Another study was published this year that evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture for idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS).
This joint study between Japan and China used an Actigraph (a small non-invasive unit worn on the wrist), to monitor and record the rest / activity cycles of 38 patients, none of whom were taking any type of medication for RLS.
Researchers found that a standardized acupuncture point prescription significantly reduced abnormal leg activity, while "sham acupuncture" had no effect.
Based on my own clinical experience, I have had great success in treating RLS over the years. In some cases we weren't even treating RLS directly, instead, the positive results came indirectly as we were treating other conditions. Overall, the majority of the cases were completely resolved or activity was greatly reduced, and patients were overjoyed that they didn't have to suffer anymore sleepless nights.
For more information on acupuncture and RLS click here.
Pan W, Wang M, Li M, Wang Q, Kwak S, Jiang W, Yamamoto Y. Actigraph evaluation of acupuncture for treating restless legs syndrome. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:343201. doi: 10.1155/2015/343201. Epub 2015 Feb 11.
The Chinese character for acupoint is "xué" (穴), which translates into English as hole, cave or lair. The significance of this meaning can be found in the strokes of the character. The top of the character represents a "roof", and the bottom half refers to the number "eight". Together they refer to a hidden passage to the Eight Treasures, which are Viscera, Bowels, Qi, Blood, Sinews, Vessels, Bones, and Marrow.
In Chinese classical texts like, The Yellow Emperor's Cannon of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Nei Jing Su Wen), acupuncture points were described as specific sites where the Qi and blood from the zang-fu (organs) and meridians could reach the body's surface. This allowed access to the organ systems and the Qi & blood.
These specific sites were used to administer acupuncture treatments with needles of varying size, as well as treatments with other modalities such as, moxibustion, hot stones, cupping and guasha.
Acupoints were, and still are today, used as diagnostic sites which reveal internal states of disease. When an organ system becaomes excess/deficient or dysfunctional, the acupoint related to that organ will show morphological changes. In practice, acupuncturists will observe any changes in the appearance of acupoints, including; color or any type of dermatological changes, as well as, any temperature differences. The acupuncturist will then palpate along the meridians checking the points for any changes in resistance. when there is no resistance, and the finger falls into the acupoint, it's said to be deficient. When there is great resistance / the point is pushing back, there is excess.
Scientifically speaking, acupoints have some pretty interesting qualities that further illuminate how amazing our bodies are.
For instance, research has shown that acupoints are able to absorb and emit light and sound, hence the more modern addition of such modalities as laser acupuncture, and sound vibration through the application of tuning forks.
In sum, acupoints inherently have a dual function due to the fact that they are an opening, that connects the internal organ systems to the external world outside the body. This unique physical feature allows Eastern physicians to both diagnose the patient using observation and palpation, and most importantly, to treat the patient utilizing a wide array of therapeutic modalities.
Many young women end up suffering from "induced menopause" as a result of conventional breast cancer treatments. "Induced menopause" can lead to severe menopausal symptoms such as, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irritability, night sweats, various degrees of bone loss, etc.
Yesterday, a study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which found electroacupuncture to be more effective, and with fewer side-effects than gabapentin for the treatiment of hot flashes. Ironically, the same study also found "sham acupuncture" (not true acupuncture) to be more effective than gabapentin.
Side Note: Eastern medicine has been effectively treating menopausal symptoms and other gynecological / obstetrical issues for thousands of years, this is well documented.
Eastern medicine treats the root of the problem instead of suppressing the symptoms with drugs, especially drugs that are being used for conditions that they were not designed for; a.k.a. gabapentin (anti-convulsant).
Gabapentin - another drug approved by the FDA (puppet of big pharma), in which they don't know / understand the mechanism of action. If you take this drug, you are the experiment.
Also read Introduction to TCM and Women's Health
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