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  • Research Article2020-10-01

    Impact of Acupuncture Intervention on the Pain Intensity of Patients Treated at a Tertiary Hospital in Brazil

    Natália F. Valente 1, *, Eliezer de Sousa Cardoso 2, Juliana A. da Silva Rezende 2, Jeferson A. Santos 3

    Abstract : Background: Nowadays, in western societies, acupuncture is widely used over the control of pain and this analgesic approach is still the most studied aspect of acupuncture. Several studies have shown that most patients go through a significant pain decrease soon after the first sessions of acupuncture. Objectives: This research has as a goal the evaluation on the effect of acupuncture treatment regarding the relief of pain intensity of different etiologies, through the visual analog scale. Methods: This research constitutes a retrospective, descriptive study, carried out with 449 patients attended in the Institute Hospital de Base of the Federal District, in Brasilia citye Brazil. Every data was gathered from our own form, with detailed clinical history which included age, marital status, work activity, reason for referral to acupuncture, main and secondary complaints, pain intensity evaluated by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), number of sessions completed and drug therapy. All data was organized in the Microsoft Excel and processed in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 20.0. Results: Regarding the main complaint, the mean pain decreased from 7.3 (initial VAS) to 3.2 (final VAS), a reduction that meant more than 50% relief in pain intensity. This 50% reduction in initial pain was also observed in secondary complaints (initial VAS = 6.5 and final VAS = 3.1). Conclusions: The results of this research suggest that acupuncture treatment was effective in relieving pain intensity, providing a 50% reduction on the visual analogue scale, in relation to painful complaints of different etiologies.

  • Letter to the Editor2021-02-28
  • Abstract : Background: Nursing students experience clinical stress frequently and severely. The application of acupressure is reported to be effective in stress management.Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the effects of acupressure on reducing the stress of nursing students in clinical practice. Methods: This study was carried out using a single-blind randomized controlled experimental design. The experimental and control groups were randomly determined by using a previously prepared randomization checklist. A Participant Information Form, VAS, and the State Anxiety Inventory were applied to all students before practice. Acupressure was performed on the HT7 point and Yintang point (EX-HN3), respectively, every five minutes for a total of 30 minutes in the experimental group. Results: The level of stress experienced by the students in the experimental group before the intervention according to VAS was 6.95 ± 1.57, and it was determined as 2.82 ± 1.94 after the third application (p < 0.05). The mean clinical stress score before the application was 46.54 ± 3.81, and after the 3rd week of application, it was 25.15 ± 5.26 (p < 0.05). It was observed that the students' stress levels decreased in all measurements made after the acupressure intervention. Conclusion: This study determined that acupressure effectively reduces the stress levels of nursing students, and it may be applied in clinical stress management.

  • Research Article2021-04-30

    Visible Meridian Phenomena after Acupuncture: A Series of Case Reports

    Nikolay Dimitrov1, Nikola Tomov2, Dimitrinka Atanasova1,3,*, Stiliyan Iliev1, Tatyana Tomova4, Dimitar Sivrev1, Zoya Goranova4

    Abstract : Background: In accordance with the meridian theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), meridian phenomena are observed along the course of a meridian following acupuncture. Their visible manifestations include alterations in the color (reddening or whitening) of the skin as well as papule and vesicle formation. Objectives: The aim of the present work is to report a series of visible meridian phenomena manifested in human subjects and to correlate them to TCM concepts. A total of 1,200 patients, on whom classical acupuncture (with standard single-use needles without electrostimulation or moxibustion) was applied, were carefully observed and documented. Methods: Visible meridian phenomena were photographed using standard photographical equipment and compared to classical acupuncture channels used by TCM. Results: Ten patients (5 male, 5 female) exhibited visible meridian phenomena. Lines, concurring with the meridians, were observed: white lines in seven cases and red lines in three cases. The duration of the two kinds of phenomena was different. White lines remained visible for a shorter period (10-15 min), whereas red lines were seen for up to one hour after needle removal. Conclusion: These observations indicate that visible meridian phenomena following acupuncture are objective, albeit rare, findings that coincide with the acupuncture channels described in the classical works of TCM. The presence of such phenomena provides a new insight into the concept of meridians and explains the development of the idea in its historical context.

