How Many Acupuncture Sessions?

How many acupuncture sessions are enough

HeartFire Acupuncture Clinic

I am frequently asked how many acupuncture sessions I would recommend for various treatment conditions.

During my early acupuncture training that we were taught that acupuncture has a cumulative effect. This means that the more acupuncture sessions you have, the longer the treatment effects last. How many acupuncture sessions are enough?

If a person’s system is depleted of energy they may already be experiencing symptoms. Their energy stores would need to be balanced and then enhanced, before you could bring about a resolution of the symptoms affecting them.

In my experience over the years I have practiced acupuncture, I have seen some people who have responded immediately to a single session of acupuncture. Others with seemingly the same set of symptoms may take much longer to respond.

Once again, this reinforces my belief that ‘one size does not fit all’. We are each unique. We respond in our own way to our individual needs in our own individual set of circumstances.

While I remember these ‘rules’ clearly, I felt it would be both helpful and interesting to research some Journal articles on a few conditions that I work with. I wanted to know how many acupuncture sessions were completed during their research, and the frequency of the sessions. I have summarised a few articles below.

The first article [1] deals with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. This is the most common late complication of diabetes. These patients may experience loss of sensation and strength, prickling or pain.

A randomized controlled trial was performed where 42 patients participated in one  acupuncture session per day lasting 30 minutes, for 15 days. (Total of 15 sessions). The results of the trial suggest that acupuncture can delay the progressive deterioration of nerve function secondary to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, and could actually accelerate the nerve regenerative process. The treatment also appeared to significantly improve subjective symptom scores, particular numbness, pain, rigidity and alterations in temperature perception.

An Abstract from another article describes a long-term study of Acupuncture for the treatment of chronic peripheral diabetic neuropathy [2]. 46 patients were treated with acupuncture analgesia. The patients received up to 6 courses of classical acupuncture analgesia over a period of 10 weeks.

77% of the patients showed a significant improvement in their primary and / or secondary symptoms. These patients were followed up for a period of 18-52 weeks. Only 24% of the patients required further acupuncture sessions. 21% of the patients noted that their symptoms cleared completely.

The conclusion suggests that acupuncture is a safe and effective therapy for the long-term management of painful diabetic neuropathy.

Acupuncture in a Rheumatology Clinic [3] is the topic of the third article. An acupuncture clinic was established for a limited period within a rheumatology department of a hospital.

41 patients underwentprospective observational study in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment. Courses of 6-8 acupuncture sessions of traditional and trigger-point acupuncture were offered for a specified range of conditions. (Neck pain, Thoracic pain, Low back and leg pain, Knee pain, Ankle and foot pain, Shoulder pain).

Contrary to expectation, some patients with a long history of degenerative disease responded well.

In conclusion, 73% of rheumatology patients included in the study showed at least a 33% improvement in pain after acupuncture treatment. There was a considerable reduction in the intake of analgesic drugs.

A Pilot clinical study of 31 Frozen Shoulders [4] describes the symptoms as ‘severe aching in the shoulder and upper arm, with tenderness around the area. All glenohumeral movements become restricted to about 25% of normal expected movement’.

These patients commonly get little relief from conventional medical treatment or physiotherapy.

Of all the 31 patients treated, all but one (who withdrew after only 2 treatments) had beneficial responses. Some patients obtained therapeutic effect with only 4 acupuncture sessions. Others needed up to 15 acupuncture sessions for the same level of benefit.

“It appears to be individual response rather than a specific optimum number of treatment sessions that determines both the amount of benefit and the speed of recovery in acupuncture treatment”.

How many sessions of acupuncture would you, personally, benefit from? Let’s offer your body the chance to discover your optimal treatment response!

 

References:

  1. Fifteen-day Acupuncture Treatment Relieves Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Yanqing Tong, Hongyang Guo, Bing Han; J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2010; 3(2):95-103
  2. Acupuncture for the treatment of painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy: a long-term study; B. Abuaisha, J. B. Costanzi, A. J. M. Boulton; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016882279700123X
  3. Acupuncture in a Rheumatology Clinic: Rosemary Alexander, Adrian White; Acupuncture in medicine Dec 2000 Vol 18 (2) p100-103
  4. Frozen Shoulder: A Comparison of Western and Traditional Chinese Approaches and a Clinical Study of its Acupuncture Treatment; Emad S Tukmachi. Acupuncture in Medicine June 1999 Vol 17 (1) p9-21
Share on Facebook

Stand Up – Be Moved

Movement is crucial for our existence! This guest post highlights movement in our work environment. This could be in a corporate environment, and also our home office. Stand up and be moved!

standing desks allow movement at work

Stand up – Be Moved!

