Acupuncture Center of Greenville

Research & Current Events

Make It Easy On Yourself!

Chill Out!   Real Simple Magazine (January 2011) says that most of us equate happiness to lying on a beach but cooler temperatures may actually help our moods improve.  If feeling low, dial down the thermostat. (Let's just say that it's brisk in my office!)

Don't Dwell On It. (and my mother!)  remind us to remember the many things in our lives for which we are grateful and focus on those!

Create Healthy Work Boundaries. reminds us that no matter how much we love our work (and I do!), it is important to separate yourself from your job. Cups of tea, walks with friends or dogs, showers to energize us, or wash away the day all help to establish healthy perimeters. (Keep your boundary-making at 2 or 3 ideas that delight, otherwise they become more To-Do's added to a dreaded task list. At that point, they lose their helpfulness.)

Create Your Own Reality.   Yes, we are capable of changing how we think, what we 'see,' and how we respond to our environment.  There are things we cannot control - sure, but perhaps surprisingly, there is much that we can...

Be a Goddess. Help your body de-stress by lying on your back in Goddess Pose = feet together, knees dropped open to each side, and take 8-10 full breaths. Thank you

The Secret of Life. A growing number of researchers say that the secret of life isn’t in the symbols of success, but in participation in experiences that stir you. The best chance to increase your happiness = go out there and live! –J. Robinson, Don’t Miss Your Life, Wiley 2010.

Skip. Down the street, over a rope, joyfully with arms flailing, or over that imaginary speedbump getting in your way. Just like when we were kids...

Women with PCOS Benefit from Acupuncture and Exercise

Science Daily
February 7, 2011

Acupuncture and physical exercise improve hormone levels and menstrual bleeding pattern in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), reveals research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In the current study, published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, a group of women with PCOS were given acupuncture where the needles were stimulated both manually and with a weak electric current at a low frequency that was, to some extent, similar to muscular work. A second group was instructed to exercise at least three times a week, while a third group acted as controls. All were given information on the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet.
"The study shows that both acupuncture and exercise reduce high levels of testosterone and lead to more regular menstruation," says docent associate professor Elisabet Stener-Victorin, who is responsible for the study."Of the two treatments, the acupuncture proved more effective." Women with PCOS frequently have irregular ovulation and menstruation, with many small immature egg follicles in the ovaries. This causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone which, in turn, leads to troublesome hair growth and acne. Obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease are also widespread among these patients. Although PCOS is a common disorder, researchers do not know exactly what causes it.  "However, we've recently demonstrated that women with PCOS have a highly active sympathetic nervous system, the part that isn't controlled by our will, and that both acupuncture and regular exercise reduced levels of activity in this system compared with the control group, which could be an explanation for the results."

10 Ways to Become More Grateful
Robert Emmons offers everyday tips for living a life of gratitude.

Robert Emmons
November 17, 2010

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal. Establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. Setting aside time on a daily basis to recall moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life gives you the potential to interweave a sustainable life theme of gratefulness.

2. Remember the Bad. To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.

3. Ask Yourself Three Questions. Utilize the meditation technique known as Naikan, which involves reflecting on three questions: "What have I received from __?", "What have I given to __?", and "What troubles and difficulty have I caused?"

4. Learn Prayers of Gratitude. In many spiritual traditions, prayers of gratitude are considered to be the most powerful form of prayer, because through these prayers people recognize the ultimate source of all they are and all they will ever be.

5. Come to Your Senses. Through our senses-the ability to touch, see, smell, taste, and hear-we gain an appreciation of what it means to be human and of what an incredible miracle it is to be alive. Seen through the lens of gratitude, the human body is not only a miraculous construction, but also a gift.

6. Use Visual Reminders. Because the two primary obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness, visual reminders can serve as cues to trigger thoughts of gratitude. Often times, the best visual reminders are other people.

7. Make a Vow to Practice Gratitude. Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Therefore, write your own gratitude vow, which could be as simple as "I vow to count my blessings each day," and post it somewhere where you will be reminded of it every day.

8. Watch your Language. Grateful people have a particular linguistic style that uses the language of gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. In gratitude, you should not focus on how inherently good you are, but rather on the inherently good things that others have done on your behalf.

9. Go Through the Motions. If you go through grateful motions, the emotion of gratitude should be triggered. Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude.

