Acupuncture Helps Cancer Patients Cope

Acupuncture as good as counseling for depression: study

Acupuncture balances the whole body and improves the immune system so that a patients energy to fight the cancer is improved, she said. Dr. Michael Malone, a doctor in family medicine at Hershey Medical Center who is also a licensed acupuncturist, said he is sometimes paged by the hematology/oncology department to give a treatment to a cancer patient for whom anti-nausea medications have not worked. In the oncology realm, acupuncture is more accepted than in some other medical areas because the doctors are more exposed to its use and see it works, he said. We dont really know why it works for nausea, but for neuropathy, it may help stimulate the nerves and help them function properly. Mainstream doctors, however, want something they can measure, and its impossible to measure energy through meridians, he said. I dont discount qi, but when I describe it to people in Western medicine, I stick to descriptions of results, he said. Some of the strongest evidence for acupunctures usefulness in cancer patients has been in the area of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, according to the National Institutes of Health. Current practice guidelines recommend acupuncture for this use, the NIH reported, with the caution that there might be a placebo effect in some studies. Dr.
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Acupuncture works, one way or another

After three months, people assigned to the acupuncture group had an average score of about 9 – on the higher end of the mild depression category. Scores fell to 11 among members of the counseling group and about 13 in the usual care group, both considered moderate depression. Participants who received acupuncture or counseling saw larger improvements over three months than those who had neither treatment. Those benefits remained for an additional three months after the treatments stopped. However, any differences between acupuncture and counseling could have been due to chance, the researchers reported Tuesday in PLOS Medicine. They found doctors would need to treat seven people using acupuncture and 10 people with counseling for one person to no longer be depressed. “What this says is if you don’t get completely better, there are other options,” Dr. Philip Muskin, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told Reuters Health. “One option would be to take a different medication, but by this study these would be valid options,” said Muskin, who was not involved with the new research. He cautioned, however, that counseling and acupuncture are not replacements for medication. The majority of study participants were still taking antidepressants at the end of the three months. Muskin said the study also doesn’t show what types of patients respond best to acupuncture or counseling.
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Acupuncture offers holistic alternative to Botox

By this measure, the study found, the effectiveness rates for real acupunture, sham acupuncture, and treatment as usual are 50%, 43%, and 30%, respectively. Surprising ways to fight headache pain “Most clinicians and patients would say a 50% success rate versus a 30% success rate for something like intractable chronic pain is actually pretty good,” says lead author Andrew J. Vickers, a statistician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Acupuncture, which originated in China, involves placing needles in specific locations or “meridians” of the body in order to treat various ailments, especially pain. Acupuncture practitioners claim the technique relieves pain by modifying energy flow through the body. “Acupuncturists talk about concepts coming from outside traditional biomedicine,” Vickers explains. “Doctors will say, ‘I didn’t learn about energy flow in Physiology 101.'” Natural remedies for arthritis The energy-flow theory has met with a great deal of skepticism in the United States and other Western nations, and researchers have failed to identify other, biological underpinnings for the treatment. Dozens of clinical trials have sought to prove that acupuncture is more than a placebo by comparing the real thing with sham treatments, which in addition to misplaced needles can include electrical or laser stimulation designed to mimic pinpricks. The new study bolsters the evidence for acupuncture but doesn’t quite put to rest the idea that patients are largely responding to the placebo effect, says Dr. Andrew L. Avins, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente, a large nonprofit health plan based in Oakland, California.
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Scientists Seek Clues for Acupuncture’s Success

By Taryn Plumb / Globe Correspondent/ November 13, 2013 As Lora Lipman entered her 60s, she began to notice not only fine lines around her eyes and lips, but an uneven skin tone she described as somewhat grayish and ashy. Related Pictures: A natural alternative But she was reticent to opt for chemical enhancements, or the typically invasive nips, tucks, and pokes of plastic surgery. So instead, on a recent afternoon, she lay perfectly still on a spa table as dozens of the tiniest of acupuncture needles were gently inserted into the skin of her face and head at the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore in Marblehead. Now, said the 62-year-old from Beverly, people say Your skin looks so nice, so clear and healthy. Cosmetic acupuncture new to the North Shore JCC, but reportedly favored by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna is among the growing natural alternatives to more traditional procedures such as face lifts, and Botox and collagen injections. Full story for subscribers. For more information, go to . Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott is holding An Evening of Health and Happiness from 7:15 to 9 p.m. Thursday. $25 cash, $27.75 credit card. E-mail , or call 781-599-8005. Copyright 2013 Globe Newspaper Company.
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But the American public hasn’t waited for the scientific answers. Growing numbers have sought out acupuncturists for chronic health problems — when conventional medicine either hasn’t worked nor has answers. According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, an estimated 8.2 million American adults have used acupuncture — an impressive number considering only an estimated 2.1 million American adults had used acupuncture in the year before. Acupuncture is used as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative to treat an ever-growing list of disorders: addiction, stroke, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow , fibromyalgia , osteoarthritis , low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, infertility , pregnancy problems , dental pain, and side effects from cancer treatment. “The applications for acupuncture are endless … people use it for sports injuries, for their emotional well-being, for everything,” Peter Wayne, PhD, director of research at the New England School of Acupuncture, tells WebMD. Recent advances in technology have helped unlock the biological mysteries of this 2,000-year-old medical practice. Researchers are closer to understanding how an acupuncture needle can subtly adjust the body’s tissues, nerves, and hormones. The NIH and World Health Organization have both given formal approval of certain uses of acupuncture. It helps to have an exploring, open mindset when considering acupuncture. “But even people who are not very open-minded and try it, find they feel good during the treatments,” David S.
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