acupunture?

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acupunture?

Postby connieb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:50 am

Has anyone tried acupunture? Did you feel that it helped in alleviating symptoms? How long was it before you felt any positive effects? I've been doing it for a couple of months (with a very well thought of dr of TCM) and honestly cannot say that it has made any difference-- at this point I'm quite discouraged and feeling that I'm throwing my money away. And (very late at night) sometimes thinking that here is another proof that I'm going to go downhill in short order-- not even a thousand years old practice that has helped so many is working for me! :(
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Postby Sharon » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:11 am

Hi Connieb,

I have been doing acupuncture for about two years. I can't say that it has helped any of my MS symptoms. But, it has helped with stress reduction. I have found that the effects last for a good week or so - it is great for a good energy boost and it helps to clear the brain fog. The energy and the brain fog might be or might not be MS - everyone my age has similar complaints. :roll:

IMO, anything you can do to balance your body externally and internally has got to help with the MS

Sharon
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Postby connieb » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:02 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience Sharon-- I agree that it does seem to help anxiety somewhat which alone is probably worth the investment. Now if it could only be done without needles-- between acupunture twice a week and Copaxone every day I'm becoming a bit too prickly for my own taste!
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Re: acupunture?

Postby NHE » Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:05 am

connieb wrote:Now if it could only be done without needles-- between acupunture twice a week and Copaxone every day I'm becoming a bit too prickly for my own taste!

Perhaps it can. A while back I watched a PBS Frontline show called The Alternative Fix which discussed alternative medicine. One Dr. associated with the University of Maryland used a placebo controlled trial and found that patients could not tell the difference between the sham treatment and the acupunture.

The following is an excerpt from the show's transcript:

    BRIAN BERMAN, MD, U of Maryland School of Medicine: The research of acupuncture is complex. Now we're beginning to look at what works, what doesn't work, for what types of patients and what types of conditions.

    NARRATOR: Though millions of Americans use acupuncture and the therapy has been used for thousands of years in China, large-scale scientific studies in this country have only been able to prove acupuncture's effectiveness for two specific ailments: controlling nausea due to chemotherapy and relieving dental pain. And even these small benefits have been questioned by skeptical scientists.

    MARCIA ANGELL, MD, Harvard Medical School: Both of these conditions are subjective. You're reporting that your toothache feels better. You're reporting that you're less nauseated.

    NARRATOR: Marcia Angell is a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and the former executive editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. She has been a persistent critic of the research done on alternative medicine.

    Dr. MARCIA ANGELL: You have to ask how well were these studies controlled? I suspect, in most cases, acupuncture works through a placebo effect.

    NARRATOR: Controlling for what scientists refer to as the placebo effect was the task given to Berman's team. The placebo effect is the phenomenon of a patient feeling better after a treatment even when the treatment itself has no medicinal effect. For this study, as part of the control, the patients are not allowed to watch the acupuncture needles being inserted. And to ensure the integrity of the study, neither were our cameras. Some of these patients are not receiving acupuncture at all. Instead, they are receiving a fake or sham treatment.

    Dr. BRIAN BERMAN: We had people get needles through a guide tube when we were putting in the real acupuncture. And then when we were putting in the sham acupuncture, we had the guide tube slightly on its side, so you would feel a sharp edge, and then we would tap, but there was no needle going through.

    NARRATOR: This is the way Berman is controlling for the placebo effect. If patients who receive only sham acupuncture report feeling better, it would suggest it was simply the placebo effect at work.

    Dr. BRIAN BERMAN: We asked the patients-- we developed a credibility questionnaire, "What do you think that you got? Did you get acupuncture or did you not?" And they weren't able to tell the difference.

Note that a search on PubMed yielded this abstract which appears to be from this study. It does report positive results for the use of acupuncture. However, it also states as a limitation of the study that...
At 26 weeks, 43% of the participants in the education group and 25% in each of the true and sham acupuncture groups were not available for analysis.

Note that the full journal article is available for free.

NHE
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Postby MSresearcher » Sat May 19, 2007 6:52 pm

Connieb,

I have used Acupuncture.
1st. When I was first diagnosed, my MS symptoms were mild. I noticed that it did increase energy and focus the results were noticable. I used it on a weekly basis.

I stopped for reasons unrelated. I started again in Feb07 after my MS symptoms became quite severe and throut a less severe flare up.
I noticed a mild improvement in my leg sensation after the first visit.
My double vision improved almost completely after the first visit after the last flare up. I also saw her with a feeling someone was tearing my heart out for no reason and the feeling subsided within a few minutes after she placed the needles. I continue today on a weekly basis.

My Acupunturist was clear that this does not cure MS or affect the disease progression. She could only help with treating the symptoms.

My experience is that it helps for me.

My conclusion is that the worse the symptoms are the more noticable the effects of acupunture. This practice is over 300 years old. Those old chinese guys must be on to something compared to the less than 500 year old Western Medicine experts that lack any real level of humility.

Good luck and I hope this helped answer your question :lol:
DX 2002 34yold, Tysabri
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Postby MSresearcher » Sat May 19, 2007 6:55 pm

Acupuncture is 3000 years old sorry for mistyping
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Postby MSresearcher » Sun May 20, 2007 10:02 am

I apologize for being so curious but when NHE referenced that clinical trial which was acupunture vs. placebo or "sham" acupunture (which was not used for MS) how was the sham acupuncture administered? I can see the value in doing this type of trial for a drug. I am just do not see how a placebo could be administered with this type of therapy or how this type of trial would be appropriate. Could you please help me understand?
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Re: acupuncture

Postby NHE » Sun May 20, 2007 2:50 pm

From my prior message...
NARRATOR: Controlling for what scientists refer to as the placebo effect was the task given to Berman's team. The placebo effect is the phenomenon of a patient feeling better after a treatment even when the treatment itself has no medicinal effect. For this study, as part of the control, the patients are not allowed to watch the acupuncture needles being inserted. And to ensure the integrity of the study, neither were our cameras. Some of these patients are not receiving acupuncture at all. Instead, they are receiving a fake or sham treatment.

Dr. BRIAN BERMAN: We had people get needles through a guide tube when we were putting in the real acupuncture. And then when we were putting in the sham acupuncture, we had the guide tube slightly on its side, so you would feel a sharp edge, and then we would tap, but there was no needle going through.

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Postby MSresearcher » Tue May 22, 2007 9:33 am

Thank you for your response. I took some time to look closer at your post and the study you referenced and I certainly feel a little embarrassed

This was from the "abstract" you referenced" at the bottom of your post.

BACKGROUND: Evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture for reducing the pain and dysfunction of osteoarthritis is equivocal. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether acupuncture provides greater pain relief and improved function compared with sham acupuncture or education in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.[quote]

I don't understand how this study for osteoarthritis would benefit anyone researching acupuncture for MS. I do know that at the Rocky Mountain MS Center in thier CAM program run by Dr. Allen Bowling polled hundreds of patients that had tried acupuncture and asked them whether they had benefitted from acupuncture and in what ways, divided up by symptoms. I found it interesting for anyone considering acupuncture as a complementary therapy for MS

Here is the link: http://www.ms-cam.org/index.php3
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