  • Research Article2021-06-30

    Treatment of Masticatory Muscle Pain with Acupuncture: Is It Necessary to Associate with Occlusal Splints?

    Crischina Branco Marques Sant’Anna, Fernanda Pereira de Caxias, Paulo Renato Junqueira Zuim, Marcella Santos Januzzi*, Emily Viviane Freitas da Silva, Karina Helga Leal Turcio
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(3): 89-94 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.3.89

    Abstract : Background: Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are treated by different modalities including splints, physiotherapy, and acupuncture. Although all of these offer evidencebased benefits to the patients, avoiding overtreatment is of paramount importance. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of muscle pain treatment with acupuncture combined with or without occlusal splints. Methods: Recruited patients were allocated to G1 (acupuncture) and G2 (acupuncture and occlusal splint) groups and treated in four consecutive weekly sessions (P1, P2, P3, and P4). The reported pain (RP) and the pressure pain threshold (PPT) of the masseter and temporalis muscles were assessed before and after each session. Results: RP decreased after each session in G1, except at P4. In G2, the RP decreased only after the first session, and the PPT did not vary. Conclusion: The assessed treatments did not influence the PPT levels of the masseter and anterior temporalis muscles in patients with temporomandibular disorders. Our findings suggest that occlusal splints may not be mandatory along with the acupuncture treatment.

  • Research Article2021-12-31

    Mechanisms of Electroacupuncture Pretreatment in Alleviating Myocardial Ischemia Reperfusion Injury: Interactions between the Cerebellar Fastigial Nucleus and Lateral Hypothalamic Area

    Qing Yu1,2, Li-bin Wu1, Fan Zhang1, Xiao-tong Wei1, Pian-pian Chen1, Shuai-ya Wang1, Mei-yi Cai1, Qi Shu1, Liao-yuan Li1, Zi-jian Wu2,3, Rong-lin Cai2,3,*, Ling Hu2,3,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(6): 207-218 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.6.207

    Abstract : Background: Myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury (MIRI) is an important mechanism of post-myocardial infarction injury and a main cause of death in patients with ischemic heart disease. Electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment is effective for the prevention and treatment of MIRI, but mechanisms mediating the effects of cardiovascular disease EA treatments remain unclear.Objectives: To determine whether the lateral hypothalamus (LHA) and the cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN) are involved in the protective effects of EA stimulation on MIRI. Methods: EA pretreatment was performed for 7 days before the establishment of the MIRI model. ST-segment changes on electrocardiograms were recorded and the Curtis–Walker arrhythmia score was used to evaluate changes in reperfusion injury. Hematoxylin–eosin staining was applied to evaluate the pathological and morphological changes in myocardial tissue. c-fos expression in the LHA and FN was determined by immunofluorescence staining. Glutamic (Glu) and γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels were measured using a high-performance liquid chromatography-electrochemical method. Results: EA pretreatment reduced ST-segment elevation, arrhythmia scores, and morphological changes in MIRI myocardial cells in rats, and decreased the c-fos protein expression in LHA/FN nuclei. MIRI was associated with an imbalance between GABA and Glu levels, whereas EA pretreatment increased GABA levels and decreased Glu levels in the LHA/FN. Conclusion: FN and LHA are involved in the EA-mediated attenuation of MIRI. Pretreatment with EA plays a protective role in the myocardium by regulating Glu and GABA release in the LHA and FN.