10. Think Outside the Box. If you want to make the most out of opportunities to flex your gratitude muscles, you must creatively look for new situations and circumstances in which to feel grateful.

Mariah Carey reveals acupuncture helped her conceive
Mariah Carey has revealed how daily acupuncture sessions helped her get pregnant.
December, 2010

The 40-year-old singer-actress claims the treatment reduced her stress levels - deemed to be an important factor for women trying to conceive.

"I was doing it once a day at least. It was on a schedule," she said during an interview on US television. "For the first time in my life, I spent time in one place."

Carey, who suffered a miscarriage in 2008, said she decided to give acupuncture a go after fellow songstress Celine Dion spoke about it in a magazine interview.

"She was talking about acupuncture. I used to get acupuncture, but I never thought about it with regards to the trying to conceive situation. I put my body through a whole kind of cleansing situation and prepared," she said.

The Hero singer also revealed how taking the hormone progesterone caused her to put on weight - and led to people spotting her pregnancy.

"I did end up being on progesterone every month to go through the cycles - especially after going through operations and stuff," she said.

It helps seal the pregnancy, but it also bloats you, it also puts on weight. Then everybody's like, 'The weight gain? She's definitely pregnant'."

Carey and husband Nick Cannon, 30, revealed that they have already picked out baby names - but remained tight-lipped on what they were.

"We're not telling you," Cannon said. "We have names from the first day that we met."

Celine Dion Expecting Twins
She used acupuncture!

People Magazine: Scoop
June 14, 2010

Celine Dion's long and often heart wrenching dream of expanding her family has come true, times two! On May 30 the singer announced she is 14 weeks pregnant with twins due in November. ... Dion, 42, has long been open about her struggle to make her son Rene-Charles, 9, a big brother. After five failed IVF attempts in the last year, she turned to acupuncture to improve her chances; she and Angelil believe it helped make their sixth IVF attempt a success. "I never gave up," Dion ... told the French language newspaper Le Journal de Montreal on May 31 of her "physically and emotionally exhausting" journey through IVF which included estrogen patches, daily hormone injections and frequent blood tests. "It's stressful but I'm relaxing. I look at my little belly. I do almost nothing. If you tell me I have to stay in bed, I will stay in bed. To bring them into the world, there's nothing more important than that. It's incredible."

Stick It to Whatever Ails You

Graham Barclay/Bloomberg News
January 2010

What do Cher, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams and the world's tallest dog "Titan" have in common? Like more than 20 million Americans and Canadians, they're on pins and needles. Acupuncture needles, that is.

Energy medicine? Yes, it seems to change the electric currents or nerve impulses in your body. And often, acupuncture can help when drugs can't be tolerated or when conventional treatments fail. It's a team player that works well alongside other treatments - an integrated approach used successfully for everything from sinusitis and allergies to infertility, asthma and beyond.

How Acupuncture Works
New Study Sheds Light

August 27, 2009
HealthDay News: Traditional Chinese acupuncture, increasingly popular in the West for a variety of ills, eases pain by regulating key receptors in the brain, according to a new study.

The study showed that acupuncture increases the binding availability of mu-opiod receptors in regions of the brain that process and weaken pain signals. By directly stimulating these chemicals, acupuncture can affect the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain, the study found.

Using positron emission tomography scans of the brain, the researchers examined 20 women with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. The women took no new medications for their pain during the study period.
"The increased binding availability of these receptors was associated with reductions in pain," Richard Harris, a researcher at the University of Michigan's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and a research assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a news release from the university.

What's more, Harris said, the findings could prompt doctors to use morphine and other opioid drugs with greater pain-killing effectiveness after treatment with acupuncture because those drugs bind to the same receptors.

Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 2,000 years. Practitioners insert sharp, thin needles into the body at specific points. Today, people worldwide turn to acupuncture for relief from pain, allergies, respiratory ailments, gastrointestinal disorders and gynecological problems.

Chinese healers claim that acupuncture and traditional remedies work by altering the flow of the body's energy. Practitioners of Western medicine, which follows a more scientific approach, have been investigating exactly how acupuncture works -- or may not work -- for a number of years.

More information
The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more on acupuncture.
A report on the findings is in the September 2009 issue of NeuroImage.


