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  • Letter to the Editor2021-10-31
  • 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

    Abstract : 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.

  • Letter to the Editor2021-02-28
  • Research Article2022-12-31

    Abstract : Background: Acupuncture is a non-pharmacological therapy used clinically for mood disorders. Relief of physical symptoms with acupuncture treatment may lead to relief of depressive symptoms and improvement of quality of life (QoL). Few studies have examined the effect of acupuncture on the physical symptoms and QoL of patients with mood disorders.Objectives: To examine the effect of acupuncture on physical symptoms and QoL of patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD).Methods: This prospective, single-arm, longitudinal study included patients with MDD and BD from an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Acupuncture was performed weekly for 12 weeks in combination with regular treatment, with fixed acupoints and individualized treatment for each patient. Psychiatric symptoms were evaluated using the Himorogi Self-Rating Depression Scale (HSDS) and Himorogi Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (HSAS). Physical symptoms such as physical pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and sleep disorders were evaluated using the Japanese version of the Somatic Symptom Scale-8 (SSS-8) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). QoL was evaluated using the 8-item Short-Form (SF-8) Health Survey.Results: A total of 36 patients (15 MDD and 21 BD patients) were analyzed. After 12 weeks of acupuncture, HSDS and HSAS scores significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Physical symptoms evaluated using SSS-8 and VAS scores also significantly improved (p < 0.05). In particular, neck pain and insomnia improved at an early stage. Among the SF-8 subscales, scores of bodily pain, general health perception, role limitations due to emotional problems, and mental health significantly increased (p < 0.05).Conclusion: Acupuncture may improve not only psychiatric symptoms but also physical symptoms and QoL in patients with treatment-resistant mood disorders. Further studies are required for confirmation of the preliminary data collected thus far.

  • 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

    Abstract : 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 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

    Abstract : 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 Article2022-10-31

    Effects of Preoperative Acupuncture on Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting and Plasma Serotonin Values in the Hysterectomy Postoperative Period: a Randomized Clinical Trial

    Michelle Catarina Pires, Guilherme Antonio Moreira de Barros*, Lucas Guimarães Ferreira Fonseca, Murilo Moreira Thom, Paulo do Nascimento Junior, Norma Sueli Pinheiro Módolo
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(5): 300-306 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.5.300

    Abstract : Background: Nausea and vomiting are frequent complications of anesthesia in the postoperative period. Acupuncture at the pericardium point 6 (PC6) is known to be effective in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).Objectives: The objective of the present study is to investigate the effects of acupuncture performed at the PC6 point in the prevention of PONV in women undergoing elective open hysterectomy under general inhalational anesthesia and to assess its association with plasma serotonin levels.Methods: 97 patients undergoing elective open hysterectomy were randomly divided into two groups: acupuncture group (bilateral acupuncture at PC6, n = 49), and a control group (no acupuncture, n = 48). All patients prophylactically received ondansetron and dexamethasone and, as rescue medication, metoclopramide in case of occurrence of PONV. The primary outcome evaluated was occurrence of nausea and vomiting within 24 hours after surgery. Serotonin plasma levels were measured before and after acupuncture prior to anesthesia induction. For the control group, the repeat measurement was performed 30 minutes after admission to the preoperative unit.Results: Acupuncture at PC6 significantly reduced the incidence of nausea (29.2% vs. 6.1%; p > 0.003), and the need of rescue medication (metoclopramide) (33.3% vs. 10.2%; p > 0.006), but not vomiting (4.2 vs. 4.1; p > 0.98). The plasma serotonin levels between control and acupuncture groups did not differ.Conclusion: This study shows that acupuncture at PC6 resulted in a lower incidence of postoperative nausea in patients undergoing hysterectomy.

  • 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

    Abstract : 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.

  • Brief Report2022-12-31

    Abstract : A patient with bradycardia and an idioventricular rhythm was observed. According to cardiologists, there is no reliable drug treatment for bradycardia with an idioventricular rhythm; instead, the sole treatment is a pacemaker. In the course of this case, it was shown that acupuncture can restore the heart rhythm from bradycardia to normocardia, and from idioventricular with third-degree atrioventricular node block and an average heart rate of 34 BPM, to normal sinus rhythm with a heart rate of 71 BPM. Additionally, at the end of the treatment, the patient’s number of episodes of ventricular extrasystole decreased 36 times (3289 versus 91 episodes). These results show that research on this technique should be continued.


Journal Info

December, 2022
Vol.15 No.6

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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  • Research Article2021-02-28

    Abstract : Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is estimated to be one of the most common diseases affecting the liver because of its high prevalence worldwide. Abnormal lipid profile between NAFLD patients has been reported in several studies. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the lipid profile response to electroacupuncture in NAFLD patients. Methods: A total of 60 female patients with NAFLD were included in the study with ages ranged from (30-55) years old. They were divided equally into two groups, group A received electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation at points of; LR14, LR3, ST36, and GB34. And group B received sham acupuncture application in non-acupuncture points. The demographic data and lipid profile such as total cholesterol (TC), serum triglycerides (TG), serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL), serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) were recorded before and after the study. Results: The study results revealed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) of LDL, TC, TG after 6 weeks of non-interrupted treatment sessions in group A, However HDL showed no significant improvement (p > 0.05). A significant difference was found between posttreatment values of LDL, TC, and TG between both groups. Conclusion: Electroacupuncture can be an effective, simple, and applicable method for the improvement of elevated lipid profiles in NAFLD patients.