  • Research Article2021-12-31

    Effects of Joint Mobilization Versus Acupuncture on Pain and Functional Ability in People with Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Comparative Effectiveness

    Petros Voulgarakis, Paris Iakovidis, Dimitrios Lytras*, Ioanna P. Chatziprodromidou, Anastasios Kottaras, Thomas Apostolou
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(6): 231-237 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.6.231

    Abstract : Background: Chronic Neck Pain (CNP) is one of the main contributing factors to disability in people of working age.Objectives: The aim of this randomized clinical trial was to compare the efficacy between acupuncture and joint mobilization on pain and disability in patients with CNP. Methods: The study involved 45 men and women with CNP, divided into three groups of 15 each. The first group followed a manual therapy protocol with joint mobilization for eight weeks three times per week. The second group followed an acupuncture protocol of equal duration and frequency, while the third group did not follow any treatment. Pain with the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for pain and functional limitations with the Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaire were assessed before and after an 8-week intervention. Analysis of variance was applied while post-hoc comparisons were made to determine the differences among the groups at each time of measurement. Results: Both intervention groups showed statistically significant differences compared to the control group after the end of the intervention in both the VAS and the NDI scores (p< .001). Furthermore, the acupuncture group showed a statistically significant improvement compared to the joint mobilization team after the end of the intervention in the VAS score (p< .001) and the NDI score (p< .05). Conclusion: Both joint mobilization and acupuncture appear to be effective interventions in reducing pain and improving functional ability in people with CNP. However, acupuncture appears to have a greater analgesic effect than joint mobilization.

  • Abstract : Background: Despite the adherence to medications, the control of the modifiable key risk factor—intraocular pressure (IOP)—for the progression of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in diabetics is usually difficult; hence, many glaucoma patients try other alternative therapeutic options. Objectives: This randomized controlled study investigated the short-term IOP response to the combined effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation over acupoint (Acu-TENS) and yoga ocular exercise in type 2 diabetics with POAG. Methods: Eighty diabetics with bilateral POAG, ages ≥ 50 years, IOP > 21 mmHg in both eyes, and a body mass index below 30 kg/m2 were included in this trial. The patients were randomly assigned to group A (n = 40; this group received 20 minutes of yoga ocular exercise followed by 20 minutes of active Acu-TENS over bilateral BL 61 and BL 62 acupoints) and group B (n = 40; this group received the same protocol as group A but with a placebo Acu-TENS). The repeated measurement of IOP were recorded before, immediately after, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes after the sessions. Results: The repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a greater significant decline of IOP in group A than group B in both eyes at the consecutive intervals of time measurements. Conclusion: According to this short-term observation, the addition of Acu-TENS to yoga ocular exercise could reduce the high IOP in diabetic patients with POAG, but further longterm trials are needed.

  • Research Article2021-08-31

    A Randomized Crossover, Pilot Study Examining the Effect of Acupuncture in the Management of Competitive Anxiety in Athletes

    Mohammad Khojastefar1, Maryam Selk-Ghaffari1, Amir-Hossein Memari1, Farzin Halabchi2, Tohid Seif-Barghi1,2,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(4): 149-156 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.4.149

    Abstract : Background: Excessive competitive anxiety induces adverse effects on athletic performance and planning efficient management methods is crucial. Objectives: We aimed to assess the effects of acupuncture on competitive anxiety. Methods: In this cross-over study, 20 male soccer players under 21 years (U-21) were randomized equally into acupuncture or control groups. The acupuncture group received acupuncture on fifteen anxiety-related points and the control group received acupuncture on fifteen points unrelated to anxiety for thirty minutes. We measured the participants’ resting heart rate and galvanic skin conduction and asked them to answer the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) questionnaire at baseline and the end of the intervention. Results: We detected a significant treatment effect in the cognitive anxiety level (–1.05 ± 0.91; p = 0.02) but not in the somatic anxiety level (–0.46 ± 1.68; p = 0.43), Sport Self-Confidence (–1.06 ± 2.21; p = 0.11), heart rate (0.20 ± 2.2; p = 0.93), and skin conductance (–0.50 ± 0.77; p = 0.19). Conclusion: Based on these results, acupuncture might decrease cognitive anxiety but might not affect somatic anxiety.


