Wednesday, November 02, 2016

What Is Cupping Therapy? Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More

 Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.

The cups may be made of:
  •     Glass
  •     Bamboo
  •     Earthenware
  •     Silicone

Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.


Acupuncture proves fertile ground for a healthy conception

Can acupuncture really increase a woman's chances of conceiving? Research has found that acupuncture treatment can have a positive effect on those trying for a baby and can actually aid the conception process. Over the past twenty years, fertility problems have increased dramatically. At least 25* percent of couples in the UK planning a baby will have trouble conceiving, and more and more couples are turning to fertility treatments to help them start a family.

Fertility focused acupuncture treatment can help to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, balance hormone levels, regulate the menstrual cycle and help improve the lining of the uterus and quality of eggs released. Additionally, conditions such as polycystic ovaries and endometriosis have also been shown to improve with acupuncture

Men today also face fertility problems. Benefits to male fertility have been helped by acupuncture with positive effects on sperm count, morphology and mobility.


Source: British Acupuncture Council

Related: Infertility: Acupuncture, A valuable Ally

Monday, October 31, 2016

Acupuncture Relieves Rhinitis & Prevents Oral Ulcers

Acupuncture relieves nasal congestion due to rhinitis. Research published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion demonstrates that acupuncture combined with moxibustion alleviates nasal congestion, swelling, post-nasal drip, and a runny nose.The research confirms that acupuncture exerts an anti-inflammatory action, enhances immunity, and is effective in the prevention of immunological related disease.

The research compared the effectiveness of acupuncture plus moxibustion with nasal drops containing nitrofurazone and ephedrine. The total effective rate of the nasal drop medication was 55%. Acupuncture combined with moxibustion achieved an 85% total effective rate for the alleviation of rhinitis signs and symptoms.


Friday, October 28, 2016

These 3 acupuncture points are banned for pregnant women, here's why..

Many Traditional Chinese Medicine therapists consider acupuncture to be a safe and effective form of alternative medicine for pregnant women. Complications arising from the application acupuncture therapy during pregnancy are rare; however some acupuncture points should be used with caution or avoided  during pregnancy.

Below we have listed three acupoints many acupuncturists would agree should be avoided throughout every trimester. Although these are three of the most popular and widely used acupoints in an acupuncturist’s arsenal, their dynamically powerful action on a patient’s qi makes them a risky choice during pregnancy.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Musculoskeletal Injections: A Review of the Evidence

Injections are valuable procedures for managing musculoskeletal conditions commonly encountered by family physicians. Corticosteroid injections into articular, periarticular, or soft tissue structures relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility. Injections can provide diagnostic information and are commonly used for postoperative pain control. Local anesthetics may be injected with corticosteroids to provide additional, rapid pain relief. Steroid injection is the preferred and definitive treatment for de Quervain tenosynovitis and trochanteric bursitis. Steroid injections can also be helpful in controlling pain during physical rehabilitation from rotator cuff syndrome and lateral epicondylitis. Intra-articular steroid injection provides pain relief in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. There is little systematic evidence to guide medication selection for therapeutic injections. The medication used and the frequency of injection should be guided by the goal of the injection (i.e., diagnostic or therapeutic), the underlying musculoskeletal diagnosis, and clinical experience. Complications from steroid injections are rare, but physicians should understand the potential risks and counsel patients appropriately. Patients with diabetes who receive periarticular or soft tissue steroid injections should closely monitor their blood glucose for two weeks following injection.


Am Fam Physician. 2008 Oct 15;78(8):971-976.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Providing Value-Based Regional Anesthesia: It’s a Matter of Angles

The value of the services that anesthesiologists provide is being examined more closely than ever. Indeed, determining the true value of regional anesthesia can only be done within the context of its many costs, most of which are not monetary.

“‘Value’ is the name of the game in medicine these days,” said Brian E. Harrington, MD, staff anesthesiologist at Billings Clinic Hospital, in Billings, Mont. “Yet I don’t think a lot of anesthesiologists have a great understanding of the concept of value and how we can impact it,” he said during the 21st Annual Jefferson Anesthesia Conference.