 

Sit to stand desks have become the latest thing to have in the modern office. They are not, however, the silver bullet for everyone. As with any product it is about the end user being educated as to why and how they work better for us as well as understanding what you should be looking for when investigating the sit to stand desk market.

 

There are two reasons why such desks work.

  1. Fundamentally humans should not sit all day – we are not designed for it and it is not good for us. More importantly, we shouldn’t be staying in one position for too long – movement is key. Varying your position between sitting and standing on a regular basis brings some movement to your working environment.
  1. Secondly, human proportions/measurements vary tremendously. The desk height norm of 720mm will not, therefore, suit everyone. In fact, from a survey undertaken by Ergostyle this standard height of 720mm suits very few – 90% of the surveyed people have a sitting elbow height of between 590 and 710mm. Additionally the standing height of some desks do not suit everybody. It is important that the height range of a desk is considered and ideally matched to the people using it.

Calculate your individual ideal height range as follows:

  1. The desk height when sitting should be one finger width (approximately 2cm) below your elbow when sitting correctly in a height adjustable chair (feet flat on the floor and a 90 degree angle between the lower and upper leg)
  1. The desk height when standing should again be one finger below your elbow when you are standing. The space allowed for below your elbow (when shoulders are relaxed) allows for your arms to swing easily over a keyboard without raising your shoulders.

Besides height, the other crucial consideration for a desk is the lift capacity. This not only affects directly the amount of weight the desk has been designed to take but also affects the ease with which the desk copes with the weight and thus the life of the lifting mechanism. A desk which has to carry a weight close to its capacity does not last as long as one where the weight easily falls within its capacity.

Additional features to look for in a sit to stand desk are its

  • Stability (how stable is the desk at its greatest height?)
  • Is the height displayed? (best practice under AS/NZS442:1997)
  • Is the control programmable or does it integrate with a computer?
  • Is cable management provided?

And don’t forget to stand up to be moved!

by Jacqui Barnes  www.ergostyle.co.nz

 

Share on Facebook

New Thinking – New Experience

New Thinking brings New Experience for www.selfmanagechronicpain.com

New Thinking brings New Experience

 

Have you recently changed your thinking about something, and noticed how your world opened up? New Thinking results in New Experience.

Last weekend I was one of the many people promoting a service and health based product at our local Mind Body Spirit Festival, which is held every six months at a multi-storied venue in the city. Stalls or cubicles are set up on the first two floors, with talks and workshops taking place on the third floor.

Regulars to the Festival feel a sense of familiarity with the layout and recognise many of the stall holders as they return each time, often to their same ‘space’. For a newcomer, the experience can be totally overwhelming! Imagine how much new thinking is stimulated, which results in new experience.

First, there is the sense of excitement, the hub-bub of sounds – conversation, music, general activity. The visual stimulation is intense. Posters, wall hangings, tables laden with enticing objects, the vibrant clothing and jewellery people are wearing. Your sense of smell is awakened, by the aroma of foods in the food area, fragrances of massage oils, soaps and other products.

So much to see, so many services and products on offer, so many people searching for who knows what? If you came with a particular purpose in mind, it is easy to fulfill your mission and leave feeling satisfied. But what if you had no idea what you were ultimately looking for? A vague sense of wanting something, hoping you would know what it was once it was in front of you.

I met people for whom all of these situations were true.

On the first day I was stationed at our stall, waiting for people to pass by, hoping to interest them in what we had to offer. Many times, these people had a dazed look about them, not wanting to be ‘accosted again’ by a zealous stall holder determined to bend their ear about the “next best thing”. They looked harried, overstimulated, tired, in need of a reassuring hug and a still quiet place to recover their equilibrium. Perhaps new thinking was too active resulting in too many new experiences.

I did not particularly enjoy the hours ‘attached’ to the stall. I did not feel that I created enough opportunities to serve, to offer anything of value to these people who were obviously searching for ‘something’, yet trying to escape from feeling cornered.

Overnight, I realised that my experience would change when my attitude and actions changed. I welcomed new thinking and new experiences. I decided to ‘be the change’, and spent the morning as a Roving Ambassador of Goodwill. I set out to meet each stall holder, to find out who they were, where they came from, what they were offering, and how I could meet any of their needs with what I was offering.