Journal Info

April, 2022
Vol.15 No.2

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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  • Clinical Study Protocol2021-04-30

    A Study on the Effects of Dry Needling in Multiple Sclerosis Patients with Spasticity: Protocol of a Randomized Waitlist-Controlled Trial

    Omid Motamedzadeh1,2, Noureddin Nakhostin Ansari1,2,3,*, Soofia Naghdi1,2, Amirreza Azimi4, Ashraf Mahmoudzadeh5, Sandra Calvo6, Pablo Herrero7

    Abstract : Background: Spasticity is a common symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS). Dry needling (DN) has been considered a useful method for the treatment of spasticity; however, there are no studies on the effects of DN on spasticity in patients with MS. We propose a study protocol aiming to investigate the effects of DN on spasticity in patients with MS. Methods: MS patients with plantar flexor spasticity will be recruited. Participants will be randomly assigned to the DN group, where they will be receiving a single session of DN, one minute for each head of gastrocnemius muscle, or to the waiting list control group with no intervention. Primary outcome measures are the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) for gastrocnemius spasticity, passive resistive torque, and podography for foot pressure distribution. The ankle active and passive range of dorsiflexion and Timed Up and Go tests are the secondary outcome measures. All outcomes will be measured at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and one week later. A mixed-model, general linear model, and two-way repeated-measures ANOVA will be used to compare the quantitative variables between groups and within groups at the measurement time points. The MAS ordinal measure of spasticity will be compared between groups using the Kruskal-Wallis test, and both the Friedman test and Wilcoxon test will be used for within-group changes. Discussion: This study will provide primary evidence on the effects of DN on gastrocnemius muscle spasticity and gait in patients with MS. Trial registration: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT): IRCT20190617043918N1.

  • Research Article2021-04-30

    Abstract : Background: Migraine is a very common neurobiological headache disorder caused by an increased irritability of the central nervous system. Acupuncture as a complementary medicine has been suggested as one of the treatments for migraine headaches; however, the findings are conflicting. Objectives: Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture with auricular semi-permanent (ASP) needles on migraine headaches. Methods: In this single-blind randomized controlled trial, 80 patients with migraine were selected and divided into two groups. The intervention group was treated with auricular ASP needles in the active points of the ear, and the control group only received routine treatments. Pain score, frequency of migraine headaches, duration of headaches, severity of nausea and vomiting, and patient satisfaction were compared between the two groups for four weeks after the intervention. Results: Our results showed that the level of pain (4.72 ± 2.53, 2.13 ± 1.76 times) and the frequency of migraine headaches (8.98 ± 8.58 hours) from the second week after the intervention in the ASP group were much lower than those in the control group (p < 0.05). However, pain incidence and ear inflammation in the ASP group were negligible and did not differ significantly from those in the control group (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Auricular acupuncture could be considered as a promising complementary therapy along with other standard migraine therapies for the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches.

  • Case Report2020-12-01

    Abstract : A 24-year-old horse was presented with a clinical history of anaemia, large intestine impaction and hind limb weakness. Loss of body weight was also reported. Hematocrit and hemoglobin levels were low and piroplasmosis test was negative. Nasogastric intubation with laxative agents was performed and 50 ml of a red blood-cell-supplement was given daily during a month. An assessment following Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) principles was performed after the last episode of large intestine impaction. A swollen, pale and wet tongue was observed. A superficial, weak pulse combined punctually with a slippery pulse was detected on the right side. The pulse on the left side was very thin. BL18, BL20 and BL23 were the most sensitive acupoints on the right side. BL18 and BL23 were the most sensitive on the left. TCVM diagnosis was Qi/Yang Kidney Deficiency, Spleen Qi Deficiency with Stagnation and Blood Deficiency. It received acupuncture at Bai-Hui, KI3, KI7, KI10, BL23, GB39, ST36, BL17 and acupressure at SP10. The client reported a significant improvement after treatment and hematocrit and hemoglobin levels were normal. KI3, ST36, BL39 acupoints were treated 14 days later. The outcome was favourable and one acupuncture session per month was recommended. No previous case reports in equines have been documented with a combination of blood, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal problems in the same episode. This case is an example of an integrative approach to investigate the origin and the interdependent relation between body systems.

