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  • Research Article2022-10-31

    Electroacupuncture Promotes Motor Function Recovery in MCAO/R Rats by Activating Astrocyte-Related PI3K/AKT Pathway

    Xiao-Qing Zhang1,2,*,†, Yi-He Wang1,2,†, Li Sun1, Bao-Qiang Dong1,2, Yue-Jiao Sui1,2, Jia-Zi Dong1,2, Yang Han1,2
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(5): 322-332 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.5.322

    Background: Electroacupuncture (EA) is a widely used traditional Chinese medicine method to manage various diseases, including cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury (CIRI).Objectives: We assessed the neuroprotective effects of EA and examined its mechanism in a rat model of the middle cerebral artery occlusion-reperfusion (MCAO/R). The gait analysis was performed to evaluate the neuroprotective effects. Western blot and immunohistochemistry assays were carried out to determine the molecular mechanisms of EA.Methods: Male SD rats were randomly divided into the sham operation group, right MCAO/R group, and EA group. EA was administered every day (4/20 Hz, 10 min/1 d) at the following acupoints: Baihui (DU20), Yintang (EX-HN3), and Zusanli (ST36). Gait and motor function were analyzed from day 8 onward.Results: The plantar support and balance coordination of MCAO/R rats decreased, and the cellular structure of the ischemic penumbra was unclear. EA improved the gait dynamics of the rats, adjusted the cell structure, further activated astrocytes, and increased the expression and phosphorylation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/PKB or AKT).Conclusion: EA promoted astrocyte-related effects in the rat model. Our findings suggest that the neuroprotective mechanism of EA may be related to the activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. The intervention enhanced brain protection and improved motor functions.

  • Research Article2023-04-30

    Background: Pain related to Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) is severe, negatively affecting patients' quality of life, and often resistant to conventional treatments. Abdominal Acupuncture (AA) is known to be particularly effective for pain, especially chronic and musculoskeletal pain, but it is still poorly studied and never investigated in TMD patients.Objectives: To analyze the efficacy of AA for the treatment of patients with subacute and chronic pain related to TMD and non-responding to previous conventional therapies (occlusal splint, medications, physical therapy).Methods: Twenty-eight patients, 24 F and four M (mean age 49.36 years), were recruited from January 2019-February 2021. All patients underwent AA treatment: two sessions per week for four weeks, for a total of eight sessions. At the beginning of therapy (T0) and at the end of the cycle (T1) the following data were evaluated: maximum mouth opening (MMO); cranio-facial pain related to TMD (verbal numeric scale, VNS); pain interference with normal activities and quality of life of patients (Brief Pain Inventory, BPI); oral functioning (Oral Behavior Checklist, OBC); impression of treatment effectiveness (Patients' Global Impression of Improvement, PGI-I Scale). Statistical comparison of data before and after the AA treatment was performed by Wilcoxon's signed-rank test (significance level p < 0.05).Results: The MMO values were significantly improved after one cycle of AA (p = 0.0002). In addition, TMD-related pain had a statistically significant decline following AA treatment (all p < 0.001). Patients’ general activity and quality of life (BPI) were described as improved following a course of AA, with statistically significant values for all aspects considered (all p < 0.05).Conclusion: Abdominal acupuncture resulted in effective treatment of subacute/chronic-resistant pain related to TMD, capable of improving mandibular function and facial pain, and reduced the interference of pain affecting patients' quality of life.

  • Research Article2023-02-28

    Background: Most non-penetrating sham and placebo acupuncture needles comprise a traditional pedestal for fixing the guide tube that makes these needles difficult to operate independently. We developed a simple sham acupuncture needle to overcome this problem and focused on managing the needling sensation.Objectives: To ascertain how differently participants feel sham and real needles and to evaluate whether sham needles are effective in clinical trials.Methods: After enrolling 64 healthy volunteers who had experienced and were knowledgeable about acupuncture, the practitioner randomly used real and sham needles at four sites (bilateral LI4 and LI10) on the participants’ forearms. A custom-made sham blunt stainless acupuncture needle (40 mm, 0.80 mm) that was inserted into a guide tube was used. Immediately after needling, the participants were questioned in regard to their identification of the needle, skin penetration sensation, and de qi.Results: The sham needle resulted in 62.5% blinding. Inequivalent sensations were elicited by the sham needles compared to the real needles. Women reported similar needling sensations from the sham and real needles.Conclusion: This study achieved comparatively higher sham-needle blinding and is therefore worthy of use in clinical trials. The mutual independence of the sham needle from the real needle was mediated presumably by interindividual differences among the participants and the needling sites. Sex differences in sensation were likely related to the blinding capability of the sham needle.

