Posts Tagged ‘acupuncture’

September 30, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

New research into acupuncture and counselling for depression from Dr Hugh Macpherson at The University of York has led to some interesting conclusions by research scientists on the value of adding acupuncture to the standard care of patients suffering with depression.

The researchers recruited 755 patients who had consulted their doctor about depression within the past 5 years and who fell into the category of having moderate to severe depression.

302 patients were randomized to receive up to 12 weekly sessions of acupuncture plus usual care, another 302 patients received up to 12 weekly sessions of counselling plus usual care, and 151 patients received usual care alone. Both the acupuncture protocol and the counselling protocols allowed for some individualization of treatment. Usual care, including antidepressants, was available according to need and monitored in all three groups.

According to the researchers, compared to usual care alone, there was a significant reduction in the average depression scores at both 3 and 6 months for both the acupuncture and counselling interventions. The difference between the score for acupuncture and counselling was not significant. In addition the researchers noted that at 9 months and 12 months, the scores between all groups evened out so that acupuncture and counselling were no longer significantly better than usual care.

All of this led the researchers to conclude that this was the first study to rigorously evaluate the clinical and economic impact of acupuncture and counselling for patients in primary care, and that their research showed that acupuncture versus usual care and counselling versus usual care are both associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of depression in the short to medium term, without being associated with serious adverse effects.

The research received wide ranging media coverage from The Daily Mail’s article on acupuncture for depression, to Reuter’s coverage of the article here, and the original research piece on PLOS medicine can be found here:

Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 17, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

In this month’s issue of Acupuncture in Medicine, recent research from Brazil into the effect of acupuncture on the symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) has led to some interesting results.

The researchers conducted a trial of acupuncture  using a single blind randomised controlled trial. 30 volunteers with PMDD were assigned to either group 1, which received acupuncture, or group 2 which received sham acupuncture. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed using the Hamilton Anxiety and Hamilton Depression scales, and participants received acupuncture twice a week for two menstrual cycles so that each participant received 16 acupuncture treatments in total.

Before the intervention the anxiety and depression scores did not differ between groups. Following the intervention, the researchers reported that symptoms of anxiety and depression were reduced in both groups; but that the improvement was significant in group 1 compared to group 2. There was a mean reduction in anxiety scores of 58.9% in group 1 and 21.2% in group 2. The reduction in the mean depression scores were 52.0% in group 1 and 19.6% in group 2.

You can find full details of the trial here:

Acupuncture for premenstrual anxiety and depression

September 7, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Researchers at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College’s Division of Graduate Education & Research have conducted a systematic review for non-pharmacological interventions for sleep and insomnia during pregnancy.

The researchers conducted an electronic search of multiple online databases from inception up until March 2013. Of 160 articles screened, 7 met the inclusion criteria. 3 trials were prospective randomised controlled trials, one was a prospective longitudinal trial, one experimental pilot study, and two were prospective quasi-randomized trials.

The researchers concluded that exercise, massage, and acupuncture may be associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy, but that due to the low quality and heterogeneity of the studies yielded, a definitive recommendation could not be made. Further higher quality research was deemed necessary.

You can read full details of the systematic review here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23997252

July 24, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Acupuncture researchers in Brazil have been investigating acupuncture and fibromyalgia, and particularly the action of needling the multiple tender points which characterize the condition. Fibromyalgia is a chronic rheumatic disorder characterized by a multitude of symptoms such as muscular skeletal pain, numbness, tingling and stiffness, and often fatigue and disturbances in sleeping. Often there can be co existent bowel and bladder problems and anxiety or depression. Around 2-4% of the population suffer with fibromyalgia with females far outweighing males and considerable variation in how each individual manifests the symptoms.

This small study aimed to assess the effect of using acupuncture specifically at the tender points of the condition, and eight female patients were assessed for pain tolerance, depression and anxiety scores and quality of life measurements over the duration of the treatment. The women received a two month course of acupuncture for fibromyalgia.

The researchers note that by the end of the study (details of which you can find here) they observed a reduction in the pain threshold and sensitivity, and improvement in the areas of anxiety and depression and quality of life. This study was reported on at the about.com’s page on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue which also contains lots of other useful information.

