May 2-5, 2013
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace
The American Association of Medical Acupuncture is celebrating their 25th annual symposium and is pleased to present a symposium designed to meet an expressed need to explore the mechanisms of acupuncture from several different perspectives, and to examine current scientific research in the field of medical acupuncture. This meeting addresses topics suggested by practitioners and stresses many different approaches for addressing practical clinical problems. An emphasis on evidence-based scientific research is integrated with practical protocols for the serious clinician. Surveys and evaluations from previous symposia indicate that there is a desire for more information about acupuncture techniques that honor the rich history of Asian medicine as applied to the contemporary, Western medical practice.
The various approaches and styles reviewed will include: Auricular Medicine, Five Element Acupuncture, Energetics Integration, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Neuroanatomical Acupuncture, Palpation -based Acupuncture, QiGong massage, Medical Acupuncture Zang Fu Healing, Tuina, and Manual Medicine techniques to enhance acupuncture outcomes.
This conference will offer a multi-tiered approach for the understanding and clinical relevance of acupuncture in daily practice. It will expand our awareness of scientific research into the effects of acupuncture, and provide participants with information about different approaches for the treatment of common conditions seen in clinical practice. Clinicians will learn multi-faceted ways to tailor acupuncture treatments for their individual patients. This conference will focus on clinically relevant treatment approaches that can easily be integrated into clinical practice.
More details: www.medicalacupuncture.org
NAAV, Netherlands Acupuncture Association, celebrated 40years anniversary
20th April 2013
The Acupuncture Association of The Netherlands - NAAV - celebrated with an Anniversary Congress 40 years in The Hague. The programme included national and international speakers. ICMART was represented by its general secretary Dr. W. Maric-Oehler (MD), who congratulated one of the oldest member societies of ICMART for succesful 40 years of Medical Acupuncture in The Netherlands.
Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium- science focuses on the brain, Athens, June 2013 - preliminary program now online
Scientific Association of Medical Acupuncture, SAMAG
ICMART became cooperation partner of the 6th ECIM European Congress for Integrative Medicine, Berlin, Germany, 4-5 October 2013
6th ECIM - European Congress for Integrative Medizin
4th-5th October 2013
Acupuncture in Patients With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis - A Randomized Trial
Three ways to naturally reduce menopausal hot flashes
With seven out of every 10 menopausal women experiencing hot flashes and bouts of sweating, this health issue can cause discomfort in social settings, insomnia, and even fatigue. As hormone levels change, women commonly struggle with these undesirable symptoms and many seek treatment with synthetic estrogen. But with increasing evidence showing a link between hormone replacement therapy and increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and other conditions, women are now looking to alternative therapies for relief of their symptoms. Meditation, acupuncture, and herbal supplements can help safely reduce menopausal symptoms in women by promoting wellness from the inside out.
These days, it seems like everyone is busy, always rushing off with something to do - always looking to the future or past, but never really taking time each day to appreciate life and revel in the moment. Meditation is a great form of stress reduction and has recently been shown to reduce the number and severity of hot flashes. A Swedish study shows that women were able to reduce the number of daily hot flashes from 9.1 to 4.4, just by using breathing techniques and relaxation methods.
Acupuncture is another great tool to reduce stress and balance hormones, two major issues commonly associated with menopause. Women given acupuncture had decreased physical and mental symptoms, with the greatest effect in the reduction and severity of hot flashes. They even showed an increase in estrogen levels and a decrease in LH (luteinizing hormone), indicating that the acupuncture treatments not only helped women reduce stress but also favorably changed their hormonal environment. Acupuncture is a safe and effective method for balancing hormones, but some may need internal support to further reduce symptoms.
Another tool to naturally reduce menopausal symptoms is through the use of herbal supplements. Black cohosh, chaste tree, red clover and St. Johns Wort are effective herbs that help change the internal environment of the body to reduce menopausal symptoms. They are also beneficial for women still having periods but that experience painful cramps, irritability, and other undesirable symptoms.
Black cohosh is an estrogenic herb that helps relieve hot flashes. Chaste tree is a hormone balancer and helps alleviate depression. It is also very effective at regulating a woman's cycle after stopping birth control. Red clover also contains estrogenic compounds and helps to alkalize the body. St. Johns Wort is great for women with anxiety, depression, or other mood-related symptoms associated with menopause. These herbs promote wellness and reduce not only menopausal symptoms, but other hormone-related women's health issues.
Find balance naturally for overall health and wellness
These natural remedies are safe and effective treatments to reduce symptoms associated with menopause. What is even better, meditation and acupuncture are excellent lifestyle techniques that can greatly improve overall health in all individuals. Reducing stress, being present and in the moment, and restoring balance are natural therapies that can improve the quality of life and increase longevity, and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
Effect of Acute Acupuncture Treatment on Exercise Performance and Postexercise Recovery: A Systematic Review
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. January 2013, 19(1): 9-16
Paola Urroz, Ben Colagiuri, Caroline A. Smith, and Birinder Singh Cheema
Background: Preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture applied proximally during a single bout of exercise can enhance exercise performance and/or expedite postexercise recovery. The purpose of this investigation was to review trials, systematically and critically, that have investigated such hypotheses and delineate areas for future research.
