Treating Chronic Mechanical Neck
Pain with Acupuncture vs. Placebo
White P., et al. Complementary Medicine Research Unit, Mail
Primary Medical Care, University of Southampton, Aldermoor Health Centre,
Southampton, United Kingdom.
In order to compare acupuncture and placebo for neck pain, a randomized,
single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study was conducted with 135
patients 18 to 80 years of age who had chronic mechanical neck pain. A total of
124 patients completed the study. The patients were randomly assigned to
receive, over 4 weeks, 8 treatments with acupuncture or with mock transcutaneous
electrical stimulation of acupuncture points using a decommissioned
electro-acupuncture stimulation unit. Both groups improved statistically from
baseline, and acupuncture and placebo had similar credibility. In conclusion,
acupuncture did reduce neck pain and it produced a statistically, but not
clinically, significant effect compared with placebo. The beneficial effects of
acupuncture for pain may be due to both nonspecific and specific effects.
Acupuncture as an Adjunctive Therapy
in Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Berman BM, et al.
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21207, USA.
and controlled study was performed in order to determine whether acupuncture
provides greater pain relief and improved function compared with sham
acupuncture or education in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. For the
570 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, 23 real acupuncture sessions were
given over 26 weeks and 23 sham acupuncture sessions were given over 26 weeks.
The primary outcomes were changes in the Western Ontario and McMaster
Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain and function scores at 8 and 26
weeks. The secondary outcomes were patient global assessment, 6-minute walk
distance, and physical health scores of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey
The patients in the real acupuncture group experienced greater
improvement in the WOMAC function scores than the sham acupuncture group at 8
weeks but not in the WOMAC pain score or the patient global assessment. At 26
weeks, the real acupuncture group experienced significantly greater improvement
than the sham group in the WOMAC function score, the WOMAC pain score, and
patient global assessment. In conclusion, acupuncture seems to provide
improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for
osteoarthritis of the knee when compared with credible sham acupuncture and
education control groups.
Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Long Dan Xie Gan Tang for the Treatment Chronic
Jin Y. Hospital of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine
Affiliated to Zhejiang College of TCM, Hangzhou 31000, China.
was conducted in order to observe the therapeutic effect of acupuncture and
moxibustion on chronic pelvic inflammation. Thirty-six cases of chronic pelvic
inflammation were treated with acupuncture, medicinal cake moxibustion and the
formula Long Dan Xie Gan Tang. This treatment provided a cure in 9 cases,
obvious effect in 16 cases, effect in 7 cases and no effect in 4 cases.
Therefore, acupuncture, moxibustion and Long Dan Xie Gan Tang used together can
enhance the therapeutic effects on chronic pelvic inflammation.
Fatigue Syndrome and Cupping
Yang, Huang and Qian, Yu. Si Chuan Zhong Yi (sichuan Chinese
Medicine), #6, 2001, pgs. 70-71. Abstracted and translated by Bob Flaws, Dipl.
Ac. & C.H., FNAAOM, FRCHM
In a recent study, cupping was performed on 30 patients suffering with Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome. Nine patients were male and 21 were female, and the age range
was 28-54. All of the patients complained of fatigue, while most mentioned
problems with headache, insomnia, muscle-joint, neck, shoulder, upper back
aching and pain, poor intake and poor memory. There were also reports of some
head distention, dizziness, blurred vision, spontaneous sweating,
gastrointestinal disturbances, five-center heat, bitter taste in the mouth, etc.
Twice a week, the patients received sliding cupping treatments
along the Back-Shu points with Hong Hua You (Carthamus oil) first applied to
their backs. This was done for a total of 12 treatments. After the final
treatment, there was no marked improvement with head distention, five-center
heat or bitter taste in the mouth. However, there was vast improvement in
fatigue levels, insomnia, poor memory, spontaneous sweating, sore throat,
profuse dreams, poor intake, abdominal distention, diarrhea, and alternating
constipation and diarrhea.
The Pharmacological Basis of the
'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' Actions of Cordyceps
Siu KM, et al. Department of Biochemistry, The Hong Kong
University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong SAR, China.
popular 'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' Chinese herb, Cordyceps
sinensis (Berk) Sacc., was examined in a study in order to establish the
pharmacological basis for its actions. The effects of wild and cultured
Cordyceps on concanavalin A (Con A)-stimulated splenocytes, an in vitro bioassay
for 'Yin-nourishment', and myocardial ATP generation capacity, an ex vivo
bioassay for 'Yang-invigoration', were investigated in mice. The outcome showed
that methanolic extracts of wild and cultured Cordyceps increased both the Con
A-stimulated splenocyte proliferation in vitro and myocardial mitochondrial ATP
generation ex vivo in mice, with no considerable difference in the strength of
action between the wild or cultured types of Cordyceps. While the
immuno-potentiating effect was associated with the increase in interleukin II
production, the stimulation of myocardial ATP generation was paralleled by an
enhancement in mitochondrial electron transport. In comparison with other 'Yin'
and 'Yang' tonifying Chinese herbs, Cordyceps was found to possess both
'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' activities, with a lower potency in
both types of action.