Acupuncture and Moxibustion is a medical treatment that has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries as well as now around the world. It is used as an instrument of treating and preventing disease. Acupuncture treatment involves the inclusion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of energy (Qi) through the individual.
The general theory of acupuncture is based on the assumption that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are necessary for health. Disruptions of this flow are thought to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture corrects imbalances of flow at identifiable points near to the skin. Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is used by people whole over the world.
Acupuncture for rheumatoid arthritis zero positive
Acupuncture needles are so fine that there’s no discomfort when they’re inserted but a slight tingle (known as needle sensation) may be experienced. The needles are normally left in for roughly twenty minutes to more; during this time there may represent a heaviness of the limbs and a sense of relaxation. The Doctor / practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, such as moxibustion (a traditional technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb used to facilitate healing), cupping and electro-stimulation etc. in order to re-establish the flow of qi.
Since Acupuncture and moxibustion Medicine promotes the body’s natural healing ability, many conditions can be treated. It is likewise a comprehensive system of preventative health care and maintenance. The effectiveness of acupuncture is well-documented. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as an excellent option for health care that actually works, and is highly effective to treat some diseases, where other methods of treatment couldn’t achieve good result or failed.
An Acupuncture medicine doctor should possess adequate knowledge and experience for providing proper treatment to his/her patients. To avoid the unwanted complications in Acupuncture treatment please avoid taking treatment by quack / fake Acupuncturist. There are many around us without proper qualifications. Because inadequate knowledge and experience may give rise to serious medical problems.
In the field of acupuncture some good clinical researches have been completed. There has also been some follow-up assessment of a large number of the conditions that have been addressed by Acupuncture Doctors. Some diseases are more successfully treated by acupuncture and Moxibustion where other methods of treatment couldn’t achieve good result or failed. Though this method of treatment has been started in our own country but due to quite less number of medically qualified acupuncture doctors available in our country and lack of proper perception about the implementation of this method in some specific diseases, the patients are depriving from the advantages of Acupuncture & Moxibustion treatment.
So, I have made an effort to provide little information about the effects of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in few diseases. Many of the relevant facts and figures mentioned in the following sections are the results of my own experience and clinical trials carried out in China and others countries.
The muscles, bones and joints are usually called collectively the musculo-skeletal system. When disease or damage occurs to this system it nearly always results in pain. Most people use terms such as rheumatism or arthritis to describe this type of pain.
There are three main types of damage that occur to the musculo-skeletal system; the first is a sudden injury or sprain which might be a domestic injury, or might be incurred during a sporting activity or in a vehicle accident. This usually causes local pain and bruising lasting for just a few days, maybe even a few weeks or more. The other main group is arthritis and this can be classified into two important types, Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Sprains: Sudden injury or sprains usually respond well to acupuncture. The pain arising from a sprained shoulder, ankle etc will often continue for some days or weeks after the first injury. Once a clear diagnosis has been made acupuncture can usually be used in order to relieve this type of pain.
The experience of a many of Acupuncture doctors, shows that, of the people treated for differing acutely painful conditions, about 70 percent obtain swift and significant pain relief. If a fracture of the bone is present then the pain relief gained from acupuncture is less effective only if the injury is attributable to a strain or tear of the muscles, tendons or ligaments. The main advantage of treating these acute pains with acupuncture is that chronic pain can be avoided. A sudden shoulder injury may produce pain and immobility for many months, sometimes years, but if acupuncture is used when the pain occurs then it appears that chronic pain may be avoided.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis and the arthritic pains that result from this type of joint damage are quite a common problem. People frequently complain that their arthritic knee pain is worse in cold or damp weather and this demonstrates quite clearly the source of the concept of pathogens in traditional medicine. The pathogen in osteoarthritis is almost always cold or damp and therefore these pains should be addressed by moxibustion.
A great deal of research work has been made to investigate the effects of acupuncture on the pain caused by osteoarthritis. Clinical trials have been concluded on knee, hip, neck, elbow, and lower back pain, and the information from these trials shows that significant pain relief can be obtained in about 70 per cent of the people who receive acupuncture. Some work suggests that only 50 per cent of people benefit from acupuncture while other trials show 95 per cent of the patients benefiting. Acupuncture also has a ‘magical quality’ that drugs don’t have, it is therefore difficult to sort out the effects of the ‘magic’ in comparison to the real effects of acupuncture. In spite of these problems, acupuncture is a secure and effective form of treatment for osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: The effects of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis aren’t so clear cut. During the early, acute, inflammatory stage of rheumatoid arthritis there is a certain evidence to suggest that Acupuncture might worsen the pain (though which usually may subside gradually) and therefore many acupuncturists don’t treat acute rheumatoid arthritis. After some months the acute inflammatory stage subsides and the residual joint destruction may then lead to the preparation of a secondary osteoarthritis. This type of pain is amenable to acupuncture and responds in the same way as other osteoarthritic aches and pains. Chronic pain, due to disease of the musculo-skeletal system, is frequently amenable to acupuncture treatment. The published research shows that pain which has been present for many years can respond as well as pain that has been present for just a few months; therefore, from the available information, it is no exaggeration to say that acupuncture is ‘always worth a try’ in this type of condition.
