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  • 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.

    Abstract
  • 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.

    Abstract
  • 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.

    Abstract
  • 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.

    Abstract
  • Abstract : Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by increased blood sugar levels. The current management of DM to date has a target of controlling blood glucose, but the therapy cannot be separated from long-term drug side effects. Acupuncture can be an option as an adjunct therapy for DM. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness between manual acupuncture and laser acupuncture. Methods: This study was a randomized control experimental study with a pretest and posttest design using 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats divided into 4 groups: a normal group, a diabetes group, an acupuncture group, and a laser group. Manual acupuncture and laser acupuncture were performed 6 times in two weeks. Fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels, the cell density of Langerhans islets, and side effects were assessed and compared among the 4 groups. Results: The highest mean cell density of Langerhans islets was found in the laser and acupuncture group, and the lowest was found in the diabetes group. In the post hoc analysis, the normal, acupuncture, and the laser groups had a significantly higher mean cell density than the diabetes group. The lowest mean FBG level was in the laser group, followed by the acupuncture group, and the highest was in the diabetes group, but this difference was not significant. There were no serious side effects from the use of manual acupuncture or laser acupuncture. Conclusion: Both manual acupuncture and laser acupuncture can improve the histological findings of Langerhans islets in type 2 diabetic rats, and both are safe to use.

    Abstract
  • 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.

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Aims & Scope

The Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed, open access journal featuring high-quality studies related to basic and clinical acupuncture and meridian research. of integrative biomedical research and.… + more

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Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
April, 2021
Vol.14 No.2

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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    • Abstract : The present case study illustrates the case of a 47-year-old female (Ms X) with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who presented with central post-stroke pain (CPSP) over her left shoulder and underwent acupuncture treatment (AT) since she appeared irresponsive to conventional treatment. The aim of this case study is to explore the effectiveness of acupuncture as a complimentary treatment in improving central neurogenic pain in MS patients affected by CPSP. AT lasted six weeks, some modification of the conventional AT points was required to ensure continuity and safety of the treatment plan. In fact, Ms X suffered from gingivitis that led to hypersensitivity of her left upper limb (UL) to acupuncture needling; moreover, she experienced sensation loss in her legs as a result of post-stroke complications. The outcome showed that the subject’s shoulder range of motion (ROM), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score and pain improved remarkably, enabling Ms X to resume post-stroke rehabilitation and reduce her analgesic intake.

      Abstract
    • Research Article2020-12-01
      JAMS

      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.

      Abstract
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    • Abstract : Background: Pain is a major complaint in cancer patients and a global problem that requires medical attention, including pain in cervical cancer. Although pharmacotherapy has been used for the treatment of cancer pain, there are still around 40% cannot be treated only with pharmacotherapy. Objectives: To determine the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on pain in stage III cervical cancer patients. Methods: Twenty-eight stage III cervical cancer patients were divided into two groups (14 treatments and 14 controls) with randomized control trial design. The treatment group received EA with a frequency of 2/20-25 Hz at points of ST36, SP6, LI4 and LR3 for 30 minutes, while the control group did not receive EA. Both groups were given paracetamol and codeine at the same dose. Assessment was carried out by measuring pain scale (VAS), plasma β-endorphin levels, and quality of life/QoL (EORTC QLQ-C30) before and after therapy. Results: The average reduction in VAS in the treatment group (2.71 ± 1.14) compared to the control group (0.71 ± 1.33; p < 0.001), average increase in plasma β-endorphin levels in the treatment group (88.57 ± 52.46 pg/ml) compared to the control group (12.86 ± 56.76 pg/ml; p = 0.001), and in QoL, there were significant differences in symptom improvement between the treatment and control groups in the domain of fatigue, pain, insomnia and overall QoL (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Medical therapy combined with EA decreased pain scale, increased plasma β-endorphin levels, and improved the QoL for stage III cervical cancer patients.

      Abstract
    • Research Article2020-12-01
      JAMS

      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.

      Abstract
    • Research Article2020-04-01

      Single Cupping Thearpy Session Improves Pain, Sleep, and Disability in Patients with Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain

      Maria P. Volpato1, Izabela C.A. Breda2, Ravena C. de Carvalho2, Caroline de Castro Moura3, Laís L. Ferreira2, Marcelo L. Silva1, Josie R.T. Silva1*

      Abstract : The objective of this study was to evaluate if a single session of real or placebo cupping therapy in patients with chronic low back pain would be enough to temporarily reduce pain intensity and functional disability, enhancing their mechanical threshold and reducing local skin temperature. The outcome measures were Brief Pain Inventory, pressure pain threshold, Roland–Morris disability questionnaire and low back skin temperature. This is an experimental clinical trial; after examination (AV0), patients were submitted to real or placebo cupping therapy (15 minutes, bilaterally at the points BL23 (Shenshu), BL24 (Qihaishu) and BL25 (Dachangshu) and were revaluated immediately after the session (AV1) and after one week (AV2). The patients showed a significant improvement in all pain severity items and sleep in the Brief Pain Inventory (p 

      Abstract
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