Acupuncture Could Help Period Pain, Researchers Say

Researchers said there was “promising evidence” for acupuncture in treating cramps, but that more work was needed.

In the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, they noted two studies found little difference between real and sham acupuncture in treating pain.

Acupuncture is a less contentious form of complementary medicine than some, but its value is still disputed.

Period pain can be severe in some women and may be accompanied by nausea, diarrhoea, migraine and backache. Common treatments include pain killers, applying heat and exercise – although a recent study questioned the efficacy of the latter.

This latest review involved 27 studies – which included nearly 3,000 women. They addressed a variety of forms of acupuncture – from classical to acupoint injection.

Traditional acupuncturists insert needles in acupuncture points located along what they describe as “energy meridians” – a concept for which many scientists say there is no evidence. Sham acupuncture places needles away from these points.

It is not clear whether either form alleviates pain as a result of the placebo effect – the very ritual of undergoing acupuncture – or cause subtle changes in the nervous system and brain activity which can be beneficial.

Nice backs needles

The analysis by the team from Kyung Hee Medical Centre found that patients with severe period pain reported a greater reduction in their symptoms when using acupuncture compared with pharmacological treatments.

But they stressed there were methodological flaws in some studies, and that the findings did need to be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, there was “promising evidence”, they wrote.

In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has backed the use of acupuncture in the treatment of low back pain – a move welcomed by some but criticised by those who say there is little evidence for its efficacy.

The editor-in-chief of the BJOG, Professor Philip Steer, noted that some women had period pain, also known as primary dysmenorrhoea, so badly they were “unable to function normally”.

“Women with primary dysmenorrhoea should consult their GPs or gynaecologists on the best treatment available to them. Complementary therapies should not be used exclusively, at the expense of conventional treatment, unless significant improvements have been made and your doctor tells you otherwise.”

Commentary: Despite the growing evidence the press and medical researchers will never give credit where credit is due. Statements such as, “Complementary therapies should not be used exclusively, at the expense of conventional treatment, unless significant improvements have been made and your doctor tells you otherwise,” show the continued arrogance of the medical community against of safe, effective natural therapies and the intention to have patients not be a participant in their own care. “At the expense of conventional therapies?”  What exactly are those conventional therapies? Muscle relaxants, hormones, NSAIDS. The choice is yours to make…..Dr. D.

Contact our award winning practice today for more information on our nutritional and natural medicine approach to health!

Call for more information: 954-473-8925

Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM
Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie,  FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:
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http://www.multicareclinic.org/
http://www.naturalclinics.net/

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8518745.stm

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Study Maps Effects of Acupuncture on The Brain

ScienceDaily (2010-02-05) — New research about the effects of acupuncture on the brain may provide an understanding of the complex mechanisms of acupuncture and could lead to a wider acceptability of the treatment.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204101736.htm.

Contact our award winning practice today for more information on our nutritional and natural medicine approach to health!

Call for more information: 954-473-8925

Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie,  FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:

http://www.drscottdenny.com

http://www.multicareclinic.org

http://www.naturalclinics.net 

 

Health care reform bill dooms America to Pharma-dominated sickness and suffering

Health care reform bill dooms America to Pharma-dominated sickness and suffering. 

Here we go folks. You better tighten your seat belts because things are about to get a little weird. The passage of this bill still does not address the fact that the United States is ranked very, very low on many healthcare  fronts. This bill addresses none of it from where I sit.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy.

Need I say more?

Call for more information: 954-473-8925
Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie, FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:
http://www.drscottdenny.com
http://www.multicareclinic.org
http://www.naturalclinics.org

1. http://healthcarereform.nejm.org/?p=2610
2. Doe J. WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS). Geneva: World Health Organization, September 2009

Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) — Women who experience depression during pregnancy may have another treatment option, new research suggests.
The study found that women treated with depression-specific acupuncture had a 63 percent response rate compared to a 44 percent response rate in women treated with control acupuncture or massage.

