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  • Abstract

    Scalp acupuncture is a therapeutic procedure that involves inserting needles into the scalp to treat various medical conditions, including pain and neurological and psychological disorders. The inter-system variability of scalp acupuncture limits secondary analysis and evidence synthesis, delaying its inclusion into evidence-based healthcare policies and establishment as a treatment intervention recognized by Western medicine. This scoping review aimed to identify the range of scalp acupuncture systems, systematically collect and summarize information on their general, anatomical, and clinical characteristics, and build a framework for understanding scalp acupuncture systems. This review included all English-language publications on scalp acupuncture applied to treat any health condition in humans. Extensive searches were conducted across bibliographic databases, journals, trial registries, and supplementary sources. The detailed general, anatomical, and clinical application characteristics of 19 scalp acupuncture systems were extracted. Data were collected and analyzed using charting and image manipulation software. Framework synthesis was performed using the Standard International Acupuncture Nomenclature Scalp Acupuncture as an a priori framework. The review revealed that the heterogeneity related to scalp acupuncture methods can be attributed to the high variability among the theoretical bases of different systems, intersystem mismatch in anatomical locations of treatment points and areas on the scalp, and inconsistencies in the methods used for locating them. These discrepancies in anatomical and clinical features have limited the synthesis and development of a framework for scalp acupuncture. Discussion and agreement on the anatomical locations of scalp stimulation areas, identification of methods for precise positioning of acupuncture areas on the scalp, and further exploration of theoretical bases will aid in the standardization of scalp acupuncture and improve the quality of research in this area.

  • Research Article2023-10-31
    JAMS

    The Public Perceptions on Wet Cupping Therapy (Hijama) in Saudi Arabia

    Suhaib Ibrahim Alkhamaiseh1,2,*, Amjad H. Bazzari3, Abdel Hadi Al jafari1, Firas H. Bazzari1
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(5): 176-182 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.5.176
    Abstract

    Background: Wet cupping (Hijama), a form of alternative medicine, is widely practiced in Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia. Although considerable effort has been put into increasing public awareness about the safe and proper practice of wet cupping, studies on the attitudes, knowledge, and awareness levels of the Saudi Arabian public are lacking.Objectives: This study evaluated public attitudes toward the effectiveness, safety, and expected standards of practicing wet cupping. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted using an online questionnaire and involved 909 complete responses. The respondents were Saudi adults with a mean age of 30.43 ± 11.4 years (males: 42.1%, females: 57.9%). Results: The study revealed that most participants believed that although wet cupping is a beneficial (84.6%), well-known form of alternative medicine (82.4%) without harmful side effects (63.9%), it is not suitable for treating all diseases (72.3%) or everyone (66.8%). Most participants prefer wet cupping to be done at specialized centers (84.6%) by practitioners with confirmed qualifications (88.6%) using valid and sterile instruments (88.9%). The main demographic factor influencing participant responses was age, which was associated with more positive perceptions. Female, single, college-educated, and middle-aged respondents had more cautious attitudes. Conclusion: Our results indicate that Saudis support the use of wet cupping as an alternative medicine for select diseases and that individuals have adequate awareness of the practice’s safety standards to avoid potential risks.

  • Case Report2023-10-31

    Can Electroacupuncture Be Useful in Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia? A Case Report

    Marco Di Carlo*, Antonio D’Addario, Fausto Salaffi
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(5): 183-187 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.5.183
    Abstract

    Opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) is characterized by a paradoxical increase in pain sensitivity following opioid exposure. Although animal models indicate that electroacupuncture (EA) is effective against pain sensitization, there are no reports of its clinical application in OIH treatment. This case report involves an adult patient with osteomalacia complicated by multiple vertebral fragility fractures. The patient developed OIH following the use of oxycodone to treat severe disabling lower back pain that was refractory to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. After hospitalization and treatment with low EA-frequency (2-10 Hz) sessions, the patient exhibited significant pain reduction and functional recovery after the first session, which was accompanied by steady progressive improvement as the treatment continued. This case report illustrates the clinical efficacy of EA in OIH treatment and indicates that EA, which has multiple modes of action on the neurobiology of chronic pain, has potential applications in the management of complex and difficult-to-manage conditions, such as OIH.

  • Case Report2023-10-31
    Abstract

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the main causes of lifelong motor impairment and is associated with important secondary complications. Thus, multifaceted treatments are needed for early functional recovery. Currently, in cases of SCI, surgery, stem cell treatment, medication, and physical therapy are used to repair and restore neuronal activity. Additionally, encouraging results have been reported on the use of acupuncture to modulate neuronal plasticity. Here, we present an SCI case involving a burst fracture at the L3 level, which was treated for 21 days using scalp acupuncture with residential physical therapy. Activation of the motor area was observed after the 1st day of treatment, with the patient completely regaining power and range of motion in the knees, Additionally, over 21 days, the patient exhibited markedly improved motor recovery and functional outcomes, which had not been observed over the previous six months. This report highlights the importance of complementing scalp acupuncture with intensive physical therapy for better motor recovery.

