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  • Conference Abstracts2021-06-30
  • Review Article2022-08-31

    Abstract : Currently, acupressure is widely accepted as a non-pharmacological therapy for managing pain, nausea and vomiting, and mental health conditions. Since acupressure can be self-administered, clinicians and researchers’ interest in information and communication technologies (ICTs) for disseminating acupressure to manage symptoms has increased. This mini review was conducted to examine clinical studies of acupressure using ICTs, with a particular focus on self-acupressure. Through a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL, all studies of self-acupressure using ICTs published before December 31, 2021 were collected. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. More than half of the studies published since 2020 (4/7, 54.14%) were described as being related to COVID-19. As target conditions, musculoskeletal injuries or pain, cancer-related symptoms, dysmenorrhea, mental health issues, and obesity were considered. The most frequently used acupoints were LI4, LR3, and Shenmen. Moreover, smartphone applications were the most commonly used ICT method to support self-acupressure. In addition to the basic information of self-acupressure, other tools such as timers, reminders, and schedule checkers to facilitate its implementations have been incorporated into the smartphone applications. Recently, there have been some attempts to combine acupressure and ICTs. Although these studies mainly focus on musculoskeletal pain or injuries, recent studies related to mental health have emerged in relation to COVID-19. However, few studies have been conducted to date, making it difficult to fully grasp the trends in this field. Therefore, more studies are needed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of combining self-acupressure and ICTs in more diverse clinical areas.

  • Research Article2021-04-30

    Acupuncture as a Complementary Therapy for Cancer Care: Acceptability and Preferences of Patients and Informal Caregivers

    Laura Tack1,2, Tessa Lefebvre1,2, Virginie Blieck3, Lieselot Cool1, Hans Pottel5, Koen Van Eygen4, Sofie Derijcke6, Philippe Vergauwe7, Patricia Schofield8, Rebecca Chandler9, Pauline Lane9, Tom Boterberg2, Philip R. Debruyne1,10,*

    Abstract : Background: Acupuncture can effectively manage cancer-related side effects, for both patients undergoing treatment and for cancer survivors. It may also be effective in managing physiological and psychological symptoms common among informal caregivers of cancer patients. Objectives: The aim of this survey was to explore the acceptability and preferences of cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their informal caregivers in relation to acupuncture. Methods: The survey was conducted from 20th November to 27th November 2018. The questionnaire was developed to explore acceptability and preferences, including motivation, symptoms to be addressed, and practical issues (location, cost, etc.), in relation to acupuncture. Results: The survey response rate was 94.5% in cancer patients and cancer survivors and 100% in caregivers. Acceptability of acupuncture was 34.5% (n = 40/116) and 48.0% (n = 26/54) in cancer patients and caregivers, respectively. About 52.5% (n = 21/40) of patients preferred to undergo acupuncture at the day center clinic, whereas caregivers had no specific preference. Patients and cancer survivors would use acupuncture for symptoms of fatigue (60%), listlessness (57.5%), and pain (47.5%). Informal caregivers expressed an interest in using acupuncture for their pain, stress, and sleeping difficulties 48.0% (n = 26/54). Conclusion: Cancer patients, cancer survivors, and informal caregivers would accept acupuncture as a complementary therapy. This openness and preference to acupuncture provide the foundations for this complementary therapy to be incorporated into holistic and supportive cancer care, both for patients and those supporting them.

  • Research Article2022-04-30

    Effect of Ear Acupuncture plus Dry Cupping on Activities and Quality of Life in the Adults with Chronic Back Pain: a Randomized Trial

    Caroline de Castro Moura1,*, Erika de Cássia Lopes Chaves2, Denismar Alves Nogueira3, Denise Hollanda Iunes4, Cissa Azevedo1, Hérica Pinheiro Corrêa5, Gabriela Aparecida Pereira6, Higor Magalhães Silvano7, Tamara Goncalves Rezende Macieira8, Tânia Couto Machado Chianca9
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 130-142 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.130

    Abstract : Background: Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon that brings physical and emotional impairments negatively impacting people’s quality of life. The adoption of interventions such as ear acupuncture and dry cupping can represent a treatment option for people with chronic back pain.Objectives: To investigate the effects of ear acupuncture combined with dry cupping therapy on the interference of pain with the daily activities and quality of life of adults with chronic back pain.Methods: An open-label, randomized, parallel-group controlled clinical trial. One hundred and ninety-eight adults were randomized into control (CG - ear acupuncture) or experimental (EG - ear acupuncture combined with dry cupping) groups. Interventions were performed in five sessions, once a week, lasting five weeks. Evaluations were performed before the first session, after the last session, and seven days after the second evaluation, using the Brief Pain Inventory to assess the impact of pain on daily activities and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) to assess the quality of life.Results: Between the initial and final sessions, there were significant changes in daily activities , activity, work, mood, relationships, sleep, and in the physical, psychological and social relationships domains for both the control and experimental groups. Improved perception of quality of life and satisfaction with health were observed for the participants in the experimental group.Conclusion: Ear acupuncture combined with dry cupping showed better results in terms of perception of quality of life and satisfaction with health when compared to ear acupuncture by itself.