  • 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.

  • Case Report2022-04-30

    Acupuncture for the Elsberg Syndrome Secondary to Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection: a Case Report and Brief Review

    Lian-Sheng Yang1,*, Kun Zhang1, Dan-Feng Zhou1, Shu-Zhen Zheng1, Jin Zhang2
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 152-156 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.152

    Abstract : Elsberg syndrome (ES) is an infectious syndrome presenting with variable signs of acute lumbosacral radiculomyelitis. Its low recognition rate leads to misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. Thus, some ES patients may develop neurological sequelae. This case described a 74-year-old woman complained of urinary retention, constipation, and sacral numbness after herpes zoster in the perianal area. She was diagnosed with ES and accepted conventional drug treatments and urethral catheterization. The treatment was ineffective; therefore, she accepted electroacupuncture six times and her symptoms completely disappeared, with no recurrence of neurological disorders during 1-year follow-up. This shows that acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative therapy for ES. Nonetheless, further prospective studies are necessary to prove its efficacy in ES.

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  • Research Article2022-08-31

    Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Dogs with Neurological Sequels of Distemper Virus

    Bianca P. C. R. Santos1, Jean G. F. Joaquim2, Renata Navarro Cassu3,*, José C. F. Pantoja1, Stelio Pacca Loureiro Luna1
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 238-246 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.238

    Abstract : Background: Acupuncture (AP) has been empirically used to relieve post-canine distemper virus (CDV) infection neurological signs in veterinary clinics.Objectives: This clinical study aimed to investigate the effects of AP combined with electroacupuncture (EA) on neurological function in dogs infected by CDV.Methods: Twenty-four CDV-infected dogs with neurological sequelae were recruited to receive weekly AP/EA sections for 24 weeks. Neurological improvements were assessed before each AP/EA session using a modified scoring system. Data were analyzed using the McNemar test, Friedman test, Fisher's exact test, and Kaplan-Meier curves (p < 0.05).Results: Neurological scores improved from seven to 24 weeks after AP/EA treatment compared with pretreatment scores (p < 0.001). Significant improvements were recorded over time for functional limb recovery, cranial nerve deficits, mental status (p = 0.025 – 0.014), and urinary function (p < 0.001). Myoclonus was improved and entirely reversed in 75% and 25% of the dogs, respectively. At the end of treatment, the proportion of dogs with normal proprioception, posture, hopping (p < 0.001), and superficial pain sensation responses (p = 0.004) was greater than pretreatment values.Conclusion: AP/EA therapy promoted significant neurological recovery in CDV-infected dogs and may be considered within the chronic phase of the disease to improve motor and sensory rehabilitation. However, these results are preliminary and must be confirmed by further investigations.

  • Research Article2022-06-30

    Comparison of an Iranian Traditional Massage (Fateh Method) with Physiotherapy and Acupuncture for Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Parva Namiranian1, Mehrdad Karimi1, Seyede Zahra Emami Razavi2, Ahmad Fateh Garoos1, Mohammad Hossein Ayati1,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(3): 163-173 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.3.163

    Abstract : Background: Low back pain (LBP) is currently a major reason for disability worldwide. Therapeutic massage is one of the most popular non-pharmacological methods for managing chronic LBP (CLBP), and the Fateh method is a massage technique based on Iranian Traditional Medicine.Objectives: The current study aimed to compare the effects of Fateh massage with those of acupuncture and physiotherapy on relieving pain and disability in CLBP.Methods: Eighty-four patients with CLBP were categorized into groups that received Fateh massage, acupuncture, or physiotherapy. Each group included 28 randomly assigned patients who completed 10 sessions of therapy. Visual analogue scale (VAS) scores and Roland–Morris disability scores were evaluated at baseline, after intervention, and four weeks later. The findings were analyzed with SPSS software.Results: The baseline VAS and Roland–Morris scores of the three study groups did not indicate significant differences (p > 0.05). All three groups showed significant pre-post improvements in both scores (p < 0.05). At the end of the treatment sessions, the three groups showed no significant difference in the reductions in pain intensity and disability score (p > 0.05). Improvements in disability and pain between the first and third time points were significant in all three groups (p < 0.05 for each group). In addition, the results of massage, physiotherapy, and acupuncture groups were not significantly different (p > 0.05). No adverse events occurred in the patients.Conclusion: The effects of Fateh massage were comparable to those of acupuncture and physiotherapy in reducing pain and disability in patients with CLBP.

  • 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

    Abstract : 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.

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