Headaches: Headaches can be due to a variety of factors; arthritis of the neck, dental problems, psychological problems, stress and tension, head injury, and sinusitis are some of the many causes. Headaches are a common complaint and a notoriously difficult one to treat effectively. They can be the cause of a significant amount of distress and marital disharmony. Acupuncture treatment has been used to address a wide variety of headaches, particularly migrainous headaches, and the results obtained have been extremely encouraging. The published work suggests that between 65-95 per cent of all headache sufferers obtain significant and long lasting pain relief from acupuncture treatment. Migraines seem to respond as well as, if not better than, other types of headache. Acupuncture therapy for headaches may cause the headaches to vanish completely, or occur with a markedly decreased intensity and/or frequency. The pain relief resulting from acupuncture treatment can sometimes be retained for some years and re-treatment is commonly required less frequently for headaches.
Strokes: A stroke is caused by a disruption of the blood supply to the brain. The blood vessels that normally supply blood to the brain can be compromised by becoming blocked or bleeding. This result in a deficient blood supply to the brain tissue and these events can be precipitated by a variety of factors such as raised blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and severe head injury. The brain is divided into many different functional areas, one area controlling speech, while another dominates the sensations of touch and pain. The functional impairment that occurs with a stroke is contingent on the area of the brain that is damaged; if the speech area is damaged by a shortage of blood supply then the patient may not be able to speak properly. In China, acupuncture is the standard treatment for strokes. In the Western countries, the mainstays of stroke treatment are physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, but the Chinese feel that these methods have less to offer than acupuncture medicine. Both scalp and body acupuncture are techniques that can serve to aid recovery from a stroke. The research work suggests that acupuncture increases the blood supply to the brain. For some unexplained reason this appears to improve functional ability and serves as a stimulus to recovery after a stroke.
Clinical trials completed by the Chinese doctor’s state that some effect can be gained from acupuncture in about 80 per cent of strokes. The success rate claimed is very high but, to a certain extent, this success rate is mirrored by the experience of a variety of doctors in the West. Western medicine often has little to provide the stroke patient and therefore acupuncture therapy is always worth considering. Ideally strokes should be treated within six months of the damage occurring. The Chinese doctors also treat their patients for long periods and a stroke patient may receive one hundred or two hundred acupuncture treatment sessions before being declared a success or a failure.
The Neuralgias (Nerve Pain): Trigeminal neuralgia usually presents with severe unilateral facial pain. Its cause is unclear but the painful facial spasms are often precipitated by cold or wind. The Chinese acupuncturist claim to be able to gain improvement, with acupuncture, in about 70 per cent of cases of trigeminal neuralgia. Judging by the experience of Western acupuncturists this success rate represents a rather high figure, although acupuncture can undoubtedly have a positive effect on this type of pain.
Postherpetic neuralgia is the pain that occurs after an attack of shingles. Shingles is a viral infection of the nerves. The nerves affected by shingles can occasionally continue to cause severe pain after the shingles has cleared. It seems that of those patients with established postherpetic neuralgia, about 40 per cent gain some level of long term benefit from acupuncture treatment. There are a huge number of aches and pains that are often described as neuralgic. Many of these occur as facial pain and the majority of them cause severe discomfort. It is always worthwhile to try to alleviate these pains by using acupuncture treatment.
Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression, and Other Nervous Disorders: It is difficult to be objective about the treatment of disorders such as anxiety, Insomnia and depression, as the problems themselves are difficult to assess objectively, and therefore no good clear figures are available about their treatment with acupuncture. In spite of this, many acupuncture doctors, including the Chinese, treat a wide range of ‘mental disorders’ and insomnia (sleep problem) with acupuncture. Many people have stated that acupuncture is clearly effective in helping symptoms such as insomnia and bed-wetting, and can also create a sense of general well-being. The Chinese doctors have completed trials on some of the most clearly defined and serious mental diseases, such as schizophrenia. In a trial involving over 400 patients they claim a 54 per cent cure rate for this disease, with another 30 per cent showing ‘significant improvement’. However, from a variety of excellent research papers it is clear that acupuncture can influence quite radically many areas of the central nervous system, as well as neurotransmitters and others brain functions also. Therefore this therapy has a great role in brain related problems or neuro-developmental dysfunction.