“We tested acupuncture as a standalone treatment, and the results are very positive,” said study author Rachel Manber, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine Sleep Medicine Center in Redwood City, Calif. But, she added, because this is the first study of its kind, and the acupuncture protocol used was specifically designed for this study, “you always need replication of the findings.”

Dr. Shari Lusskin, director of reproductive psychiatry at the New York University Langone Medical Center, echoed that sentiment. “It’s encouraging to see alternative treatments being studied in a scientific manner, and this study should generate further studies. It needs to be replicated on a larger scale,” she noted.

“This is one treatment, and perhaps it will become another possible treatment tool in our therapeutic toolbox,” said Lusskin. But, she cautioned that “acupuncture is not a substitute for the appropriate use of antidepressant therapy especially in women with a prior history of response to antidepressants.”

As many as 20 percent of women may experience depression during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. Symptoms include sad, hopeless feelings that persist, generally for more than two weeks, Lusskin said. Women may also experience severe anxiety or feel disconnected from the baby. And, she cautioned, suicidal thoughts are never normal and are a sign that you should seek help.

Many women are cautious about using medications during pregnancy, reports the study. Interpersonal psychotherapy is an option for women who are depressed during pregnancy, but this type of therapy isn’t always available, according to the study.
For the study, Manber and her colleagues recruited 150 pregnant women who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. All were between 12 and 30 weeks of gestation.

The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups: depression-specific acupuncture (52 women), control acupuncture (49 women) or massage (49 women). The depression-specific protocol was designed just for this study, and the control acupuncture was specifically designed to avoid using acupuncture needles in any areas known to affect depression.

The treatments lasted for eight weeks. Women received treatment twice a week for the first four weeks, and then once a week for the next four weeks. The treatments lasted an average of 25 minutes.
The researchers found a 63 percent response rate in women who received the depression-specific acupuncture, while the response rate was 44.3 percent in the control acupuncture and massage groups. A response rate was defined as a 50 percent reduction in depression symptoms, Manber said. Results of the study are scheduled to be published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We found our acupuncture protocol was helpful, but that does not mean that any acupuncture for depression treatment will be effective. The quality of what you get can differ from one practitioner to another,” said Manber.

“Our goal is always to find treatments that have the maximum benefits and minimum risk,” said Lusskin. “Many women think it’s safer for the baby to go off antidepressants, but there’s a real risk to the baby for untreated depression in pregnancy. And, we have enough safety data about antidepressant use in pregnancy that we can make informed choices about managing treatment during pregnancy.”

The bottom line, she said, is to talk with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments that can help you. “Depression is not a one-size-fits-all illness, and treatment won’t be one-size-fits-all either. If acupuncture ends up being helpful for you, that’s great, but make sure you’re treated into remission.”

To learn more about depression during and after pregnancy, visit the National Women’s Health Information Center.

Commentary: It is always fascinating to me that using little tiny stainless steel filaments (acupuncture needles) inserted shallowly and painlessly into the skin can have such a profound effect on the body and the mind. Although we may not entirely understand the mechanism of action it does appear that acupuncture is causing a modulation of neurochemicals in the brain and spinal cord. From an oriental medical perspective we are balancing energy or “Qi.”

I am amused at the comment that “acupuncture is not a substitute for the appropriate use of antidepressant therapy especially in women with a prior history of response to antidepressants.” Ah yes, give them more pills, and they are pregnant!

I have a practice full of patients on antidepressants who are miserable, bloated, fatigued, and more depressed because of how they feel from the medication(s).  In a recent commerical for one of these wonderful antidepressant products they bolster the “need” for the additional antidepressants by stating that it is a fact that 2/3 of patients do not have relief from taking a single antidepressant medication. TWO-THIRDS!!! In simple terms the majority of patients are not improved. This is not my claim, it is the claim of the pharmaceutical company who wants to sell their little wonder pill. I’m getting depressed just typing this stuff!

If you are looking for simple solutions for complex problems, please give me call….

