasonable part in your life, it may make you feel sick, unhappy and anxious for small things. You may even feel fatigued for small works, which shows the level of stress has become a serious issue.

Long-term stress can be harmful and can damage organs, weakens the immune system, putting the person at a significant risk of having cancer.

Depression and anxiety are different conditions, but they commonly occur together. They also have similar treatments

Considering Acupuncture For Depression And Anxiety

Different types of medication can be prescribed for depression and anxiety but not all patients respond favourably to the medication. In some patients the benefits of antidepressants do not outweigh the side effects. The most common side effects include sedation, memory difficulties and sleep disturbances. For patients who do respond to medication it can take a while to find the correct dosage.

Many patients find they can manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression through an integrated approach that may include acupuncture, CBT and or medication.

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s own self-healing process and can be used effectively to manage a range of health conditions. It is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for more than 3000 years.

Acupuncture has proven beneficial for the nervous system, immune and endocrine systems. Through stimulating the different systems, patients can experience pain relief, sleep improvements, improved digestion and a heightened sense of wellbeing.

It’s a good option for pregnant women. If you’re expecting a child, you might want to reduce or eliminate your intake of medications to prevent adverse side effects in the child.


In this method, the treatment diàers as per the patient’s symptoms. One single treatment can’t be used to treat all patients. The acupuncturist identiÕes the imbalances causing anxiety, and they just do not treat the symptoms which cause anxiety. They consider body and mind are linked intrinsically, and therefore the treatment is for the whole body and mind.

In TCM, your “qi” is the flow of energy through your body. Qi streams through your body on energy channels known as meridians.

It’s believed that if your energy becomes blocked or stopped up, it may result in illness. This could present with physical symptoms, such as an aching back, or emotional symptoms, such as stress and anxiety.

Acupuncture is believed to help remove blockages and restore energy flow, balancing your organs, mind, and body.

Many Western healthcare providers question the efficacy of acupuncture. It’s not exactly a verifiable and science-based treatment. However, researchTrusted Source does show that the needles from acupuncture treatments release endorphins in your body.

Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers. An increase in these hormones could provide a natural boost to your body and brain.

This boost could bring about relief from symptoms of many conditions, including pain, depression, and headache.

It can reduce inflammation. Because the needles act as tiny wounds throughout the body, acupuncture prompts an anti-inflammatory response from the immune system as it combats the small invasions. There is increasing evidence that chronic inflammation keeps you depressed.

Does acupuncture relieve depression itself or just associated symptoms?

Acupuncture may help ease depression symptoms, as well as treat the underlying condition, although more research is needed to confirm.

In one 2013 studyTrusted Source, researchers found that electroacupuncture, a type of acupuncture that uses a mild electric current transmitted through the needles, was just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in easing depression symptoms.

In another study, researchers examined the effect of acupuncture on sexual dysfunction, one of the most common antidepressant side effects. Both men and women in this study showed significant improvement after 12 weeks of acupuncture treatment.

Can you use acupuncture as a solo treatment?

Although you could use acupuncture as a solo treatment, it’s considered more effective when used in combination with antidepressants and other clinical treatments.

In fact, some research suggestsTrusted Source that acupuncture may even help clinical treatments work better and may be as effective as counseling when used as a part of a complementary care plan.

effects of cupping therapy

effects of cupping therapy

What is cupping?

Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction may facilitate healing with blood flow.

Proponents also claim the suction helps facilitate the flow of “qi” in the body.

Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.

What are the different types of cupping?

Cupping was originally performed using animal horns. Later, the “cups” were made from bamboo and then ceramic. The suction was primarily created through the use of heat. The cups were originally heated with fire and then applied to the skin. As they cooled, the cups drew the skin inside.

Modern cupping is often performed using glass cups that are rounded like balls and open on one end.

There are two main categories of cupping performed today:

Dry cupping is a suction-only method.

Wet cupping may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding.

With dry cupping, the cup is set in place for a set time, usually between 5 and 10 minutes. With wet cupping, cups are usually only in place for a few minutes before the practitioner removes the cup and makes a small incision to draw blood.

