• NHS to promote acupuncture for back pain

    | Published on 16 Sep | Posted in Feature | Comments (0) |

    Millions of people who suffer from low back pain are to be given the right to ask for acupuncture on the NHS.

    GPs will be told to offer their patients the traditional Chinese practice, as well as other treatments like osteopathy and chiropracty, as an alternative to conventional remedies like exercise….

    Although some individual GPs currently refer patients for complementary treatments, the recommendation constitutes the first time the rationing body has encouraged its use. Its draft guidance says anyone whose pain persists for more than six weeks should be given a choice of several treatments, because the evidence about which works best is so uncertain…

    Paul Robin, chairman of the Acupuncture Society, a professional body representing practitioners, said the therapy worked “fantastically well” in relieving back pain.

    Read the full article and some of the controversy involved on the Telegraph website - NHS to promote acupuncture for back pain.

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  • Studies show that acupuncture can increase the production of seratonin in people with depression.

    British Acupuncture Council Factsheet on Depression by ARRC (Acupuncture Research Resource Centre).

    Depression is likely to result from a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors. It may be triggered by stressful events, such as bereavement, illness, relationship problems or financial difficulties.

    Research has shown that acupuncture treatment can help ameliorate the symptoms of depression. In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing.

    Studies indicate that acupuncture can have a specific positive effect on depression by altering the brain’s mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin (Sprott et al, 1998) and endorphins (Han, 1986). Acupuncture may also benefit depression by acting through other neurochemical pathways, including those involving dopamine (Scott et al, 1997), noradrenaline (Han, 1986), cortisol (Han et al, 2004) and neuropeptide Y (Pohl & Nordin, 2002).

    Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Wu et al, 1999).

    Read the full article on recent acupuncture research for depression: British Acupuncture Council Factsheet on Depression by ARRC (Acupuncture Research Resource Centre).

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