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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Monday, December 8, 2008

Yucca Treats Many Conditions

When reading about the yucca plant, found mainly in the deserts of the United States, it is almost overwhelming to read the long list of ailments this plant is used to treat.

Similar looking to the aloe plant, yucca roots can be eaten directly or found in many health food stores as an extract or in capsules. As an extract, use topically, directly on the skin. Consume capsules with water. Yucca contains the active phytochemical saponins and if too much is consumed it can cause diarrhea in some people.

The yucca plant has been used to treat gout, premenstrual syndrome, chronic headache, and even skin cancer. In addition, yucca has been found to lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Yucca can also help heal wounds and relieve joint stiffness and pain; some use the plant to treat muscle soreness associated with arthritis. Others use yucca to help improve liver function and improve digestion. It is quite amazing how many uses the plant has.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Glucosamine – Replace Your NSAIDS With Supplementation

Glucosamine is an amino acid and amino sugar molecule found naturally in the body; supplementation is used to help regenerate and hydrate cartilage for disorders such as buritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. There are 3 types of glucosamine found on the market, used to treat numerous health issues.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your use of nonsterioidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, glucosamine supplementation might be your answer. If so, get started right away because although it can replace these drugs, it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to take effect. Glucosamine is thought to be a safe, effective alternative to NSAIDS, which can cause upset stomach, liver failure and kidney failure with overuse.


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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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