After the cups are removed, the practitioner may cover the previously cupped areas with ointment and bandages. This helps prevent infection. Any mild bruising or other marks usually go away within 10 days of the session.

What conditions can cupping treat?

Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains.


Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.

A 2012 review of studiesTrusted Source suggests cupping therapy’s healing power may be more than just a placebo effect. The researchers found that cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:

  • shingles
  • facial paralysis
  • cough and dyspnea
  • acne
  • lumbar disc herniation
  • cervical spondylosis

Cupping therapy effects:

There is converging evidence that cupping can induce comfort and relaxation on a systemic level and the resulting increase in endogenous opioid production in the brain leads to improved pain control. Other researchers proposed that the main action of cupping therapy is to enhance the circulation of blood and to remove toxins and waste from the body. That could be achieved through improving microcirculation, promoting capillary endothelial cell repair, accelerating granulation and angiogenesis in the regional tissues, thus helping normalize the patient’s functional state and progressive muscle relaxation.

Cupping may be an effective method of reducing low density lipoprotein (LDL) in men and consequently may have a preventive effect against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

Cupping therapy can significantly lower the number of lymphocytes in the local blood related to the affected area with an increase in the number of neutrophils, which is one of the antiviral mechanisms that reduces the pain scores.

Loss of blood along with vasodilation tends to increase the parasympathetic activity and relaxes the body muscles which benefit the patient and could also be associated with the after effects of cupping.

Furthermore, the loss of blood is thought to increase the quality of the remaining blood that improves pain symptoms. It has also been found that cupping increases red blood cells RBCs.

There is also a significant reduction in blood sugar in diabetic patients after cupping.


Side effects

There aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. The side effects you may experience will typically occur during your treatment or immediately after.

You may feel lightheaded or dizzy during your treatment. You may also experience sweating or nausea.

After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern. You may also have pain at incision sites or feel lightheaded or dizzy shortly after your session.

Infection is always a risk after undergoing cupping therapy. The risk is small and usually avoided if your practitioner follows the right methods for cleaning your skin and controlling infection before and after your session.

Other risks include:

scarring of the skin

hematoma (bruising)

acupuncture for numbness

acupuncture for numbness

Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine. During acupuncture, tiny needles are inserted into the skin at various pressure points across the body.

According to Chinese tradition, acupuncture helps balance the flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), within your body. This new energy balance stimulates the body’s healing abilities.

From the point of view of Western medicine, acupuncture stimulates the nerves and muscles. This helps boost the body’s response to pain, and improves blood circulation.

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat headaches, back pain and joint pain. It’s also used to treat neurological and digestive disorder symptoms like:

  • facial tics
  • neck pain
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • inflammation
  • muscle stiffness

Acupuncture for neuropathy

Neuropathy is a disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness.

In most cases, peripheral neuropathy is secondary to conditions including diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, alcoholism, nutritional deficiencies, AIDS, or poisoning from heavy metals, chemotherapy, or various drugs.

Other causes include compression or entrapment (carpal tunnel syndrome), direct physical injury to a nerve (trauma), penetrated injuries, fractures or dislocated bones, pressure involving superficial nerves (ulna or radial) which can result from prolonged use of crutches or staying in same position, tumor, intraneural hemorrhage, exposure to cold, radiation or atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:

  • numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature
  • a tingling, burning, or prickling sensation
  • sharp, burning pain or cramps
  • extreme sensitivity to touch, even a light touch
  • loss of balance and coordination
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle wasting
  • paralysis

These symptoms are often worse at night.

Many people have signs of neuropathy upon examination but have no symptoms at all.

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that Peripheral neuropathy is due to dampness moving to the limbs, where it obstructs the flow of Qi (energy) and Blood within them. The treatment is twofold, to treat the underlying factor that is causing this dampness to accumulate and to directly facilitate the circulation of Qi and Blood in the affected area.

The needles used in acupuncture are inserted into your body’s pressure points to stimulate the nervous system. This releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers, in the muscles, spine, and brain. This technique changes your body’s response to pain.

