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EPHA 6th Annual Conference 2-3 September, Brussels: Towards a European Union for HealthEPHA 6th Annual Conference 2-3 September, Brussels: Towards a European Union for Health

Epha logo

EPHA 6th Annual Conference 2-3 September 2015, Brussels "Towards a European Union for Health - From Health in All Policies to EU Governance for Health and Well-Being?"

For more information click here


Save the date: Forum Neuraltherapy International 2015, 02-04 October 2015 in Vienna

Forum Neural Therapy 2015

Date: 2th-4th October 2015
Venue: Imperial Riding School, Vienna, Austria
Programm and registration:


EUROCAM - News, European CAM doctors respond to CPME position paper on CAM

European CAM doctors respond to CPME position paper on CAM

see more


CAM Interest Group at the European Parliament - discussing the restricted availability of CAM medicinal products in the EU

On 1 July 2015 the CAM Interest Group at the European Parliament discussed the restricted availability of CAM medicinal products in the EU, a fact confirmed by a recent report by Matrix Insight, commissioned by DG Health and Food Safety.

Experts from the CAM community presented proposals for positive action within the current legal framework in order to improve their accessibility.

More info at http://cam-europe.eu/ensuring-the-availability-of-cam-medicinal-products.php

Camig meeting July 2015


EPHA 6th Annual Conference 2-3 September, Brussels: Towards a European Union for Health

Epha logo

EPHA 6th Annual Conference 2-3 September 2015, Brussels "Towards a European Union for Health - From Health in All Policies to EU Governance for Health and Well-Being?"

For more information click here


Report from 3rd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium 20-21 June 2015 , Athens, Greece

Athens, June 24, 2015 

For the 3rd year in a row we are very happy to announce that IASY 2015 came to completion, hosted by SAMAG in the city of Athens Greece, on June 20-21, 2015.

We are very proud and joyous to having participated in such an extraordinary scientific event! Bridging knowledge and different fields of science came together in the most proficient way. It seems that scientific think tanks have a great future despite oddities and all obstacles can be surmounted when we all reach for common ground.

Having said that we cordially invite you all to the 4th upcoming IASY 2016 symposium on June 04-05, 2016

From the Scientific Committee
Dr. Konstantina Theodoratou MD, MSc, Med.Psych, AABMRC Fellowship, President of ICMART, President of SAMAG
Chair of the Symposium

Compliments IASY.pdf



FILASMA - AcuPunta 2015 - Successful Conclusion of the Triple International Medical Acupuncture Congress, Punta del Este, Uruguay, last 27-29th April 2015

conclusion AcuPunta2015



Meeting of the European Parliament Interest Group MEPs for CAM 1 July 2015 - Ensuring the availability of CAM medicinal products for the benefit of EU citizens in order to exploit their potential to address some major health issues of our time such as antimicrobial resistance and chronic disease


Safe the date: 3rd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium 20-21 June, Athens, Greece

3rd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium


Welcome to the 3rd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium!

Dear friends and colleagues,

the Scientific Association of Medical Acupuncture in Greece organizes the 3nd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium in Athens, on the 20th/21st June 2015, focused on Bioregulation.

We bring forward the question of how to emphasize from diagnosing diseases towards benefit of individuals health, counteracting dysregulatory factors, activating self-corrective neuro-mechanisms.

Physicians, biologists, physicists and psychologists from Greece and other countries will discuss how to provide a therapeutic opportunity for a complete disease reversal and consequent restoration of health.  

We will be delighted if you join us in this interesting scientific quest.

Dr. Konstantina Theodoratou MD, MSc, Med.Psych,
AABMRC Fellowship, President of ICMART, President of SAMAG

Chair of the Symposium


EUROCAM has recently published its report 'CAM 2020 - The contribution of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to sustainable healthcare in Europe'

EUROCAM has recently published its report “CAM 2020 - The contribution of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to sustainable healthcare in Europe”.

It provides information about CAM scoping its current practice and availability as well as its potential future role across the European Union. In addition, it highlights a number of priority policy action areas to enable CAM to fulfil its significant potential to contribute to the healthcare of citizens throughout the EU.

It can be downloaded from


Symposium Video: 2nd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium - I.A.S.Y. 2014 Athens


Succesful Completion of the 2nd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium - I.A.S.Y. 2014 Athens

Athens, October 22, 2014

We are delighted to announce the successful completion of the 2nd Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium – I.A.S.Y. 2014, hosted by the Scientific Association for Medical Acupuncture (SAMAG), in the city of Athens Greece, on September 2014.

Indeed we believe that the purpose of the symposium to join and combine advanced scientific data and methods from various disciplines and medical specialties in a quest to improve and further refine our understanding of acupuncture science was brilliantly met!

Acclaimed scientists from around the world, some of them representing great academic establishments attended the symposium and surely provided exceptional presentations of their studies in defense of their diverse intellect.


They said about the symposium:

I had the privilege and good fortune of participating in the second annual Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium in Athens, Greece. I have attended many conferences and symposiums, but never before have I witnessed such a stimulating, interesting, and productive exchange of ideas and knowledge. This was an exceptionally positive and worthwhile experience for me (and, it appeared, to the other participants as well).

Thank you, again!!!

Dr. Remy R. Coeytaux, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Duke University School of Medicine, Co-Founder, Chapel Hill Doctors Healthcare Center (USA)


Thank you, Konstantina, thank you, Elpida, for all your efforts concerning the wonderful IASY congress 2014 in Athens. I came to this conference as an invited participant, I always felt very comfortable during the very interesting scientific program and also during the wonderful social program, and when I left, I had the feeling to leave your congress in Athens as an old friend of yours. THANK YOU!

Hope to keep in touch,

kind greetings

Dr. Gerhard Litscher, MSc, PhD, MDsc , Professor Beijing/Taiwan/Harbin/Graz/ Universities (Austria/China/Taiwa

I would like so much to thank you for giving me this opportunity to present at this very interesting and as said before well organised symposium!

I am also very grateful that I had the opportunity to collaborate with you - even at this preliminary level - and I hope we'll be able to collaborate closer and further in the very near future.

I wish you all the best to your future endeavours!


Dr. Efthymios Papatzikis, Dip.Mus, BMus, MMus solo, MMus chamber music, Prof.Cert.Ed., PhD , PostDoc Lecturer, Institute of Education, University of London - Research Fellow, Foundation Botin - Academic Associate, Metropolitan College, University of East London (UK / Spain / Greece)

A nice and cosy atmosphere enabling experiences to be shared and ideas to be enriched. A very special occasion to give so few and receive so much, being immersed in the spirit of cooperation of an interdisciplinary environment.

Thank you all, again, for all your support, with best wishes!

Antonio Carlos Sant'Ana MD, Bauru Estadual Hospital, (Brazil)

Thank you once again very much for this perfect conference, and the wonderful days in Athens.

For me as a young scientist, I felt very well at this conference. It was a perfect opportunity to give a lecture in front of all the interested participants. It is a young organization full of energy and effort. Thank you all once again. 

Best wishes and kind regards

Daniela Litscher, Msc, Research Associate Graz/Beijing, Medical University of Graz (Austria/China)


At the 40 years of  my career I believe i have participate in over 1000 conferences of various sizes, in Greece and abroad.

I believe that yours were one of the best in both the pre-congress organization and its implementation. I am sure that the next time many more colleagues will have the opportunity to attend and benefit from the knowledge provided by the program.

Iwant you to know that I will be very happy to help you in the future.

With great appreciation

Dr. Achilles E. Georgiadis, MD, PhD, Rheumatologist.

It was a rare combination of a high level scientific presentations from  specialists from all sides of the world, and a unique friendly and joyous atmosphere during the sessions and during the brakes as well.