Nerve Paralysis: Paralysis can also be handled by a variety of acupuncture techniques. The acupuncture must be continued for a long period. Sometimes daily for six months and the results from some of the Chinese research works are very encouraging. Chinese doctors claim that some 50-60 per cent of patients are liable to gain significant return of function if treated with acupuncture.
Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) is a disease of sudden onset that causes one side of the face to lose muscular power; the cause of this situation is unknown. Acupuncture and moxibustion can be used in order to treat this and the research claim a 75 per cent complete recovery rate but, again, this disease allows a significant percentage of spontaneous recovery. The Chinese research also claim that a new 20 per cent gain benefit from acupuncture, although not complete recovery. Even allowing for the known level of spontaneous resolution in facial paralysis it does seem that acupuncture has something extra to offer.
Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, nerve deafness etc: Acupuncture has been claimed to be effective in Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, nerve deafness,, Cerebral Palsy, and a large variety of other problems. Parkinson’s disease may be accompanied by an imbalance of energy along one or more meridians according to some studies. The muscle stiffness, soreness, imbalance etc. of Parkinson’s may be alleviated by a number of treatments. It is always wise to remember that acupuncture is a harmless technique and can sometimes give excellent results in above casese where other medical methods have failed.
Autism /ASD, Cerebral Palsy etc: Acupuncture along with herbal therapy have been found highly effective for treating children with brain dysfunction, resulting in improvement in the patient’s overall functional abilities. Excellent results are being achieved through simultaneous application of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in the cases of ASD / Autism and Cerebral Palsy in different countries of the world. There are several research papers, articles etc. that has been issued all over the world about the effectiveness of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicines in this context. In my clinical practice I am also getting very effective result by applying integration of Acupuncture and Herbal treatment. I noticed that, formulated Herbal Medicine along with acupuncture session gives much result other than only Acupuncture treatment or only Herbal Medicine. I treated several patients, like other diseases. Some of them improved tremendously just after few days of treatment.
ADD and ADHD: Acupuncture can help the patient to manage the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and may provide some relief which will allow the patient to gain greater benefit from the therapies available to him or her, and can assist with the side effects of those therapies. Taking advantage of everything the medical knowledge of both hemispheres has to offer is a great way to secure the most effective treatment for this disruptive, often limiting and painful condition. Acupuncture can be an excellent complementary therapy for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. In some cases Acupuncture works as a magic bullet for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. A research showed that, Acupuncture treatment has a good effect on infantile attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its total effective rate was higher and the changes in abnormal electroencephalogram and the healing effect were better.
IBS: An increasing number of studies have been undertaken on treating IBS, with promising results. These studies have documented that Chinese medicine can effectively treat IBS in a secure and drug-free way.
Indigestion: Exact figures for success rates aren’t available. However, the ‘clinical impression’ that arises from a number of acupuncture doctors indicates that about 60 per cent of patients gain some long-term relief of their symptoms with acupuncture.
Asthma: Acupuncture causes the contracted muscular walls to dilate; the mechanism of this situation is unknown. However, there is good Western research evidence to support this claim. A recent Chinese clinical trial on asthma showed that some 70 percent of asthmatics gained a ‘very good effect’ from acupuncture and moxibustion. The acupuncture treatment was able to reduce the frequency and intensity of asthmatic attacks over a period of a year or more. This result is encouraging as it demonstrates that acupuncture and moxibustion can affect the reaction of the body to the environmental stimuli causing asthmatic attacks. Our clinical experience also supports this efficacy of Acupuncture and Moxibustion medicine.
Bronchitis: Acupuncture cannot rebuild lung tissue. However, by opening up the breathing tubes it can allow the remaining lung tissue to function efficiently. The mechanism of acupuncture in bronchitis is probably basically the same as in asthma, allowing more air to penetrate the lungs. Recent Chinese research works has been demonstrated that about 50 per cent of bronchitis ‘benefit’ from acupuncture. The treatment must be repeated regularly if the effect is to be maintained for long period. On the other hand acupuncture treatment also help to monitor the infection effectively in bronchitis.
In China it is a common and acceptable form of treatment for a number of these problems. A variety of experiments carried out under the western countries give clear support to the notion that acupuncture does have an effect on the circulatory system.