In treating peripheral neuropathy, acupuncture points on the affected area are used (treating the branch) as well as points on various parts of the body to treat the person according to their particular pattern (treating the root).

Each patient is custom-treated according to his or her specific and unique diagnosis.

“Acupuncture for the Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”:

Acupuncture is beneficial in some peripheral neuropathies, but more rigorously designed studies using sham-acupuncture control are needed to characterize its effect and optimal use better.

“Acupuncture for the treatment of lower limb diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review”:

Acupuncture for DPN appears to improve symptoms. However, the application of acupuncture varies greatly, and the quality of included studies was generally low.

“A systematic review of acupuncture for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy”:

The evidence is insufficient to recommend acupuncture for the treatment or prevention of cipn. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of acupuncture in the treatment of cipn. Given that acupuncture is considered safe and might provide relief for patients, it can be considered at the clinician’s discretion.


Acupuncture Reverses Chemotherapy Side Effects

Acupuncture Reverses Chemotherapy Side Effects

In the United States, acupuncture is used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions associated with cancer and the side effects of cancer treatments. A number of cancer centers in the U.S., including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are integrating acupuncture into cancer care. Despite interest by conventional care providers and the public in the integration of acupuncture into cancer care, the full extent to which acupuncture can be applied to oncology care is limited by research evidence regarding its efficacy and safety in treating and preventing cancer-related symptoms.

There are a few conditions for which sound research has demonstrated acupuncture to be an effective and safe adjunct therapy for cancer care. Randomized clinical trials (RCT) have demonstrated that acupuncture is effective for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Research studies also suggest acupuncture may be helpful in managing cancer-related pain, chemotherapy-related neutropenia, cancer fatigue, and radiation-induced xerostomia.

What is acupuncture?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has defined acupuncture as “a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical locations on the skin by a variety of techniques. The most studied mechanism of stimulation of acupuncture points uses penetration of the skin by thin, solid, metallic needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation

Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of acupuncture has been of great interest to many researchers. Numerous mechanistic studies of acupuncture in animal models and humans suggest that the effect of acupuncture is primarily based on stimulation to and the responses of the neuroendocrine system involving the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Data from animal research suggests that therapeutic acupuncture is partially mediated through opioidergic and/or monoaminergic neurotransmission involving the brainstem, thalamus, hypothalamic as well as pituitary function. Human neuroimaging data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and electroencephalography (EEG) have demonstrated that acupuncture stimulation moderates a wide network of brain regions, including the primary somatosensory, secondary somatosensory, and anterior cingulated, prefrontal, and insular cortices, amygdale, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and other areas.

In several animal models, acupuncture and other stimulation methods of acupuncture points, such as thread implantation and point injection, suggest that acupuncture could down regulate the expression of Transforming Growth Factor (TGF). Particularly, two independent studies on rat models of liver fibrosis and chronic renal failure found an inhibition of TGF-β1 expression in the tissues after acupuncture points were stimulated by either a thread implantation or injection with Chinese herbs.

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

After the NIH Consensus Conference in 1997, several well-designed clinical trials generated promising results. A randomized controlled trial further confirmed acupuncture’s antiemetic effect on patients receiving chemotherapy, with a significant reduction of mean emesis episodes (5 vs. 15; P<0.001) compared with pharmacotherapy alone.

In addition to chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the prevention of post operative nausea and vomiting.

A systematic review in 2017 looked at acupuncture in people with breast cancer. It showed that doctors could use acupuncture with other anti-sickness medication. And that it could have a real benefit in helping with nausea and vomiting.

Cancer pain

Pain is a long-standing and unresolved clinical issue among cancer patients. Even after over 20 years since the World Health Organization (WHO) published its recommendation of an analgesic ladder for pain control,45 fifty-five percent of cancer patients still suffer from various forms of pain that significantly impacts their quality of life (QOL).

