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Home > Newsletters > January 2005 >

Recent Research


Food Allergies and Chinese Medicine

Electro-Stim Acupuncture and Fu Needling for Tennis Elbow

  Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain
  Acupuncture for Depression During Pregnancy

Food Allergies and Chinese Medicine

Twenty patients participated in this study. There were twelve men and eight women ranging in ages between 6-67 years old. They have all complained of food allergy gastritis after eating certain foods. The main symptoms were abdominal pain and distention, indigestion and diarrhea. A few had nausea and vomiting and some had complained of hives after eating the allergenic food. There were reports of asthma and joint pain. Some of the offending foods were shellfish, cow’s milk, walnuts, lamb and pork.

A daily formula was decocted and administered to each patient that consisted of Huang Qi, Bai Jiang Cao, Ma Chi Xian, Di Ku Dan, stir-fried Shan Zha, Bai Zhu, Fu Ling, Huang Qin, Hou Po, Huang Lian and Huo Xiang with some modifications for particular presenting symptoms.

According to the study, a cure was defined as a complete disappearance of symptoms, a negative skin patch test, a lowering of IgE levels to normal, and the ability to eat the offending foods without presenting symptoms for up to one year. Fourteen out of twenty were considered cured. Five patients improved and one patient did not improve. Improvement was defined as the disappearance of symptoms, lowering of IgE levels to normal, a positive skin patch test and some allergic symptoms after eating allergenic foods. Overall, there was a 95% effective rate.

Zhang Xin-Cheng, et al. Xin Zhong Yi (New Chinese Medicine). #9 pp.59-60. 2002

Electro-Stim Acupuncture and Fu Needling for Tennis Elbow

A study of one hundred patients with tennis elbow was performed in order to see the effects of combining Fu needling with electro-stim acupuncture. For three weeks, the patients were divided into three random groups. One group received treatment with Fu needling (n=30), another group was treated with electric acupuncture (n=30), and the third group was treated with the combination of the above two methods (n=40). At the end of three weeks, all three groups had good results, but the combined therapy showed the best effect on tennis elbow. The study concluded that Fu needling combined with electro-stim acupuncture might produce a higher cure rate of tennis elbow than either used alone.

Xia DB, Huang Y. Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, China.

Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

The purpose of the study is to compare the efficacy of electro-acupuncture with placebo-acupuncture for the treatment of shoulder pain. The participants are patients aged from 25 to 83 years with shoulder pain. They were randomly given two treatments over eight weeks, with electro-acupuncture or skin non-penetrating placebo-acupuncture, both able to take diclofenac, a NSAID, if needed for intense pain. The main outcome measure was the difference between groups in pain intensity (visual analogue scale-VAS). Secondary outcomes were differences between groups in pain intensity measured by Lattinen index, in range of motion (goniometer), functional ability (SPADI), quality of life (COOP-WONCA charts), NSAIDS intake, credibility (Borkoveck and Nau scale) and global satisfaction (10 points analogue scale). Assessments were performed before, during and three and six months after treatment. At six months, the acupuncture group showed a much greater improvement in pain intensity compared with the placebo group. The acupuncture group had consistently better results in every secondary outcome measure than the placebo group. Acupuncture is an effective long-term treatment for patients with shoulder pain (from soft tissues lesions).

Acupuncture for Depression During Pregnancy

Sixty-one pregnant women with major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to one of three treatments over an eight week period. Twenty women received active acupuncture, twenty-one received active control acupuncture, and twenty received massage. Acupuncture treatments were standardized, but individually tailored, and were provided in a double-blind fashion. The response rates at the end of the acute phase were statistically significantly higher for the group that received active acupuncture (69%) than for the women who received massage (32%), with an intermediate response rate (47%). The active acupuncture group also showed a significantly higher average rate of reduction in BDI scores from baseline to the end of the first month of treatment than the massage group. In conclusion, acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.

Manber R, et al. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. 401, Quarry Rd., Stanford, CA 94305, United States.

This Month's Articles

January, 2005
Volume 3, Number 1

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