  • Perspective Article2022-12-31

    Sham Acupuncture Is Not Just a Placebo

    Tae-Hun Kim1,*, Myeong Soo Lee2, Hyangsook Lee3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(6): 333-335 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.6.333

    Sham acupuncture should have two distinct features: first, it must be morphologically similar to verum acupuncture for blinding purposes, and second, it must not exert physiologically expected effects of verum acupuncture. While several types of sham acupuncture are currently used, there are on-going debates on which sham acupuncture can meet the criteria for being an appropriate control intervention in acupuncture research. In view of this situation, it is unreasonable to regard the use of sham acupuncture in acupuncture research as the same as the use of placebo drugs in drug research. Given the current research evidence that sham acupuncture can exert not only the originally expected non-specific effects but also sham acupuncture-specific effects, it would be misleading to simply regard sham acupuncture as the same as placebo. Therefore, researchers should be cautious when using the term sham acupuncture in clinical investigations.

  • Research Article2023-08-31

    Investigation of the Effects of Acupuncture on Post-Operative Chest Pain after Open Heart Surgery

    Sharareh Roshanzamir1, Yas Haririan1, Rezvan Ghaderpanah2, Leila Sadat Mohamadi Jahromi1,*, Alireza Dabbaghmanesh3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(4): 133-138 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.4.133

    Background: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) accounts for more than half of all adult cardiac surgeries worldwide. Post-operative chest pain is a common CABG complication and can cause significant discomfort.Objectives: Because taking large amounts of analgesics can have many side effects, we evaluated whether acupuncture effectively reduces pain and the use of analgesics by CABG patients.Methods: In this clinical trial, 30 patients who had recently undergone CABG were randomly allocated to two groups. For both groups, exercise therapy and routine analgesics were recommended. The intervention group underwent bilateral acupuncture in distinct acupoints, including the HT3, HT4, HT5, HT6, HT7, PC3, PC5, PC6, and PC7 for 10 daily sessions constantly. Visual analog scale (VAS) and analgesic use were evaluated in both groups at baseline and after completing the 10-day treatment.Results: Our analysis revealed significant decreases in the mean VAS scores in both the intervention and the control group, and that the reduction was more significant in the acupuncture group (p < 0.001). Moreover, analgesic use was significantly lower in the acupuncture group when compared with the control group (p < 0.001).Conclusion: Our findings highlight acupuncture as an alternative method of controlling CABG-associated post-operative chest pain and reducing the use of analgesics, which might have many side effects.

  • Research Article2022-10-31

    Sedative Effect of Ketamin-Midazolam Administered at Acupoint GV20 Compared to Intramuscular Route in Blue-Fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva): a Pilot Study

    Aricia Noelli Brega Monteiro1,*, Bruno Simões Sérgio Petri2, Haroldo Furuya2, Liliane Milanelo2, Márcia Valéria Rizzo Scognamillo3, Ayne Murata Hayashi4
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(5): 314-321 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.5.314

    Background: The growth of exotic pet medicine is leading to fast developments in clinical investigations on birds. Acupuncture, specifically pharmacopuncture, offers safe chemical restraint options.Objectives: To investigate pharmacopuncture at acupoint GV20 in blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) using ketamine and midazolam.Methods: Sixteen healthy birds were distributed into four groups (C: intramuscular control; 1/2 C: 1/2 dose intramuscular control; 1/2 GV20: 1/2 dose at acupoint GV20; 1/5 GV20: 1/5 dose at acupoint GV20). Degree of sedation, latency, recuperation time, heart and respiratory rate, and body temperature were measured. Quantitative data were analyzed by a Student’s t-test.Results: The C, 1/2 C, and 1/2 GV20 groups showed the same degree of sedation. The 1/2 GV20 group showed longer latency times (6 ± 2.1) than the 1/2 C (2.5 ± 0.5) group. Sedation time did not differ between the C (28 ± 9.8), 1/2 C (30.5 ± 8.6), and 1/2 GV20 (41 ± 22.24) groups. The 1/2 GV20 group recuperated faster (13.7 ± 3.7) than the C group (64.2 ± 3.5). The C and 1/2 C groups showed tremors and slow and unstable recovery. Two animals in the C group showed mild hypothermia (38°C).Conclusion: The use of 1/2 GV20 was effective and safe to sedate blue-fronted Amazon parrots without side effects, providing easy, stable, and fast recovery. The use of 1/5 GV20 had a shorter sedation time. These findings show that the combination of acupuncture and drugs provides new possibilities for efficient anesthetic protocols with fewer side effects in birds.

