Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Engredea News & Analysis
Nov. 30, 2011 12:32am
A meta-analysis published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that 60% of infertile women became pregnant after taking Chinese herbs for four months, while only 30% became pregnant after taking drugs or undergoing in vitro fertilization for a year.
“Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: A Systematic Review” published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 19, Issue 6, December 2011. The study was conducted at Discipline of General Practice, School of Population Health & Clinical Practice, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia.
To assess the effect of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) in the management of female infertility and on pregnancy rates compared with Western Medical (WM) treatment.
We searched the Medline and Cochrane databases and Google Scholar until February 2010 for abstracts in English of studies investigating infertility, menstrual health and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). We undertook meta-analyses of (non-)randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or cohort studies, and compared clinical pregnancy rates achieved with CHM versus WM drug treatment or in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In addition, we collated common TCM pattern diagnosis in infertility in relation to the quality of the menstrual cycle and associated symptoms.
Eight RCTs, 13 cohort studies, 3 case series and 6 case studies involving 1851 women with infertility were included in the systematic review. Meta-analysis of RCTs suggested a 3.5 greater likelihood of achieving a pregnancy with CHM therapy over a 4-month period compared with WM drug therapy alone (odds ratio = 3.5, 95% CI: 2.3, 5.2, p < 0.0001, n = 1005). Mean (SD) pregnancy rates were 60 ± 12.5% for CHM compared with 32 ± 10% using WM drug therapy. Meta-analysis of selected cohort studies (n = 616 women) suggested a mean clinical pregnancy rate of 50% using CHM compared with IVF (30%) (p < 0.0001).
Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.
To study the impact of De-qi (, obtaining qi) and psychological factors on the efficacy of acupuncture treatment for primary dysmenorrhea, with an attempt to explore the relationship among De-qi, psychological factors, and clinical efficacy.
The patients with primary dysmenorrhea were randomly assigned to a group of acupuncture with manual manipulation (manipulation group, n=67) and an acupuncture group without manipulation (non-manipulation group, n=64). Pain intensity and pain duration were used as measures for evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of the acupuncture treatment. De-qi, the sensations a patient experienced during the acupuncture treatment, was scored on a 4-point scale by the subjects. In addition, the psychological factors, including belief in acupuncture, the level of nervousness, anxiety, and depression, were quantitatively assessed. The personality of the subject was assessed using the Eysenck personality questionnaire (EPQ) and 16 personality factor questionnaire (16PF).
Complete data were obtained from 120 patients, 60 patients in each group. There were statistically significant differences in pain intensity (W=2410.0, P<0.01) and pain duration (W=3181.0, P<0.01) between the two groups. The number of De-qi acupoints (W=1150.5, P<0.01) and the average intensity of De-qi (W=1141.0, P<0.01) were significantly higher in the manipulation group as compared with their non-manipulation counterparts. The correlation coefficients between De-qi and therapeutic efficacy of acupuncture were greater than those between psychological factors and therapeutic efficacy.
Compared with the psychological factors, De-qi contributed more to the pain-relieving effect of acupuncture in subjects with primary dysmenorrhea. Moreover, manual manipulation is a prerequisite for eliciting and enhancing the De-qi sensations, and De-qi is critical for achieving therapeutic effects.
PMID: 21994026 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]Source: PubMed
Medical acupuncture is acupuncture that has been adapted from traditional sources for use within conventional health practices. Traditional acupuncture practice originates within many of the whole system traditions in Asia such as Chinese medicine and even some evidence suggests historic European sources. Today acupuncture is practiced in both traditional, integrative and CAM related forms in almost every major health care system in the world.
Medical acupuncture is the classification of the acupuncture for use within the conventional medical construct. The foundation of medical acupuncture is the therapeutic insertion of solid needles in various combinations and patterns. The patterns can be based on traditional principles, modern anatomical concepts or both.
While Everspring Health is a full supporter of any therapy that is applied appropriately for the benefit of the individual and the individual's quality of life. It is equally important to note potential challenges of medical acupuncture so that the client can understand how to use this resource most effectively. Medical acupuncture can be used by licensed practitioners (MD, DO, DC) with as little as 100 hours of training, which can make it difficult to qualify the practitioner's full scope of training with this therapy. Compare this training to a fully licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist where the practitioner has approximately 1000 hours just on acupuncture, plus clinic application experience.
Again this does not discount the opportunity for benefit via medical acupuncture but one must note that if one is not getting results from medical acupuncture or any source of acupuncture no matter the training one should not discount acupuncture therapy as a whole. Like any therapy, any service for that matter, experience does matter and we should seek the appropriate support for our specific needs.
Acupuncture has shown in many ways to help with athletic performance. Mostly utilized for recovery and maintenance, acupuncture offers support for post workout recovery by reducing pain and improving range of motion. This allows for better blood flow to aid in the recovery process thus allowing for more challenging workouts, greater frequency of workouts and better pre-event taper. Acupuncture also helps prevent potential negative posturing that one may develop by accommodating injury, post-workout soreness or any posture resulting from the "muscle bound" experience of high intensity training.
"Newsweek reported that in 1999 scientists at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine made athletes run 5,000 meters, and afterward had some of them sit for acupuncture treatments before they had a chance to catch their breaths. The heart rates of the ones who received the treatments recovered more quickly than those in the control group."
Functional medicine focuses on prevention and understanding a person's core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions. Functional medicine seeks prevention as the key component for the cultivation of health especially with regards to chronic disease. By targeting the underlying cause of disease versus focusing on just accommodating symptoms functional medicine seeks to improve outcomes by targeting one objective, the disease, to accomplish multiple benefits, reducing the symptoms. In the cases of chronic disease with the goal of understanding each individual's physiological, environmental, and psychosocial contexts becomes a necessary part of the diagnostic process.
While functional medicine is perspective of more recent terminology the historical systems of healing (e.g. Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Tibetan medicine, etc.) have utilized the holistic view as a means of approaching disease. All of the healing systems mentioned above seek to target the disease to reduce symptoms in concert with constitutional/personal diagnosis all of which Everspring Health embraces and offers as a part of our service offerings.