Acupuncture & Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy
British Medical Journal Report

March 2005
British Medical Journal Report (BMJ):  Summary:  The objective was to compare the efficacy of standard treatment for pelvic pain (a pelvic belt, patient education and home exercisers- for abdominal and gluteal muscles) to standard treatment plus acupuncture or standard treatment plus physiotherapy stabilising exercisers (for the deep lumbopelvic muscles).

The study time frame consisted of one week which was used to establish a baseline, followed by six weeks of treatment. Pain was measured by a visual analogue scale and by an independent examiner before and after treatment.

Conclusion:  Acupuncture was superior to stabilising exercisers in the management of pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy, including, but not limited to: patients with one sided sacroiliac pain, one sided sacroiliac pain combined with symphysis pubis pain and double sided sacroiliac pain.

Pelvic girdle pain is a common complaint among pregnant women worldwide,and it causes severe pain in one third of affected women.Strenuous work, previous low back pain, and previous pelvic girdle pain are known risk factors. Pelvic girdle pain generally arises in relation to pregnancy, trauma, or reactive arthritis. Pain is experienced between the posterior iliac crest and the gluteal fold, particularly in the vicinity of the sacroiliac joints. The pain may radiate in the posterior thigh and can occur in conjunction or separately in the symphysis. The endurance capacity for standing, walking, and sitting is diminished. After pregnancy problems remain serious in about 7% of women with pelvic girdle pain, causing severe discomfort and reducing ability to work.

Standard treatment may consist of a pelvic belt, a home exercise programme, and patient education. A systematic review has shown that the efficacy of these interventions remains questionable. Current treatment increasingly includes stabilising exercises and acupuncture. However, insufficient evidence is available to give strong recommendations for or against any particular treatment modality for pelvic girdle pain. We compared the efficacy of acupuncture or stabilising exercises as an adjunct to standard treatment with standard treatment alone for the treatment of pelvic girdle pain in pregnant women.

The study was a randomised single blind trial done at East Hospital, Sahlgrenska Academy, and at 27 maternity care centres in the hospital's reference area in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 2000 to 2002.

Doctors and midwifes at the 27 maternity care centres preselected consecutive patients. The main inclusion criteria were healthy women at 12-31 completed gestational weeks, well integrated in the Swedish language, with singleton fetuses and defined pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain. This assessment included a detailed standardised physical examination and collection of baseline data. The tests used were the posterior pelvic pain provocation test, Patrick's fabere test, a modified Trendelenburg's test, Lasegue test, and palpation of the symphysis pubis.

Treatment protocols
The study comprised a one week baseline period, six weeks of treatment, and follow up one week after the last treatment. Patients were asked to avoid other treatments during the intervention period. Three experienced physiotherapists gave standard treatment, two acupuncturists did acupuncture, and two experienced physiotherapists gave the stabilising exercises.

The main finding of this study was that acupuncture as an adjunct to standard treatment offer clear clinical advantages over standard treatment alone for reduction of pain in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain. This is supported by the patients' own estimates and by independent examiners.

For the full article, see:


Acupuncture Boosts IVF Success
Modern Research Proves Ancient Medicine Helpful in Achieving Pregnancy

Fertility and Sterility 2002
Women undergoing fertility treatment could have their chances of success boosted by using acupuncture with IVF.

A report published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found the pregnancy rate in the group receiving acupuncture group was 42.5%, compared to the group which did not receive the therapy, where the rate was 26.3%.

German researchers said they have increased IVF success rates by almost 50% by using acupuncture.

The theory is that acupuncture can affect the autonomic nervous system, which is involved in the control of muscles and glands, and could therefore make the lining of the uterus more receptive to receiving an embryo.

A report published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found the pregnancy rate in the group receiving acupuncture group was 42.5%, compared to the group which did not receive the therapy, where the rate was 26.3%.

The German researchers worked with doctors at the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China.
Of 160 women undergoing IVF, half received standard in vitro fertilisation, while half were given acupuncture treatments before and after.
The researchers chose acupuncture points which traditional Chinese medicine says relax the uterus.

They also used needles to stimulate meridians involving the spleen, stomach and colon, to improve blood flow and create "more energy in the uterus."

Key relaxation points were also stimulated.

The research team, led by Dr. Wolfgang Paulus and colleagues at the Christian-Lauritzen-Institut in Ulm, Germany, wrote in the journal: "Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after assisted reproductive techniques.

They add: "To rule out the possibility that acupuncture produces only psychological or psychosomatic effects, we plan to use a placebo needle set as a control in a future study."