The interaction and combination of ideas was equally exciting as the presentations themselves.I feel really gratefull for the chance i had to participate in this congress.

Dr. Vangelis Zafeiriou, MD, Psychiatrist,

 President of the Hellenic Association of Homeopathic Medical Cooperation



Acupuncture and auricular cryotherapy for chronic headache in a patient with type III von Willebrand disease


Acupuncture and auricular cryotherapy for chronic headache in a patient with type III von Willebrand disease


6th International Medical Acupuncture Congress of Barcelona - Call for Papers


6th International Medical Acupuncture Congress of Barcelona - Call for Papers


Could acupuncture reduce secondary osteoporosis in patients with spinal cord injury?


Could acupuncture reduce secondary osteoporosis in patients with spinal cord injury?


Successful treatment of phantom limb pain and phantom limb sensation in the traumatic amputee using scalp acupuncture


Successful treatment of phantom limb pain and phantom limb sensation in the traumatic amputee using scalp acupuncture


Plasma nesfatin-1 level in obese patients after acupuncture: a randomised controlled trial


Plasma nesfatin-1 level in obese patients after acupuncture: a randomised controlled trial


Switzerland: Status of medical complementary medicine no longer in doubt

Status of medical complementary medicine no longer in doubt
Berne, 02.05.2014.

Dakomed and the UNION welcome the proposal from the Swiss Federal Department of Home Internal Affairs (FDHA) on the final inclusion of medical complementary medicine in the OKP [compulsory healthcare insurance] as a result of its equal status with other disciplines. Definitive payment through the basic insurance is long overdue. Dakomed and the UNION would now like to see a speedy implementation of the changes announced to the KLV [Healthcare Benefits Ordinance] and the KVV [Health Insurance Ordinance]. We expect all the parties concerned to lend their positive support to the process.
Five years ago, on 17 May 2009, a two-thirds majority of eligible voters approved the constitutional Article 118a to include medical complementary medicine in the Swiss healthcare system. Recent sur- veys have also clearly shown that complementary medicine is supported and desired by a majority of the population. One of the central demands is that the four medical disciplines of anthroposophically extended medicine, classic homeopathy, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) should be paid for through the basic health insurance if these disciplines are provided by medical pro- fessionals who have received appropriate additional training. (This does not affect services rendered by non-medical therapists. The costs of these services will continue to be met through the corre- sponding supplementary insurances.)
The evaluation of all the evidence developed over the past 13 years allows us to conclude that the effectiveness, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of medical complementary medicine has today proven to be comparable with that of conventional medicine. The quality assurance is guaranteed by the high standards demanded of the specialist education and training: the full state exam, a minimum five-year specialist medical residency as well as additional training in at least one of the four comple- mentary medical disciplines are a prerequisite for the certificates of competence recognised by the FMH. There are consequently no further obstacles to medical complementary medicine finally being included in the OKP.

Media release from the Dachverband Komplementa?rmedizin (Dakomed) and the Union of Associations of Swiss Physicians for Complementary Medicine (UNION) dated 2 May 2014

Media release Dakomed-UNION.pdf


In its Manifesto, EUROCAM calls on candidate MEPs for the new European Parliament to support CAM

  • WHO’s call for greater integration of CAM into healthcare systems
  • better regulation of CAM products, practices and providers
  • greater investment in researching CAM’s risks and benefits.

Download the Manifest of EUROCAM

see more: www.cam-europe.eu


Meeting of the European Parliament Interest Groups. 1st April 2014, Euopean Parliament, Brussels

Reducing the need for antibiotics - CAM Interest Group meeting 1 April 2014

hosted by Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland) and Mr Alojz Peterle MEP (Slovenia), European Parliament, Brussels


CAMIG Invitation and Agenda.pdf

Presentations and documents available for downloading (source: www.cam-europe.eu):

Commission Action Plan to Combat the rising threat from Antimicrobial Resistance: activities in the human sector

Ms Herta Adam, Deputy Head of Unit SANCO 3 - Health threats

Introduction: The role of CAM in reducing antimicrobial resistance
Dr Ton Nicolai, EUROCAM spokesman/coordinator

Herbal medicine – its role in combating antimicrobial resistance
Mr Michael McIntyre, Visiting Professor, Middlesex University, London, Chair European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioner Association, UK

Integrative approach in anthroposophic hospitals
Dr Thomas Breitkreuz, President Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations (IVAA), Senior Consultant at the Paracelsus Hospital, Unterlengenhardt, Germany

Homeopathy as an alternative to antibiotics
Professor Dr Michael Frass, Professor of Medicine, Senior Intensivist, Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Herbal medicine as an alternative to antibiotics in animal husbandry
Professor Dr Johanna Fink-Gremmels, veterinarian, chair in veterinary pharmacology and toxicology at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Homeopathy as an alternative to antibiotics in animal husbandry
Ms Liesbeth Ellinger, veterinarian, researcher, Past-President International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy (IAVH), the Netherlands.


Electroacupuncture at ST36 rescues mice from sepsis via adrenal dopamine


Échanges George Soulié de Morant 2014 - Paris

Échanges George Soulié de Morant 2014

Acupuncture pratique et quotidienne & Techniques associées

Lieu :Hôpital Rothschild (salle Nation) 5, rue Santerre – 75012 Paris



Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium successfully completed on June 2013 in Athens, Greece.

Athens, September 11, 2013.

We are delighted to announce the successful completion of the Interdisciplinary Acupuncture Symposium, hosted by the Scientific Association for Medical Acupuncture (SAMAG), in the city of Athens Greece, on June 2013.

Indeed we believe that the purpose of the symposium to join and combine advanced scientific data and methods from various disciplines and medical specialties in a quest to improve and further refine our understanding of acupuncture science was brilliantly met!

Acclaimed scientists from around  the world, some of them representing great academic establishments, such as Stanford -USA, York –UK, Guangzhou-China, Kyunghee- Korea, Koc-Turkey and Kapodistrian- Greece, attended the symposium and  surely provided  exceptional presentations of their studies  in defense of their diverse intellect. Different scientific approaches offered an outstanding nonetheless modern perception and supplemented each other in a manner that laid the foundations on solid grounds for future explorations.

Attending the I.A.SY 2013 was truly a rewarding and revolutionary experience for the scientific community, in short, a great leap forward for all health practitioners, that strive to achieve a higher level of comprehension of  acupuncture science.

The Organising Committee


Meeting of the European Parliament Interest Groups. 27th June 2013, Euopean Parliament, Brussels

Joint Meeting of the European Parliament Interest Groups
MEPs Against Cancer
and MEPs for CAM

Thursday 27 June 2013, European Parliament, Brussels


MAC-CAMIG Invitation and Agenda.pdf

  • Keynote speech

Mr Tonio Borg, DG SANCO Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Policy



  • report of the conference



  • Presentations

Introduction: The Eu policy 'Investing in Health' and the added value of CAM
Dr Ton Nicolai, ECH/EUROCAM



Reducing inequalities in health - improving the provision of CAM
a) Legal status and regulations

Ms. Solveig Wiesener, senior adviser at NAFKAM, University of Tromso, Norway, Coordinator Workpackage 2 CAMbrella Project



b) Providers

Mr Stephen Gordon, ECCH/EUROCAM



c) Medicinal products

Mr Nand de Herdt, ECHAMP, the European Coalition on Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medicinal Products


Mr Michael McIntyre, EHTPA, European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practicioners Association



Prevention, health promotion, reduced inequalities and CAM Innovation
Mr Seamus Connolly, EFCAM



Cost-effectiveness and efficiency of CAM

Professor Dr Erik Baars, University of Applied Sciences, Leiden, the Netherlands



Good practices of CAM integration in the EU: the Tuscan ecperience

Dr Elio Rossi, Tuscany Network of Integrative Medicine, Lucca, Italy




Tiger undergoes Acupuncture treatment for chronic ear infection

on CBSnews.com


Reminder: AAMA celebrates 25 Years of Medical Acupuncture with Annual Symposium

May 2-5, 2013

Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace
Baltimore, MD

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

Greeting Adress ICMART Baltimore 2013.pdf


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.