Angina: Using sophisticated measuring equipment the Chinese researchers have completed a variety of trials in order to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on the heart. They have shown a significant increase in the functional ability and the effectiveness of the heart muscles after acupuncture. This is further supported by clinical work. This shows that some 80 per cent of patients with angina have improved after acupuncture. When acupuncture is used to treat angina a course of treatments is given, and then followed by booster treatments.
The Correction of Abnormal Heart Rhythms: Heart diseases can frequently cause an abnormal rhythm to the heart beat; this may manifest itself as palpitations, an irregular heart beat, or dropped beats. Acupuncture can correct a small number of these arrhythmias. In established atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beats), acupuncture affects a small percentage of cases, some 1.5 per cent, although in recently acquired arrhythmias, acupuncture can be effective in up to 70 per cent of cases.
A large number of Western countries acupuncturists are using a variety of acupuncture techniques to treat obesity, smoking and hard drug addiction. There is some excellent physiological and clinical evidence to sustain the use of acupuncture method in these areas. The withdrawal symptoms experienced by people giving up smoking, or drugs, can be alleviated by increasing the levels of endorphins in the nervous system. Some people think that the desire to eat is also mediated by the endorphin level in the brain. It is clear that endorphin levels throughout the nervous system can be increased by Acupuncture. The techniques used to reach an increase in endorphin levels center around the use of ear acupuncture. It must be stressed that acupuncture cannot replace willpower. It can only help the withdrawal symptoms, or hunger pains, experienced by those already motivated and committed to solving their particular problem.
Obesity: Acupuncture seems to alleviate the problem of hunger usually created by dieting. Many people who receive acupuncture to help with weight loss also go on a diet at the same time. It is difficult to assess exactly which factors are accountable for the acupuncture, weight loss, or the diet, or both in combination. Most acupuncturists claim that 40-50 per cent of their patients experience some significant weight loss during treatment.
Hard Drug Addiction: Some excellent research work has been carried out in this field, especially in Hong Kong. It is clear that acupuncture can help to resolve the severe withdrawal symptoms experienced by those coming off hard drugs like heroin.
Acupuncture treatment helps about 40 per cent of people to give up smoking over a period of about six months. Again, it is necessary to be well motivated before embarking on a plan of treatment. Acupuncture does seem to decrease the urge to smoke and also to reduce the withdrawal symptoms produced by abstinence from tobacco.
The effect of acupuncture on chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting etc. has been studied over the last 20 years, and clinical evidence gathered so far has been favorable. Current practice guidelines recommend acupuncture as a complementary therapy for uncontrolled nausea and emesis induced by chemotherapy.
In China the major use of acupuncture in obstetrics is to provide analgesia (pain relief) during Caesarean section, and to correct foetal malpositions, such as breech (breech means when the baby is ‘bottom first’ rather than ‘head first’).
Women who’re having problems with conception, premenstrual symptoms or menopausal issues will often see positive results with Acupuncture medicine. It may be opportunities to reduce or eliminate the need for Western pharmaceuticals. If drugs or hormones must be used, side effects may be reduced. My own experience suggests that acupuncture and Herbal medicine is more effective and much less unpleasant and dangerous than hormonal treatments or in vitro fertilization procedures, for women who’re experiencing disorders of conception.
The correction of foetal malposition is achieved by applying moxibustion to an acupuncture point. In about 60 percent of women the foetus turns naturally, before the thirty-4th week of pregnancy; this can be extended to 90 per cent with the assistance of moxibustion. After the thirty-fourth week, when natural version is less likely, the Chinese claim that 80 per cent of foetal malpositions will be corrected permanently by this procedure. Once corrected, the malposition doesn’t recur, provided moxibustion is applied daily. There seems to be no available physiological basis with which to explain this finding.
Acupuncture anaesthesia is widely used for caesarean sections in China. A report lately published, discusses the results of 1, 000 cases managed in this manner. The Chinese Acupuncturist claim a 98 per cent success rate in a quicker recovery rate from the operation, less blood loss,, the abolition of pain, and the obvious advantage of the mother being able to view the baby at, or soon after, birth. This report finds acupuncture a superior form of analgesia compared to other forms of pain relief (general or epidural anesthesia) for caesarean section. Acupuncture can also serve to provide pain relief in normal obstetric deliveries. Adequate assessment of this form of obstetric analgesia hasn’t yet been published, although the experience of a wide variety of acupuncturists in the western world would indicate that it’s a useful and effective procedure.