Several systematic reviews support the use of acupuncture for a wide range of non-cancer-specific pain conditions in clinical practice. These pain conditions include osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and acute dental pain. Although the numbers of acupuncture clinical trials for cancer-specific pain are still small, results of these non-cancer related clinical trials may support benefit for patients with cancer. cancer pain may be brought on by a combination of biological, psychological and social components. Acupuncture-induced analgesic effects can strongly influence the psychological aspect of pain.

Several small studies showed that acupuncture can help with joint pain and stiffness. Joint pain is a common side effect of aromatase inhibitors. These are a type of hormone treatment for breast cancer.

A systematic review in 2017 looked at acupuncture in people with breast cancer. It showed that doctors could use acupuncture with other anti-sickness medication. And that it could have a real benefit in helping with nausea and vomiting.

Depression and anxiety

A recently published RCT reports that massage combined with acupuncture in post-operative cancer patients can improve the depressive mood of these patients when used in conjunction with usual care (p=0.003).

A review study in 2017 found that acupuncture could have a small benefit in helping with anxiety.

Hot flashes

Hot flushes and sweats are a common side effect of treatment. This is in people having treatment for breast, prostate or womb cancers.

Several studies have had varying results on the use of acupuncture for hot flushes.

A 2013 review of acupuncture trials with 281 people found that there is not enough evidence to say that it can help with hot flushes. It concluded that we need more research.

The AcCliMaT study in 2016 was with people with breast cancer. They had hot flushes. It found that people who had acupuncture, had fewer symptoms.

A review study in 2017 said that acupuncture had a small effect on improving hot flushes. This study was also in people with breast cancer.


Although there is an absence of medical literature in the English language on the use acupuncture for leukopenia, several RCTs conducted in China have suggested that acupuncture could be effective in reducing marrow suppression related leukopenia in patients undergoing chemotherapy. An exploratory meta-analysis of clinical trials conducted in China suggests that acupuncture use is associated with an increase in leukocytes in patients during chemotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy, with a weighted mean difference of 1,221 WBC/µL on average (95% confidence interval 636–1,807; p < .0001)


Tiredness (fatigue) after chemotherapy is hard to manage and can have a big effect on your life. It sometimes lasts for years.

Several prospective pilot trials have shown acupuncture may benefit patients with chemotherapy related fatigue. In patients with persistent fatigue who had previously completed cytotoxic therapy and were not anemic, acupuncture resulted in a 31.3% improvement in the baseline fatigue score.

The ACU.FATIGUE trial in 2012 was a study of 302 people. It looked at acupuncture for tiredness after chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.The results showed that it helped to reduce fatigue and improved the women’s quality of life.


Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, e.g., from platinum and taxol related compounds, is a common problem. A small pilot study of 5 patients suggested a partial response to acupuncture that could not be explained by any other known neurophysiologic mechanism81. A positive impact from acupuncture on neuropathy in DFCI clinic patients also has been observed


Insomnia is one of the most significant symptoms of cancer patients, along with anxiety. Acupuncture has been researched among patients with insomnia with mixed results. A small, non-cancer study found acupuncture may significantly reduce insomnia and anxiety, with clear objective improvements in nocturnal melatonin secretion and in polysomnographic measures. A meta-analysis showed that the improvement rate of insomnia produced by ear acupuncture was significantly higher than those from diazepam (p < 0.05).

A review of studies in 2017 found that at the moment there is not enough evidence. It suggested that we need more research.

Radiation-induced xerostomia

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is considered a significant factor underlying dysphagia. Several pilot clinical studies suggest that acupuncture may improve xerostomia caused by radiation therapy in patients with head and neck cancers.

Studies using fMRI found a relationship between stimulating acupuncture point, LI-2, located at the base of index finger, and the activation of the brain function area responsible for salivary production.

A systematic review study in 2018 looked at how well acupuncture worked for a dry mouth caused by different conditions. It included a dry mouth caused by radiotherapy treatment for cancer. The researchers found that there is not enough evidence to say that acupuncture is a treatment for a dry mouth backed up by research.


