Acupuncture and Acupressure

By pjain      Published Dec. 14, 2019, 9:17 p.m. in blog Startups   

Acupuncture and Acupressure Theory

Chinese Medicine Overview



I was surprised to feel a little twinge or tingle in some places where a needle was placed. The first time I got acupuncture, the practitioner actually hooked the needles up to a little machine that purposely stimulated them—and, by association, certain trigger points. Electro Stimulation Ellen: Hey, I'm going to ask about that little machine! Like Camille, I thought the process would be painless. The insertion of needles doesn't usually hurt—but on occasion, I've felt it go in. And at times, when I've felt a serious ache in muscles, the practitioner has adjusted the needle so it doesn't hurt.

Chinese Acupuncture Theory

Acupuncture seeks to release the flow of the body's vital energy or "chi" by stimulating points along 14 energy pathways. Scientists say the needles cause the body to release endorphins -- natural painkillers -- and may boost blood flow and change brain activity. Skeptics say acupuncture works only because people believe it will, an effect called the placebo effect. Meridians

Apps, Analysis, Software



Clinical Evidence & TRs

Studies Overview

A recent NCCAM-funded study, for example, reported that acupuncture outperformed conventional medicine in relieving chronic back pain, but the same study also found that simulated acupuncture was just as effective as the real thing.

Acupuncture Impact Mechanisms

But still, no one fully understands how acupuncture works. Does it boost your body's painkilling ability? Does it affect your blood flow? Can it help your body manage depression to promote further healing? Scientists continue to study -- and debate -- the issues. But it took decades to figure how out aspirin works. Yet, aspirin became accepted as more than an over-the-counter painkiller. "It took years and years for us to figure out the exact molecular mechanisms, but we were [still] giving aspirin," Danesh says. 'You have a headache? Take aspirin.' 'You have back pain? Take aspirin.' You have heart problems? ...' We accepted that aspirin was used.

Placebo Effect are Major Role

Needles are EXTREME - Those who do already BELIEVE!

Could Enhance Pain killing Ability

Combats Depression

Enhance Blood flow

Women's Health

One study suggests acupuncture can help some women get pregnant by (a) Alleviating anxiety and stress felt by those having fertility treatment, (b) Promoting blood flow to the uterus "Logic tells me more blood flow, more access to eggs," says Magarelli, who founded Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Centers in Colorado and New Mexico. "More eggs, more embryos, more choice, better chance for a baby." One study suggests acupuncture can help some women

Work by activating Body’s self-healing

There's nothing magical about acupuncture," Hui says. "Many of these [alternative] techniques, including acupuncture, they all work by activating the body's own self-healing [mechanism].

Acupuncture and Acupressure Uses

May Work Best for Pain Management

The relief can be immediate…or not. the practitioner did tell me that I may need a bunch of sessions to see progress, and I decided to stick with the physical therapy I'd already been doing. But just one appointment was enough to loosen a knot in my shoulder and increase my range of motion. On my first session, he put a couple of needles in my ears for stress relief, even though that wasn't the reason I was there. Within a few minutes, I genuinely felt like I'd been lulled into a pleasant stupor. That treatment did nothing for my shoulder pain. The next time around, though, he inserted needles in other areas and my ache subsided. I actually said the words "Wow, this works!" And it was the same for the next session. So, I'm an acupuncture convert. It's not a cure-all but for me, it is a pain reliever.

2012 a study found acupuncture was better than no acupuncture or simulated acupuncture for the treatment of four chronic pain conditions:

Acupoint: Pain General, Palliative

People have tried acupuncture for neck pain, muscle pain, tennis elbow, and menstrual cramps, hoping to avoid medications and their side effects. The World Health Organization lists 28 different conditions that are sometimes treated with acupuncture. In the U.S., a review by the National Institutes of Health called for robust research to verify the promise that acupuncture holds for many different conditions.

A Boost for Pain Medicine

Acupuncture may provide added pain relief when it's used along with pain medicine or another therapy, such as massage. Acupuncture can reduce the need for drugs and improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain.