Programme 40 Years NAAV.pdf

Journal 40 Years NAAV.pdf


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.

Herbal remedies

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.


Natural News



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

read more, download the lectures and more


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.

read more, download the lectures and the CAM conference resolution - Call for action and more


Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study

A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.

The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients. 

The researchers, who published their results in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that acupuncture outperformed sham treatments and standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

“This has been a controversial subject for a long time,” said Dr. Andrew J. Vickers, attending research methodologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the lead author of the study. “But when you try to answer the question the right way, as we did, you get very clear answers.

“We think there’s firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain.”

Acupuncture, which involves inserting needles at various places on the body to stimulate so-called acupoints, is among the most widely practiced forms of alternative medicine in the country and is offered by many hospitals. Most commonly the treatment is sought by adults looking for relief from chronic pain, though it is also used with growing frequency in children. According to government estimates, about 150,000 children in the United States underwent acupuncture in 2007.

But for all its popularity, questions about its efficacy have long been commonplace. Are those who swear by it experiencing true relief or the psychological balm of the placebo effect?

Dr. Vickers and a team of scientists from around the world — England, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere — sought an answer by pooling years of data. Rather than averaging the results or conclusions from years of previous studies, a common but less rigorous form of meta-analysis, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues first selected 29 randomized studies of acupuncture that they determined to be of high quality. Then they contacted the authors to obtain their raw data, which they scrutinized and pooled for further analysis. This helped them correct for statistical and methodological problems with the previous studies, allowing them to reach more precise and reliable conclusions about whether acupuncture actually works.

All told, the painstaking process took the team about six years. “Replicating pretty much every single number reported in dozens of papers is no quick or easy task,” Dr. Vickers said.

The meta-analysis included studies that compared acupuncture with usual care, like over-the-counter pain relievers and other standard medicines. It also included studies that used sham acupuncture treatments, in which needles were inserted only superficially, for example, or in which patients in control groups were treated with needles that covertly retracted into handles.

Ultimately, Dr. Vickers and his colleagues found that at the end of treatment, about half of the patients treated with true acupuncture reported improvements, compared with about 30 percent of patients who did not undergo it.

“There were 30 or 40 people from all over the world involved in this research, and as a whole the sense was that this was a clinically important effect size,” Dr. Vickers said. That is especially the case, he added, given that acupuncture “is relatively noninvasive and relatively safe.”

Dr. Vickers said the results of the study suggest that people undergoing the treatment are getting more than just a psychological boost. “They’re not just getting some placebo effect,” he said. “It’s not some sort of strange healing ritual.”

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Andrew L. Avins, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente who focuses on musculoskeletal pain and preventive medicine, wrote that the relationship between conventional medical care “and the world of complementary and alternative medicine remains ambiguous.” But at least in the case of acupuncture, he wrote, the new study provides “robust evidence” that it provides “modest benefits over usual care for patients with diverse sources of chronic pain.”

New York Times – Health/Science


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.


Daily Herald



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




Electro-acupuncture on functional peripheral nerve regeneration in mice: a behavioural study

Ngoc Son Hoang, Chamroeun Sar, Jean Valmier, Victor Sieso and Frédérique Scamps

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:141



The improvement of axonal regeneration is a major objective in the treatment of peripheral nerve injuries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of electro-acupuncture on the functional recovery of sensorimotor responses following left sciatic nerve crush in mice.


Sciatic nerve crush was performed on seven week old female mice. Following the injury, the control group was untreated while the experimental group received an electro-acupuncture application to the injured limb under isoflurane anesthesia at acupoints GB 30 and GB 34. Mechanical and heat sensitivity tests were performed to evaluate sensory recovery. Gait analysis was performed to assess sensorimotor recovery.


Our results show that normal sensory recovery is achieved within five to six weeks with a two-week period of pain preceding the recovery to normal sensitivity levels. While electro-acupuncture did not accelerate sensory recovery, it did alleviate pain-related behaviour but only when applied during this period. Application before the development of painful symptoms did not prevent their occurrence. The analysis of gait in relation to the sensory tests suggests that the electro-acupuncture specifically improved motor recovery.


This study demonstrates that electro-acupuncture exerts a positive influence on motor recovery and is efficient in the treatment of pain symptoms that develop during target re-innervation.



The many benefits of acupuncture

Over its 2,500 years of development, a wealth of experience has accumulated in the practice of acupuncture, attesting to the wide range of diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with this approach. Acupuncture has been used throughout the world, particularly since the 1970s. The various conditions in which acupuncture has been found to be very effective includes:


Locomotor system: Chronically painful conditions of the locomotor system accompanied by restricted movements of the joints are often treated with acupuncture if surgical intervention is not necessary. Acupuncture not only alleviates pain, it also reduces muscle spasm, thereby increasing mobility. Joint damage often results from muscle malfunction, and many patients complain of arthralgia before any changes are demonstrable by X-ray. In these cases, acupuncture may bring about a permanent cure. Controlled studies on common diseases and conditions in this category have been reported by different authors, with favourable results for acupuncture treatments compared with standard therapy. The conditions concerned include cervical spondylitis, or neck pain due to other causes, periarthritis of the shoulder, fibromyalgia, fasciitis, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis with knee pain and radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndromes. 

Acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis while acupuncture may not improve the damage that has been done to the joints, successful pain relief has been verified in the majority of controlled studies.  The action of acupuncture on inflammation and the dysfunctional immune system is also beneficial.


Gout: In a randomised controlled trial, acupuncture was compared with conventional medication. The acupuncture group showed greater improvement than the allopurinol group.  A similar reduction of uric acid levels in the blood and urine of both groups was noted. Plum-blossom needling, together with cupping, has been recommended for treating gouty arthritis.


Biliary and renal colic: Acupuncture is suitable for treating acute pain, provided the relief of pain will not mask the correct diagnosis, for which other treatments may be needed. Biliary and renal colic are two conditions for which acupuncture can be used not only as an analgesic but also as an antispasmodic. In controlled studies on biliary colic and renal colic, acupuncture appears to have advantages over conventional drug treatments. It provides a better analgesic effect in a shorter time, without side effects. In addition, acupuncture is effective for relieving abdominal colic, whether it occurs in acute gastroenteritis or is due to gastrointestinal spasm.

Traumatic or postoperative pain: For traumas such as sprains, acupuncture is not only useful for relieving pain without the risk of drug dependence, but may also hasten recovery by improving local circulation. Acupuncture analgesia to relieve postoperative pain is well recognised and has been confirmed in controlled studies. The first successful operation under acupuncture analgesia was tonsillectomy. This was, in fact, inspired by the success of acupuncture in relieving post-tonsillectomy pain.


Dentistry: There are reports of randomised controlled trials on the analgesic effect of acupuncture for postoperative pain from various dental procedures, including tooth extraction, pulp devitalisation, and acute apical periodontitis. According to a systematic review of papers on the use of acupuncture in dentistry, 11 of 15 randomised controlled studies with blind controls, appropriate statistics and sufficient follow-up showed standard acupuncture to be more effective than a placebo or sham acupuncture.


Childbirth: In childbirth, acupuncture analgesia is useful for relieving labour pain and can significantly reduce the duration of labour. In the case of weakened uterine contractions, acupuncture increases the activity of the uterus. Episiotomy and subsequent suturing of the perineum can also be carried out with acupuncture analgesia. In addition, the avoidance of narcotics is advantageous for newborn infants.