Guess what? I met so many interesting and lovely people! I handed out small samples as an energy exchange. I practiced the art of receiving too, accepting compliments and any snippets of advice or information. The experience was priceless.

Someone suggested to me that I could host my own stall next time – as a Roving Ambassador of Goodwill. It is a thought! Meanwhile, I shall keep practicing the technique: New Thinking leads to New Experiences.

If you enjoyed reading this post, and if you have had similar experiences, please share and re-post, especially if re-posting is a new experience for you!

Share on Facebook

Want A New Knee?

total knee replacementWant a new knee?

Last Saturday morning I attended a study morning, dedicated to the topic of knee replacements, hosted by the New Zealand Orthopaedic Nurses Association. I learned a lot!

 

Prof Gary Hooper, Orthopaedic Surgeon, spoke about the history of knee replacements and the complex functional problems which arise when the alignment of the prosthetic parts is faulty. He also stated that the incidence of joint replacements is increasing in New Zealand, and is expected to reach epidemic proportions due to:

  • Our aging population
  • The increasing numbers of healthy retired people
  • The greater expectation of the population to access free health funded procedures

He also reported that statistics for the USA predict that by 2030

  • Total hip replacements will increase by 157%
  • Total knee replacements will increase by 673%.

New Zealand statistics show that we model similar trends.

The NZ Orthopaedic Association has established a NZ Joint Registry which collates information about joint arthroplasty outcomes. Using data gathered between the years 1999-2012:

  • The incidence of Total Knee Replacements has increased by 157%
  • The incidence of Total Knee Replacements is 57% higher than Total Hip Replacements

These statistics are attributed to the physically orientated population, high levels of obesity, ethnicity, and favour females between the ages of 70-79 years of age.

By 2018, it is predicted that the number of Total Knee Replacements will exceed the number of Total Hip Replacements.

The Survival Rate of the prosthesis has been found to be 95%, for a period of approximately 14 years – after which a revision of the procedure may be necessary. This is the main reason why people under the age of 55 years are discouraged from having the surgery as their chances for requiring a revision are greater.

Reasons for requiring revision can include:

  • Prosthesis in the Tibia loosening
  • Patellar problems
  • Deep infection
  • Pain

Prof Hooper was very clear in stating that any person who has had any form of joint replacement could be at risk of deep tissue infection for the rest of their lives. Any haematological infection (carried in the blood) such as a respiratory tract or urinary tract infection, could cause a “seed to plant” in the replacement area. Any such infection must be treated by prophylactic antibiotics.

By far the commonest cause for revision is PAIN. Even after revision, which is usually cementless, the person will probably still experience PAIN.

With my background in Pain Management, this is not at all surprising, as numerous people return to surgery to “investigate the source of pain” after “failed” procedures, leaving the person worse off than before, as the pain pathways have yet again been excited / assaulted.

According to Chris Scott, Physiotherapist, scar tissue management to reduce pain is one of the vital postoperative goals in order to return to full functional activities. This was covered in a later presentation.

Take Home Message:

  • The incidence of joint replacement is reaching epidemic proportions
  • Be Proactive – ensure that you remain physically healthy and active
  • Do not depend on the public health system to automatically be able to cater to your health needs

Have you received a joint replacement?

How has it influenced your life?

If you have found this post interesting, please repost and share.

Share on Facebook

Want To Change Everything? – Ho’oponopono

 

Ho’oponopono Changes Everything

Ho'oponopono MantraI recently attended a four day seminar that was literally a life changer for me. Based on the soon-to-be-released book Becoming a Sun, the author David Karchere was also the main facilitator of the seminar. More of that in a later post, though.

 

For now, I am still really focused on the experiential work we did using the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgivenessHo’oponopono.

The Hawaiian Dictionary defines the practice of Ho’oponopono as mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.

The practice of Ho’oponopono is a tool for atonement, it corrects errors, restores and maintains good relationships among family members, erases the effects of past actions and memories that cause havoc and grief in our lives and the lives of others – by getting to the causes and sources of trouble.

The practice is so simple and the results so profound!

The four step Ho’oponopono process invokes the powerful forces of Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Love.

Step 1: Repentance – I am Sorry

    • This statement opens the door to atonement.  The moment you take responsibility for any negative manifestation you experience or witness you also create an opportunity for healing. 
    • The apology is an acknowledgement that we are sorry for whatever it is that we (or our ancestors before us) have done to cause the adverse circumstance to take place.

Step 2: Ask Forgiveness – Please Forgive Me

    • We ask for forgiveness with the absolute certainty that it has already been granted. 

