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Home > Newsletters > October 2005 > Recent Research

Recent Research

Acupuncture May Help Eye Allergies

Stronger Needling Elicits Greater Blood Flow

Acupuncture and Hypnosis may be Beneficial for Pain During Labor


Acupuncture May Help Eye Allergies

Bielory L. and Heimall J. Review of complementary and alternative medicine in treatment of ocular allergies. Current opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 3(5):395-9

Ocular allergy is a common complaint of allergy sufferers, many of whom may choose to use complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of these symptoms. In this review, the researchers assess major complementary and alternative medicine modalities including herbal therapies, acupuncture, homeopathy, alternative immunotherapy and behavior modification for evidence of their effectiveness in the treatment of ocular allergy symptoms.

They found that certain herbs including Euphrasia officinalis, Petasites hybridus and Argemone mexicana have been evaluated in control studies in the treatment of ocular allergy. Honey is no more effective than placebo in the treatment of ocular allergy. Acupuncture used regularly has demonstrated some positive trends in ocular allergy sufferers. Homeopathy has shown conflicting results in the treatment of ocular allergy, while alternative forms of immunotherapy have been shown to develop immunologic tolerogenic effects in the control of the condition.

Several forms of complementary and alternative medicine have been studied for their effectiveness in treatment of ocular allergy symptoms. The researchers conclude that further research is needed to assess mechanisms of action and to establish practice guidelines for using these modalities.


Stronger Needling Elicits Greater Blood Flow

Sandberg, M. et al. Effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow in healthy subjects. European Journal of Applied Physiology, June 24.

In 14 healthy female subjects, the effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow were investigated using a non-invasive custom-designed probe and photoplethysmography (PPG). In randomized order, two to seven days apart, three modes of needle stimulation were performed on the anterior aspect of the tibia: superficial insertion (SF), insertion into the anterior tibial muscle (Mu), and insertion into the muscle including manipulation of the needle in order to elicit a distinct sensation of distension, heaviness or numbness (DeQi). Compared to the control situation, muscle blood flow increased following both Mu and DeQi for 20 min, with the latter being more pronounced for the initial 5 minutes. Skin blood flow increased for 5 min following DeQi. However, no increase was found following SF. The results indicate that the intensity of the needling is important, since the DeQi stimulation resulted in the most pronounced increase in both skin and muscle blood flow.


Acupuncture and Hypnosis may be Beneficial for Pain During Labor

Smith, C.A., et al. Complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour (Cochrane Review). Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online : Update Software) :CD003521.

Complementary pain management is very popular for women in labor who wish to avoid pharmacological or invasive methods. The authors reviewed existing evidence to study whether alternative medicine is actually effective in this setting. They based their criteria on whether the mothers were satisfied with their experience, whether additional pharmacological pain relief was used, and whether there were any complications involving the mother or child. A small body of literature indicated that mothers found acupuncture and hypnosis useful for moderating their pain. Aromatherapy, music and audio analgesia had no effects on the women.

This Month's Articles

October, 2005
Volume 3, Number 10

Getting Our Money's Worth?

Kick the Sugar Habit and Save Yourself from Diabetes with Chinese Medicine

Health Preservation & Rehabilitation after Childbirth

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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