Respiratory disorders: Acupuncture is often used in treating respiratory disorders. Allergic rhinitis is one of the major indications. In controlled studies, it has been shown that acupuncture is more effective than antihistamine drugs in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Acupuncture’s lack of side-effects is a distinct advantage in treating this condition.


The acute symptoms of tonsillitis can be effectively relieved with acupuncture. For sore throats from other causes, acupuncture treatment provides definite benefits, in contrast to a placebo and acupuncture refusal.  In treating bronchial asthma with acupuncture, reports suggest that acupuncture is effective. Acupuncture may also provide symptomatic improvement in the late stages of bronchial asthma, where there are complications of disabling breathlessness due to impaired lung function.


The New Indian Press


Acupuncture for osteoarthritic knee pain - It's more effective than conventional biomedicine, research shows

New research supports earlier studies that show acupuncture is a more effective way to treat osteoarthritic knee pain than treating it with conventional biomedicine.

"Acupuncture provided significantly better relief from knee osteoarthritis pain and a larger improvement in function than sham acupuncture, standard care treatment, or waiting for further treatment," concluded the study, a meta-analysis of 14 separate, random controlled clinical trials involving 3,835 patients states, the Healthcare Medicine Institute reported on its website.

Further, the study went on to note that treating osteoarthritic knee pain with acupuncture is "better at relieving pain and restoring function" than sham acupuncture and standard biomedical care.

HMI said real interest in acupuncture to treat knee pain began following the publication of research by the National Institutes of Health. That research, from 2006, also involved a meta-analysis of 13 separate studies, "in which adults with chronic knee pain or osteoarthritis of the knee were randomized to receive either acupuncture treatment or a control consisting of sham (placebo) acupuncture, other sham treatments, no additional intervention (usual care), or an active intervention."

That analysis concluded: "Acupuncture that meets criteria for adequate treatment is significantly superior to sham acupuncture and to no additional intervention in improving pain and function in patients with chronic knee pain."

Historically, acupuncture has been known to improve knee pain

For years, studies have shown that not only is acupuncture a valuable treatment tool for osteoarthritic knee pain, it is a much cheaper (and better) alternative to knee surgery.

A 2008 study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine notes that this ancient Chinese form of medical treatment was performed on 90 patients who averaged 71 years old for two years.

Initially, participants were given acupuncture once a week for a month and later, the frequency was brought down to a session every six weeks, said a report in Counsel & Heal. A year later, 41 patients were still getting treatments; two years later, 31 were.

Even after the first month, doctors noted that patients had significant clinical improvements in their pain levels.

Nurses who were specially trained in acupuncture therapy were instructed to examine two factors: Whether the therapy improved care while reducing the cost of care, and whether acupuncture was a legitimate alternative to expensive knee replacement surgeries.

The study noted that while experts note that knee surgeries are typically successful and worth the money, they aren't for everyone, making an alternative treatment option necessary. That's because one in seven patients, at the time, reportedly were still suffering from constant pain and an inability to walk far.

Acupuncture seems to fill these voids. While the acupuncture relieves the pain, some reports suggest the cost savings in the U.S. alone could be in the tens of millions per year.




NYU College of Nursing's Dr. Anastasi awarded $2.5 million from NIH to study IBS symptom management

The primary aim of the study is to investigate the efficacy of acupuncture/moxibustion in reducing abdominal pain/discomfort


New York University College of Nursing's (NYUCN) Joyce K. Anastasi, PhD, DrNP, FAAN, LAc., the Independence Foundation Endowed Professor and Founding Director of the Division of Special Studies in Symptom Management at NYUCN has been awarded a $2.5 million four-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for the study of "Symptom management for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) constipation".

The primary aim of the study is to investigate the efficacy of Acupuncture/Moxibustion (Acu/Moxa) in reducing abdominal pain/discomfort and IBS secondary supporting symptoms such as intestinal gas, bloating, and stool consistency. The randomized, blinded, sham/placebo controlled study, with 183 adults diagnosed with IBS-Constipation, will follow the accepted standards of rigorous clinical trials.

"Acu/Moxa , used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been employed successfully to manage various GI disorders including IBS," said Dr. Anastasi. "However, few acupuncture studies have had the necessary rigor to evaluate this therapy," she said.

IBS is the most commonly identified functional bowel disorder afflicting 15% to 20% of North Americans. IBS is defined as abdominal pain/discomfort in the mid or lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, associated with defecation or a change in bowel patterns with features of disordered defecation.

The chronic symptoms of IBS have been linked with decreased quality of life, decreased work productivity, and increased health care utilization. Few current therapies such as dietary modification, supplements, psychotherapy and pharmacologic agents are proven effective, either singly or in combination. Most [studies] said Dr. Anastasi, "have been limited by size, design and duration of follow-up."

Dr. Anastasi is one of the country's leading clinical scientists in the area of symptom management. Over the past three years, Dr. Anastasi has been awarded three NIH R01s, all of which have contributed to developing rigorously tested, randomized clinical trials using non-invasive interventions to manage chronic and often debilitating symptoms. Her studies provide the foundation to develop clinically meaningful interventions to guide researchers, clinicians and patients to understand the therapeutic benefits of methods such as traditional Chinese medicine.

Dr. Anastasi served on the Advisory Board for the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report on The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public. Dr. Anastasi, a nurse scientist, clinical trialist is also an acupuncturist, Diplomate from the NCCAOM. Dr. Anastasi authored and developed the Herbs, Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements© graduate program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She has published extensively in the area of symptom management using non-invasive interventions and has received numerous awards for her contributions and expertise in acupuncture and symptom management research.

About The Division of Special Studies in Symptom Management (DS3M) is led by founding director, Joyce K. Anastasi, PhD, DrNP, FAAN, LAc, and associate director Bernadette Capili, DNSc, NP-C. DS3M aims to provide a comprehensive site for multidisciplinary scientific inquiry, clinical research, and educational training in the area of symptom management.

The mission of DS3M is to advance the field of symptom management by developing and testing non-invasive treatment interventions that improve overall health, reduce symptom specific problems, promote long-term health, prevent disease and improve quality of life. To date, the Division of Special Studies research team has tested symptom reduction strategies for peripheral neuropathy, lipodystrophy, chronic nausea, chronic diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Non-invasive interventions tested and utilized include behavioral training, motivational interviewing, nutritional education, controlled dietary feeding, dietary supplementation and the Traditional Chinese Medicine practices of acupuncture and moxibustion.




Lakewood Pet Acupuncture Proves to be Successful Treatment for Pain Management in Animals

Wadsworth Animal Hospital in Lakewood, CO announced that the practice has had great success using pet acupuncture for natural pain management. The veterinary care team of Dr. Eric L. Eisen, Dr. Carla A. Anema, and Dr. Erika Olson strongly recommend acupuncture as an alternative to traditional painkillers or as an option when medication proves ineffective. Acupuncture treatments may help pets suffering from hip dysplasia, nerve injuries, arthritis, and other chronic health conditions.

According to the veterinary care team at Wadsworth Animal Hospital, acupuncture treatments are effective for managing pain in companion animals. "Pet acupuncture is an important healing tool," said veterinarian Dr. Eric Eisen. "At our animal hospital, we have incorporated acupuncture into treatment plans for hip dysplasia, traumatic nerve injuries, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, and systemic inflammatory conditions. I strongly recommend pet owners consider this important therapy."

Pet acupuncture uses long, thin needles to stimulate pressure points. According to Ancient Chinese healing tradition, these pressure points correspond with the body's life force. Stimulation at pressure points may improve nervous system communication, which reduces pain.

According to veterinary medical research, acupuncture may also have other physiological benefits, including improved circulation, reduced blood pressure and an increased level of endorphins in a pet's body.


Veterinarian Dr. Erika Olson did caution that acupuncture is not always an appropriate treatment choice for every pet. Additionally, not all animals respond to the treatment.

