When Evidence Says No, but Doctors Say Yes
Long after research contradicts common medical practices, patients continue to demand them and physicians continue to deliver. The result is an epidemic of unnecessary and unhelpful treatments.
Over the last 10+ years I have lectured (long rants) patients, friends, family and colleagues about the fraudulent practices of Western medicine, and continuously provided evidence that disputes the ignorant and bias articles that claim acupuncture as quackery, when in fact, the evidence clearly shows that conventional medicine follows a clear path contradictory to evidence-based medicine; and is much truer to the definition of quackery than acupuncture ever will be.
Kudos to David Epstein for this excellent article that highlights many of the unethical practices normalized by Western medicine, such as unnecessary procedures and the use of drugs not supported by research, etc., etc.
A must read!
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac, LAc.
In a recent meta-analysis, researchers analyzed the results of 29 trials and 17,922 patients suffering from chronic pain. Conditions included: neck pain, shoulder pain, low-back pain, headaches & migraines, and osteoarthritis of the knee.
From the original data set, 20 trials and 6,736 patients were used for the final conclusions, due to the fact that they included long-term follow-up data, which ultimately demonstrated that after a course of treatment, the effects of acupuncture treatments persist over a 12 month period.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl. Ac., LAc.
There’s a reason why acupuncture has been used successfully for over 2,000 years for the treatment of pain and other conditions and continues to become more popular today in our modern society - because it works, and it works without the need of drugs.
Not until the last couple of decades has the West begun to understand the mechanism behind this non-invasive natural treatment, as well as, its clinical importance as a drug-free alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.
In one study, when acupuncture was compared to conventional primary care for the treatment of non-specific chronic low back pain, it was determined that acupuncture treatments are safe, more efficacious than conventional care, provided longer lasting results, and a more cost-effective intervention for reducing chronic pain.[i] Similar results have also been found in studies pertaining to headaches / migraines[ii], neck pain[iii], osteoarthritis pain[iv], etc.
In 2012, the Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Institute undertook a meta-analysis of patient data, which showed that acupuncture was an effective treatment for the following pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain. It also concluded that acupuncture was an acceptable alternative for the treatment of chronic pain.
The Final Verdict of Experts
America’s chronic pain epidemic will only get worse, with increased painkiller and heroin addictions, and higher rates of depression and suicide. This is the only future for people who choose to remain within the “sick care” system, which is unethically encouraged by big-pharma, insurance companies, doctors and MDs, and the U.S. government; all of whom seek to keep Americans on drugs for the rest of their lives.
This system of medicine, which is driven by profit and strongly opposed to disease prevention and treatment, will continue to prescribe dangerous drugs that only have the sole purpose of suppressing symptoms, instead of upholding the Hippocratic Oath, which every practitioner takes upon graduation, and solving the root cause of chronic pain.
It’s time for chronic pain sufferers to realize that we already have an evidence based solution for pain, one that has been utilized for thousands of years. It’s been proven to be more efficacious, more cost-effective and safer than conventional medicine - it’s called acupuncture!
Make Your Pain go Away!
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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
In a pragmatic randomized controlled trial, Australian researchers recruited women between the ages of 18-44 who had been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive over the previous 12 months.
56 sub-fertile women were randomly placed into two groups: acupuncture and lifestyle modification and a lifestyle modification only control group.
The first group received acupuncture and additional modalities such as, Teding Diancibo Pu (TDP) infra-red lamp and smokeless moxibustion over a 3 month period.
Results were compiled using questionnaires, and self-reported data collected from the study participants. The final outcome showed that the average time to conception for the women receiving acupuncture was 5.5 weeks compared to 10.67 weeks in the lifestyle only group. The women in the acupuncture group also had an increase in fertility awareness and wellbeing compared to the control group.
Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc,, LAc., Dipl.Ac.
Here is a recently published article by the Mayo Clinic that appeared in the September volume of the Journal of Integrative medicine.
This investigative research uses an evidence-based approach to dispel some of the most common myths surrounding the practice of acupuncture and its underutilization in America's growing population of sick people.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is a natural form of health care grounded in safe, effective and time-tested techniques. Its growing popularity and acceptance results in more pain relief for more patients with fewer negative side-effects. It also means healthier patients who live longer. By stimulating self-healing through a holistic approach to wellness and prevention, AOM offers truly patient-centered care.
What's AOM Day?
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day (AOM Day) is observed annually on October 24. It is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Come Celebrate with Us!
1.6 million Americans have irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), which includes Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. These diseases cause chronic inflammation and damage the intestinal epithelial barrier, which acts as the first line of defense against toxins, antigens and non-beneficial bacteria; while allowing water, nutrients and electrolytes to pass. In Crohn’s disease the protein network that maintains this epithelial boundary in the form of tight junctions (TJ) breaks down. Once the foreign materials pass through they cause the immune system to react, but it can’t distinguish between the foreign invaders and itself.
A study published in the World of Gastroenterology found that the combination of acupuncture and Moxibustion decreased inflammation in mild to moderate cases of Crohn’s disease, and was able to repair the damaged intestinal epithelial barrier by increasing tight junction (TJ) proteins and their mRNAs.