Method: A systematic review using computerized databases was performed.
Results: Four trials were found: Three involved within-subjects designs and one used a parallel group design. Few participants were enrolled (n=10–20). Fourteen acupuncture sites were used across the four trials: DU 20, LI 15, LI 13, PC 6, ST 36, SP 6, PC 5, LU 7, LI 4, GB 37, GB 39, GB 34, and LI 11, and LR 3. PC 6, and ST 36 were the most commonly used sites. Three trials evaluated the effect of acupuncture on exercise performance. One of these trials noted that electroacupuncture stimulation of either PC 5 and PC 6 or LU 7 and LI4 significantly increased peak power output, blood pressure, and rate pressure product (RPP) versus control. However, two trials documented no effect of acupuncture on exercise performance using point combinations of either DU 20, LI 15, LI 13, PC 6, ST 36, and SP 6 or DU 20, ST 36, GB 34, LI 11, LR 3. One trial evaluated the effect of acupuncture on postexercise recovery and found that heart rate, oxygen consumption, and blood lactate were significantly reduced secondary to acupuncturing of PC 6 and ST 36 versus control and placebo conditions at 30 or 60 minutes postexercise.
Conclusions: There is preliminary support for the use of acupuncture as a means to enhance exercise performance and postexercise recovery, but many limitations exist within this body of literature. Adequately powered, RCTs with thorough and standardized reporting of research methods (e.g., acupuncture and exercise interventions) and results are required to determine more adequately the effect of acupuncture methods on exercise performance and postexercise recovery. Future investigations should involve appropriate placebo methods and blinding of both participants and investigators.
CAM Research Highlight - successful CAMbrella Final Conference
28-29 November 2012, Brussels
ICCMR 2013 update: abstract deadline, Cambrella keynote & Call for Challenging Ideas! - cobadged by ICMART
Abstract Submission Deadline fast approaching - 15th November 2012!
International Congress for Complementary Medicine Research / ICCMR 2013:
Long Term Conditions: developing global, integrative and sustainable solutions
ICMART is cobadging the 8th ICCMR.
11-13 April, Institute for Education, London
5th Bulgarian Acupuncture Congress 2012
The 5th Bulgarian Acupuncture Congress 25-27th October 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria, celebrated 50 years of Acupuncture in Bulgaria with international participation.
ICMART has been officially represented by Dr. Michael Hammes, MD, on the congress, who read the greeting address on behalf of Secretary General of ICMART Dr. Walburg Maric-Oehler, MD.
ICMART board members Dr. Michael Cummings, MD, United Kingdom, Dr. Michael Hammes, MD, Germany, Dr. Petja Piehler, MD, Austria, and the Honorary President of ICMART Dr. Francois Beyens, MD, Belgium were lecturing on specific aspects of Acupuncture and Neuraltherapy.
The first health policy CAM Event – a successful pioneering project CAM Conference and CAM Exhibition ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Innovation and Added Value for European Healthcare‘
9th October 2012, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
The CAM Conference in Brussels, as a European pioneer project, is dedicated to the current great debate ‘Quo vadis Europa?’ with all related topics and especially its positive aspects. The future of Europe is at least also dependent on how fit and healthy Europeans are. Public Health for European citizens is an important issue in Brussels. In this context CAM Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the European level is becoming increasingly important.
ICMART International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques (founded 1983), the global umbrella association of medical acupuncture societies, has contributed for years and has set many important inputs.
16th International Congress of Oriental Medicine / ICOM: The Future of Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Seoul, Korea, 14-16th September 2012
The 16th International Congress of Oriental Medicine in Seoul, Korea was held successfully, with about 3000-4000 participants, 300 communications and with international recommended speakers. ICMART has been represented by the Honorary President of ICMART Dr. Francois Beyens.
5th ECIM / European Congress for Integrative Medicine held successfully in Florence
The 5th European Congress on Integrative Medicine was held successfully on 21-22nd of september in Florence Italy.
It started with an impressing opening ceremony in the Palazzo Vecchio with the musical support of the World Doctors Orchestra and continued with 26 different panels with 300 lectures, 7 workshops, 5 round tables and more than 200 posters on the integration of different CAM methods into orthodox medicine. Topics of the congress have been e.g. integrative oncology, acute and chronic pain, models of research in CAM, experiences of integration of complementary medicine in National Health Systems, use of CAM and cost-benefit research and integrative veterinary medicine. One of the main focus has been on acupuncture and homeopathy.
The Congress has been promoted by Tuscany Region - Tuscany Network for Integrative Medicine, University of Florence, Chamber of Medical Doctors and Dentists of Florence with the Charité University of Berlin, in co-operation with the other Tuscan Universities, the Regional Agency of Health, with the patronage of European and international societies and institutions, e.g. some members of ICMART from Germany and Italy and members of CAMDOC Alliance.