Clinical research on acupuncture in cancer care is a new and challenging field in oncology. The results of clinical research will continue to provide us with clinically relevant answers for patients and oncologists. The evidence currently available has suggested that acupuncture is a safe and effective therapy to manage cancer and treatment related

How often can you have acupuncture

How often can you have acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating a variety of conditions by triggering specific points on the skin with needles. Paul Kempisty, licensed acupuncturist with a MS in traditional Oriental medicine, explains, “[Acupuncture is] a minimally invasive method to stimulate nerve-rich areas of the skin surface in order to influence tissues, gland, organs, and various functions of the body.”

“Each acupuncture needle produces a tiny injury at the insertion site, and although it’s slight enough to cause little to no discomfort, it’s enough of a signal to let the body know it needs to respond,” Kempisty says. “This response involves stimulation of the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing, and pain modulation.”

What’s the philosophy behind acupuncture?

The Chinese philosophy behind acupuncture is a bit more complicated, as the ancient practice isn’t traditionally based in science and medicine. “They believed that the human body was filled with and animated by an invisible life-giving force which they called ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) and when the qi was flowing well and going to all the right places, then a person would experience good mental and physical health. When the qi was flowing incorrectly (blocked or deficient) that would result in illness,” says Kempisty.

Incorporating acupuncture into real life

For now, if you have a condition that acupuncture does have scientific backing for, here’s what to expect from a session: an acupuncture session to last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, though most of this time may be spent discussing your symptoms and concerns with your practitioner sans needles. The actual treatment portion of acupuncture may last around 30 minutes, though you don’t necessarily have needles in your skin for that long!

In terms of results, it’s nearly impossible to say what one should expect, as everyone responds to and experiences acupuncture differently.

“There is no universal response to acupuncture. Some people feel relaxed and may be a little tired, others feel energized and ready for anything,” Kempisty explains. “Some people experience an improvement right away and for others it can take several treatments before noticing a positive change.”

The mostcommon response to acupuncture, however?

“People feel happy and content,” Kempisty says. “It’s hard to put into words but there’s a distinct balanced and harmonious feeling that acupuncture gives most people and it just feels good!” You may also feel tired after a treatment and see changes in your eating, sleeping, or bowel habits, or experience no changes at all.


Research carried out in Germany has shown that acupuncture may help relieve tension headaches and migraines.

The NCCIH note that it has been proven to help in cases of:

  • low back pain
  • neck pain
  • osteoarthritis
  • knee pain
  • headache and migraine

They list additional disorders that may benefit from acupuncture, but which require further scientific confirmation.

In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed a number of conditions in which they say acupuncture has been proven effective.

These include:

  • high and low blood pressure
  • chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer
  • painful periods
  • dysentery
  • allergic rhinitis
  • facial pain
  • morning sickness
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • sprains
  • tennis elbow
  • sciatica
  • dental pain
  • reducing the risk of stroke
  • inducing labor

Other conditions for which the WHO say that acupuncture may help but more evidence is needed include:

  • fibromyalgia
  • neuralgia
  • post-operative convalescence
  • substance, tobaccor and alcohol dependence
  • spine pain
  • stiff neck
  • vascular dementia
  • whooping cough, or pertussis
  • Tourette syndrome

The WHO also suggest that it may help treat a number of infections, including some urinary tract infections and epidemic hemorrhagic fever.

How often should I have acupuncture treatments?

The number of treatments required depends on each person’s condition and response to acupuncture. One acupuncture session does not usually result in relief of pain. One or two sessions a week for five to six weeks is the normal course of treatment.

Don’t rely on acupuncture for treatment of chronic or serious illness unless you see a physician first. Acupuncture may not be the only way to improve your condition. Your healthcare provider may recommend acupuncture treatment along with other treatment methods such as physical therapy or medication.

In addition, try acupuncture for at least five or 10 treatments before giving up.