Acupoint: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture was tested and compared with steroid pills for the hand and arm pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers in Taiwan gave one group eight acupuncture treatments, over about a month, and those patients reported more relief, for a longer time, than the group taking medicine. While studies like this have been promising, more evidence is still needed to confirm that acupuncture is effective for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Back and neck pain


Your doctor may call it “degenerative joint disease” or “wear and tear arthritis)

Chronic headache

Shoulder pain

May Work Better for Pain Management than Opioids The National Institutes of Health calls the study "the most rigorous evidence to date that acupuncture may be helpful for chronic pain.” Now, doctors are eager to find a drug-free approach to pain treatment in light of the dangers of opioids -- the class of powerful pain medications that includes codeine, morphine, OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. In March, the CDC called deaths from opioid overdoses "an epidemic."

Acupoint: Dental Pain

Acupuncture provides relief from the pain of tooth extraction or dental surgery, but so does fake acupuncture, some studies show. Still, dental pain is considered by many to be one of the conditions that responds to acupuncture. Acupuncture and Autoimmune Disease Thyroid

Acupoint: Fibromyalgia

Studies that test how well acupuncture works against the pain of fibromyalgia have had mixed results. Some showed that it provided temporary pain relief, but others did not. A small study by the Mayo Clinic suggested that acupuncture may reduce two other problems of fibromyalgia: fatigue and anxiety. But overall, there's not enough evidence yet to prove that acupuncture works for fibromyalgia.

Acupoint: Arthritis and Body Pains

Acupoint: Headaches

Acupuncture may help relieve migraines or tension headaches. Two large studies found that people receiving acupuncture had fewer days with tension headaches than those receiving conventional care.

Arthritis Pain

Acupuncture can be a helpful addition to conventional treatment for osteoarthritis, says the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. And some of the most promising, early research has shown acupuncture eased arthritis pain in the knee. However, more research is needed to prove without a doubt that it's effective for osteoarthritis.

Acupoint: Low-Back Pain

If standard treatments don't relieve your chronic low-back pain, acupuncture may do the job, and two respected medical groups suggest that people in this situation give it a try. One large study found that both actual and "fake" acupuncture worked better than conventional treatments for back pain that had lasted more than three months. The jury's still out on acupuncture for short-term (acute) pain in the low back.

Boost General Well Being and a la Massage

Acupoint: Nausea

Acupuncture at the pericardium (P6) acupuncture point on the wrist can reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, even after cancer drug treatments or surgery. Studies compared 10 different acupuncture methods -- including needles, electrical stimulation, and acupressure -- to drugs that block nausea or vomiting and found the acupuncture treatments worked.

Palliatives for Others - Inflammation, Cancer

Acupuncture and Cancer Care

Because acupuncture can lessen pain, nausea, and vomiting, it is sometimes used to help people cope with symptoms of cancer or chemotherapy. It also can help manage hot flashes associated with breast cancer. Be sure to talk to your doctor first and seek a practitioner who has experience working with cancer patients.

Acupuncture and Fertility

Celebrities such as singers Celine Dion and Mariah Carey credited acupuncture -- used along with infertility treatments -- with helping them get pregnant. A review of medical studies backs up this view, suggesting that acupuncture may boost the effectiveness of fertility treatments. One theory holds that acupuncture helps by reducing stress and increasing blood flow to the ovaries.

Acupuncture to Quit Smoking?

Acupuncture has been used for a variety of other conditions, including smoking cessation, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and allergies. The evidence is mixed at best for some uses of acupuncture. For example, acupuncture needles placed in the outer ear to help people stop smoking do not work, studies found.

Programs, Practice

History in China

History in USA

1971 - NYTimes story on chinese medine - caught on. The New York Times. The piece was written by a reporter who had visited China and wrote about how doctors healed his

1996 - FDA approved as Class IIb medical device

Major Clinics Using Acupuncture

Centers of East-West/Integrative Medicine

James Gordon, MD, founder of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression. When he began studying acupuncture 40 years ago, "acupuncture was considered at best a superstition," Gordon recalls. "Now, it's increasingly being accepted as part of mainstream medicine.