The British Acupuncture Council also produce a fact sheet on Fibromyalgia detailing research regarding traditional acupuncture and the condition. The British Acupuncture Council are the primary governing body for the practice of classical or traditional acupuncture in the UK. All members of the British Acupuncture Council (of which I’m one) have had an extensive training in traditional acupuncture to degree level.

If you’re curious about what acupuncture could do for you, feel free to telephone me on 07717 515 013 or email me at sean@seanheneghan.com

 

 

 

 

July 15, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research, Sean's opinion

Researchers in Brazil have been investigating the effects of acupuncture on sleep parameters, quality of life measures, and symptoms of depression in post-menopausal women.

This study was a double blind, placebo controlled randomized controlled trial and included 18 women aged 50-67 years old. The participants were not using hormonal therapy, anti depressants or hypnotic medications and the groups were randomized into two groups: those receiving ‘real’ acupuncture and those receiving a ‘sham’ form. The researchers then performed ten sessions of acupuncture over a period of 5 weeks.

The researchers report that comparison of the groups post acupuncture treatment revealed that those treated with ‘real’ acupuncture showed significantly lower scores on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and showed better improvements in quality of life than the group treated with the sham form of acupuncture.

For me as I’m sure is the case for many acupuncturists, double blind trials of acupuncture cannot be performed without compromising the quality of acupuncture delivered in the trial, which is one of the many pitfalls in assessing acupuncture in the context of research. So what is interesting in this trial is the positive result despite that what is delivered in the trial is likely to be a less than optimal form of the treatment.

You can find all the details of the trial here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22943846?dopt=Abstract

 

I provide acupuncture in Berkhamsted at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic and you can reach me on 07717 515 013 if you have any questions about acupuncture and it’s suitability for you.

 

 

July 10, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

Researchers at The Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine have been investigating acupuncture for back pain and comparing the use of medication versus a novel approach to acupuncture called motion style acupuncture treatment (MSAT). This particular variation on acupuncture involves patients engaging in stretching exercises while the acupuncture needles are situated in areas used for treating pain. The researchers compared this kind of acupuncture with injections of diclofenac, a drug commonly used for pain relief.

A group of 28 patients who received the motion style acupuncture reported a reduction of  pain levels of 46% on average in 30 minutes, while the other 28 patients who had the drug injection had their pain level drop 8.7% in the same amount of time. The level of physical disability in the group treated with acupuncture was also reported to be lower.

At six months post treatment the pain levels were equal among both groups, but patients treated with the drug were hospitalized for a longer period of time.

According to the researchers, the study has shown the effectiveness of motion style acupuncture treatment for acute low back pain patients with severe disability, and can reduce the treatment period in the short term. It is the first study of Oriental Medicine for pain relief that has received international recognition through the PAIN according to the website Acupuncture Today which reported on the study.

In the UK The National Institute of Health and Clinical excellence currently recommend doctors consider a course of ten acupuncture sessions in the management of patients with early non specific lower back pain. If you suffer with low back pain and are curious how acupuncture could help you, please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013 or email me on sean@seanheneghan.com

I’m a member of The British Acupuncture Council and am based full time at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic.

 

July 8, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Research

In many countries the use of complementary and alternative approaches to healthcare is increasing. Researchers recently distributed a questionnaire to all GP’s registered within the Liverpool Primary Care Trust to determine the referral patterns and attitudes towards the various complementary medical approaches among GP’s. This survey was a follow up to questionnaires collected in 1999.

The researchers reported that the most popular complementary therapies are still acupuncture, hypnotherapy and chiropractic, with the least popular being aromatherapy, medical herbalism and reflexology. GP’s felt most comfortable with acupuncture and expressed a greater desire for it to receive NHS funding than for other therapies.

In recent years acupuncture has received an increased level of endorsement from NICE – The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, which currently recommend the use of acupuncture in the short term management of lower back pain, tension headaches and migraines. NICE set the recommendations and treatment guidelines for doctors and medical professionals in the NHS regarding the treatment of patients.

The British Acupuncture Council is the main regulatory body for the UK’s 3000 traditional acupuncturists. All it’s members, of which I’m one have had an extensive training in Acupuncture to degree level involving a training that typically lasts 3-4 years.