Such a study would involve people having needles inserted in the same way as in acupuncture, but not at the acupuncture points.
Dr. Sandra Carson, president-elect of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, which publishes the journal, said: "If these findings are confirmed, they may help us improve the odds for our (in vitro fertilisation) patients' achieving pregnancy."
For the full article, see:


Acupuncture beats aspirin for chronic headache
Mon Dec 1, 2008 10:27pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Acupuncture works better than drugs like aspirin to reduce the severity and frequency of chronic headaches, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

A review of studies involving nearly 4,000 patients with migraine, tension headache and other forms of chronic headache showed that that 62 percent of the acupuncture patients reported headache relief compared to 45 percent of people taking medications, the team at Duke University found.

"Acupuncture is becoming a favorable option for a variety of purposes, ranging from enhancing fertility to decreasing post-operative pain, because people experience significantly fewer side effects and it can be less expensive than other options," Dr. Tong Joo Gan, who led the study, said in a statement.

"This analysis reinforces that acupuncture also is a successful source of relief from chronic headaches."

Writing in Anesthesia and Analgesia, they said 53 percent of patients given true acupuncture were helped, compared to 45 percent receiving sham therapy involving needles inserted in non-medical positions.

"One of the barriers to treatment with acupuncture is getting people to understand that while needles are used, it is not a painful experience," Gan said. "It is a method for releasing your body's own natural painkillers."

They found it took on average five to six visits for patients to report headache relief.

Other studies have shown that acupuncture helped alleviate pain in patients who had surgery for head and neck cancer, can relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms and can reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Julie Steenhuysen)

Acupuncture Today
July, 2009, Vol. 10, Issue 07


Obama Positive Toward Acupuncture
By Editorial Staff

During a recent Q&A session of a Presidential Town Hall meeting in St. Louis, one licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in Florissant, Mo., got to ask President Barack Obama what must certainly be one of the most important questions in the minds of all alternative health practitioners. Below is a transcript of the question and President Obama's answer, which does appear to be positive toward the inclusion of alternative therapies into health care reform.

Q: I'm a licensed acupuncturist and licensed massage therapist in Florissant. And so...
President Obama: I could use one right now. (Laughter.) My back is stiff. I've been working hard.

Q: I'll be happy to help you. (Laughter.) And this kind of fits into what you were just talking about as far as health care. I'm wondering, as a practitioner of Oriental medicine, knowing that the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have discovered through their studies that alternative medicine often is more cost-effective and very effective, how will alternative medicine fit in your new health care program?

President Obama: Well, look, my attitude is that we should - we should do what works. So I think it is pretty well documented through scientific studies that acupuncture, for example, can be very helpful in relieving certain things like migraines and other ailments -- or are at least as effective as more intrusive interventions.

I will let the science guide me. We just swore in an outstanding new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, former governor of Kansas. (Applause.) It's good to see that a Jayhawk got applause on this side of the border here. (Laughter.) But she's going to do an outstanding job. And my charge to her is, as we're going through health care reform, let's find out what works.

I think one basic principle that we know is that the more we do on the prevention side, the more we can obtain serious savings down the road. So giving children early checkups, making sure that they get immunized, making sure that they are diagnosed if they've got eyesight problems, making sure that they're taught proper nutrition to avoid a life of obesity - those are all issues that we have some control over. And if we're making those investments, we will save huge amounts of money in the long-term.

Unfortunately, the hardest thing to do in politics - and certainly in health care reform - has been to get policymakers to make investments early that will have long-term payoffs. Because people - their attitude is, well, I'll be out of office by the time that kid grows up; and the fact that they're healthy, that doesn't help me. And in the private-sector insurance system, oftentimes insurers make the same calculation. Their attitude is, well, people change jobs enough for us to pay for the preventive medicine now when the problem may not crop up for another 20 years and they'll be long out of our system, so we don't want to reimburse it because it will make things more costly. That's the logic of our health care system that we're going to have to change.

The recovery package put a huge amount in prevention. We are, in our budget, calling for significant increases in prevention. And my hope is that, working in a bipartisan fashion, we are going to be able to get a health care reform bill on my desk before the end of the year that will start seeing the kinds of investments that will make everybody healthier.

Acupuncture Center of Greenville
2518 East North Street
Greenville, SC 29615


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