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  • Research Article2020-10-01

    The Effect of Laser Acupuncture on Spasticity in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy

    Dian E. Putri 1, *, Adiningsih Srilestari 1, Kemas Abdurrohim 1, Irawan Mangunatmadja 2, Luh K. Wahyuni 3

    Abstract : Background: Spasticity in cerebral palsy is one of the most common disabilities of children in developing countries. Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of laser acupuncture on spasticity in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients with spastic cerebral palsy at 2 to 10 years. The patients were categorized into two groups: the control group and treatment group. Laser acupuncture was applied on GV20, GV14, LI4, GB34, and LR3 (power 50 mW, 785 nm, 1 Joule, 40 seconds) three times a week for 12 sessions in the treatment group and placebo laser acupuncture on the same points in the control group. The spasticity was measured using the Modified Ashworth Scale before and after complete sessions. Results: The results showed that there was a significant reduction in the Modified Ashworth Scale score in the treatment group compared with the control group (p = 0.003). Conclusions: This study suggest that laser acupuncture on GV20, GV14, LI4, GB34, and LR3 can reduce spasticity for children with spastic cerebral palsy.

  • Review Article2021-04-30

    Abstract : Primary dysmenorrhea is defined as cramping pain in the lower abdomen with no pelvic diseases, and it has a high prevalence in many countries. Acupressure is a widely used complementary treatment method for primary dysmenorrhea. This review examined experimental studies to determine the effects of acupressure on primary dysmenorrhea using the databases PubMed, Google Scholar, and CINAHL with the keywords “Acupressure” and “Dysmenorrhea”. There were 2227 records in the databases, and 330 articles were published between 1989 and March 2020. Experimental studies in the English language were reviewed according to the PRISMA guidelines. This review included 28 published studies that were assessed using the Jadad score for quality. The studies were categorized as studies of acupressure at the LR3 point (n = 4), at the SP6 point (n = 9), at auricular points (n = 5), at multiple points (n = 8), and with devices (n = 2). Moreover, studies of self-acupressure (n = 9) were identified. The studies demonstrated that acupressure could reduce menstrual symptoms, the severity and duration of menstrual pain, distress, and anxiety. Furthermore, it helped improve the quality of life and well-being of patients and provide psychological support and self-care. Acupressure is an inexpensive, easy-to-apply, and non-pharmacological treatment and is useful for reducing primary dysmenorrhea, and women can apply this method anywhere by themselves. However, high-quality randomized controlled trials with larger samples are necessary to establish the evidence for acupressure as an effective intervention.

  • Research Article2020-12-01

    Abstract : Background: Anxiety is a common complaint of patients before diagnostic or therapeutic invasive procedures, especially before open-heart surgery. The most well-known method to reduce anxiety is the use of sedatives, which have pronounced side effects. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of acupressure on anxiety in patients undergoing open-heart surgery. Method: This is a randomized clinical trial study conducted on 90 patients who were candidates for open-heart surgery. The patients were randomly assigned into either intervention or control groups. Acupressure intervention was applied at three real acupoints over two consecutive days in the intervention group. The control group received acupressure on sham points. We used Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory to assess anxiety in our study. Results: The results showed that before acupressure, there was no statistically significant difference between state anxiety scores and intergroup traits, and this difference was only significant in state anxiety after the second intervention. State and trait anxiety were significant before and after the intervention in the test group, respectively include (p < 0.001) (p = 0.01), but these changes in the control group did not show a statistically significant difference. After completing the second phase of the intervention at the actual sites, systolic blood pressure (p = 0.007) and heart rate (p = 0.001) decreased significantly. However, acupressure did not have a significant effect on diastolic blood pressure in any of the groups. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, the application of acupressure in patients who are candidates for open-heart surgery can reduce their state anxiety. Further larger-scale and rigorous studies are warranted.

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