According to Dr. Olson, an estimated 75 percent of pet patients experience a significant or major improvement, although some symptoms may remain. While some pets respond immediately to treatment, others may need multiple sessions before they show improvement.


The animal hospital frequently integrates acupuncture treatments with other pain management protocols. The veterinarians may also recommend acupuncture as an alternative treatment option for immune problems, asthma, and urinary tract problems.


Globe Newswire


Acupuncture for surgery soon

PUTRAJAYA: Acupuncture may play a role in easing pain during surgery in the future when more people are trained for it, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The idea came about following a minor surgery to remove a thyroid nodule from a patient was successfully done with only acupuncture and minimal local anaesthesia administered at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (RPBH) in Ipoh last month.

“It was a great success,” said the Health Minister, adding that more surgeons needed to be trained in the procedure before it could be introduced to other hospitals.

Putrajaya Hospital surgical department head and consultant breast and endocrine surgeon Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the acupuncture anaesthesia at RPBH was the first done in Malaysia.

Dr Hisham, who performed the surgery, said needles were inserted at a few acupuncture points in the neck and around the patient’s wrists, and mild electric currents were introduced to numb the patient throughout the surgery.

“The surgery took 35 minutes and no other medications were used apart from a small dosage of local anaesthesia to block the contraction of the muscles,” he said in an interview here.

“The surgery went well and the patient was aware — before, during and after the surgery,” he said, adding that the 65-year-old man was even able to speak to Liow through a video call about an hour after the surgery.

And, four hours after the surgery, the patient was discharged.

Dr Hisham said such a surgery was previously performed on patients who were given general anaesthesia, before local anaesthesia was used in recent years.

“It’s not going to replace our traditional way of doing things in ‘Western’ medicine. But it just adds to our armamentarium of surgical services that we can provide for our patients,” he added.

Nevertheless, Dr Hisham said acupuncture anaesthesia was in line with the pain-free hospital concept introduced by the ministry last December.

“A pain-free hospital encourages minimally-invasive procedures, optimum or adequate analgesics, and acupuncture to achieve better pain control,” said Dr Hisham.

“The patient could also be discharged on the same day.”

In China, acupuncture anaesthesia has been used for heart, brain and breast surgeries.


The Star Online


University Hospitals integrating alternative therapies into patient care

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Dr. Roy Buchinsky had a male patient in his 50s with chronic pain in his right ankle and pain in many of his joints. Anti-inflammatories and narcotics had not helped.

So Buchinsky, an internal medicine physician, recommended something else.


"You wouldn't think it's the kind of thing a middle-aged guy would do," said Buchinsky, who works for University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "And normally, this fellow wouldn't have, but he said, 'At this point, I've tried everything else, what can I lose?' "

Six weeks later, his patient was no longer taking pain medication. "Now he's a believer," said Buchinsky.

He's joined by hundreds of other patients who, since last fall, have received reiki, acupuncture, reflexology and massage at University Hospitals, often based on a doctor's referral.


University Hospitals is one of a growing group of hospitals around the country that are integrating such therapies into patient care. Many of the UH patients availing themselves of such alternative treatments are trying them because they have been recommended by their doctors -- physicians who not so many years ago would have considered these treatments fringe, if not outright quackery.


UH patients are referred to treatments that their doctors believe might be helpful. For example, a patient going through chemotherapy might get acupuncture to help with nausea; so might a woman struggling with infertility. Another patient who once would have needed sedation in order to undergo an MRI might be encouraged to take a few sessions in mindfulness meditation, so that he or she is able to maintain a state of relaxation before and during the noisy, possibly claustrophobia-inducing, exam.


... Chris and Sara Connor of Chagrin Falls funded the program at UH last year with a $1 million gift -- knowing that people would be more open to such therapies if they were offered through a medical center. (Chris Connor, chairman and CEO of the Sherwin-Williams Co., has been a board member at UH for more than 10 years.)

The integrative medicine program is technically based at the UH Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood, and Adan has a small office there. By fall, the practitioners of treatments such as acupuncture and reiki will be setting up appointments throughout the system. On some days, classes or appointments will be offered at the Westlake campus, for example, or at other suburban UH locations.

The donation from the Connors came about in part because of Sara Connor's background as an occupational therapist, coupled with her own strong interest in complementary therapies. She had seen how well they worked when her father was hospitalized for nine months.

The benefits of integrative medicine have spread throughout UH -- from doctors and nurses to carpenters and cafeteria workers. More than 1,500 of them have been treated with integrative medicine services or taken classes, and 356 of them have been given reiki ... training ... .


The Plain Dealer


Holistic medicine: A growing trend to treat the whole body

Holistic Medicine, once considered “new age,” “out there” or even “anything goes,” has more recently become a go-to term and method for health practitioners everywhere. In fact, according to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 38 percent of U.S. adults and 12 percent of children have used some form of complementary and alternative medicine (also known as CAM).

Holistic or Alternative Medicine is a term used to describe therapies that treat the patient as a whole person – mind (information), body (physical), spirit (emotional), and energy. That is, instead of treating an illness or symptom, holistic medicine looks at an individual's overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being before recommending treatment. Types of treatment may include acupuncture, massage, meditation, homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, facial rejuvenation, moxibustion, and more.

Integrated Holistic Medicine: The human being: body, spirit, energy and information pyramid

At the Integrated Holistic Medicine (IHM) clinic in Boca Raton, Florida, practitioners Carlos Restrepo and Su Sandy Aung utilize a range of treatments and services in their effort to help their patients build a more complete and healthy being. According to Restrepo, IHM focuses on all four layers of the human being, or what he refers to as the “hierarchy pyramid.” Through mindfulness and meditation, he helps his patients focus on their individual sprit; through sintergetica homeopathy, bach essence, chakra balancing, music therapy and astrology, he helps them focus on the information portion of the body; through acupuncture, moxibustion, auriculotherapy, micro-current, and electro-meridian imaging, he helps improve their energy; and through massage, Tui Na, cupping, food and herb management, he treats the body and/or physical condition. Finally, Qigong, the practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation, which is also offered at the clinic, can treat all four levels of the pyramid.

“At the Integrated Holistic Medicine clinic, we truly look at each patient as a whole and treat the root cause of their issue – not just the symptom,” added Restrepo. “It’s critical that our patients find a balance in their spirit, energy, information and body in order to achieve an overall happy and healthy life – and through our many diverse treatments, we can help them reach their goal.”




Use acupuncture to treat functional constipation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Ying Li, Hui Zheng, Fang Zeng, Si-yuan Zhou, Feng Zhong, Hua-bing Zheng, Min Chen, Xiang-hong Jing, Yu-ying Cai, Bao-hui Jia, Bing Zhu and Zhi-shun Liu


Whether acupuncture is effective for patients with functional constipation is still unclear. Therefore, we report the protocol of a randomized controlled trial of using acupuncture to treat functional constipation.


A randomized controlled, four-arm design, large-scale trial is currently undergoing in China. 700 participants are randomly assigned to 3 acupuncture treatment groups and Mosapride Citrate control group in a 1:1:1:1 ratio. Participants in acupuncture groups will receive 16 sessions of acupuncture treatment, and were followed up for a period of 9 weeks after randomization. The acupuncture groups are (1) Back-Shu and Front-Mu acupoints of Large Intestine meridians (Shu-Mu points group); (2) He-Sea and Lower He-Sea acupoints of Large Intestine meridians (He points group); (3) Combining used Back-Shu, Front-Mu, He-Sea and Lower He-Sea acupoints of Large Intestine meridians (Shu-Mu-He points group). And the control group is Mosapride Citrate group. The primary outcome is frequency of defecation per week at 4th week after randomization. The secondary outcomes include Bristol stool scale, the extent of difficulty during defecating, MOS 36-item Short From health survey (SF-36), Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS). The first two of second outcome are measured in 1 week before randomization and 2, 4 and 8 weeks after randomization. Other second outcomes are measured in 1 week before randomization and 2, 4 weeks after randomization, but SF-36 at randomization and 4 weeks after randomization.