Gut Health: Our Unusual Symbiotic Relationship
GI Immunity: Your Microbial Partners in Health
In August 2015, a study was published by a group of University of California researchers who were investigating the effectiveness of specific acupoints to reduce both systolic (top #) and diastolic (bottom #) blood pressure (BP) in patients suffering from mild to moderate hypertension.
The study participants were selected based on having a diagnosis of hypertension and not being treated with any hypertensive medications. The 65 patients who qualified for the study were split into two groups; 33 patients went into a treatment group, and 32 into a control group.
The treatment group received EA at acupoints (P5, P6, ST36, ST37) that have been found in past experiments to be effective at lowering BP. The control group received EA at acupoints (LI6, LI7, GB37, GB39), which have no stimulating affect on any cardiac regions in the brain, and are indicated for non-cardiovascular conditions.
After 8 weeks of receiving weekly EA treatments for 30 minutes, the researchers found that the treatment group obtained a significant reduction of 70% in both systolic and diastolic BP readings.
The effects of the treatment group lasted for 1 month compared to no reduction in the control group. The study findings also highlighted the mechanism by which EA was able to elicit an effect. There were substantial decreases in norepinephrine (↓41%), renin (↓67%), and a reasonable decline in aldosterone (↓22%); all substances that contribute to BP regulatation.
In conclusion, EA can be a useful therapy in lowering the risk of such cardiovascular diseases as: heart failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease in hypertensive patients.
Regulating Blood Pressure with Acupuncture & Eastern Medicine
Li Peng, Tjen-A-Looi Stephanie C., Cheng Ling, Liu Dongmei, Painovich Jeannette, Vinjamury Sivarama, and Longhurst John C.. Medical Acupuncture. August 2015, 27(4): 253-266. doi:10.1089/acu.2015.1106.
An interesting study came out of Australia this past year that investigated G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are usually found in the oral & nasal cavities, and associated with bitter taste receptors (Tas2r).
In this ongoing study, researchers discovered the presence of 12 taste receptors that respond to bitter compounds (Tas2r) in both mouse and human heart tissue.(1) Dr. Foster, who originally discovered the receptors as a Phd student at the university of Queensland stated, "This is quite remarkable, as the human genome only has 25 of these bitter taste receptors, and we wanted to find out why half of them were located in the heart."(2) This new research has the potential for developing new therapies for cardiovascular disease.
What does this have to do with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
In TCM theory, there is a specific taste associated with each organ. The sweet taste goes with the spleen, pungent is paired with the Lungs, salty with the kidneys, sour with the Liver, and you guessed it, bitter goes with the Heart.
To make this even more interesting, the Chinese character for bitter is kŭ (苦) and is often translated as; misery, miserable, suffering, pain, painful, hard, bitter or bitterness.(3) According to Giovanni Maciocia, the Chinese character has an emotional implication related to “bitter” life experiences. He goes on to say that, frequently a Chinese patient complaining of a bitter taste hides some deep emotional scar related to a “bitter” life experience . . .(4)
In the clinic, when a bitter taste in the mouth is associated with the heart, the patient often experiences this in the morning after a sleepless night. They will often have a red tongue tip (area of the tongue related to the heart), a midline crack that extends towards the tip of the tongue, thin yellow coating or a dry tongue coating that may be peeling in areas; rapid and forceful pulse or one that is rapid and thready.
These patients often report suffering from insomnia, restlessness and anxiety. This pattern represents Heart fire and is usually seen in patients with emotional problems such as: resentment, jealousy, guilt, and frustration.
Slowly, but surely, Western medicine is catching up with the hundreds of years of clinical experience of TCM. This study highlights just one of a plethora of secrets that TCM has to reveal through modern day technological advancements that allow us to gain a better understanding of how the amazing human organism functions.
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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
A group of Australian researchers combed through the Cochran and Medline databases for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of pregnancy rates from Chinese Herbal medicine (CHM) and Western medical (WM) treatments using drug therapies. The women who participated in these trials had infertility due to various reasons such as, PCOS, endometriosis, anovulation, fallopian tube blockage, or unexplained infertility
Their meta-analysis suggested that women with infertility had a 1.74 higher probability of achieving pregnancy with CHM compared to WM alone. The CHM group had a mean pregnancy rate of 60% compared to 33% in the WM group.
The inferences of this systemic review advocate that CHM increased pregnancy 2-fold within a 3-6 month period compared to WM. Additional findings highlight the abilities of CHM to positively influence fertility indicators such as: cervical mucus score, ovulation rates, biphasic basal body temperature, and the thickness of the endometrial lining.[i]
This review coincides with findings of past studies, which also found that pregnancy rates doubled with CHM compared to WM. As a comparison, In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common intervention, which is an invasive and painful procedure heavily dependent on synthetic drugs to manipulate the reproductive cycle. In general, women have a per cycle success rate of 20 – 35% using IVF alone.[ii] This number declines to 23.6% for women between the ages of 38-39, and drops down to 1.3% for women over the age of 44.[iii] Keep in mind that these percentages are pregnancies, not live births.
Interestingly, China has the world’s lowest infertility rate, and a reported 70% success rate in both men and women’s infertility cases. Reproductive issues have been extensively studies in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and as a result they have developed sophisticated herbal formulas for specific conditions that prevent successful pregnancies.
See a comparison of Eastern medicine to IVF
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