Acupuncture Associates

News News News

November 2008

In Tibetan Medicine, pulse diagnosis is an important examination

NEEDLE TREATMENT WITHOUT FIRE NOT CLINICALLY CORRECT

The word “acupuncture” is translated from a French term that implies an exclusive focus on the use of the thin needle for treatment. In reality, the Chinese refer to their treatment as “fire” and “metal”, reflecting the treatment of qi and yang with cold metal and hot fire.

However, many schools of acupuncture and the majority of practitioners in the United States relegate the use of fire or “moxibustion” to a minor role, or ignore it entirely. Restrictions on the use of open flame and concerns about smoke mean that in most hospital and group practice settings, moxibustion is never performed.

Studies of “acupuncture” rarely include the use of moxibustion, despite the important role that this modality plays in Japanese, Chinese and Tibetan treatments. A search of the National Library of Medicine in October, 2008 for the keyword “moxibustion” finds 1,235 articles as opposed to 13,474 articles found with the search term “acupuncture”.

If your practitioner never uses moxa when it is indicated, you should be concerned that you are not receiving the full benefits of so-called “acupuncture” treatment.

WHAT’S THE CURE IF WE ARE POISONING OURSELVES?

Diabetes has come to be seen as a preventable “lifestyle disease” that results from increasing obesity. Interesting and controversial research has suggested a link between the developing diabetes “epidemic” and chemical pollutants known as POPs or, “persistent organic pollutants”.

After the chemical disaster in Seveso, Italy in 1976, widespread contamination of the land with dioxin has led to increased levels of diabetes as well as other disorders.

An alarming theory to explain this development is suggested by Duk-Hee Lee, an epidemiologist in Korea. Dr. Lee has analyzed data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found an association between POPs and diabetes that is stronger than the association between obesity and diabetes.

Taking into account factors such as weight, age, waist circumference and ethnic group, Lee calculated that in people with the highest combined levels of six different POPs, the rate of diabetes was 38 times greater than in those with the lowest levels. Lee also found that in people with undetectable levels of POPs the expected link between diabetes and body weight melted away - those who were obese were no more likely to have diabetes than their lean counterparts. (New Scientist September 13, 2008 p. 36)

TOXIC CANADIANS

In tests carried out on 11 volunteers, to assess the impact of environmental pollution on Canadians, world-renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman (who lives well away from industrial centers and eats organic food) was found to have 48 different toxic substances in his blood.

These included heavy metals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls used in electrical transformers and now banned), PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers used as fire retardants), PFOs (perfluorinated chemicals used in stain repellants, non-stick cookware and food packaging), pesticides and insecticides.

On average, the volunteers had 44 of 88 chemicals tested for, all believed to be carcinogenic or to disrupt reproduction and hormonal function and interfere with fetal development. (Environmental Defence Canada).

ACUPRESSURE FOR BACK PAIN

A Taiwanese study has compared the effects of acupressure (six treatments) with standard physical therapy ( including pelvic manual traction, spinal manipulation, thermotherapy, infrared light therapy, electrical stimulation and exercise therapy) for the treatment of lower back pain.

129 patients with chronic lower back pain were assigned randomly to one of the two treatment groups. The acupressure group experienced an 89% greater relief of disability compared to the physical therapy group, and the benefit lasted at follow-up six months later.

The acupressure group also reported greater improvement in leg pain, interference of pain with normal work and days off from work or school. (Lisa Li-Chen Hsieh et al. Treatment of low back pain by acupressure and physical therapy: randomized controlled trial. BMJ, Mar 2006; 332: 696-700).

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

In 1981, Morton Grove, Illinois became the first town in the U.S. to pass a flat out ban on the possession of handguns within the town limits by anyone except police and active duty military during the performance of their official duties.

In contrast, the town of Kennesaw, Georgia passed a gun law of their own in March of 1982. The Kennesaw law was almost the exact opposite to the Morton Grove ordinance.

Rather than banning handgun possession, Kennesaw required every head-of-household to keep at least one firearm and appropriate ammunition in their home – with exemptions for those who had religious or philosophical objections to maintaining or using weapons. In other words, gun ownership was mandatory except for people who didn’t want to own a gun.

25 years later, how have these policies fared? Morton Grove’s relatively low crime rate went up by over 15% immediately after enactment of the ban (12% more than surrounding areas) and has held pretty steady at just a tad below the national average ever since

In 1982, the year the firearms requirement was enacted, Kennesaw realized a 74% reduction in crime against persons over the previous year. That rate then dropped 45% between 1982 and 1983.

In spite of a population increase from 5000 to almost 30,000 during the same period, Kennesaw’s crime rates remain significantly lower than national or area averages. And the people of Kennesaw didn’t have to use their mandated firearms to effect this dramatic change.

