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Hayfever Season is on the way

Hayfever Season is on the way

Patrick Hendry

How far would you go to avoid pollen? Hayfever season is on the way and with it comes red eyes, runny noses, tickly throats and antihistamines. 

Would you go as far as you local Acupuncturist? Well now is the time to make that call and try to head off the misery before it sets in. 

Tai Chi For fibromyalgia and chronic pain

Tai Chi For fibromyalgia and chronic pain

Check out this article about how Tai Chi is helping people with chronic pain and Fibromyalgia

 

Wang found that while all of the people reported fewer symptoms at the end of the year, all those in the tai chi groups reported more improvement in their symptom control than people in the aerobic exercise group after 24 weeks. And among those assigned to a tai chi regimen, people who practiced tai chi for a longer period of time showed greater improvement than those who did it for a shorter period.

“We think our results suggest that physicians should think about what type of exercise is best for their patients with fibromyalgia,” says Wang. “We found that tai chi was more enjoyable [for patients], there was a social connection and they could practice it at home by themselves with their family and friends.”

 

 

 

Iron Shirt Qi Gong

Iron Shirt Qi Gong

This Qi Gong style is quite impressive. The practitioner learns to pack the fascia layers with Qi with protects the inner organs from damage. This is similar to an egg in a balloon, inside a balloon, inside a balloon. This practice is very good for health and keeping the body strong. While this level is extreme, this style can be used by most people to gain excellent health results.

Keeping the Qi moving

Keeping the Qi moving

Study suggests tai chi improves life for people with chronic health problems

tai-chi-balance-exercise-woman
Image: Thinkstock

Research we’re watching

An analysis published online Sept. 17, 2015, by the British Journal of Sports Medicinesuggests that doing tai chi enhances the quality of life for people with common chronic conditions.

Researchers analyzed data from 33 studies involving nearly 1,600 adults. Most were in their 60s or 70s, and all had one or more chronic conditions: osteoarthritis, breast cancer, heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). All 290 participants in the breast cancer studies were women. There were 452 women (85% of participants) in the arthritis studies, 76 (16%) in the heart failure studies, and 92 (19%) in the COPD studies.

All the studies were randomized and controlled: they compared people who did tai chi with those who either did another type of exercise or were waiting to join a tai chi class. Over all, people who did tai chi showed greater improvements in walking, muscle strength, and quality of life.

Tai chi is growing in popularity, and this report adds another reason to give it a try. Check your local “Y” or gym to see if it offers classes.

Harvard backs Acupuncture for headaches

Harvard backs Acupuncture for headaches

Acupuncture for headache

Helene Langevin, MD

It is easy to ridicule a 2000-year-old treatment that can seem closer to magic than to science. Indeed, from the 1970s to around 2005, the skeptic’s point of view was understandable, because the scientific evidence to show that acupuncture worked, and why, was weak, and clinical trials were small and of poor quality.

But things have changed since then. A lot.

Thanks to the development of valid placebo controls (for example, a retractable “sham” device that looks like an acupuncture needle but does not penetrate the skin), and the publication of several large and well-designed clinical trials in the last decade, we have the start of a solid foundation for truly understanding the effectiveness of acupuncture.

How do we know if acupuncture really works for pain?

Individual large-scale clinical studies have consistently demonstrated that acupuncture provided better pain relief compared with usual care. However, most studies also showed little difference between real and sham (fake) acupuncture. In order to address this concern, a 2012 meta-analysis combined data from roughly 18,000 individual patients in 23 high-quality randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for common pain conditions. This analysis conclusively demonstrated that acupuncture is superior to sham for low back pain, headache, and osteoarthritis, and improvements seen were similar to that of other widely used non-opiate pain relievers.

And the safety profile of acupuncture is excellent, with very few adverse events when performed by a trained practitioner. Meanwhile, basic science studies of acupuncture involving animals and humans have shown other potential benefits, from lowering blood pressure to long-lasting improvements in brain function. More broadly, acupuncture research has resulted in a number of insights and advances in biomedicine, with applications beyond the field of acupuncture itself.

Is acupuncture really that good?

We understand why there may be continued skepticism about acupuncture. There has been ambiguity in the language acupuncture researchers employ to describe acupuncture treatments, and confusion surrounding the ancient concept of acupuncture points and meridians, which is central to the practice of acupuncture. Indeed, the question of whether acupuncture points actually “exist” has been largely avoided by the acupuncture research community, even though acupuncture point terminology continues to be used in research studies. So, it is fair to say that acupuncture researchers have contributed to doubts about acupuncture, and a concerted effort is needed to resolve this issue. Nevertheless, the practice of acupuncture has emerged as an important nondrug option that can help chronic pain patients avoid the use of potentially harmful medications, especially opiates with their serious risk of substance use disorder.

Finding a balanced view

post on acupuncture last year dismissed acupuncture as a costly, ineffective, and dangerous treatment for headache. This prompted us to point out the need for a measured and balanced view of the existing evidence, particularly in comparison to other treatments. Although the responses that followed the article overwhelmingly supported acupuncture, it nevertheless remains a concern that this practice attracts this kind of attack. Acupuncture practitioners and researchers must take responsibility for addressing deficiencies in acupuncture’s knowledge base and clarifying its terminology.

That said, we need to recognize that acupuncture can be part of the solution to the immense problem of chronic pain and opiate addiction that is gripping our society. That this solution comes from an ancient practice with a theoretical foundation incompletely understood by modern science should make it even more interesting and worthy of our attention. Clinicians owe it to their patients to learn about alternative, nondrug treatments and to answer patients’ questions and concerns knowledgeably and respectfully.

Sources

Acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomised trialLancet, July 2005.

Acupuncture in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, February 2006.

Acupuncture in patients with tension-type headache: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, August 2005.

Acupuncture for Patients With Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, May 2005.

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, October 2012.

Survey of Adverse Events Following Acupuncture (SAFA): a prospective study of 32,000 consultations. Acupuncture in Medicine, December 2001.

Safety of Acupuncture: Results of a Prospective Observational Study with 229,230 Patients and Introduction of a Medical Information and Consent Form. Complementary Medicine Research, April 2009.

The safety of acupuncture during pregnancy: a systematic review. Acupuncture in Medicine, June 2014.

Cost-effectiveness of adjunct non-pharmacological interventions for osteoarthritis of the knee. PLOS One, March 2017.

Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medcine, 2011.

The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.JAMA Internal Medicine, April 2017.

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