Step 3: Gratitude – Thank You

    • Whatever your petition or concern, the moment you take responsibility for its occurrence and seek a way out–you are guaranteed a response.
    • Your “thank you” is the acknowledgement that your petition has been heard and acted upon.

Step 4: Love – I Love You

    • Love is a great healing power that reverberates through your psyche and generates an immediate feeling of well-being.
    • Say I LOVE YOU. Say it to your body, say it to God / The Powerful All That Is. Say I LOVE YOU to the air you breathe, to the house that shelters you. Say I LOVE YOU to your challenges. Say it over and over. Mean it. Feel it. There is nothing as powerful as Love.

The author Dr Joe Vitale heard about a Psychologist in Hawaii, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients – without ever seeing any of them, by using Ho’oponopono. When asked how he accomplished this, he explained “I just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ over and over again”.

Joe Vitale went on to write a book with Dr Len, Zero Limits, in which Dr Len states:

“We are all responsible for everything that we see in our world. By taking full personal responsibility and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world. Whenever a place for healing presents itself in your life, open to the place where the hurt resides within you. After identifying this place, with as much feeling as you can, say the below four statements:

  • I am sorry
  • Please forgive me
  • I love you
  • Thank you”

“Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in Ho’oponopono means loving yourself. If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone – even a mentally ill criminal – you do it by healing you.

Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

Suffice it to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there’s only one place to look: inside you. And when you look, do it with love.” – Joe Vitale.

I am truly grateful for learning about this process, and for all the opportunities where I shall be able to practice it.

Are you also ready to love yourself?

Are you ready to improve your world?

If you have found this post inspiring or helpful, please re post and share!

(References:     http://www.thereisaway.org ;      http://www.wanttoknow.info;   http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com;   Wikipedia)

 

Share on Facebook

Jogging Enhances Life Expectancy

It is claimed that people who are physically active have at least a 30% lower risk of death during follow-up – compared with those who are inactive. However, the ideal dose of exercise for enhancing life expectancy remains uncertain.

As a Health Worker and casual jogger, I am always on the lookout for current articles and interesting tips that could add to my knowledge base and enhance the experience of people I come into contact with.

 

A recent article I came across in an online Medical Journal was intriguing!

The Copenhagen City Heart Study was initiated in 1976 by P. Schnor, G. Jensen and     A. T. Hansen to increase knowledge about the prevention of Cardiac Heart Disease and stroke and therefore to enhance life expectancy. Over the years questions were added about heart failure, pulmonary diseases, arthrosis, allergy, epilepsy, dementia, stress, sleep apnea, ‘vital exhaustion’ and genetics.

As part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a study was undertaken to investigate the association between jogging and long-term, all-cause mortality by focusing specifically on the effects of pace, quantity and frequency of jogging.

To do this, 1,098 healthy joggers and 3,950 healthy non-joggers have been prospectively followed up since 2001 to review the connection between the Dose of Jogging and Long-term Mortality

Compared with sedentary non-joggers, 1 to 2.4 hours of jogging per week was associated with the lowest mortality. The optimal frequency of jogging was 2 to 3 times per week. The optimal pace was slow or average.

The lowest Hazard Rate (HR) for mortality (or highest Life Expectancy Enhancer) was found in light joggers, followed by moderate joggers, and then strenuous joggers.

 The conclusion findings suggest a U-shaped association between all-cause mortality and dose of jogging as calibrated by pace, quantity and frequency of jogging. The U-shaped association suggests the existence of an upper limit for exercise dosing that is optimal for health benefits.

The Dose of Jogging and Long-term Mortality study concludes that

The dose of running that was most favorable for enhancing life expectancy was jogging

  • 1-2.4 hours per week

  • No more than 3 days per week

  • At a slow or average pace

Many adults perceive this goal to be practical, achievable and sustainable.

 Accumulating evidence suggests that activity patterns that are ideal for promoting long-term Cardio Vascular health and enhancing life expectancy may differ from high intensity, high volume endurance training regimes used for developing peak cardiac performance and maximum Cardio Respiratory fitness.

I feel greatly reassured that my jogging routine falls within these recommended guidelines, and it is indeed most pleasurable and sustainable.

How does your chosen exercise routine enhance your life expectancy?

 

If you have found this post interesting and of value, please share and re post.

Share on Facebook

Balneotherapy helps Fibromyalgia?

Head to your nearest thermal mineral water spa !