Dr. D

Call for more information: 954-473-8925
Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie, FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:
http://www.drscottdenny.com
http://www.multicareclinic.org
http://www.naturalclinics.org

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

HOUSTON – Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, primarily found in fish and seafood, may have a role in colorectal cancer prevention, according to results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Dec. 6-9, 2009, in Houston.

“Experimental data have shown benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in colorectal carcinogenesis, ranging from reduced tumor growth, suppression of angiogenesis and inhibition of metastasis,” said Sangmi Kim, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, N.C. “Our finding of inverse association between dietary intakes of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and distal large bowel cancer in white participants adds additional support to the hypothesis.”

Although experimental and clinical data suggest that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids possess anti-neoplastic properties in the colon, epidemiologic data to date has been inconclusive.

Kim and colleagues studied the link between polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and distal large bowel cancer using data from a population-based control study. They recruited 1,509 white participants (716 cancer cases and 787 controls) and 369 black participants (213 cancer cases and 156 controls) using the State Cancer Registry and Division of Motor Vehicles records.

Nineteen polyunsaturated fatty acids were assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire, which included 124 questions on food items. The researchers used the questionnaire to collect information on the frequency and amount of foods typically consumed in the past 12 months.

Patients who consumed more long-chain omega-3 fatty acids had a reduced risk of distal large bowel cancer. Compared to the lowest quartile, fat intake in the highest quartile was linked with a 39 percent reduced risk of cancer.

The researchers detected these associations in white participants, but not in black participants.

“We were surprised that the association was not also observed among blacks,” Kim said. “We considered several possible explanations but were not able to account for this difference with the data we had. This finding warrants future study, but we should be careful about drawing conclusions about potential racial differences in the benefit from long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from this study.”

“An increase in dietary intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which mainly come from fish and seafood, may be beneficial in the prevention of distal large bowel cancer,” Kim said.

Commentary: And the list of health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids continues to grow. I have been asked which product I use by several patients. I use Opti-EPA from Douglas Labs. They are enterically coated so they won’t give you indigestion. This product and others are available through my virtual dispensary. Please click here and use the access code “HEAL,” set-up an account and go shopping!

Contact our award winning practice today!

Call for more information: 954-473-8925

Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie,  FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:

www.drscottdenny.com
www.multicareclinic.org
www.naturalclinics.net

Source: AACR Press Release, http://www.aacr.org/home/public–media/aacr-press-releases.aspx?d=1683

New approach to fighting Alzheimer’s shows potential in clinical trial

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, patients typically suffer a major loss of the brain connections necessary for memory and information processing. Now, a combination of nutrients that was developed at MIT has shown the potential to improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients by stimulating growth of new brain connections.

In a clinical trial of 225 Alzheimer’s patients, researchers found that a cocktail of three naturally occurring nutrients believed to promote growth of those connections, known as synapses, plus other ingredients (B vitamins, phosopholipids and antioxidants), improved verbal memory in patients with mild Alzheimer’s.

“If you can increase the number of synapses by enhancing their production, you might to some extent avoid that loss of cognitive ability,” says Richard Wurtman, the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, who did the basic research that led to the new experimental treatment. He is an author of a paper describing the new results in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, though some medications can slow the progression of the disease. In particular, many U.S. patients take cholinesterase inhibitors, which increase levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter important for learning and memory.

While those treatments target the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Wurtman hopes to attack what he believes is the root cause of the disease: loss of synapses. The three nutrients in his dietary cocktail — uridine, choline and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (all normally present in breast milk) — are precursors to the fatty molecules that make up brain cell membranes, which form synapses.

In animal studies, Wurtman has shown that these nutrients boost the number of dendritic spines (small outcroppings of neural membranes). When those spines contact another neuron, a synapse is formed.

Three additional clinical studies in Alzheimer’s patients are now underway, one in the United States and two in Europe. Results are expected to be available between 2011 and 2013.

The first clinical study was sponsored by the French company Danone, known in the United States as Dannon; the study was conducted primarily in Europe and was led by Philip Scheltens, director of the Alzheimer Center at Vrije Universiteit Medical Center in Amsterdam. Wurtman and MIT have patented the mixture of nutrients used in the study, and Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition, a unit of Danone, holds the exclusive license on the patent.