The result of this trial (which will be available in 2012) will confirm whether acupuncture is effective to treat functional constipation and whether traditional acupuncture theories play an important role in it. Trials registration: Clinical Trials.gov NCT01411501




Practicing alternative medicine not so alternative

Some people try to obtain relaxation and good health through rest, exercise and a healthy diet. Others try having their necks cracked, using healing energies and being stuck by needles.

No, the second group is not masochistic - they are believers in integrated medicine, or alternative medicine.

Integrative medicine is a holistic view of health care. It takes care of a patient's mind, spirit and body all at once, and works along with traditional medicine.

Ohio State's own Center for Integrative Medicine, located at 2000 Kenny Rd., opened about seven months ago and offers a wide variety of treatments that students may not find elsewhere on campus. Treatments and therapies range from family and sports medicine, acupuncture, Shiatsu, stone massage, yoga, chiropractic, herbal counseling and many more.

Laura Kunze, a representative for the center, said the offices were arranged using the art of feng shui to "balance energy in the building and incorporate as much as we can to provide a healing environment."

The walls of the rooms are bright and cheerful, yet tranquil. Pillows sit neatly on the ground in some rooms, cozy couches are in others.

Integrative medicine does have it's skeptics, but Kunze encourages people to learn more about it.

"There's a lot of misconception," she said. "It's traditional medicine, plus adding in modalities that are proven effective."

Kunze recommends the treatments at the facility to everyone, but acknowledges they could benefit some people more than others. People suffering from chronic illnesses or even those who want to prevent illnesses are known to be patients. Kunze said some patients have tried medicines or surgeries for years with no relief before trying integrative medicine and having success.

"Sometimes we'll offer medications and supplements to our patients, but we also look at what else may help them," Kunze said.

Pain control is what OSU's Dr. Constantino Benedetti specializes in. Although he is not a specialist in integrative medicine, he does believe it can be beneficial for patients to try it.

"It's certainly helpful in some situations," he said. "Therapy has to be individualized to see what works best for the patient."

Some start off as employees of the center and believe in it so much that they become patients.

Sarah Wilkins, a junior in animal science and pre-veterinary medicine, is a believer in these alternative therapies. She works at the center and decided to become a patient two months ago. During that time she has tried reiki - a healing energy treatment - massages and chiropractic treatments.

"I feel better in general," she said after the treatments.

Wilkins is a former athlete with old injuries that used to cause her headaches and muscle tension. Since her therapies at the clinic, her headaches and tension have gone away.

"Everyone should have a massage," she said. "They're great."

Besides the massages and chiropractor visits, Wilkins also recommends that athletes and other students try reiki. Wilkins describes it as "a light touch that helps more energy move through the body."

The reiki sessions are conducted in a calm, relaxing setting so that the patient feels peaceful and can concentrate on healing.

Wilkins said that not all her friends and family are believers in the medicine she uses.

"It's 50-50," she said. "They believe in the chiropractic and massage more than the energy healing, but they all believe it after they've tried it."


The Lantern



Popularity of acupuncture continues to grow

"A traditional Chinese medicine and one of the oldest healing practices in the world, acupuncture has mixed reviews. Some research shows it works. Sometimes a placebo works better, depending on the condition, according to the National Institute of Health. At the end of the day, the verdict is still out, and more research needs to be done. "Overall, it can be very difficult to compare acupuncture research results from study to study and to draw conclusions from the cumulative body of evidence," a NIH overview of acupuncture states. But practitioners say they can offer relief for everything from allergies to depression and especially pain. The ancient treatment has a fierce following, one that continues to grow in Chattanooga by word of mouth. Many who pay out of pocket for weekly sessions -- because most insurance won't cover it -- swear it works even though they and their acupuncturists don't know exactly why. ... Pro athletes and Olympic athletes who have used acupuncture to heal injuries and improve performance have made it popular in sports medicine. Moldenhauer is the acupuncturist for the Chattanooga Football Club and said he will treat the U.S. track and field team training for the Olympic trials next week. An NIH report notes that, since 2002, acupuncture use has increased by more than a 1 million individuals in the United States to more than 3.1 million adults and 150,000 children."


The Chattanooga Times Free Press


Webcam photos to diagnose health by the tongue

"The method now is computer software developed by University of Missouri researchers. This type of software  automatically analyzes images of the tongue, one of the measures used to classify the overall physical status of the body, or zheng, in Chinese traditional medicine. ... “As we continue to work on the software we hope to improve its ability,” D. said. “Eventually everyone will be able to use this tool at home using webcams or smartphone applications. That will allow them to monitor their zheng and get an early warning about possible ailments.” ... The journal  Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine accepted the study "Automated Tongue Feature Extraction for ZHENG Classification in Traditional Chinese Medicine" for publication in March 2012. The study’s first author was doctoral student Ratchadaporn Kanawong and the second author was post-doctoral researcher Tayo Obafemi-Ajayi."



Chinese Treatment to overcome infertility

"This week is Canadian Infertility Awareness Week, and M. and H. want to get people talking about holistic reproductive therapies so other people trying for kids don’t give up hope. One in six Canadian couples of child-bearing age suffer from infertility, according to the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. ... Acupuncture is believed to boost a woman’s chances of getting pregnant significantly, which is why some fertility clinics in Canada offer acupuncture on site. And holistic centres like Vancouver’s Acubalance Wellness Clinic work with reproductive specialists to offers IVF support to couples."

Edmonton Journal


Legacy of Dr. Shi Xue-min – the Xing-Nao-Kai-Qiao (XNQK) method for treating stroke systematically presented to German physicians on a congress for the first time

"The standard therapy for the rehabilitation of stroke symptoms in the People’s Republic od China invented by the famous Dr. Shi Xue-min from Tianjin was presented to German physicians for the very first time on the annual congress of German Medical Association of Acupuncture. The long-term team member of Dr. Shi’s staff Prof. Lian Yu-lin introduced the participants into the systematic usage of a selected set of acupuncture points and their special way of stimulation under the concept of defined manipulation techniques and dosage of stimulus.

German Medical Acupuncture Association / DAEGfA


More Americans using acupuncture for common ailments

A new survey demonstrates increasing acceptance and utilization of acupuncture for treatment and health promotion. The analysis was published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and looked at utilization rates, demographics and reasons for using acupuncture. Overall, the researchers found that between 2002 and 2007 there was a significant increase in the number of patients using acupuncture.


The study is based on results of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, a series of questionnaires prepared and collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. For over 50 years, the survey has monitored the health of the nation and tracked health status and health care access. In 2007, over 29,000 households responded, totaling more than 75,000 individual responses.


Overall, the study found that six percent of Americans are using or have used acupuncture as part of their health care — over 14 million users, up from 8 million in 2002. The growth is remarkable considering that less than one percent of the population reported trying acupuncture in the last two decades.


While traditionally, acupuncture has been used as a complementary or alternative treatment, this report uncovered a growing population of people using acupuncture to promote general health.


Acupuncture dates back more than 2,500 years to Chinese doctors who believed that illness was due to imbalances in energy. Acupuncture was thought to stimulate the body’s meridians, or energy-carrying channels, to correct these imbalances and restore health. Some doctors believe that these benefits are derived from the proximity of acupoints with nerves. Stimulation of these points causes nearby nerves to release signal molecules, called endorphins. Endorphins are well known to suppress the sensation of pain.


