Acupuncture Helped People With Back Pain Walk and Bend Better

A double-blinded randomized trial of electroacupuncture found it may result in a modest improvement in daily functioning for those with chronic back pain, though it provided little pain relief.

Electroacupuncture uses a small electric current passed between needles, a practice some believe provides additional pain relief compared with regular acupuncture. Researchers tested the procedure by dividing 121 people with chronic low back pain into two groups. The first received electroacupuncture, and the second a sham version of the procedure. None of the patients knew in advance which treatment they would get. The study, in JAMA Network Open, included 12 45-minute sessions over six weeks.

The scientists measured pain intensity using a pain scale developed by the National Institutes of Health, administering the questionnaire two weeks before and two weeks after the end of the treatment. There was no statistically significant difference in pain intensity between the treatment and the placebo groups at either time point. But the acupuncture group did have modest improvement in disability — they reported improvements in walking comfortably, standing for longer periods, bending or kneeling, and other daily activities.

“For back pain management, most techniques, even surgery, provide modest relief,” said the lead author, Dr. Jiang-Ti Kong, an anesthesiologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “To manage back pain it’s best to use a multimodal approach, and electroacupuncture can provide a modest, but clinically significant reduction in disability.”

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Maryland University of Integrative Health Appoints New Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Department Chair

Laurel, Md. – Maryland University of Integrative Health is pleased to announce that it has appointed Dr. Sharon Jennings-Rojas as the new chair of its acupuncture and Oriental medicine department. She brings a wealth of professional experiences to the role as a clinician, community health advocate, faculty member, and administrator.

Dr. Jennings-Rojas’ career includes a strong emphasis on community outreach and services. Since 2001, she has maintained a private practice providing care for individuals, families, and communities, and has served as a consultant, acupuncturist, and educator for the Howard County (MD) Detention Center and the Goucher College Student Health Center. She has also provided acupuncture detox services at Lincoln Hospital in New York, directed a maternal substance abuse acupuncture program as part of University of Maryland Medical Systems, consulted with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to incorporate acupuncture and meditation into recovery programs, and directed acupuncture and HIV administrative services for the CAMBA community support organization in the New York City area. Her work also includes providing access and advocacy for wounded warriors within various military installations.

“It’s paramount that we elevate the next generation of practitioners/healers. In this day and time, this new level of compassionate care is calling us all to take action by making integrative health, inclusive of acupuncture and other forms of world medicine, accessible to all people, including marginalized populations. We need more focus and care that provide an expanded understanding of the co-morbidities that plague underserved communities. Education and access are the keys. Once communities, and the people within them, know their natural healthcare options, and holistic ways of bolstering their health, they are more empowered to take their healthcare and wellness into their own hands. Education, self-advocacy, and access are key features of a healthcare system that can truly bring forth health and healing in all communities. MUIH is in a position to help redefine how we provide healthcare in this country. We’re prepared to take compassionate care to the next level, for all people and all communities.” said Dr. Jennings-Rojas.

She holds a Master of Acupuncture, and a Doctorate of Oriental Medicine from MUIH, as well as a B.A. in Eastern Philosophy from Vassar College. She has also completed graduate coursework in the philosophy of education from Teachers College of Columbia University. She also holds certification as a practitioner and trainer for the NADA protocol/ Ear acupuncture to address addictions, stress, and trauma. Dr. Jennings-Rojas has been a longstanding member of the MUIH community as a student, faculty, and staff member. She previously held several roles in MUIH’s acupuncture and Oriental medicine department including clinical faculty, director of community partnerships, and division chair of clinical practices.

“Dr. Jennings-Rojas has the experience and vision to expand acupuncture access across healthcare settings and within communities. Her academic, administrative, and clinical backgrounds make Dr. Jennings-Rojas the ideal leader for educating an acupuncture workforce prepared to address the complexity of modern healthcare needs,” said Dr. James Snow, Dean of Academic Affairs.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture Points and Charts

What Are the Acupuncture Points?

The English translation of ‘acupuncture points’ is not very accurate. Acupuncture is one of the many healing methods used in traditional Chinese Medicine. It inserts fine needles into the sensitive points on the body to stimulate Jingluos (meridians) to cure diseases. These sensitive points are called ‘Shuxue’ or ‘Xuewei’ in Chinese Medicine, meaning ‘the transmitting points’. However, this name has been so widely used, there is no point to change it now for our discussion.