Patients with mild Alzheimer’s drank the cocktail (made in the form of a nutrient drink called Souvenaid, with the collaboration of Danone) or a control beverage daily for 12 weeks. Patients who received the nutrients showed a statistically significant level of improvement compared to control subjects: 40 percent of the treated patients improved performance in a test of verbal memory (memory for words, as opposed to memory of locations or experiences) known as the Wechsler Memory Scale, while 24 percent of patients who received the control drink improved their performance. Among those who received the cocktail, patients with the mildest cases of Alzheimer’s showed the most improvement.

The drink appeared to have no effect on patients’ performance in another commonly used evaluation for Alzheimer’s patients, the ADAS-cog test. Wurtman believes that is because ADAS-cog is a more general assessment that tests for orientation and movement/spatial memory as well as cognition. So in subjects with early Alzheimer’s who show principally cognitive changes, more than the 225 subjects in the first study will probably be required to yield significant ADAS-cog changes after Souvenaid.  The 500 subjects in the ongoing study in the United States may be sufficient.

John Growdon, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that trying to regrow synapses is an innovative strategy and offers a complementary approach to two other lines of attack in treating Alzheimer’s: targeting the amyloid plaques that accumulate in patients’ brains, and minimizing the damage done by toxic metabolites that build up in Alzheimer’s-affected brains.

“I don’t think any one approach has a monopoly, and that’s good,” Growdon says. “You need to have a lot of different approaches because no one knows what’s going to work.”

Wurtman believes his approach to Alzheimer’s may eventually prove beneficial in treating other diseases. If these nutrients prove to be successful in Alzheimer’s patients, “then you can think about other diseases in which there are too few synapses,” such as Parkinson’s disease, he says. “There are a lot of diseases associated with synapse deficiency.”

Source: MIT http://web.mit.edu/press/2010/fighting-alzheimers.html

Contact our award winning practice today for more information on our nutritional and natural medicine approach to health!

Call for more information: 954-473-8925

Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM, FAAIM

Integrative Hospital Associates
2215 S. University Dr.
Davie,  FL 33324

Integrative Hospital Associates
4711-A N. Dixie Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Websites:

http://www.drscottdenny.com

http://www.multicareclinic.org

http://www.naturalclinics.net 

Acupuncture Found Effective for Back Pain- Study Finds it Superior to Usual Care

From Acupuncture Today, July, 2009, Vol. 10, Issue 07

There seems to be no question that Americans spend a great deal of money dealing with back pain. According to research, we spend at least $37 billion annually on medical care for back pain.1,2 Furthermore, the economy suffers another $19.8 billion in lost worker productivity due to back pain.3

In response to this, there has been extensive research on the use of acupuncture for treating back pain. A 2008 literature review concluded that there was “strong evidence” for the use of acupuncture as an adjunct to conventional therapy for lower back pain.4

Now, a new study published in the May 11, 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine has added even further to the literature on the value of acupuncture in treating back pain.5

Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, and colleagues examined a group of 638 patients suffering from back pain to determine not only if acupuncture is superior to usual care for treating back pain, but to see if needle insertion at individualized points is the mechanism of action by which acupuncture works best. A total of 10 acupuncture treatments was provided over the course of eight weeks.

Study Design: The researchers started by dividing the patients into four groups:

Individualized acupuncture: This treatment was prescribed by the diagnostician at the beginning of each visit. There were no constraints on number of needles, depth of insertion or needle manipulation. Needles were retained for 18 minutes. Seventy-four distinct points were used.

Standardized acupuncture: This protocol used a standardized acupuncture prescription considered effective for chronic low back pain, including Du 3, Bladder 23 on either side, low back Ashi point, Bladder 40 on ether side and Kidney 3 on either side. All points were needled for 20 minutes, with needle stimulation at 10 minutes and again just prior to removal.