I have had extensive experience and training in Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and hypnotherapy and provide traditional acupuncture and hypnotherapy at my clinical base in Berkhamsted.

If you’re suffering with a physical or emotional problem and you’re wondering what acupuncture or hypnotherapy could do for you, then please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013 or email me at sean@seanheneghan.com.

 

You can find details of the research into GP’s attitudes toward complementary approaches here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23574689

 

 

June 19, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

An interesting study in The Journal of Psychiatric Research has studied the impact of combining acupuncture therapy with a commonly used anti-depressant, paroxetine.

The trial was a 6 week randomized controlled trial with a 4-week follow-up and involved 160 patients with major depressive disorder. The trial participants were randomly assigned to receive either paroxetine alone, or paroxetine combined with 18 sessions of manual acupuncture or electrical acupuncture.

The researchers noted that the addition of manual acupuncture and electro acupuncture produced a significantly greater reduction from baseline in depression scores than the use of paroxetine alone, and that the clinical response was markedly greater in manual acupuncture (69.8%) and electro acupuncture (69.6%) groups than the group treated with paroxetine alone (41.7%). The proportion of patients who required an increase dose of the anti-depressant due to symptom aggravation was significantly lower with manual acupuncture (5.7%) and electro acupuncture (8.9%) than paroxetine alone (22.9%)

At 4 weeks follow-up after the end of their acupuncture treatment, patients with electro acupuncture, but not manual acupuncture, continued to show significantly greater clinical improvement. The incidence of adverse events was not different in the three groups.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture can accelerate the clinical response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and prevent the aggravation of depression, and that in addition electro acupuncture may have a long-lasting enhancement of the antidepressant effect.

 

You can read the full details of the trial here:

http://www.journalofpsychiatricresearch.com/article/S0022-3956(13)00052-6/abstract

 

 

June 13, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Research

In some recent research into acupuncture and IVF outcomes, a research team in Brazil set out to evaluate the effect of acupuncture and moxibustion as a supportive treatment in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) when embryo implantation had failed.

A prospective, randomised controlled clinical trial was conducted with 84 infertile patients who had had at least two unsuccessful attempts of IVF. The patients were randomised in three groups: a control group, a sham group, and an acupuncture group. Acupuncture was performed on the first and seventh day of ovulation induction, on the day before ovarian puncture and on the day after embryo transfer.

In the acupuncture group, patients were treated with moxibustion at nine acupuncture points on the back and stomach and had needling at 12 points. In the sham group, needles were inserted in eight areas that did not correspond to known acupuncture points.

The results of the trial demonstrated that the clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7% vs 7.1% vs 10.7%)

In this study, the researchers concluded that acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.

The study was reported in the March issue of The British Medical Journals’s publication ‘Acupuncture in Medicine’. You can find it here:

Acupuncture and IVF outcomes

 

 

 

June 5, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy

In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness week which ran this year from 13-19th May, Anxiety UK and The British Acupuncture Council have teamed up to conduct research into traditional acupuncture and anxiety.

As Anxiety UK note, 40% of disability worldwide is due to depression and anxiety and in a survey covering Great Britain, 1 in 6 adults had experienced some form of anxiety or depressive problem in the previous week, with more than 1 in 10 people are likely to have a ‘disabling anxiety disorder’ at some stage in their life.

Anxiety is therefore a very common problem, and yet many people endure its disabling effects and suffer in silence. There are however many avenues for help in dealing with the problem in addition to the options provided by your GP. The British Acupuncture Council have produced a fact sheet detailing research into acupuncture and anxiety which you can find here:

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/anxiety.html

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is also a powerful way not only of relaxing but also of addressing some of the deeper issues that can contribute to the occurrence of anxious feelings. Anxiety never occurs in a vacuum and is often related to the past we’ve come from and the future we imagine ourselves living into. Cognitive hypnotherapy can be a powerful yet gentle way of helping your mind uncover what your anxiety may be about, and empower you with the ways and means to create a much more positive kind of experience for yourself.

I provide both Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Acupuncture in Berkhamsted and Milton Keynes, if you have any questions as to how these approaches could help you, please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013.

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