  • Research Article2022-06-30

    Temperature Characteristics of Traditional Indirect Moxibustion and Electronic Moxibustion

    Dong-Joo Kim1, Hyo-Rim Jo2, Hansol Jang3, Seong-Kyeong Choi2, Chan-Yung Jung4, Won-Suk Sung2, Seung-Deok Lee5, Byung-Wook Lee6, Eun-Jung Kim2,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(3): 174-180 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.3.174

    Background: Electronic moxibustion (EM) was developed to minimize the side effects of traditional moxibustion, such as burns, and to overcome therapeutic compliances such as smoke or smell.Objectives: To investigate distributions and thermal stimulation of EM at various depths using silicon phantom and to compare this methodology to traditional indirect moxibustion (TIM).Methods: A silicon phantom composed of polydimethylsiloxane was heated and immersed in a hot plate containing warm water to set the phantom’s temperature to that of biological tissue. K-type thermocouples were inserted into the phantom at depths of 0, 2, 5, 7, and 10 mm to measure temperature changes with thermal stimulation of EM or TIM placed on top of the phantom.Results: At the surface of the phantom, the peak temperature after applying TIM (55.04 ± 0.92℃ [Δ23.79 ± 0.96℃]) was significantly higher than after EM (43.25 ± 1.95℃ [Δ13.00 ± 2.23℃]), with both interventions reaching the highest temperature after 2 minutes. The temperature increase for TIM was also statistically significant compared to EM when measured at a depth of 2 mm. For the experimental setting with TIM, after reaching peak surface temperature, a rapid decrease was observed at the surface and 2 mm while EM showed a much more gradual decline. There was no significant difference in temperature change between the groups at depths of 5, 7, and 10 mm.Conclusion: TIM resulted in a higher temperature rise compared to EM at the surface and at a 2 mm depth reaching over 50℃, which creates risk of burns. Thermal stimulation with EM had a lower risk of burns with temperature increment not being statistically different from TIM below the depth of 5 mm.

  • Abstract

    Introduction: Is Primo Vascular System (PVS) a paradox? Finding the connection between PVS as a carrier of information and the body’s reactions at the micro and macro levels will be the starting point in understanding the meaning of life as such. Before the past of PVS knowledge: The initial phase of medicine in all cultures is reduced to the transfer of specific energy by special pathways throughout the body! This is the case in China, India, Japan, Korea, Tibet, etc. Undoubtedly, the five articles by B. H. Kim published in the early 1960s are considered to be the past of PVS. Strange present: PVS studies after 2002 are accepted as a present. Most of the articles on the topic are in journals with editors-in-chief originating and/or accepting the achievements of Eastern medicine. Is the science of PVS local since its research is in journals that publish mainly articles on Eastern medicine? Why few of the articles concerning PVS are in Western medicine journals? PVS: after the future or some conclusions and proposals: All substances, objects, biological objects generate a weak electromagnetic radiation typical for each of them which is a passport of the information. PVS has all the data to be the main carrier of information. Information medicine and Quantum Biology can serve as a basis for medicine and biomedical sciences, and it should explain the processes that exist for the change of DNA and organisms in

  • Obituary2022-02-28

    Obituary: Professor Kwang-Sup Soh (1945-2021)

    Ku Youn Baik1, Hak Soo Shin2, Pan-Dong Ryu3,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(1): 1-3 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.1.1
  • Case Report2022-08-31

    Treatment of Lumbosacral Radiculopathy with Acupuncture and Medical Herbs: Four Case Reports

    Han Chae1, Yoona Oh2, Ji Won Choi2, Soo Kwang An1, Yeon Hak Kim2, Jun Hwan Lee4,5, Eunseok Kim2,3, Byung Ryul Lee2,3, Gi Young Yang2,3,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 264-272 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.264

    Lumbosacral radiculopathy (LR) is a musculoskeletal disorder or pain syndrome that is generally linked to the compression or irritation of the nerve root. There is a growing interest in the development of efficient acupuncture-based treatments for LR comparable to western medicine. Structured traditional Korean medical treatments including intensified acupuncture stimulus on the EX-B2 point using the G-shaped posture modified from the sitting posture were applied to four LR patients, and the outcomes were evaluated based on objective clinical endpoints including a numeric rating scale (NRS), the Oswestry disability index (ODI), the manual muscle test (MMT), neurological symptoms, and plantar photography. Patients showed improvements in NRS, ODI, MMT, and neurological symptoms without adverse effects during hospitalization and follow-up visits. Moreover, we observed substantial dissolvement of hyperkeratinization and parchedness of the soles of the feet, which was not reported previously. These four cases demonstrate the clinical usefulness of traditional medicine and the diagnostic applicability of plantar photography. However, further randomized controlled trials are required to confirm our findings.