  • Clinical Study Protocol2023-10-31

    Dry Needling for Arthrogenic Muscle Inhibition of Quadriceps Femoris in Patients after Reconstruction of Anterior Cruciate Ligament: a Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Milad Zarrin1,2, Noureddin Nakhostin Ansari1,3,*, Soofia Naghdi1, Scott Hasson4, Bijan Forogh5, Mehdi Rezaee6
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(5): 193-202 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.5.193
    Abstract

    Background: Dry needling (DN) is recommended as a therapeutic modality for various neuromusculoskeletal disorders. No study has been performed on the impact of DN on arthrogenic muscle inhibition (AMI) after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). This study protocol is aimed to investigate the impacts of DN on AMI of quadriceps femoris, corticomotor, and spinal reflex excitability in patients with ACLR. Methods: A double-blind, between-subject, randomized, controlled trial will be conducted to measure changes in AMI after DN. Twenty-four subjects with ACLR will be recruited to receive a DN or a sham DN, providing that they met the inclusion criteria. Three sessions of DN on the quadriceps femoris will be applied during a one-week period. The primary outcome measures are the active motor threshold, motor evoked potential, and Hmax – Mmax ratio. The secondary outcomes are the International Knee Documentation Committee subjective knee form questionnaire score and maximum quadriceps isometric torque. Data will be collected at baseline, immediately after the first session, after the third session, and at the one-month follow-up visit. Discussion: The results of this study will provide preliminary evidence regarding the effects of DN on AMI of quadriceps femoris in patients with ACLR.

  • Conference Abstracts2023-10-31
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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
October, 2023
Vol.16 No.5

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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    • Research Article2022-04-30

      Trigger Point Acupuncture and Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adult: a Preliminary Randomized Clinical Trial

      Yoichi Minakawa1,2,*, Shogo Miyazaki1,2, Hideaki Waki1,2, Naruto Yoshida1,2, Kaori Iimura3, Kazunori Itoh4
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 143-151 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.143
      Abstract

      Background: Exercise therapy is the first choice non-pharmacotherapeutic approach for musculoskeletal pain; however, it often interferes with the implementation and continuation of exercise due to fear-avoidance behaviors. Trigger point acupuncture (TrPAcp) has been reported to reduce musculoskeletal pain.Objectives: To examine the efficacy of exercise combined with TrPAcp compared to exercise alone for older patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), the most common subjective symptom reported by old people of both sexes in Japan.Methods: In this single-center randomized controlled trial conducted at Teikyo Heisei University, 15 men and women aged ≥ 65 years with low back pain for at least 3 months who met the eligibility criteria were included. The Ex+TrPAcp group received exercise and trigger point acupuncture, while the Ex group received only exercise for 3 months. The main outcome, pain intensity, was measured using the numerical rating scale (NRS). Improvement was defined as a decrease in NRS of ≥ 2 or less than moderate (NRS < 4).Results: The analysis included 7 of 8 cases in the Ex+TrPAcp group and 7 of 7 cases in the Ex group. NRS improved in 6 of 7 and 1 of 7 patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively, with a significant difference between groups (p = 0.03, φ = 0.71). Regarding adverse events due to acupuncture, one patient (14.3%) complained of heaviness after acupuncture. Nothing specific was reported with exercise.Conclusion: Compared with Ex alone, Ex+TrPAcp may be more effective therapy for older people with CLBP who do not have an exercise habit.

    • 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

      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.

    • Research Article2021-12-31

      Effect of Dry Cupping Therapy on Pain and Functional Disability in Persistent Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

      Marianna de Melo Salemi1,*, Vanessa Maria da Silva Alves Gomes1, Laylla Marjorye Rebouças Bezerra1, Thania Maion de Souza Melo1, Geisa Guimarães de Alencar1, Iracema Hermes Pires de Mélo Montenegro2, Alessandra Paula de Melo Calado3, Eduardo José Nepomuceno Montenegro1, Gisela Rocha de Siqueira1
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(6): 219-230 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.6.219
      Abstract