Pain control is a widely accepted use for acupuncture.  The practice was first introduced to the United States in the 1970s following President Nixon’s visit to China. As part of the visit, the President toured medical facilities, where acupuncture was widely used. During the trip, one of the reporters required an emergency surgery and received acupuncture for post-operative pain. He found the treatment very effective and wrote about his experience upon arriving home.


In addition to post-operative pain, acupuncture has been used to treat an array of ailments ranging from headaches and chemotherapy-induced nausea to joint pain. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology, a major organization for medical professionals that treat arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases, endorses the use of acupuncture for chronic pain.


If you are considering acupuncture, it is essential to find a reliable and qualified practitioner. Check with your physician to see if acupuncture is right for you based on your medical history and to see if he or she can refer you to a specific practice. This is especially important given that fact that needles are used.


It is important to keep in mind that most treatments take time before experiencing results, so allow for a few appointments before deciding if acupuncture works for you. Some insurance companies will pay for acupuncture, so consult your provider to see if you are covered.




Auricular (ear) Acupuncture proves effective in addiction and detoxification treatment

"In 1972, a Hong Kong neurosurgeon, Dr. H. L. Wen, discovered that the acupuncture he used on a surgical patient for analgesic purposes also diminished the patient's opium withdrawal and cravings. Dr. Wen was using auricular or ear acupuncture, where needle points are routinely used for diminishing pain throughout the rest of the body. Dr. Wen experimented with auricular acupuncture on different addicts, and discovered a high rate of recovery for addictions of all types. By 1974, this treatment was used by the addiction recovery and detoxification clinic of New York's South Bronx Lincoln Memorial Hospital. It was used as an adjunct for methadone treatments. Methadone was eventually dropped. The acupuncture treatments were so effective that dropping the substituted addiction of methadone for heroin was a no-brainer. Since then, drug addiction recovery and detoxification clinics using auricular acupuncture have been established in several U.S. cities. The clinics are often publicly funded, but not from Medicare or Medicaid. The FDA ruled that acupuncture was "experimental." This ruling effectively restricted medical competition by banning government insurance and discouraging private insurers from providing coverage.
Basic auricular (ear) protocols for addictions

Normally, acupuncture sessions' needle points are determined from session to session. But the addiction recovery protocol is set in stone and never varies. There are two basic auricular acupuncture protocols used for all addictions, thus allowing non TCM doctors to administer them.

One is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Assocation (NADA) treatment protocol. The NADA protocol uses five needle points in the ear: Lung 2, liver, C. kidney, shen men (stress, anxiety, overly sensitive), and the autonomic point for balancing sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and blood circulation.

The other standard protocol is the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders (ACACD) treatment protocol. Three points are the same as NADA's: Shen men, autonomic point, and C. Kidney. But ACACD uses three other points: Limbic system for aggressive compulsive behavior, brain for endocrine glands, and point zero for homeostatic balance.“




Battlefield acupuncture offers a safer, more effective alternative to dangerous painkiller drugs for soldiers

"Psychiatric drugs and painkillers are now being routinely used across the U.S. military, where violent suicides have skyrocketed to levels never before seen in history. In the military today, soldiers who suffer TBIs -- Traumatic Brain Injuries -- frequently receive treatment with mind-altering psychiatric drugs that have known side effects of promoting violence. An astonishing 200,000 soldiers have already been diagnosed with this condition.
The deadly drugs being widely prescribed often have detrimental effects, especially for those with pre-existing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a history of substance abuse (http://www.naturalnews.com). An example would be the recent Afghanistan massacre of 16 civilians by a U.S. sergeant with a history of psychiatric drug treatment (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Instead of continuing to rely on these overpriced pharmaceuticals loaded with toxins to provide so-called relief for soldiers, the U.S. military has begun to investigate battlefield acupuncture as a safer alternative to various dangerous medications.
The ancient techniques of acupuncture are so simple and effective that our own military recognized the need to begin learning how to harness its power. Physicians being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are being trained how to use battlefield acupuncture by the United States Air Force. So far this alternative therapy has shown incredible results.
A pilot program that began last month will prepare 44 Air Force, Navy and Army doctors to use acupuncture as part of emergency care in combat and in frontline hospitals, not just on bases back home.
Watch this extraordinary video showing battlefield acupuncture working for active duty military personnel in Afghanistan:

What is battlefield acupuncture?

The term battlefield acupuncture was first used in 2001 by Col. Richard Niemtzow MD, PhD, who serves as a consultant for complementary and alternative medicine to the Surgeon General of the Air Force. Col. Niemtzow is also a military medical physician who practices acupuncture on a full-time basis for the U.S. Air Force.
The treatment uses small needles to treat five points in the skin of the outer ear and blocks pain in as little as five minutes. The effects of it can last for several days or longer. The frequency of application and duration of relief often varies with each patient, but treatment can progress from about two times a week to as little as once a month or longer. In certain cases, further acupuncture treatment may not be required.
The official procedure uses gold semi-permanent needles, which are placed directly into the ear acupuncture points and left to fall out on their own within a day or two. These conventional acupuncture needles may be stimulated for up to ten minutes or so. The technique is derived from traditional ear acupuncture but uses short needles that better fit under combat helmets so soldiers can continue their missions with the needles inserted to relieve pain.

A quick, easy and safe pain-relieving therapy

According to an article on battlefield acupuncture in Acupuncture Today by John Amaro, LAc, the procedure was initially introduced in 2008 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), where it was applied to wounded service members and local patients for pain relief, with significant results. LRMC, located near Ramstein Air Base in Germany, is the largest and most modern U.S. military medical facility outside the US (http://acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31917).
As Amaro writes in his article, one of the pain specialists at LRMC said he personally experienced a 25 percent increased range of motion and a 50 percent reduction in pain for the chronic shoulder and upper back pain he had suffered from for several years. As a result of his groundbreaking success, he recruited his most challenging patients for whom traditional pain treatment offered very limited relief. Many of these same patients said their pain had been reduced by up to 75 percent within minutes of the needles being inserted. Consider this fact in light of the knowledge that a mere 25 percent reduction would normally be considered a success with traditional pain medications.
Ear acupuncture has long been known to be a very effective method for relieving acute pains, in some cases proving more effective than body acupuncture (http://www.health-science-spirit.com/earacupuncture.html). Acupuncturists such as Amaro have seen outstanding results with the use of low-level laser and electronic stimulation applied directly to the points. These conventional acupuncture needles may be stimulated for up to ten minutes.
This combination of points is not only tailored to treat acute or chronic pain; it is also extremely effective in anxiety, neurosis, neurasthenia and any psychological or stress related issues.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035544_battlefield_acupuncture_painkillers_soldiers.html#ixzz1zgypXc00"



CAM Conference in Brussels planned in October 2012


MAC-CAM, CAM/Acupuncture meets European Cancer League in Brussels


Pet acupuncture becomes more popular

"Increasingly, pet owners ... are turning to the ancient Chinese medical practice for treatment of their cat’s asthma, their rabbit’s head-and-neck strain or their canine’s hip dysplasia. The practice has become more popular as acupuncture for humans has become more mainstream, said Simon Flynn, executive director of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. This year, the nonprofit group has a membership of 800 veterinary acupuncturists, compared with about 200 a decade ago, Flynn said."