Criminals that worked in Kennesaw knew they were choosing to face an armed prospective victim pool: Apparently, this was enough to convince them not to pursue their chosen professions there. (The Knox Report)

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IS THE “WILD WEST” MORE HOLLYWOOD MYTHOLOGY?

Historian Roger McGrath's detailed examination of actual crime rates in the nineteenth century, American West, Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes, found that despite the fact that the region was peopled mainly by young transient males subject to few social controls and weak law enforcement, the per capita annual robbery rate was 7 percent of modern New York City's, the burglary rate was 1 percent, and rape was nearly unknown.

Everyone carried a gun, and "the old, the weak, the female, the innocent, and those unwilling to fight were rarely targets of attacks," McGrath found. Except for young men who liked to drink and fight with each other for disreputable sport, residents of the well-armed West were far more secure than residents of today's cities where ordinary people are banned from carrying a firearm. (Freerepublic.com)

ACUPUNCTURE & TEMPOROMANDIBULAR DYSFUNCTION

An audit of 60 patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction was compiled from the practices of 15 dentists who were applying for the diploma of the British Dental Acupuncture Society. The mean age of the patients (predominantly female) was 40.6 years, and the average duration of the disorder was 32 months. .

The patients received a mean of 3.4 treatments (each lasting 12 minutes). Treatment consisted principally of local points, points on the neck and ‘relaxing’ points (principally Hegu L.I.-4). Only manual needle stimulation was used. A beneficial effect was observed in 85% of patients with an average reduction in pain intensity of 75%. (Rosted P et al. The use of acupuncture in the treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction – an audit. Acupuncture in Medicine (2006) 24; 1: 16-22).

GREEN TEA & ALZHEIMER’S

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an ingredient of green tea, has been found to significantly reduce production of beta-amyloid, an Alzheimer's-related protein, which can accumulate abnormally in the brain and lead to nerve damage and memory loss. The reduction in beta-amyloid was found in both cell cultures and mouse brains. (J Neurosci 2005; 25: 8807 - 8814).

GREEN TEA AND LEUKEMIA

Following press reports of studies carried out at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota which found that EGCG was able to kill cancer cells in vitro from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), four patients with low grade B-cell malignancies who were attending the clinic independently started taking over-the-counter EGCG products.

Now the clinic reports that three of these have shown clear improvements with regression in their cancer. Although spontaneous remission/regression is occasionally observed in individuals with low grade B-cell malignancies, such events are rare.

A National Cancer Institute sponsored phase I/II trial of de-caffeinated green tea extracts for patients with asymptomatic, early stage CLL opened at the Mayo Clinic in August 2005. (Leukemia Research, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 1 December 2005).

GREEN TEA & ATHEROSCLEROSIS

Twenty smokers who drank green tea for four weeks showed improvement in markers of atherosclerosis (reductions in soluble P-selectin levels and concentrations of oxidized LDL. (Clin Biochem 2005; 38: 84-7).

TEA & PROSTATE CANCER

A new study has confirmed the growing evidence that drinking tea, both green and black, might slow the growth of prostate cancer. The 15 men in this study, who were due for prostate surgery for cancer in five days time, were required to steep the tea for five minutes to ensure the release of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and to drink five cups a day.

Another five men, also due for surgery, who drank regular or diet cola containing similar amounts of caffeine and other stimulants as the tea, acted as a control. A comparison of biopsied tissue taken from the prostates of all the men before the study and after surgery revealed that in the tea-drinking men the tissue contained tea polyphenols and reduced polyamines (a marker of rapidly dividing tissue found in prostate and other cancers) while the biopsies of the men who drank cola showed no such changes. (Experimental Biology 2004 Meeting, Washington, December 2005).

TEA & OVARIAN CANCER

Women who drink two or more cups of tea a day appear to lower their risk of ovarian cancer by 46% compared to women who drink no tea, according to a recent Swedish study. The study found that each additional cup of tea consumed per day was associated with an 18% lower risk of ovarian cancer. (Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2683-2686).

GREEN TEA & BREAST CANCER

A meta-analysis of 13 separate studies has indicated that women who have the highest intake of green tea have a 22% lowered risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with the lowest intake. The evidence for the benefits of black tea and breast cancer are not so clear. (Carcinogenesis. 2005;Nov 25).

COFFEE & HYPERTENSION

Coffee is known to have a short term effect of elevating blood pressure, but data from the extensive Nurses’ Health Study (over 155,000 women followed up for 12 years) has found no relationship between habitual coffee consumption and increased risk of hypertension. There was, however, a link between the risk of hypertension and consumption of both sugared and diet colas, which also contain caffeine. (JAMA. 2005;294:2330-2335).