  • 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 Article2022-04-30

    Participation of Potential Transient Receptors in the Antinociceptive Effect of Pharmacopuncture

    Isabella de Paula Ribeiro Argôlo1,*, Julia Risso Parisi2, Josie Resende Torres da Silva1, Marcelo Lourenço da Silva1
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 105-113 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.105

    Abstract : Background: Despite the widespread clinical use of acupuncture in painful situations, the use of this treatment should be further clarified. Nociception is mediated by the activation of nociceptors, such as transient receptor potentials (TRPs). The family of TRPs includes TRPV1, TRPM8, and TRPA1, which can be stimulated by substances such as capsaicin, menthol, and methyl salicylate, respectively.Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the role of TRPs in antinociception via the administration of agonists of these receptors in the Zusanli acupoint (ST36) in models of inflammatory, acute, and neuropathic pain.Methods: Male Wistar rats were used for this experiment. All rats received a subcutaneous injection of TRP agonists (capsaicin, menthol, or methyl salicylate) in ST36; saline was injected as control. Nociception was evaluated using the electronic mechanical threshold test and tail-flick test before the administration of complete Freund’s adjunct or chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve and after the administration of TRP agonists. Results: Nociception was found to be attenuated after treatment with TRP agonists. The administration of different doses (0.03, 0.3, and 3.0 μg/20 μL) of capsaicin, menthol, and methyl salicylate in the different pain models (neuropathic, inflammatory, and nociceptive) induced antinociception in most of the evaluated time points.Conclusion: Based on the findings, we suggest that the activation of TRPV1, TRPM8, and TRPA1 receptors results in the antinociceptive effect of the stimulation of the ST36 acupoint. Thus, TRP receptors may present a new therapeutic opportunity for the control of inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

  • Research Article2021-06-30

    Identification of Cleaved Haptoglobin in the Serum of Bee Venom-Hypersensitive Patients

    Jae-Min Ryu1, Han-Heom Na1, Jin-Sung Park2, Byung-Soo Ahn2,3, Keun-Cheol Kim1,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(3): 102-109 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.3.102

    Abstract : Background: Bee venom has been used as a therapeutic compound for various human diseases in oriental medicine; however, it can induce anaphylaxis in hypersensitive patients during treatment. Anaphylaxis is an acute allergic reaction that occurs after allergen exposure. IgE is released from immune-related cells such as mast cells and basophils during anaphylaxis. Various inflammatory mediators are also released into the bloodstream during the acute response. Objectives: We aimed to identify specific proteins from bee venom-hypersensitive patients. Methods: We analyzed the blood serum of control and bee venom-hypersensitive patients using two-dimensional (2D) electrophoresis. Results: An interesting protein spot with a molecular size of 10 kDa was identified at an isoelectric point (p.I.) of 5.5. Spots detected both before and after sweet bee venom therapy were not proteins induced by sweet bee venom. The 10 kDa protein was identified as the cleaved form of haptoglobin through liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Statistical analysis indicated that the presence of the spot was highly significant in the bee venom-hypersensitive group. Conclusion: The findings suggest that cleaved haptoglobin may be a significant diagnostic protein for anaphylaxis. In addition, a high incidence of bee venom hypersensitivity may be associated with the haptoglobin genotype.

  • Clinical Study Protocol2021-12-31

    Abstract : Background: Spasticity is a common motor disorder in adult stroke patients. Injury to the corticospinal tract (CST) is associated with spasticity. Dry needling (DN) has positive impacts on spasticity reduction and improvement in the range of motion (ROM) in stroke patients. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of DN on the connectivity of the CST and the level of spasticity in adult stroke patients. Methods: This double-blind randomized controlled trial will enroll and randomly assign stroke patients to either the experimental group, for receiving three sessions of DN for the spastic wrist flexors, or the control group, for sham needling. The primary outcome measures will be diffusion tensor imaging and the Modified Modified Ashworth Scale score to assess CST connectivity and wrist flexor spasticity, respectively. The Box and Block Test and standard goniometry are the secondary outcome measures to assess hand dexterity and active and passive wrist ROM, respectively. Measurements will be taken both before and after the intervention. Discussion: The results of this study will provide important evidence of the effects of DN on CST connectivity, spasticity, and arm function in adult stroke patients. Trial registration: This trial is registered in the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT) (https://www.irct.ir; IRCT20191208045649N1).

