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Research Archive

Welcome to our Chinese medicine and acupuncture research news pages. We add to the content of these pages continuously as more research news comes in. Browse through the complete archive below or use the category links on the right.

Please note that the most twenty recent research archive items are free to view but access to the thousands of items in the archive require a journal subscription.

Older adults who practice tai chi (TC) demonstrate better performance in cognitive tests than those who take part in conventional exercise or who do not exercise.

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Hong Kong researchers have found that tai chi (TC) may offer specific cognitive benefits in elderly people at risk of progressive cognitive decline.

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A systematic review by UK authors has concluded that exercising in the natural environment leads to greater benefits in mental and physical wellbeing than exercising indoors.

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The analgesic benefits of acupuncture may be partially mediated through placebo effects related to the acupuncturist's behaviour, according to US researchers.

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Acupuncture shows potential for improving the quality of life of people with eating disorders, according to a pilot study carried out in Australia.

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Combining a weekly Tai Chi Chih (TCC) exercise class with standard depression treatment leads to greater improvement in depression symptoms for elderly adults

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Combining electro-acupuncture with behavioral therapy has a positive effect on reducing the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in pre-school children, according to a Chinese study. One hundred and eighty pre-school children w

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A short course of electro-acupuncture (EA) can improve specific functions in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially language comprehension and self-care ability. Fifty-five children with ASD were randomly assigned to an EA group or

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People who are prone to anxiety are more likely to develop asthma, according to German investigators. The team used a questionnaire to evaluate tendencies to hysteria, anxiety and depression in 4010 adults without asthma. When they reassessed partici

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A systematic review carried out by US researchers has found that tai chi appears to be associated with improvements in many aspects of psychological health. Forty studies totaling 3817 subjects were subjected to meta-analysis. The results showed that

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The Chinese herbal formula Geng Nian Le (GNL) can relieve the symptoms of perimenopausal depression and regulate women’s hormone levels. Chinese scientists randomised 47 women to either a GNL group or a control group that received tibolone (a sy

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A Chinese medical formula designed to regulate impulsiveness has measurable effects on brain regions involved in risk-taking decision making. The fMRI study carried out in Hong Kong examined the neural correlates of the observed improvement in risk-t

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Having acupuncture before dental treatment can reduce patients’ anxiety, according to Swedish authors. Eight dentists (all members of the British Dental Acupuncture Society) submitted case reports. Twenty patients, all in their 40s, had experien

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The beneficial effects of acupuncture on chronic insomniacs' sleep quality and daytime social functioning are associated with measurable changes to sleep architecture (the cyclical pattern of the stages of sleep). Forty-seven Chinese patients receive

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American researchers report that psychiatric comorbidity does not affect response to acupuncture treatment for chronic low back pain (CLBP), nor does it modify the effect of expectations on acupuncture response. In a controlled, blinded crossover

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Acupuncture is an effective treatment for depression during pregnancy, according to a new American study. A hundred and fifty pregnant women with a diagnosis of major depression were randomised to receive 12 sessions of acupuncture consisting of a

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In Hong Kong, investigators have attempted to unravel the clinical benefits and underlying psychophysiological mechanisms of qigong based on information from published RCTs. Their meta-analysis of 26 RCTs showed that qigong had positive effects on bl

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Spanish scientists have assessed the effects of qigong practice on serum cytokines, mood and subjective sleep quality. Experimental participants underwent a qigong training program for one month. Blood samples for the quantification of TNF-alpha and

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Researchers at the University of Arizona have tested the value of acupuncture in the treatment of depression. 38 women aged 18 to 45 and suffering from major depression were divided into three groups. One group received eight weeks of acupuncture

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A study carried out at Yale University School of Medicine into the use of ear acupuncture and anxiety has shown that whilst there was no significant physiological change after acupuncture, those treated bilaterally at the

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Autism is a complex developmental disability that normally appears within the first three years of life. It is estimated to occur in up to one in every 500 children, is more common in boys than girls, and can severely affect a child’s social int

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The UK’s Mental Health Foundation has proposed that acupuncture should be made more available to depressed patients. They carried out an investigation into ear acupuncture and its potential benefits for women with mental health problems. Eight w

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The University of New Mexico Trauma & Anxiety Research Group is halfway through a 2-year study into the use of acupuncture in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The group worked with an panel of 22 doctors of oriental medicine to

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In this study, patients who required ambulance transport secondary to medical conditions, were randomised to receive auricular acupressure either at the ‘relaxation point’ or at a sham point. Patients treated with the true point reported signi