 

selfmanagechronicpain with balneotherapy

Enjoying the Therapeutic effects of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy

Therapeutic Effect of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a debilitating condition of almost unknown etiology and pathogenesis that is characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, as well as secondary symptoms like fatigue, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disturbances.

A standard therapy regimen is lacking. Patient-tailored approaches are emphasised recommending non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions according to individual symptoms. Self-management strategies involving active patient participation should be an integral component of the therapeutic plan.

Balneotherapy (thermal mineral water spas) and Hydrotherapy are commonly used interventions.

A qualitative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials showed that:

For Hydrotherapy with exercise, at the end of treatment, there was:

  • Moderate-to-strong evidence for a small reduction in pain
  • Moderate-to-strong evidence for a small improvement in health related quality of life (HRQOL)
  • No effect seen for depressive symptoms and Tender Point Count (TPC).
  • Follow-up data provided moderate evidence for maintenance of improvement with regard to pain.
  • No group difference was found when comparing water-based exercise to land-based exercise.

For Balneotharapy in mineral / thermal water, at end of treatment, there was:

  • Moderate evidence for medium-to-large size reduction in pain and TPC
  • Moderate evidence given for a medium improvement of HRQOL
  • No significant effect was found for depressive symptoms.
  • Moderate evidence for maintenance of improvements was found at follow-up, with smaller effects.

Pain may be relieved by the hydrostatic pressure of the water and the effects of the temperature on the nerve endings, as well as by muscle relaxation. It has been shown that thermal mud baths increase plasma levels of beta-endorphin, which explains their analgesic and anti-spastic effect.

The beneficial effects of water treatments are probably the result of a combination of specific (for example, buoyancy, aquatic resistance, heat) and unspecific effects (for example, change of environment, spa-scenery).

Source:

Therapeutic Benefit of Balneotherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Johannes Naumann, Catharina Sadaghiani

Arthritis Res Ther. 2014; 16(R141) © 2014 BioMed Central, Ltd. http://medscape.com

 

Share on Facebook

What Is The Most Effective Weapon For Fibromyalgia?

Aerobic Exercise !

aerobic exercise is the most effective ‘weapon’ that we have

People with fibromyalgia benefit from continuous physical exercise.

 

A recent article in www.medscape.com by Alice Goodman summarised an overview of research on fibromyalgia treatment that was presented at the Paris 2014 European League Against Rheumatism Congress.

Winfried Häuser MD, from Technische Universität Munchen is an expert in the field of fibromyalgia. He believes that treatment for people with fibromyalgia should be individualised and include non pharmacalogical approaches, as these are often more effective than drugs. He explained that aerobic exercise is the most effective ‘weapon’ that we have and both healthy people and people with fibromyalgia benefit from continuous physical exercise.

He and his colleagues recently published a network meta-analysis which was an indirect comparison of all available therapies for fibromyalgia. They were unable to find any significant differences in effectiveness between drug and non-drug therapies. While the effects of drugs are lost once the patient stops taking them, the effects of aerobic exercise and multicomponent therapy are sustained but declining at 1 or 2 years.

Dr Häuser advocates a graduated approach to treating fibromyalgia.

Mild fibromyalgia: can be managed with reassurance from the doctor and encouragement to engage in regular physical and mental activities.

Moderate fibromyalgia: should be managed with aerobic exercise and the temporary limited use of drugs.

Severe fibromyalgia: can be managed with aerobic exercise, drugs and the psychological and/or psychopharmalogic treatment of mental comorbidities.

Dr Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a rheumatologist at McGill University in Montreal who treats people with fibromyalgia, agreed with the patient-tailored approach outlined by Dr Häuser. She cautioned about overmedicating people, and keeping them on continued medications which have side effects. Non Pharmalocological therapies have no risks, she explained.

Dr Fitzcharles went on to say that non pharmacologic therapies are probably the most important ones for people with fibromyalgia. In her experience, every person with fibromyalgia should be managed with exercise, promotion of an internal locus of control and education.

Activity pacing is the key, in order to not overdo or avoid exercise.

Non Pharmacological therapies include:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Psychotherapy

Pharmacologic / drug therapies include:

  • GABA analogues
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

References:

  1. Aerobic Exercise ‘Most effective weapon’ for Fibromyalgia. Medscape. June19, 2014. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseasesard.bmj.com
  1. Comparative efficacy of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in fibromyalgia syndrome: network meta-analysis

          Eveline Nüesch, Winfried Häuser, Kathrin Bernardy, Jürgen Barth, Peter Jüni

               Ann Rheum Dis 2013;72:955-962 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201249

 

 

Share on Facebook