      Background: Cupping therapy is used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, including low back pain.Objectives: The study assessed the effects of dry cupping on pain and functional disability from persistent nonspecific low back pain. Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial, where participants were allocated to a cupping therapy (n = 19) or sham (n = 18) group, for five 10-minute sessions of cupping therapy, twice a week, to stimulate the acupoints related to low back pain (GV4, BL23, BL24, BL25, and BL30, BL40 and BL58) and emotional aspects (HT3 and ST36). All participants were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and follow up (a finalization period of four weeks) using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Groups were compared using the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and the effect size was calculated using Cohen̓s d. Results: The cupping therapy group presented a lower mean VAS when compared to the sham, at post-treatment (mean difference: –2.36; standard error [SE]: 0.58; p < 0.001; “large” effect size: –0.94) and follow up (mean difference: –1.71; SE: 0.81; p < 0.042; ‘large’ effect size: –0.83). The cupping therapy group presented a lower mean ODI when compared to the sham post-treatment (mean difference: –4.68; SE: 1.85; p: 0.017; ‘large’ effect size: –0.87), although in follow-up, there was no difference between the groups (mean difference: 4.16; SE: 2.97; p: 0.17; “medium” effect size: –0.70). Conclusion: Dry cupping was more effective in improving pain and functional disability in people with persistent nonspecific low back pain when compared to the sham.

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    • Research Article2021-12-31

      Effect of Dry Cupping Therapy on Pain and Functional Disability in Persistent Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

      Marianna de Melo Salemi1,*, Vanessa Maria da Silva Alves Gomes1, Laylla Marjorye Rebouças Bezerra1, Thania Maion de Souza Melo1, Geisa Guimarães de Alencar1, Iracema Hermes Pires de Mélo Montenegro2, Alessandra Paula de Melo Calado3, Eduardo José Nepomuceno Montenegro1, Gisela Rocha de Siqueira1
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2021; 14(6): 219-230 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2021.14.6.219
      Abstract

      Background: Cupping therapy is used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, including low back pain.Objectives: The study assessed the effects of dry cupping on pain and functional disability from persistent nonspecific low back pain. Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial, where participants were allocated to a cupping therapy (n = 19) or sham (n = 18) group, for five 10-minute sessions of cupping therapy, twice a week, to stimulate the acupoints related to low back pain (GV4, BL23, BL24, BL25, and BL30, BL40 and BL58) and emotional aspects (HT3 and ST36). All participants were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and follow up (a finalization period of four weeks) using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Groups were compared using the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and the effect size was calculated using Cohen̓s d. Results: The cupping therapy group presented a lower mean VAS when compared to the sham, at post-treatment (mean difference: –2.36; standard error [SE]: 0.58; p < 0.001; “large” effect size: –0.94) and follow up (mean difference: –1.71; SE: 0.81; p < 0.042; ‘large’ effect size: –0.83). The cupping therapy group presented a lower mean ODI when compared to the sham post-treatment (mean difference: –4.68; SE: 1.85; p: 0.017; ‘large’ effect size: –0.87), although in follow-up, there was no difference between the groups (mean difference: 4.16; SE: 2.97; p: 0.17; “medium” effect size: –0.70). Conclusion: Dry cupping was more effective in improving pain and functional disability in people with persistent nonspecific low back pain when compared to the sham.

    • 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

      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.

    • Research Article2022-04-30

      Trigger Point Acupuncture and Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adult: a Preliminary Randomized Clinical Trial

      Yoichi Minakawa1,2,*, Shogo Miyazaki1,2, Hideaki Waki1,2, Naruto Yoshida1,2, Kaori Iimura3, Kazunori Itoh4
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 143-151 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.143
      Abstract

      Background: Exercise therapy is the first choice non-pharmacotherapeutic approach for musculoskeletal pain; however, it often interferes with the implementation and continuation of exercise due to fear-avoidance behaviors. Trigger point acupuncture (TrPAcp) has been reported to reduce musculoskeletal pain.Objectives: To examine the efficacy of exercise combined with TrPAcp compared to exercise alone for older patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), the most common subjective symptom reported by old people of both sexes in Japan.Methods: In this single-center randomized controlled trial conducted at Teikyo Heisei University, 15 men and women aged ≥ 65 years with low back pain for at least 3 months who met the eligibility criteria were included. The Ex+TrPAcp group received exercise and trigger point acupuncture, while the Ex group received only exercise for 3 months. The main outcome, pain intensity, was measured using the numerical rating scale (NRS). Improvement was defined as a decrease in NRS of ≥ 2 or less than moderate (NRS < 4).Results: The analysis included 7 of 8 cases in the Ex+TrPAcp group and 7 of 7 cases in the Ex group. NRS improved in 6 of 7 and 1 of 7 patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively, with a significant difference between groups (p = 0.03, φ = 0.71). Regarding adverse events due to acupuncture, one patient (14.3%) complained of heaviness after acupuncture. Nothing specific was reported with exercise.Conclusion: Compared with Ex alone, Ex+TrPAcp may be more effective therapy for older people with CLBP who do not have an exercise habit.

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