Simulated acupuncture: This technique used a toothpick in a needle guide tube. All acupuncture points were stimulated with toothpicks at 10 minutes and again at 20 minutes, just before they were “removed.” The acupuncturists simulated insertion and removal of needles at the eight acupuncture points used in the standardized treatment.

Usual care: Participants in this group only received the care, if any, they and their physicians chose. This was mainly mostly medications, and primary care, and physical therapy visits. All participants received a self-care book with information on managing flare-ups, exercises and lifestyle modifications.

Results:

At 8-week follow up, all groups of patients showed improvement. However, the “usual care” group only improved by 2.1 points (scored on a disability questionnaire), as opposed to the individualized, standardized and simulated acupuncture groups, which improved by 4.4, 4.5 and 4.4 points, respectively. The greater improvement for the acupuncture groups over usual care continued all the way to 52 weeks, at the end of the study. Of those patients receiving real acupuncture, only 11 reported any side effects.

Interestingly, at the end of the study, there was little difference between the four acupuncture treatment groups in terms of effectiveness. The researchers speculated that this may mean that acupuncture’s actual mechanism of action may not be clear and that further research is warranted.

Nevertheless, they concluded, “Compared with usual care, individualized acupuncture, standardized acupuncture and simulated acupuncture had beneficial and persisting effects on chronic back pain. These treatments resulted in clinically meaningful improvements in function. … For clinicians and patients seeking a relatively safe and effective treatment for a condition for which conventional treatments are often ineffective, various methods of acupuncture point stimulation appear to be reasonable options, even though the mechanism of action remains unclear.

According to Josephine P. Briggs, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “The findings of this research show that acupuncture-like treatments, including simulated acupuncture, can elicit positive responses. This adds to the growing body of evidence that there is something meaningful taking place during acupuncture treatments outside of actual needling. Future research is needed to delve deeper into what is evoking these responses.”

Commentary from Dr. Denny: This interesting study compares usual or standard medical care with individualized acupuncture care, standard acupuncture care and simulated acupuncture care. All three types of acupuncture care produced better results than usual medical care. What makes this a fascinating study is the apparent benefit from the simulated acupuncture care. It is described as stimulating the acupuncture points with toothpicks on the skin. For those of you reading who are not familiar with acupuncture, there are many acupuncture techniques. There are also acupuncture techniques which do not involve puncturing the skin, which have been reported in Japanese acupuncture for generations. In fact, the Japanese have developed many devices to accomplish non-needle techniques such as Tei-shin, Yuko-shin and others. Many of these devices are used for the needle-phobic patient as well as in pediatric acupuncture. In addition there is an entire system of Japanese acupuncture where needles are not inserted or only superficially inserted on or over acupuncture points. This is called Toyohari.

In summary, acupuncture has many styles. Simply because needles are not inserted, does not make the treatment a “simulation.” Once again we see how difficult it is to “blind” treatments which actually involve patient participation. This method makes sense when you give someone a placebo sugar pill, but is very difficult to assess the effectiveness of hands-on type of treatments.

For more information on Chinese medicine including the different styles of acupuncture please click on this link to receive my free ebook “How to Thrive in a Modern World.” 

If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practices please visit http://www.drscottdenny.com or http://www.multicareclinic.org. Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.

References:

1. Luo X, Pietrobon R, Sun SX, et al. Estimates and patterns of direct health care expenditures among individuals with back pain in the United States. Spine. 2004 Jan 1;29(1):79-86.

2. Martin BI, Deyo RA, Mirza SK, et al. Expenditures and health status among adults with back and neck problems. JAMA. 2008 Feb 13;299(6):656-64.

3. Stewart WF, Ricci JA, Chee E, et al. Lost productive time and cost due to common pain conditions in the US workforce. JAMA. 2003 Nov 12;290(18):2443-54.

4. Yuan J, Purepong N, Kerr DP, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture for low back pain: a systematic review. Spine. 2008 Nov 1;33(23):E887-900.

5. Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Avins AL, et al. A randomized trial comparing acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and usual care for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009 May 11;169(9):858-66.