Value = Benefit/Cost

“Many anesthesiologists limit their perception of the value of regional anesthesia to its benefits: less pain, faster rehabilitation and better patient satisfaction,” Dr. Harrington said. “But value is actually benefit per cost.”


Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Effect of LI4 Acupressure on Labor Pain Intensity and Duration of Labor

One of the most pressing concerns and fears for pregnant women is the pain of labor, which leads to an increase in the number of cesarean sections. Pain relief in labor is an important issue in obstetric care, however, as yet, there is no standard and accepted technique for the relief of that pain without side effects.

Generally, there are two options for pain relief during labor, these use either pharmacological or non-pharmacological methods. Pharmacological methods have adverse side effects for the mother and fetus, whereas non-pharmacological methods are free from side effects.

Acupressure is a non-invasive method which is used to augment labor, provide pain relief, and shorten delivery time. It increases the intensity of uterine contractions (based on Montevideo unit) without affecting the duration and intervals of uterine contractions and, eventually, reduces the duration of delivery.

A single-blinded, randomized, control trial was carried out over a seven-month period, between October 2011 and April 2012, at Dr. Shariati University Hospital in Bandar Abbas, Iran. The trial was approved by the Ethics Committee of Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences (HUMS), Iran.

Our study suggests that L14 acupressure is a suitable non-pharmacological technique that is easy to perform and effective in elevating pain, without causing adverse side effects for the mother or baby. It can be used to reduce pain during the active phase of labor rather than using pharmacological methods. According to the World Health Organization’s policies to reduce the rate of cesarean deliveries and promotion of safe childbirth, it is necessary to make childbearing pleasant and reduce maternal fear of natural childbirth using safe methods to reduce labor pain and increase the rate of vaginal delivery. In order to make this possible, midwives need training in using non-pharmacological techniques and the attitudes and policies of the hospitals need to be altered. Due to the simplicity and safety of the acupressure technique, additional research using a larger sample size and in combination with other techniques to apply pressure on different points of body is suggested.


Oman Med J. 2014 Nov; 29(6): 425–429. doi:  10.5001/omj.2014.113

Friday, October 21, 2016

Palliative care viewed as a stigma, despite improving quality of life

Study indicates education, rebranding could help spread benefits

The term palliative care carries a stigma for patients and their caregivers, who regard it as synonymous with impending death. Education, and possibly a name change, will be necessary to be able to integrate palliative care into routine advanced cancer care, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Palliative care is designed to improve the quality of life of patients with a serious illness and their families. The World Health Organization and all major national and international cancer societies encourage early access to palliative care. Research indicates that for people with advanced cancer, early palliative care benefits both physical and mental health and can even extend life.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Peri-op Clonidine: Benefits Not There, But Hypotension Is

Anesthesiologists who use perioperative clonidine in the hope of reducing acute postoperative pain or opioid consumption need to reconsider their efforts.

According to a randomized controlled trial at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio—the largest such trial ever—researchers found that the drug has neither of these perceived benefits, and its use may come at the expense of hypotension.

“Anesthesiologists have been using clonidine for sedation and analgesia for years, even though it’s primarily a blood pressure medication,” said Alparslan Turan, MD, professor of anesthesiology and vice chair of the Department of Outcomes Research at the Cleveland Clinic. “However, the only place where it’s been proven to work is in epidural and caudal analgesia. Oral and transdermal use have not been tested in large trials, and the data in the literature is not that solid.”


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Evaluation of six videolaryngoscopes in 720 patients with a simulated difficult airway

Videolaryngoscopes are aggressively marketed, but independent evaluation in difficult airways is scarce. This multicentre, prospective randomized controlled trial evaluates six videolaryngoscopes in patients with a simulated difficult airway.

This trial revealed differences in the performance of six videolaryngoscopes in 720 patients with restricted neck movement and limited mouth opening. In this setting, first-attempt success rates were 85–98%, except for the A.P. Advance™ difficult airway blade. Highest success and lowest tissue trauma rates were achieved by the McGrath™ and C-MAC™ D-blade, highlighting the importance of the videolaryngoscope blade design. 


Br. J. Anaesth. 116 (5): 670-679. doi: 10.1093/bja/aew058