GOOD NEWS FOR COFFEE DRINKERS

Coffee is the number one source – by far – of antioxidants in the American diet. The average American adult consumes 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants from coffee, with tea – at 294 milligrams – coming a distant second and fruits and vegetables lagging far behind. A diet high in antioxidants is linked to protection against heart disease and cancer, although they are likely to be only one of the significant components of a healthy diet which should also be rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. (230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Washington, 2005).

THE FOG OF WAR

A March 2008 report from the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team reports that 12% of U.S. troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope. Given the traditional stigma associated with soldiers seeking mental help, the anonymous survey probably underestimates psychiatric drug use. In contrast to the general population, soldiers are younger and healthier and have been prescreened for mental illnesses before enlisting. (Time Magazine June 05, 2008)

EAR ACUPUNCTURE FOR WEIGHT LOSS

In a study carried out in a psychiatric hospital, 45 patients with psychoactive-drug-induced obesity and 44 obese patients not taking such medication were randomized to receive either ear acupuncture, sham acupuncture or ear acupuncture plus physical exercise sessions. In both the drug and no-drug induced obesity groups, those who received true ear acupuncture lost weight (2.6kg average) whilst those who received the sham acupuncture gained an average of 0.6kg. Those who combined the ear acupuncture with physical exercise lost the most weight, 4.3kg. (Eich H et al. Acupuncture in the treatment of psychoactive-drug-induced obesity – an experimental study. Dtsch Z Akup 2005; 48: 6–11).

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"What Were They Thinking?" Department

ANOTHER 200 MILLION FOR THE FAT CATS IN CLEVELAND

Cleveland throws 200 million dollars into a poorly conceived project. Photo credit to http://api.ning.com/files

(Cleveland) - The four year $200 million Euclid Corridor Project was completed today with a ribbon cutting ceremony at East 4th Street and Euclid Avenue. The project was completed on time and on budget. After the ribbon was cut, with the help of former Browns player Kevin Mack, former Cavaliers player Campy Russell and former Indians pitcher "Large" Lenny Barker, the first "train", which is a long bus, rolled down Euclid Avenue.

The buses will run an express route between Public Square, University Circle, and East Cleveland. It will now take 20 minutes to get to University Circle from Public Square on these express buses. The project was funded through a combination of federal, state and local tax dollars.

It's hoped that the new Euclid Corridor, officially known as the Health Line, will spur economic development along Euclid Avenue now infested with vacant store fronts. The Euclid Corridor "health Line" is the first Bus Rapid Transit line funded by the federal government.

The 21 buses on the line are hybrid-electric vehicles powered by diesel fuel using 100 kilo-watt motors and 600 volt nickel hydride battery packs.

Mayor Frank Jackson was joined by Senator George Voinovich, East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer, County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese and others at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Euclid Corridor Project included sidewalk upgrades, new traffic lights, new bus shelters and express bus lanes.

(Copyright 2008 Clear Channel. All rights reserved.)

Commentary: The story above is reprinted in its entirety. Although we are not sure how an express bus line through a decayed region of Cleveland is benefiting the fat cats, we can be sure that it somehow does. What is more mysterious is how an express bus route will “spur economic development along Euclid Avenue now infested with vacant store fronts.”

Fewer stops for patrons to leave and enter an express bus seems to be contrary to the concept of restoring pedestrian traffic to the blighted areas that it rushes through, but even the thinnest of excuses to steal taxpayer’s money seems to work for this “funded by the federal government” (yet still paid for by “a combination of federal, state and local tax dollars”) fiasco.

Unmentioned in this article is how 200 million dollars transforms into a “Health” line with no perceptible medical benefits for the taxpayers who have paid for this project. Perhaps a clue resides in the information at the bus company’s “who it helps” page at their website:

“The Health Line allows downtown residents of the loft district working at the Cleveland Clinic to leave their car and parking woes behind, and it gives CWRU and CSU students a new designated driver for Cleveland nightlife”

So, if saving the (not for profit) Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s parking spaces for paying customers and safeguarding carousing college students isn’t enough of a justification for 200 million dollars from taxpayers, perhaps advertising for industrialized medicine is the answer.

“Naming rights” for the line were purchased by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals for twenty-five years, so riders will no doubt enjoy a constant infusion of corporate medical propaganda as they observe out their bus window the effects of decades of fat cat sponsored neglect of city infrastructure.

They may even wonder if exemptions from property tax and other perks that these organizations enjoy have any relationship to Cleveland's present deterioration.

At least they aren’t calling it the “Wellness” line.

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December 2007 newsletter November 2007 newsletter
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December 2005 newsletter November 2005 newsletter
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