Journal Info

Vol.16 No.6
December, 2023

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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  • Commentary2022-02-28

    The purpose of this paper is to compare the biological research carried out in North Korea with the modern outcomes in the same field, from a historical perspective. In the 1960s, the group led by Bong-Han Kim asserted the existence of a fundamental circulatory system in the human body. Their findings were introduced in five papers as well as in the newspaper Rodong Sinmun. The size of the group, the range of equipment, and their findings expanded gradually, and the final paper on blood cells would be only published one of over sixty papers reported at that time. In the five papers, some unclear and inconsistent contents were found. Meanwhile, in the 2000s, PVS (primo vascular system) researchers have published over one hundred papers to prove the existence of this novel system. Some trends have emerged in approximately sixty papers as follows: The research on the identification of the anatomical and histological characteristics has gradually expanded to encompass the system’s own functioning. Also, new visual results (e.g. before and after dyeing, and its comparison with blood clots) and the exploration of possible medical applications (e.g. cancer metastasis channels or stem cells location) have been proposed. However, it is difficult to identify papers which comprehensively represented the elements claimed by Bong-Han Kim’s group. In addition, papers have been published more in alternative or Oriental medicine journals than in Western biomedical journals. It seems necessary to report more existence of the system in one laboratory animal and in more influential journals.

  • Review Article2022-02-28

    The Cellular Architecture of the Primo Vascular System

    Fatma El-Zahraa A. Mustafa*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(1): 4-11 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.1.4

    The primo vascular system (PVS) is of great interest to scientists in the last few years. The PVS plays a role in stem cell migration, immune function, erythropoiesis, tissue regeneration, and cancer metastasis. Discovered by Bong Han Kim in 1960, the PVS was described as a new, independent system that is distributed in the body of different animals. Since then, several cells have been discovered as important constituents of the PVS. Endothelial cells are hallmarks for the identification of the PVS, as they line the sinuses of the primo vessels and are characterized by their arrangement of rod-shaped nuclei in a parallel, broken-line fashion along the primo vessels. Immune cells as mast cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, and lymphocytes are also hallmarks for the identification of the PVS. One of the most interesting cells in the PVS are p-microcells. Primo nodes are a stem cell niche due to their p-microcells content, which express stem cell biomarkers CD133 and Oct 4. Mature erythrocytes and hematopoietic stem cells have also been observed in the PVS. Hematopoietic stem cells were observed in the PVS. Hematopoietic Stem Cells are the source of the cellular component of blood. Additionally, adrenaline and noradrenaline-producing cells, mesothelial cells, and smooth-muscle-like cells have also been described in the PVS.

  • Review Article2022-06-30

    Exploring Acupuncture Actions in the Body and Brain

    In-Seon Lee, Younbyoung Chae*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(3): 157-162 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.3.157

    Acupuncture’s actions have been explained by biomedical research. However, the meridian system used in acupuncture needs further clarification. This review describes how acupuncture affects the body and brain. From the perspective of traditional East Asian medicine, the meridian system is closely connected with acupuncture’s treatment effects. In the body, the indications of acupoints, primarily established based on the meridian system, have spatial symptom patterns. Spatial patterns of acupoint indications are distant from the stimulated sites and strongly associated with the corresponding meridian’s route. Understanding how acupuncture works based on the original meridian system is important. From a neuroscience perspective, an acupuncture-induced sensation originates from the bottom-up action of simple needling in the peripheral receptor and the reciprocal interaction with top-down brain modulation. In the brain, enhanced bodily attention triggered by acupuncture stimulation can activate the salience network and deactivate the default mode network regardless of the actual stimulation. The application of data science technology to acupuncture research may provide new tools to uncover the principles of acupoint selection and enhance the clinical efficacy of acupuncture treatment in various diseases.

