Sunday, March 25, 2012

Can Acupuncture Cure Renal Failure?

Nowadays, acupuncture becomes a hot topic among people with kidney failure because they want to know whether acupuncture can cure kidney failure. As for this topic, each of them holds to their own statements; however, the fact does not depend on their ideas.acupuncture, renal failure, can acupuncture cure renal failure

It is no doubt that acupuncture is a magic treatment among medical area because different from many other treatments, acupuncture does not need patients take any medicines. Well then, can acupuncture cure renal failure at all?

We all know kidney failure is the worst condition of various kidney diseases. It means kidneys have been damaged seriously and the rest healthy kidney functions are no longer able to help people maintain a normal life. In this case, no treatment can cure damaged kidneys at all.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy and its leading position in medical area is beyond doubt. Although it can not cure kidney failure, it is helpful in helping people live a full life. Acupuncture is a therapy which treats disease through inserting long needles into patients’ acu points. These acu points are closely related with human internal organs and through acupuncture, human blood circulation is improved, which can thus increase the blood flow in kidneys.

Decreased kidney function is manifested as decreased Glomerular Filtration Rate and as blood flow increases in kidneys, Glomerular filtration rate increases slightly. That is to say, acupuncture is beneficial for kidney failure patients, but it can not cure kidney failure. Besides, acupuncture works slowly; however, for kidney failure patients, their disease has been very serious and they have no enough time to wait for the treatment effects. so acupuncture is not suitable for kidney failure patients.

Immunotherapy, which is a natural remedy, is combines Chinese medicine and advanced medical technology. It treats kidney failure from the root and through it, not only kidney failure is controlled, but also kidney functions are recovered slightly. Also, many kidney failure patients have gotten rid of dialysis effectively. Compared with acupuncture, Immunotherapy is more effective and suitable for kidney failure patients.

Acupuncture Use in Equine Reproduction

Breeding season can mean a growth in acupuncture needle inventory for many horse reproduction specialists. Such veterinarians combine strategic insertion of tiny needles with Western veterinary techniques to address subfertility issues in mares--and even stallions. During a presentation at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, Rhonda Rathgeber, DVM, PhD, a partner at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, in Lexington, Ky., discussed using acupuncture to improve mare and stallion fertility.

"Integrating principles of Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine can provide the best treatment for equine reproductive disorders," Rathgeber said. "Acupuncture is used widely in human infertility clinics, and acupuncture for infertility cases has been cited in literature since 11 A.D."

Mare Infertility
"Acupuncture stimulates increased blood supply, relieves local pain, and relaxes muscles," Rathgeber explained. "Acupuncture also increases the immunity of local tissue by stimulating the large number of mast cells at each acupoint.

"All of these factors should facilitate the uterus to be healthier, reduce inflammation, and be more suitable for implantation (of an embryo as occurs in pregnancy)," she continued. "They should also help the uterus clear any post-breeding inflammation more readily."

Rathgeber explained that she has used acupuncture to treat a variety of reproductive issues in the mare including:

  •     Anestrus (mares that aren’t cycling);
  •     Cystic ovaries;
  •     Retained or cystic corpus luteum (which forms from the tissues remaining after a follicle ruptures at    ovulation; structure is also responsible for production and secretion of progesterone in the early stages of pregnancy.);
  •     Silent heat;
  •     Pseudopregnancy (false pregnancy; when a mare is not pregnant, but her body tells her that she is     and all of her reproductive systems react accordingly);
  •     Inflammation of the reproductive tract;
  •     Retained placenta (after foaling);
  •     Uterine prolapse (when the uterus falls out of place, often times emerging out of the body through the vagina);
  •     Uterine fluid accumulation; and
  •     Uterine infections.

She has also used acupuncture to prevent abortion and, on the other hand, to induce birth.

Rathgeber described a German study of women treated with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer: The investigators showed an increase in pregnancy rate as opposed to those not treated with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer—from 26% to 42%.

Researchers on another study, she noted, found that treating women with acupuncture or hormone therapy yielded similar pregnancy rates, but the 131 women in the acupuncture group "had fewer side effects and less subsequent infertility."

Rathgeber also noted that in the aforementioned study, researchers found that those women receiving acupuncture treatment 30 minutes before in vitro fertilization had a 51% pregnancy rate and an 8% miscarriage rate. Those that did not receive acupuncture treatment had a 36% pregnancy rate and a 20% miscarriage rate.

"Although the exact mechanism of acupuncture in (mare) fertility remains to be elucidated, there is certainly plenty of evidence supporting its integration into a reproductive practice," Rathgeber summarized.

Stallion Infertility

"There is very little information on acupuncture in stallions compared with mares," Rathgeber said.

She noted, however, that because acupuncture has been well-documented to relieve equine back pain, stallions experiencing back pain "would be good candidates given the nature of their job."

Rathgeber noted there are reports of success in treating both sub- or infertile bulls and men with acupuncture, and that there are "increasing numbers of studies in men identifying the effects of acupuncture on fertility."

Researchers on one study she discussed found that 24 of 30 men (80%) receiving acupuncture treatment had an increased libido and an easier time sleeping.

In another study she mentioned, investigators revealed that men receiving acupuncture had a significant increase in total sperm function as compared to a control group with no increase.

Finally, she noted, a recent study demonstrated increased sperm motility and quantity, along with better morphology (structure) in men that were treated with acupuncture for five weeks.

Take-Home Message

While there are few studies on the effects of acupuncture on horse fertility, studies in human medicine are yielding promising results to support its application in equine reproductive practice. Additionally, Rathgeber reported success in using the complementary therapy in her own management of subfertile mares and stallions.

Are You A Computer Geek Who Needs Acupuncture?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common, especially among people who spend a lot of time working on their computers. Daily long hours at your computer can cause new health problems and exacerbate existing ones. Some common problems that computer geeks (I use that term lovingly since I am also on my computer a lot) experience include: eye strain, neck, back and wrist pain, anxiety, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Acupuncture is often a great solution for many types of pain.

Today, I am going to focus on how acupuncture can relieve the increasingly common complaint of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but be sure to check back because I plan to address other computer related problems in future posts.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common job-related injuries and occurs three times more often in women. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of ligaments and bones. This small pathway/tunnel contains the median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm. Thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling can narrow the tunnel that the median nerve runs through causing it to be compressed.

Symptoms usually start gradually with tingling or numbness in the palm and fingers and can get progressively worse to include pain, burning and weakness of the affected hand and forearm. . I've had several patients come in over the years complaining of persistent wrist pain, a frequent symptom of carpel tunnel problems. This syndrome can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.

The most common therapies prescribed by doctors are anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, exercises and in some cases surgery. These options make acupuncture a very effective and attractive treatment, wouldn’t you say?

Acupuncture can reduce the swelling, inflammation and pain in the wrist, fingers and arm. According to a study published in the May of 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of Pain acupuncture was shown to be just as effective the corticosteroid, prednisone for treating such common carpal tunnel symptoms as numbness, tingling and weakness. Plus for the symptoms of waking at night and motor function, the acupuncture group had better results than the group taking steroids.