Like any other medicine, you have to take a dose on a regular basis to get a positive result. For most medications, you would need to take a dose daily to get a change in your body. For example, if you need a medication for blood pressure, you will need to take the medication every day to get a change; if you take it only once a month, you will not change your blood pressure. Acupuncture works the same. Similar to exercise, acupuncture works by stimulating your body to change itself. Experience has proven that if you don’t get treatments often enough, or for enough total sessions, you will get little or no improvement in health.

For acute injuries, I consider twice weekly the minimum effective frequency, and for chronic conditions (such as headaches), twice in 10 days. Once you achieve your health goal, you can move to preventive treatment. Getting acupuncture once weekly or biweekly can reduce stress, improve mood, and prevent dis-ease.

In China, it is common for people to receive acupuncture treatments daily. However, generally it is not advisable to get acupuncture more than once daily.

acupuncture for eczema

acupuncture for eczema

Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough. Blisters may sometimes occur. The word “eczema” is also used specifically to talk about atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema. “Atopic” refers to a collection of diseases involving the immune system.

Fast facts on eczema


  • Certain foods can trigger symptoms, such as nuts and dairy.
  • Symptoms vary according to the age of the person with eczema, but they often include scaly, itchy patches of skin.
  • Eczema can also be triggered by environmental factors like smoke and pollen. However, eczema is not a curable condition.
  • Treatment focuses on healing damaged skin and alleviating symptoms. There is not yet a full cure for eczema, but symptoms can be managed.
  • Eczema is not a contagious condition.



The specific cause of eczema remains unknown, but it is believed to develop due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Environmental factors are also known to bring out the symptoms of eczema, such as:

  • Irritants: These include soaps, detergents, shampoos, disinfectants, juices from fresh fruits, meats, or vegetables.
  • Allergens: Dust mites, pets, pollens, mold, and dandruff can lead to eczema.
  • Microbes: These include bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, viruses, and certain fungi.
  • Hot and cold temperatures: Very hot or cold weather, high and low humidity, and perspiration from exercise can bring out eczema.
  • Foods: Dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, soy products, and wheat can cause eczema flare-ups.
  • Stress: This is not a direct cause of eczema but can make symptoms worse.
  • Hormones: Women can experience increased eczema symptoms at times when their hormone levels are changing, for example during pregnancy and at certain points in the menstrual cycle.

Treatment of eczema:


There is no cure for eczema. Treatment for the condition aims to heal the affected skin and prevent flare-ups of symptoms. Doctors will suggest a plan of treatment based on an individual’s age, symptoms, and current state of health.

Home care


There are numerous things that people with eczema can do to support skin health and alleviate symptoms, such as:


  • taking lukewarm baths
  • applying moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing to “lock in” moisture
  • moisturizing every day
  • wearing cotton and soft fabrics, and avoiding rough, scratchy fibers and tight-fitting clothing
  • using a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser when washing
  • air drying or gently patting skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing the skin dry after bathing
  • where possible, avoiding rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat
  • learning and avoiding individual eczema triggers
  • using a humidifier in dry or cold weather
  • keeping fingernails short to prevent scratching from breaking the skin



There are several medications that doctors can prescribe to treat the symptoms of eczema, including:

  • Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments
  • Systemic corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Antiviral and antifungal medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors
  • Barrier repair moisturizers
  • Phototherapy


Acupuncture for eczema


Acupuncture, as described by its own practitioners, is based on a system of meridians, or paths of energy, which flows throughout the body. When points in this path become blocked or weakened, the body responds by producing symptoms of illness, such as the symptoms of eczema, or the chronic pain of fibromyalgia.  In order to restore the flow of energy, acupuncture uses the insertion of fine needles at specific points along the meridians. For skin disorders, acupuncture points are stimulated along the arms, legs and torso. The acupuncturist uses fine high-grade surgical steel needles, which are used only once, to stimulate those acupuncture points. The needles may remain from 10 minutes to one hour, depending on the desired effect. Heat or electricity may also be applied using three fire needles (heated needles) or wired small alligator clips attached to the needles, which passes a very mild electrical charge from a small battery.