Acupuncture another option when facing depression
Last week, I had an interesting discussion with several friends. The topic was “depression.” The questions asked were do antidepressants really work, what are the alternatives to prescription medications and do they work as well as medications. Depression has become so widespread that antidepressants are now the most commonly prescribed class of medication in the U.S. Over the past 20 years, the percent of Americans taking antidepressants doubled. Currently, 1 in 10 Americans is taking one or more antidepressants.
Depression is believed to be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain, especially low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Depression is commonly divided into three subdivisions: mild, moderate and severe. Recent published medical research has demonstrated that prescription antidepressants work best for those who have severe depression but for mild to moderate depression, antidepressants do not seem to be any more effective than a “sugar pill” or placebo. That does not mean that antidepressants are not effective, but it does suggest that there are many factors that contribute to depression, not just changes in brain neurotransmitters. For many, antidepressant medications may not be the best option.
A recent study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry suggests that acupuncture, as a stand-alone therapy, may be quite effective for mild to moderate depression. This particular study was a compilation of several different studies looking at the effectiveness of acupuncture at relieving the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. These studies looked at many different kinds of acupuncture including traditional acupuncture with needles, electro-acupuncture as well as laser acupuncture.
It also included a wide segment of the population from very young to very old. Putting all these studies together they found that acupuncture is at least as effective as antidepressant medications and when used in conjunction with antidepressants, acupuncture may also reduce many of the medication side effects.
How acupuncture works is a topic of much conjecture. From a Western medicine perspective, acupuncture can increase the levels of a number of different neurotransmitters and, theoretically, changes in neurotransmitter levels influence the length and duration of a depressive episode.
According to traditional Chinese medicine however, depression may be the result of a “dysregulation” of the seven emotions — joy, anger, worry, contemplation, grief, fear and shock. If acupuncture is able to reestablish a balance among these emotions, the symptoms of depression are relieved. Either way, the current medical literature suggests that acupuncture is an effective therapy for mild to moderate depression.
Although the medical research is compelling, the weight of medical research on acupuncture and depression is not conclusive. However, medical research has also demonstrated that other simple approaches such as relaxing exercise, stress reduction, meditation and yoga can be beneficial in mild to moderate depression.
An ancient Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.” These certainly are interesting times and it is not surprising that mild to moderate depression is increasingly seen in many medical practices (including mine). It is good to have effective alternatives to more medication.
Trigger point dry needling
Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) are defined as "hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band." Trigger point dry needling (TrP-DN), also referred to as intramuscular stimulation, is an invasive procedure using an acupuncture needle to deactivate and desensitize these trigger points. In contrast to the ancient practice of acupuncture, which concentrates on correcting imbalances in the flow of GI through channels known as meridians, TrP-DN is relatively new; having been an effective modality for just 70 years.
Brief history of dry needling
The term "dry needling" is believed to have been coined by Janet G. Travell, MD (1901-1997) in the early 1940s. Travell was a pioneer in treating myofascial pain using trigger point therapy. She discovered that the use of hypodermic needles was effective due to their strength and tactile feedback and opposed using acupuncture needles as she believed them to be too thin and flexible to properly treat a trigger point. Initially, she injected a local anesthetic into the trigger point which is a reason she used a syringe for trigger point therapy. Later, though, she found that her patients responded well to the insertion of the needle alone to break up trigger points without injecting any solution. Thus, "dry needling" took root as a solution-free modality in treating myofascial pain. In 1979, Karel Lewit performed a study confirming the efficacy in dry needling by showing the analgesic effects of needle insertion into the body. As researched progressed, TrP-DN practitioners began adopting acupuncture needles in lieu of hypodermic needles as they are less invasive.
How dry needling works and who can benefit from it
Because acupuncture needles are very fine and solid, they don't hurt as they pass through the skin like a hollow injection needle does. The sensations people report are "deep aching," "pressure," "releasing," "blood flow," or "soreness." The needle is left in for a very short period of time, just long enough to relax the muscle. The procedure is repeated in different areas until the muscle returns to its normal, relaxed state.
When a needle tip hits a trigger point, a characteristic, involuntary 'local twitch' in the muscle is observed. It has been suggested that the elicitation of local twitch responses is the most important aspect in obtaining a successful therapeutic outcome for trigger point deactivation. Still unproven, it is suspected that by stimulating the mechanoreceptors in trigger points, TrP-DN can disrupt the neurological feedback loop eliciting pain to the central nervous system. Thus, decreasing pain.
Still not quite well known, many people have received great results from TrP-DN. People, for example, who receive significant yet transient relief in massage therapy have found TrP-DN to provide longer lasting relief. Trigger point works best for people with overuse injuries, chronic pain, and sports injuries. Some purported benefits include:
• Give you lasting pain relief from head to toe
• Eliminate tension, wherever you hold it
• Heal overuse injuries
• Get rid of knots in muscles
• Help muscles heal after injury
• Release tight muscles
• Speed healing time
• Improve blood flow at a deep level
• Stimulate a muscle to work better
• Prevent injuries in the first place
• Get people back exercising ASAP
• Heal chronic injuries of muscles, tendons and joints