  • Abstract : Depression is a common illness worldwide. Acupuncture is used as an alternative to non-pharmacological therapy. This study aimed to identify the development and global trends in the study of acupuncture therapy for depression over the past two decades using a bibliometric analysis. Articles published between 2001 and 2020 on acupuncture for depression were retrieved from the Web of Science database. Extracted information included authors, organizations, countries, keywords, and journals. The VOSviewer program was used to visualize the impacts and network hubs of the keywords, authors, and affiliations. Analyses of 871 original and review articles revealed that the number of publications has continually increased over the past 20 years. China has published the maximum number of articles, followed by the United States and South Korea. As for research areas, integrative complementary medicine was most well represented in terms of the number of articles. Co-occurrence analysis of keywords indicated that each five sub-group cluster (including “pain related to depressive symptoms,” “CAM therapies of depression,” “comorbid disease or symptoms of depression,” “clinical trials of depression,” and “mechanism of acupuncture on depression”) has its own impact keyword. The most recent keywords were “protocol” and “systematic review,” whereas early keywords were “acupuncture analgesia” and “St john’s wort.” Co-authorship analysis of authors and organizations revealed 4 influential authors and 2 organizations in the field of acupuncture for depression. The present study provided influential keywords that show comorbid symptoms, treatments, and mechanism. Additionally, it revealed the influential persons or groups related to acupuncture therapy for depression.

  • Research Article2021-08-31

    Effects of Novel Vibro-Acupuncture on Healthy Subjects and Those with Experimental and Clinical Pain as Assessed by Quantitative Sensory Testing

    Kelun Wang1,*, Dennis Boye Larsen1,2, Silvia Ambite-Quesada3, Yuan Zhang4, Huilin Liu5, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas3, Lars Arendt-Nielsen1,2
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(4): 157-166 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.4.157

    Abstract : Background: To investigate the analgesic effects of vibro-acupuncture (VA), a novel acuvibrator was developed. Objectives: To compare the analgesic effects of VA with those of manual acupuncture (MA) and placebo acupuncture (PA) on subjects with normal sensory perception (Study I), experimentally induced acute pain (Study II), and clinical chronic pain (Study III). Methods: Thirty healthy volunteers (21 males, age: 20-30 years) participated in Study I. Fourteen healthy volunteers (8 males, age: 20-32 years) participated in Study II in which experimental pain was induced by injection of hypertonic saline. Fourteen patients suffering from unilateral epicondylalgia (9 males, age: 30-61 years) participated in Study III. All participants received VA, MA, and PA at LI4 and LI10 points in a randomized, crossover, and double-blinded manner. Quantitative sensory testing (QST) was performed on the ipsilateral forearm before and after each treatment. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures (RM) ANOVA. Results: A significantly higher vibration detection threshold (VDT) was observed after treatment of VA than after MA and PA (p < 0.001). No significant treatment effect on experimental pain intensity was detected (p > 0.086). Significantly lower pain intensity (p = 0.005) and a smaller drawing area (p = 0.011) of unilateral epicondylalgia were found after VA treatment than after PA. Conclusion: A specific effect on the VDT beyond that of MA and PA was evoked by VA. Patients with epicondylitis showed significantly lower pain intensity during VA than during PA. This study indicated that VA may be beneficial in individuals with clinical chronic musculoskeletal pain; however, further studies are needed.


Journal Info

December, 2022
Vol.15 No.6

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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  • 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.

  • 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 Article2022-02-28

    GB20 Pharmacopuncture As a Potential Method for Brain Drug Delivery via the Perivascular Spaces

    Oxana Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya1,2,*, Inna Blokhina2, Nikita Navolokin2,3, Arina Evsukova2, Georgy Karandin2, Alexander Khorovodov2, Andrey Terskov2, Ivan Fedosov2, Alexander Dubrovsky2, Maria Tzoy2, Vasily Ageev2, Ilana Agranovich2, Valeria Telnova2, Anna Tsven2, Jürgen Kurths1,2,4
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(1): 43-49 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.1.43

    Abstract : Background: The development of new methods of drug brain delivery is a crucial step for the effective therapy of the brain diseases. Pharma- and acupuncture are the forms of alternative therapy of the brain pathology, including an increase in the permeability of blood-brain barrier. However, the mechanisms of pharma- and acupuncture-mediated effects on the brain physiology remain not fully understood. Results: This pilot study on healthy mice clearly demonstrates the Evans Blue spreading in the mouse head and in the brain via the perivascular spaces (PVSs) of the trigeminal structure and the cribriform plate after the dye injection into the Feng Chi point (Galbladder 20, GB20). Conclusion: These results suggest that pharmacopuncture at GB20 can be a perspective method for brain drug delivery via PVSs.

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  • Research Article2021-06-30

    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 Article2021-12-31

    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.

  • Perspective Article2022-08-31

    Correlation Between the Sinew Channels with the Myofascial System, Pathology, and Treatment

    Pablo Nava Jaimes*, Alejandro Martínez Reyes, Daniel García Lara, Abel Cristian Patiño Coyuca
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 201-213 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.201

    Abstract : The sinew channels are a tendon and muscle network, and their description is based on the observation presented on the Huangdi Neijing Ling Shu. However, the myofascial system is an uninterrupted series of connective tissue that is comprised of layers that run in different directions. The similarities on these pathways are compared, such as a brief description on the myofascial pain syndrome and its similitude with the Impediment disorder from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Furthermore, we discuss the treatment of these conditions from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

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