Acupuncture, Real Or Sham, Eases Hot Flashes Due To Breast Cancer Chemo

Joanie Stewart of Back to Health Center Named Acupuncture Society of Virginia Treasurer

Conventional hot-flash treatments include drugs, though their use is limited because of side effects, underscoring a demand for more non-pharmacological interventions, she says. “These women have had a lot of different treatments, and some really try to avoid additional medications,” she added. The authors caution that their study was small and needs verification. They are planning a randomized controlled trial to look further into the racial differences seen in response to real versus sham acupuncture. ### The work was supported by an American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Young Investigator’s Award, a Susan Komen Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and a Craft grant from the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The cancer centers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland receive funding from the National Cancer Institute. Co-authors were Ling Cai, Ph.D., Kelly Betts, Michelle Medeiros, Saranya Chumsri, M.D., Ming Tan, Ph.D., Harvinder Singh, M.D., and Katherin H. Tkaczuk, M.D. of the University of Maryland; and Claire Snyder, Ph.D., Karineh Tarpinian, Jeff Gould, Stacie Jeter, and Aditya Bardia, M.D., of Johns Hopkins. Chumsri has received compensation as a consultant from Novartis and receives research funding from Novartis, GSK and Merck.
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but when it comes to calming down, more and more people are turning to acupuncture for stress relief. Quick Clicks Alternative cancer care debate Cleveland Clinic Acupuncturist Jamie Starkey says acupuncture for stress has a two-fold effect. “So, as we’re treating patients, patients are not only engaged in that relaxation response, but also the brain begins to release endorphins and the endorphin response gives you that euphoric-like sensation,” she said. Starkey says when it comes to stress, most people feel an immediate response to acupuncture. Some studies have found acupuncture lowers stress hormones, while others report a release of endorphins triggered by the technique. Acupuncture alone may not be enough to get you the desired effect, but it works well as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to managing stress. “Acupuncture is one piece because it helps to induce the relaxation response and then teaching them things like how to do meditation and yoga,” said Starkey. She adds that meditation and yoga can be done at home, between acupuncture sessions. Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Acupuncture can offer stress relief

Joanie provides acupuncture treatments to patients with chronic and acute back pain, neck pain, headaches and migraines, digestive disorders, women’s health issues, fibromyalgia, anxiety, skin conditions, infertility, asthma, allergies, osteoarthritis and other health conditions. Acupuncture is an Ancient Chinese healing art that uses extremely fine needles to stimulate the body’s energy pathways. Today, modern science has found that these needles stimulate the central nervous system, which is essential to relieving pain and treating illness. “Acupuncture treatments can be truly life changing,” said Dr. Joanie. “I am proud to be part of the Back to Health Center’s wellness team and to empower patients to live healthier, pain-free lives thanks to acupuncture.” Dr. Joanie, a graduate of the East West College of Natural Medicine, has worked in both Eastern and Western medicine. She has worked in private practice in Sarasota, FL and most recently with the prestigious St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, Center for Well Being in Savannah, GA. In addition to her training in acupuncture , Dr. Joanie has served as a medical writer for CBS/Medscape (now WebMD), as an editorial director at the former Lifetime Medical Television, and as a yoga therapist and instructor.
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Real and sham weekly acupuncture treatments ease hot flashes of anticancer drug treatment

16 in Acupuncture in Medicine. WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) — Acupuncture treatments are effective for short-term weight loss in overweight Koreans, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Acupuncture in Medicine. Sujung Yeo, M.D., from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 91 Koreans with a body mass index (BMI) 23 kg/m to compare the efficacy of the five ear acupuncture points generally used in Korean clinics for treating obesity with the Hunger acupuncture point. Participants were randomly allocated in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive unilateral auricular acupuncture with indwelling needles at five ear acupuncture points (treatment I), at the Hunger point only (treatment II), or to receive acupuncture at the five ear points but have the needles removed immediately after insertion (sham control) — all weekly for eight weeks. The researchers observed significant differences in BMI, weight, and body fat mass between the treatment and control groups at eight weeks among the 58 patients providing data at the end of the study. The reductions in BMI were 6.1 and 5.7 percent, respectively, in treatment groups I and II (P < 0.004) compared to the control group. No significant differences were seen between the treatment groups. "Both five-needle acupuncture treatment generally used in Korean clinics and one-needle treatment at the Hunger point appear to be effective in reducing body weight in the short term," the authors write.
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Scientists query study saying ear acupuncture aids weight loss

“It is hard to think of a treatment that is less plausible than ear acupuncture,” said Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at Britain’s University of Exeter. A summary statement about the study, conducted by Korean researchers, said it compared three approaches in a total of 91 people – acupuncture on five points on the outer ear, acupuncture on one point, and a sham treatment as a control. It said participants were asked to follow a restrictive diet, but not one designed to lead to weight loss, and not to take any extra exercise during eight weeks of treatment. Its results suggested significant differences were apparent after four weeks, with the active treatment groups receiving acupuncture on one or five points having lower body mass index scores compared with the sham treatment group, where there was no such reduction. Weight also differed significantly after four weeks in both active treatment groups compared with the sham treatment group, the researchers reported in the journal, which is one of 50 specialist titles published by British Medical Journal group. According to background information given in the journal, auricular acupuncture therapy is based on the understanding that the outer ear represents all parts of the body and was first used in France in 1956 by a doctor who noticed that a patient’s back-ache was cured after a burn on the ear. But external experts said this research and its apparent conclusions should be viewed with extreme caution. “While it’s good to see attempts to evaluate so-called alternative treatments using the same approach as is used for more conventional treatments, this study has several features that complicate the picture,” said Kevin McConway, a professor of applied statistics at Open University. He noted that more than a third of the study’s small number of starting participants did not complete the course, and yet the main results did not take this into account. “The study lasted only eight weeks, which is not long when it comes to a long-term issue like being overweight,” he said.
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Acupuncture Treatments Lead to Short-Term Weight Loss

Study results, published online Dec. 23 in the journal Cancer, showed few differences overall in benefits between those receiving real and sham acupuncture, and no patients experienced significant side effects from acupuncture. Although the researchers were not specifically studying racial differences in patients’ response, they found that African-American women more often had less frequent or severe hot flashes after real acupuncture, but not after the sham treatments. However, only nine African-Americans participated in the study, not enough, the researchers said, to draw firm conclusions. The fact that some women had benefits from sham acupuncture raised the question of whether the pricking sensation of sham acupuncture triggers physiological effects, says lead author Ting Bao, M.D., D.A.B.M.A., M.S., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. An estimated 60 percent of the acupuncture points used in the study, primarily to treat musculoskeletal symptoms, overlap with those used in treating hot flashes. Another study published by the researchers earlier this year in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment showed that both real and sham acupuncture treatments helped improve AI-associated musculoskeletal symptoms, including a statistically significant reduction in the inflammatory protein IL-17. “The current interventions for musculoskeletal side effects are limited to oral analgesics and exercise,” Bao says. “But the efficacy of these approaches is limited, and long-term use of oral analgesics can be challenging.
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