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  • Research Article2022-10-31

    Effect of Acupressure on Dental Anxiety in Children: a Pilot Study for a Randomized Clinical Trial

    Maria Eliza Consolação Soares1,*, Alessandra de Souza Araújo1, Isabela Carvalhaes Lagares Pinto1, Luiza Silveira Araújo Barbosa1, Maria Cristina Borsatto2, Rodrigo Galo3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(5): 307-313 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.5.307

    Background: Anxiety is an important problem in children in dental clinics. Acupressure may be a useful tool to assist in dental procedures in anxious children.Objectives: This pilot study was performed to examine the effects of acupressure on dental anxiety in children undergoing restorative procedures.Methods: Fourteen children aged 7-10 years and with at least one primary molar with caries on the dentine were included in the study. The participants also needed to score at least one point on the modified Venham Picture Test (VPTm) for the determination of anxiety. The children were randomly allocated to two groups: group A — non-documented points for the reduction of anxiety and induction of relaxation; group B — documented points (EX-HN3, Shen Men of auricular acupuncture). The anxiety scale was administered on three occasions: prior to the application of acupressure; immediately after sitting in the dental chair to undergo restorative treatment; and after removal of acupressure at the end of the restorative procedure. Heart rate (HR) was measured when each child sat in the dental chair, after the removal of carious tissue, and after the removal of acupressure.Results: After the procedure, HR (as an indicator of anxiety) was statistically significantly lower in group B than group A (p = 0.02). However, there was no significant difference between the groups regarding anxiety before and during the restorative procedure (VPTm and HR: p > 0.05).Conclusion: The children who received acupressure on documented points for the reduction of anxiety had a significantly lower HR after the restorative procedure. No significant between-group difference was found regarding anxiety measured using a psychometric evaluation (VPTm).

  • Research Article2022-04-30

    Link Between Electroacupuncture Stimulation near the Sympathetic Trunk and Heart Rate Variability

    Kazufumi Takahashi2,3,*, Xiaoming Wang2,3, Daiyu Shinohara1, Kenji Imai2,3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 114-120 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.114

    Background: The cardiovascular system and airway smooth muscles are regulated by the autonomic nervous system.Objectives: This study investigated the effect of electrical acupuncture stimulation near the cervical sympathetic ganglia on heart rate variability and respiratory function.Methods: This prospective, single-center study at Teikyo Heisei University recruited 24 healthy adults randomly assigned to no-stimulation and electroacupuncture (EA) groups in a crossover trial with a 2-week washout period. After 5 min of rest, a 5-min rest or acupuncture stimulus was delivered, followed by a further 5 min of rest for both groups. EA, at 2-Hz (level of no pain), was delivered near the left cervical ganglia at the level of the sixth cervical vertebra in the EA group.Results: The high-frequency component of the heart rate variability was significantly higher in the EA group than that in the no-stimulation group. Further, there was a significant increase in the high-frequency component of the heart rate in the EA group during the stimulation compared to before and after stimulation. Heart rate decreased significantly during EA compared to before stimulation in the EA group. Regarding respiratory function, forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and peak flow significantly increased in the EA group compared with the no-stimulation group, and after stimulation compared with before stimulation.Conclusion: Stimulation with 2-Hz EA near the cervical sympathetic trunk increased parasympathetic nerve activity and reduced heart rate. However, the respiratory function was activated via increased sympathetic nerve activity. Therefore, 2-Hz EA may be effective for autonomic nerve regulation in bronchial stenosis.

  • Research Article2023-06-30

    Effect of Acupressure at PC6 on Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy: a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Melike Pündük Yılmaz1,*, Saadet Yazıcı2, İsmail Yılmaz3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(3): 89-94 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.3.89

    Background: Nausea and vomiting are among the most common medical problems during pregnancy, affecting 80% of mothers.Objectives: This study was conducted as a randomized controlled experimental study to determine the effect of acupressure applied by a wristband to the pericardium 6 (PC6) point on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.Methods: The study population consisted of 74 pregnant women between 6-14 weeks of gestation who were experiencing nausea and vomiting. The study data was collected with personal information from the Pregnancy-Unique Quantification of Emesis Scale (PUQE). Experimental and control groups were selected by a simple random method. The experimental group wore acupressure wristbands for one week, while the control group did not use any method to alleviate nausea and vomiting. One week later, the PUQE scale was applied to both groups.Results: The acupressure wristbands decreased the nausea and vomiting scores of the pregnant women in the experimental group without statistical significance but did not change the nausea and vomiting scores of the pregnant women in the control group.Conclusion: Acupressure wristbands can be used to prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

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