vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Monday, July 6, 2009

Does Acupuncture help Arthritis?

Do you believe in alternative medicine? Many medical professionals do not, dismissing it as a bunch of mumbo jumbo that may actually harm patients by delaying diagnosis from a licensed physician.

The American Medical Association (AMA), which has come out neither officially for nor against the procedure, has released statements noting the lack of "well-designed, stringently controlled research" to back up its effectiveness.

Most attempts to supply such empirical evidence have been less than successful. A 2004 study by the Center for Integrative Medicine in Maryland attempted to document the effectiveness of acupuncture in osteoarthritis patients, but results were disappointing. While 40 percent of patients who received acupuncture saw improvement in their arthritis symptoms, success rates among the placebo group, who received fake acupuncture, were almost as high at 31 percent.

The BMJ journal also recently published an analysis of 13 studies of acupuncture for treatment of pain, which concluded that real acupuncture treatments were no more effective than the placebo ones.

Nonetheless, the popularity of alternative treatments such as acupuncture is on the rise.

The number of people who use acupuncture increased by 1 million between 2007 and 2002, according to a study published in December by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Richard Nahin, director for research at NCCAM, said that acupuncture does have a visible effect on specific areas of the brain, an effect that can be observed through the use of magnetic resonance imaging.

Unlike traditional medicine, acupuncture, an ancient form of Chinese medicine, seeks to treat illness by balancing a person’s energy flow. It has been claimed to be effective for the treatment of pain, obesity, depression, infertility, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. But studies supporting these claims have been small, and have not been validated to ensure that positive results can be duplicated.

Yet more and more physicians today, particularly younger ones, are more open-minded in their attitude toward alternative medicine, perhaps in response to public demand.

Linda Lee, a gastroenterologist and director of the Integrative Medicine Digestive Center at Johns Hopkins, says there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to give credence to the efficacy of acupuncture. “We physicians are in the healing business, and we have to go beyond the pharmacological solutions to understand the whole person,” she said.

If you are considering acupuncture, be sure to go to a licensed practitioner who uses only single-use disposable needles. Keep in mind that some insurance companies do not cover the procedure. For more information about acupuncture, visit The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture website.

Other Posts

Carnosine has been hailed as the next super-antioxidant
DMAE boosts brain function by causing the body to produce more acetylcholine
Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10) helps deliver electrical charges to the mitochondria
DHEA supplements are said to help make muscles bigger, speed up the metabolism, increase libido
Garlic can be used to help treat hypertension and other underlying conditions that lead to cardiovascular disease
Black cohosh is a popular alternative to estrogen replacement therapy

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Headache Study Shows Acupuncture May Help

Written by Tena Moore

When you have a headache you probably reach for your bottle of aspirin, most people do. This may change with time, because studies are showing that acupuncture is better for headaches. One particular study was done by researchers from Duke University and involved 4,000 adults that suffered with some form of headache: tension, chronic, and/or migraine headaches. The study found that 45 percent of the patients that took medications found relief, whereas over 60 percent of the patients receiving acupuncture without medication found relief. Also, only 45 percent of those who received ‘fake’ acupuncture improved. This involved putting needles into the wrong areas and not actual meridian points.

There are some things to think about here. The first thing to consider is that over-the-counter medications are inexpensive. It is quicker and cheaper to pop an aspirin; in just a few moments you can have relief. While this is true, some are starting to consider the fact that acupuncture is relaxing and completely natural, with no side effects. Those who care about holistic health and not taking medications are more prone to get acupuncture.

Another thing to consider is that acupuncture can help with many ailments from headache, pain, asthma, allergies, fertility, quitting smoking and a variety of other conditions. One reason to turn to acupuncture for headache is because it can help with ‘whole body healing’, not just one condition.

Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Losing Weight to Decrease your Risk of Cancer?
Fish Oil is a healthy source of good fat
True Sex Foods and Aphrodesiacs
Short naps Boost Memory

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Looking for a Safe, Drug-Free Alternative for Pain Management? Try Acupuncture

Written by Sandra Emmi

Acupuncture has been around for more than 2,000 years in China, but it didn’t gain popularity in the United States until the 1970s. Since then more and more people are turning to acupuncture to help alleviate their pain, and though it doesn’t work for everyone, it’s worth a try for those who wish to avoid taking prescription pain medication.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine claims that acupuncture has been used successfully to treat pain associated with a host of conditions, including arthritis, back and neck pain, migraines, menstrual cramps, carpel tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Acupuncture has even been used to treat depression and addiction, so it can benefit your mental state as well.

And, despite the fact that it is performed with needles, acupuncture does not hurt. The needles used are extremely thin, nothing like those used to administer shots, and may cause tingling or mild pressure, but no pain. Most people actually find it relaxing.

However, acupuncture may not be an option for everyone, as it is not always covered by private insurance, and Medicare will not pay for this procedure. Most people need 12 treatments to see results, and each treatment can cost between $50 and $125.

If you are interested in trying acupuncture, be sure to choose a practitioner that is certified and licensed. Websites that list qualified acupuncturists include those of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine ( and the American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine ( If you prefer to have a licensed physician perform the procedure, a list of MDs who offer acupuncture is available at the website of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists (

Other Posts

Proline is an amino acid needed for the production of collagen and cartilage
Inositol as an aid in the redistribution of body fat
Choline keeps the liver healthy by helping to move fats from the liver to cells in the body
Biotin works with other B vitamins to make healthy cells and convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy
Copper plays a key role in the development and maintenance of healthy skin and hair

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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