Acupuncture points are the responsive points or sensitive points on the meridians and other parts of the body. They are the special locations where energy is transmitted between the inner structures and the surface of the body. These spots can reflect disease or unhealthy conditions by giving forth painful sensations when touched or pressed. These points are (but not limited to) where the therapists apply treatments. When the body is deficient of positive energy, negative or harmful energy will be able to invade the body through these spots, causing illness. Stimulating the related points can boost and mobilize the positive energy, balance Yin/Yang energy and cure the disease. There are three types of points:

1. 14-main-meridian points

2. Extraordinary points

3.’Yes’ points.

The 14-main-meridian points are the spots on the 12 main meridians plus the spots on the governor and conception vessels. Each spot has a unique name and a fixed location. They are the main acupuncture points. The extraordinary points are the points that have names and fixed locations. These locations are not on a particular meridian. ‘Yes’ points are also called pain points, but they don’t have names or fixed locations. They are the sensitive points related to the diseases. The ‘yes ‘name came from a story. When treating a patient, the doctor pressed a spot unintentionally, and the patient uttered ‘oh yes’.

There are approximately 360 acupuncture points in total on the human body. With so many tiny points to remember, one can easily be intimidated. As a matter of fact, for self -healing and caring purposes, we don’t have to memorize all these points. We only need to remember roughly 20 most used and effective points. If you need to use more points, just look for them using the meridian and acupuncture point charts. Each point has a unique and meaningful name, which gives some key information about this particular point, such as main function, usage, location, or other. In English, the English spelling of the Chinese names are directly used. For people who don’t understand Chinese, it is hard to comprehend the significance of each name and, therefore hard to remember all the foreign sounding names.The format of the international symbols for acupuncture points is fairly easy. Since most of the points belong to one specific meridian (Jing), it only makes sense that their symbols are associated with those meridians. You can take two abbreviation letters of that meridian’s name and number all the points along the way, from the starting point to the end …

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Sadness, Grief, Anger, Resentment – How Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help

In life there are many genuine reasons to grieve, to feel sad, to get angry or to feel resentful. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, being disregarded in your work or personal life, the ongoing challenges of the material world that we live in, not feeling fulfilled, dysfunctional relationships, broken relationships, the loss of a pet… the list is almost endless.

What makes the situation even more difficult is that in today’s society we are often under so much stress that the emotion is not given permission to vent or surface properly, which can lead to other difficult emotions and stronger feelings of sadness, grief, anger etc. and it is a self perpetuating situation.

A Look At Sadness, Grieving & Western Medicine

If you are sad or grieving and you live in a "western civilised country" then you may consider going to a doctor. Friends and family may be supportive, but as the emotion/s persists you and your support group may feel there is no better option. In many cases, depending on how the patient expresses these emotions, the doctor may decide to prescribe anti-depressants to help them.

There may be some cases where as a temporary measure this can appear to help, and unfortunately many other cases where it is the slippery slope to a dependency on prescription drugs.

Of course there are also doctors who may recommend counselling or some form of talk therapy, to give the patient the opportunity to deal with and vent the emotion/s.

Regardless of the route that is chosen, Western medicine does not recognise that certain emotions are linked to specific organs, and can therefore have either a detrimental effect or a balancing effect, depending on the degree and type of emotion experienced.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Recognises Relationships Between Emotions And Organs

However traditional Chinese medicine does recognise the relationship between emotions and organs, and it is an integral aspect of how both traditional Chinese acupuncturists and herbalists practice.

Even if you have no interest in going to a traditional Chinese medical practitioner, I have found that even by observing shifts in general well being, when you understand the inter-relationships between emotions and organs, can give some helpful indications of how to begin re-balancing these imbalances.

For example, doing something creative that you enjoy can give you these type of signals. Walking in nature can also do the same, as can reading something enriching. These are only a handful of examples of potentially balancing activities. Please note that although these are helpful, it would be highly recommended to visit a good practitioner who will help you re-balance thoroughly.

In traditional Chinese Medicine there are 7 emotions which are:

1. Anger

2. Anxiety

3. Fear

4. Fright

5. Grief

6. Joy

7. Pensiveness

Each of these is associated to a different organ or organs. Let’s look very briefly at what these are.

1. Anger which encompasses anger as we know it, as well as resentment, frustration and irritability is …

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