“The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for patients with atopic eczema: a systematic review and meta-analysis”:

A total of eight RCTs (with 434 participants) were included. The results of one included RCT showed that acupuncture was better than no treatment at reducing itch intensity measured using a visual analogue scale in patients with AE. The combined results of six RCTs showed that acupuncture was better than conventional medicine at reducing the eczema area and severity index. Acupuncture might be effective at reducing itch intensity and may be more effective than conventional medicine at reducing EASI and improving the global symptoms of AE.

Anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects might be the reasons behind peripheral antipruritic actions. In an animal study, acupuncture reduced serum IgE levels, as well as mRNA expressions of IL-4, IL-8, and TNF-α pro-inflammatory cytokines. The anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture could also contribute to the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Increase in blood flow to local needle insertion sites, as well as the structures that are related to the area, have been demonstrated in previous studies. These factors could be responsible for healing lesions, as well as normalizing of the thickening of the skin.

Acupuncture for treating diabetic tingling feet

Acupuncture for treating diabetic tingling feet

Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur if you have diabetes. High blood sugar (glucose) can injure nerves throughout your body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in your legs and feet.

Depending on the affected nerves, diabetic neuropathy symptoms can range from pain and numbness in your legs and feet to problems with your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and heart. Some people have mild symptoms. But for others, diabetic neuropathy can be quite painful and disabling

Since the damage hits our smallest blood vessels first, the nerves these vessels feed may develop paresthesia quickly. So tingling and numbness in our toes and fingers are often some of the earliest complications of Type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes often have problems with hypothyroidism and B12 deficiency. If you are plagued by paresthesia, it is a good idea to get blood tests for these conditions.

Diabetic neuropathy can affect different types of nerves in your body, including your sensory nerves, autonomic nerves and motor nerves. Sensory neuropathy affects the nerves that carry messages of touch, temperature, pain and other sensations from the skin, bones and muscles to the brain. It mainly affects the nerves in the feet and the legs, but people can also develop this type of neuropathy in their arms and hands.

Symptoms can include:

  • tingling and numbness
  • loss of ability to feel pain
  • loss of ability to detect changes in temperature
  • loss of coordination – when you lose your joint position sense
  • burning or shooting pains – these may be worse at night time

Diabetic neuropathy is a serious diabetes complication that may affect as many as 50% of people with diabetes. But you can often prevent diabetic neuropathy or slow its progress with consistent blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle.

Treatments for diabetic nerve pain

Damaged nerves can’t be replaced. However, there are ways that you can prevent further damage and relieve your pain.

First, control your blood sugar so the damage doesn’t progress. You may be asked to lower your blood sugar before meals to 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and your blood sugar after meals to less than 180 mg/dL.

Use diets, exercise, and medications to decrease your blood sugar to a healthier range. Monitor other health risks that can worsen your diabetes, such as your weight and smoking.

Your doctor might suggest trying an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Bufferin), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil), which are available without a prescription but can cause side effects. Use a low dose for a short time to control your symptoms.

Some physical therapy treatments, such as swimming, can help treat diabetic neuropathy. Be sure to choose a trusted physical therapist who understands neuropathy, diabetic or otherwise, to help you work through physical therapy methods in order to prevent further nerve damage. Proper attention to physical activity by an expert can prevent any further issues from occurring.

Acupuncture for neuropathy

Acupuncture is a technique used to treat pain and relieve discomfort. The needles used in acupuncture are inserted into your body’s pressure points to stimulate the nervous system. This releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers, in the muscles, spine, and brain. Many people with neuropathy turn to acupuncture to relieve their chronic pain.

Though research is still being done to test the effectiveness of acupuncture on peripheral neuropathy, acupuncture appears to improve diabetic peripheral neuropathy symptoms better than B vitamins or no treatment and to improve symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis better than gastroprokinetic agents (SOR: B, meta-analyses of unblinded, low-quality RCTs). Electroacupuncture improves symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis better than sham procedure, but the difference is likely not clinically significant (SOR: C, small RCT). Acupuncture may be considered for symptom management in patients with diabetic gastroparesis (SOR: C, expert consensus).