Washington Post


How Well Do Randomized Trials Inform Decision Making: Systematic Review Using Comparative Effectiveness Research Measures on Acupuncture for Back Pain


Claudia M. Witt, Eric Manheimer, Richard Hammerschlag, Rainer Lüdtke, Lixing Lao, Sean R. Tunis, Brian M. Berman


For Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) there is a need to develop scales for appraisal of available clinical research. Aims were to 1) test the feasibility of applying the pragmatic-explanatory continuum indicator summary tool and the six CER defining characteristics of the Institute of Medicine to RCTs of acupuncture for treatment of low back pain, and 2) evaluate the extent to which the evidence from these RCTs is relevant to clinical and health policy decision making. We searched Medline, the AcuTrials™ Database to February 2011 and reference lists and included full-report randomized trials in English that compared needle acupuncture with a conventional treatment in adults with non-specific acute and/or chronic low back pain and restricted to those with ≥30 patients in the acupuncture group. Papers were evaluated by 5 raters. From 119 abstracts, 44 full-text publications were screened and 10 trials (4,901 patients) were evaluated. Due to missing information and initial difficulties in operationalizing the scoring items, the first scoring revealed inter-rater and inter-item variance (intraclass correlations 0.02–0.60), which improved after consensus discussions to 0.20–1.00. The 10 trials were found to cover the efficacy-effectiveness continuum; those with more flexible acupuncture and no placebo control scored closer to effectiveness. Both instruments proved useful, but need further development. In addition, CONSORT guidelines for reporting pragmatic trials should be expanded. Most studies in this review already reflect the movement towards CER and similar approaches can be taken to evaluate comparative effectiveness relevance of RCTs for other treatments.


PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, No. 2.


Vote for an integrative practise of acupuncture

"„Should you try acupuncture? Studies have found it to be very safe, with few side effects. If you’re thinking about it, talk to your doctor. “We tell people they really need to talk to their primary care provider and discuss whether acupuncture is a viable option for them,” N. says. “While you could go to an acupuncturist independent of a medical practitioner, we feel that an integrated approach to care is always the best approach.”"

NIH News in Health


'Battlefield' Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine included in US State Armed Forces


Safety of acupuncture for children

"Is acupuncture safe for children? – According to a large new study in the journal Pediatrics, the short answer is yes – in the hands of a trained practitioner. The study, the first large-scale systematic review on the safety of pediatric acupuncture, found that about one in 10 children had experienced mild side effects, like bruising and pain and numbness at the puncture site. More serious side effects, like infections and nerve impairment, were rare. ... Acupuncture is one of the most common alternative medicines in the United States, practiced by about three million people – mostly adults – every year. But it is also used with growing frequency in children to relieve pain, migraines and other complaints. About 150,000 children in the United States underwent acupuncture in 2007, according to government estimates. Whether acupuncture poses any particular hazards to children, however, has not been entirely clear. In the latest study, researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada focused specifically on children, combing through data from 37 international studies. The authors cast a wide net, pooling data from high-quality randomized trials conducted over the past few decades as well as single case reports of injuries. Over all, out of 1,422 children and teenagers who were included in the analysis, 168 experienced “mild” side effects. More serious problems were rare and tended to be limited to clinics that did not adhere to strict safety standards, including 12 cases of “deformity” from damage to a muscle in the thumb, all reported from the same clinic in China between 1983 and 1989."

The New York Times


A biopsychosocial clinical reasoning model for Western acupuncture

Bradnam, Lynley V


Background: The ‘layering method’, a clinical reasoning model for Western acupuncture, is a theoretical framework based on pain and tissue mechanisms. This focus on the mechanics of disability is a limitation of the original model. From a holistic viewpoint, the psychological status of an individual should be considered in clinical reasoning models.
Objectives: The first objective was to summarize the original layering model. The second was to determine mechanisms underlying integration of sensations and emotions in the human brain and their effect on the body via output transfer systems of the autonomic, immune, and endocrine systems. The third objective was to determine whether acupuncture can modulate similar regions in the brain and to formulate appropriate clinical reasoning questions.
Major findings: Interoceptive sensory stimuli and emotions are integrated in limbic and frontal brain regions to allow emotional responses to feedback from the body and provide the individual with a ‘sense of self’. A strong connection with brainstem nuclei modulating output transfer systems allows emotions to regulate homeostatic balance. Acupuncture may be interpreted as an interoceptive stimulus by the brain. Neuroscience research has shown that acupuncture can modulate neural activity in similar brain regions to those processing emotional responses to sensory inputs.
Conclusions: Acupuncture may influence emotional responses and their impact on the neurobiology of the human body. A biopsychosocial clinical reasoning model based on the modulation of emotional processing in the brain is proposed. This suggests that acupuncture may be used as an adjuvant to other therapies in disorders with a biopsychosocial component.


Physical Therapy Reviews, Volume 16, Number 2, April 2011 , pp. 138-146(9)


Effectiveness of acupuncture/dry needling for myofascial trigger point pain

Tough, Elizabeth A; White, Adrian R


Background: Myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) are widely accepted by clinicians and researchers as a primary source of pain. Needling is one common treatment, with dry needling as effective as injection. What is not clear is whether or not needling of any kind is superior to placebo.
Objectives: To update a systematic literature review and meta-analysis (undertaken in 2007) investigating the effectiveness of direct MTrPs needling compared with placebo, and to discuss the variation in needling approaches adopted by randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating acupuncture/dry needling for MTrP pain.
Methods: An electronic database search of RCTs published since the original review and a critical review of the literature.
Results: Three RCTs of direct MTrP needling were identified as eligible for review. One concluded that needling was superior to standard care; two adopted a placebo control and were added to our original meta-analysis of four studies. Combining six studies (n = 183), needling was found to be statistically superior to placebo [weighted mean difference = 16·67 (95% CI: 3·23?30·11)]; however, marked statistical heterogeneity was observed (I 2 = 82·6%).
Conclusion: There is limited evidence that direct MTrP dry needling has an overall treatment effect when compared with standard care. While the results of the meta-analysis indicate that direct needling is superior to placebo, the results should be interpreted with caution due to the marked heterogeneity observed in this model. There remains a need for large-scale, adequately powered, high-quality placebo-controlled trials to provide a more trustworthy result.


Physical Therapy Reviews, Volume 16, Number 2, April 2011 , pp. 147-154(8)


CAMbrella EU 7th Frame Work Research Program is going to be finalized– ICMART in Advisory Board


EICCAM / European Information Centre on CAM has been launched


‘Complementary and Alternative Medicine is not evidence based’ - that is the mantra that is heard over and over again when meeting political decision makers. There is a strong need to convey the message that substantial and good quality research evidence in CAM does exist, and furthermore, shows potential for contributing to significant improvements in health care delivery and in public health.

Acquaintance with information on the scientific underpinning of CAM is greatly lagging behind its increasing use by European citizens. To plug the information gap the European Information Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (EICCAM) has been founded with the aim of providing and disseminating understandable, objective and high-quality information on the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The outcome of research on complementary medicine is usually only presented in scientific journals and to fellow scientists, using scientific terminology. Consequently there is a communication gap. As long as this exists, it will be a barrier to CAM’s greater use.

EICCAM central purpose is to collect and update scientific information on CAM on a regular basis, converting the scientific information into a summarised and understandable format for the educated non-expert public. This information is independent, comprehensive, understandable and quality assured in order to contribute to informed decision-making by politicians, legislators and other stakeholders. The centre also networks with the scientific community, with CAM stakeholders, and is intending to organise or participate in scientific events on CAM.

EICCAM has been set up as a Public Utility Foundation under Belgian Law, with a Management Board and a Scientific Board. Both boards jointly decide on actions and activities while the Scientific Board selects the information input and output and, most importantly, ensures its quality and independence. The current scientific committee includes reputable scientists working at European universities and includes expertise in the CAM field. To date, they have published several ‘EICCAM Research Facts’ on studies in the field of homeopathy, acupuncture, anthroposophic medicine and herbal medicine, all downloadable from the website www.eiccam.eu. More publications are in the pipeline.

EICCAM has already obtained some funding, but more funding will be needed to keep the Centre running and to continue to produce regular research facts.

Readers of this article who interested to make a donation to the funding of EICCAM or are aware of possible funding sources are encouraged to contact the Chair of the EICCAM Management Board, Dr Susanne Schunder-Tatzber, e-mail: schunder@gamed.or.at

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