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In a Japanese study, 33 patients with mild to moderate dementia were assigned to received either Ba Wei Di Huang Wan (Eight-Ingredient Pill with Rehmannia), 7.5g/day or placebo for 8 weeks. At the end of the study period, the treatment group showe

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Pharmaceutical medication is largely unsuitable for depression during pregnancy and therefore any non-pharmaceutical alternative is potentially of great value. In a study carried out at Stanford University, 61 women with major depressive disorder

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A herbal supplement known as GETO, containing Ren Shen (Ginseng Radix), Yin Yang Huo (Epimedii Herba), Yuan Zhi (Polygalae Radix) and two other unnamed herbs might help prevent dementia. Seventy-five patients with mild cognitive impairment were gi

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In a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial, the efficacy of i. Carbamazepine (CBZ), ii, CBZ plus the Chinese herbal medicine Free and Easy Wanderer (FEWP/Xiao Yao Wan), and iii. Placebo, was compared in the treatment of 124

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In a double-blind randomised controlled trial, active laser acupuncture was found to be significantly more effective for the treatment of mild to moderate depression (at twelve weeks from trial onset) compared to sham laser acupuncture. In this tr

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Previous studies have shown acupuncture at depression specific points to be superior to acupuncture at points not specific to depression (see NEWS 78 and 59). In a recent study, however, it appears that the non specific acupuncture was superior to

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A pilot study has suggests that acupressure can decrease the agitated behaviour associated with dementia. Thirty-one subjects with dementia were assigned to a six-week acupressure treatment programme consisting of five minutes treatment, twice a d

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An Italian study has found that patients undergoing cataract removal are less anxious after receiving acupuncture. Participants underwent phacoemulsification, in which the cloudy eye lens is emulsified with an ultrasound probe, before being aspirated

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A pilot study has evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants diagnosed with PTSD were randomised to either an empirically developed acupuncture treatment, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), or a

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A systematic review of the evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety disorders has shown positive findings. Authors based at London’s University of Westminster performed searches of the major biomedical databases as we

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Chinese researchers have carried out a meta-analysis to assess the benefits of acupuncture as a treatment for depression. The analysis included eight small randomised controlled trials involving a total of 477 subjects. Their results suggested tha

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A small American study has investigated the effectiveness of a qigong training program in reducing stress in hospital staff. Thirty-seven subjects were randomly assigned to a six-week intervention of either qigong practice or a waiting list. The qigo

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Acupressure at Yintang (M-HN-3) has been found to reduce preprocedural anxiety in children undergoing endoscopic examination. In the American study, fifty-two children were randomised to receive an acupressure bead placed either at Yintang (M-HN-3

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A Canadian pilot study has tested the feasibility and potential efficacy of auricular acupuncture for the treatment of repetitive self-injurious behaviour (SIB) in depressed adolescents. In addition to providing relief of depressive symptoms there is

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A systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture for various depressive conditions has concluded that it is safe and constitutes an effective treatment for some forms of depression. Of 207 clinical studies of acupuncture retrieved from databas

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Adding acupuncture to medical treatment for depression can reduce the amount of drugs needed to treat the condition and therefore reduce the side-effects of medication. In a Chinese randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled study 80 patients with maj

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Electroacupuncture appears to provide improvement in symptoms, including a reduction in auditory hallucinations, for schizophrenic patients. Sixty schizophrenics, who were partially responsive or non-responsive to treatment with the antipsychotic dru

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Korean researchers have found that acupuncture benefits post-stroke-onset insomnia by reducing sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity. Fifty-two hospitalised stroke patients with insomnia were randomly assigned to either real acupuncture (RA) or sh

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Imbalance between Type one (Th1) and Type two (Th2) helper T-cell functions and the resulting increase in inflammatory response have been implicated in major depression. A study by Canadian scientists has investigated the relationship between pro- an

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Hong Kong researchers have carried out a pilot study suggesting that acupuncture is beneficial in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that is refractory to pharmacological and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Nineteen patients with tre

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Acupuncture stimulation may help improve language and social functioning in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) according to a study carried out in Hong Kong. Thirty-two children with ASD were randomly assigned to treatment or a waiting l

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Acupuncture appears to be effective in the treatment of insomnia according to a systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by Chinese authors. Forty-six randomised trials involving 3811 patients were included and the methodological quality of tr

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A Korean systematic review of studies examining the use of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of schizophrenia has provided some evidence for its effectiveness. Thirteen randomised clinical trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteria. One RCT reported

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Scalp acupuncture (SAP) may improve language development in children with autism. Twenty autistic children (4-7 years old) were divided into two groups, both of which underwent twice-weekly sessions of language therapy aimed at stimulation of cogniti

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