Cleveland Clinic

Tara McElroy, MD, is sticking more needles in her patients than ever before. Three years ago, the Cleveland Clinic OB/GYN completed a physician's course in acupuncture. With it, she says, she has had increased success in treating problems that often resist Western medicine, such as female sexual dysfunction and compulsive overeating. "Physicians feel helpless in these areas," McElroy says. "I needed something more for my patients." At the clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine. There, acupuncture, which uses needles to stimulate specific parts of the body, is increasingly popular for problems like chronic pain, allergies, and asthma. Five thousand patients underwent acupuncture at the facility in 2009, up from 3,600 in 2007.



In our clinic, we have been in existence for like 22 years - says Ka-Kit Hui, MD, founder and director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. "We have a 4- or 5-month wait for new patients.


Paul Magarelli, MD, a clinical professor at California's Yo San University. "We are not animals who are dependent on drugs.

University Programs


Georgetown's master's of science degree in complementary and alternative medicine. "The demand is out there," says Hakima Amri, PhD, assistant professor of physiology and biochemistry at Georgetown University and directorr. But "there is an overall lack of an educational platform for physicians and future physicians," she says.

Managing Practical Aspects, Risks

Do’s and Don’ts, Dangers of Acupuncture

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin, and most people feel no pain or very little pain when they are inserted. They often say they feel energized or relaxed after the treatment. However, the needles can cause temporary soreness.

Dangers of Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be dangerous if you take certain medications, have a pacemaker, are at risk of infection, have chronic skin problems, or are pregnant. Acupuncture can be dangerous if

Acupuncture Risks

Although acupuncture is generally safe and serious problems are rare, there are some risks. Needles that are not sterile can cause infection. Make sure that your practitioner uses sterile needles that are thrown away after one use. In some acupuncture points, needles inserted too deeply can puncture the lungs or gallbladder or cause problems with your blood vessels. That is why it is important to use a practitioner who is well-trained in acupuncture.

Who Shouldn't Use Acupuncture

People with bleeding disorders or who take blood thinners may have increased risk of bleeding. Electrical stimulation of the needles can cause problems for people with pacemakers or other electrical devices. Pregnant women should talk with their health care provider before having acupuncture. It's important not to skip conventional medical care or rely on acupuncture alone to treat diseases or severe pain.

Acupuncture and Children

Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe for children, as long as you are using a licensed practitioner who follows recommended standards of practice. It is primarily used to control pain or nausea and vomiting after surgery or cancer drug treatment. Scientific evidence does not support the use of acupuncture to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Expertise & Choosing a Practitioner

It is important to receive treatment from someone who has met standards for education and training in acupuncture. States vary in their licensing requirements. There are national organizations that maintain standards, such as the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (a physician group) or the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Before You Try Acupuncture

"I use acupuncture on nearly every patient I see," says Gordon, who treats his arthritic knees with needles every day. Gordon offers these tips for people interested in pursuing acupuncture treatment.

Pursue the big picture. Acupuncture, says Gordon, is only one part of traditional Chinese medicine, which also stresses the importance of herbal medicine, nutrition, massage, and other practices. He often includes these other approaches in his patients' care.

Do your research. There are as many as 20,000 licensed acupuncturists at work in the United States. Practitioners in most states must pass an exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Find an acupuncturist who is well-credentialed, Gordon advises. The right person should also be able to put you at ease, answer your questions, and make you feel you are progressing in your treatment.

Acupressure and Variations

Acupuncture Variations

Several other therapies use a different way of stimulating the acupuncture points. Moxibustion involves the burning of moxa, a bundle of dried mugwort and wormwood leaves, which can then be used to heat the acupuncture needles or warm the skin. Electroacupuncture adds electrical stimulation to the needles. Another recent variation uses laser needles that are placed on (but not in) the skin.

If you are afraid of needles, you may be able to get much of the same effect from acupressure. Acupressure involves pressing or massaging the acupuncture points to stimulate energy pathways. Scientific comparisons of acupressure and acupuncture are limited, but acupressure has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea and lessening labor pain.


There are no comments yet

Add new comment

Similar posts

Medical Devices, hIOT and Sensors

Health Systems Disruption - Insurance, Price-Shopping, Pharmacy, health Alternate EC

Health Big Data, Analytics and AI

Health R&D and AI