Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kentucky Passes Law Regulating The Practice of Acupuncture

HB 17, the first Bill in Kentucky to regulate the practice of acupuncture was signed by the Governor on April 24, 2006 and will be inacted into law. This Bill has been over two years in the making and is the result of hard work and dedication on the part of the Kentucky State Acupuncture Association members. NCCAOM’s Associate Deputy Director, Betsy Smith, accompanied by Mina Larson, Director of Communications and Marketing, testified before the House Licensing and Occupations Committee and the Senate Health and Welfare Committee in support of this legislation. Those wishing to practice in Kentucky will require NCCAOM certification and three years of licensed practice in another state before they can recieve the title of Certified Acupuncturist.

Our thoughts: It's about time!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

California acupuncture clinic earns award

WASHINGTON -- A California clinic recently received a Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Crystal Award. The award is presented annually to organizations that demonstrate excellence in providing innovative community health-based services that meet the needs of the medically underserved.

The Third Avenu Clinic earned a two- year grant as well as sustainability-enhancing support services from doctoral students affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.

Third Avenue Charitable Organization (San Diego, Calif.) -- A social outreach program and nonprofit charity that serves the homeless, elderly and working poor in the area. Through a strong coalition of community partnerships, the organization offers free meals, free medical and acupuncture clinics, and free mental health counseling services to hundreds of people each week. Through grant funding, the organization looks to increase the number of unduplicated patients served by 30 percent.

Worldwide analgesic market worth $50 billion

Research and Markets has announced the addition of Jain PharmaBiotech's "Pain Therapeutics - Drugs, Markets and Companies" to their offering.

According to the most-recent Research and Markets report, the worldwide analgesic market was worth $50 billion during the year 2005 and is expected to increase to $75 billion by the year 2010 and $105 billion by the year 2015. A news release said calculations are based on the epidemiology of various painful conditions and the development of analgesic drugs and devices. Unfulfilled needs for analgesics are identified and strategies are outlined to develop markets for analgesic drugs. The report is supplemented with 53 tables, 16 figures, and 460 selected references to the literature.

This report describes the latest concepts of pathomechanisms of pain as a basis for management and development of new pharmacotherapies for pain. Major segments of the pain market are arthritis, neuropathic pain and cancer pain. Because pain is a subjective sensation, it is difficult to evaluate objectively in clinical trials. Various tools for pain measurement are described, including brain imaging.

Most of the currently used analgesic drugs fall into the categories of opioids and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs such as COX-2 inhibitors. Non-opioid analgesics include ketamine, a N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist. Adjuvant analgesics include antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs used for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Management of pain is multidisciplinary and includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods such as acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and surgery. Various pain syndromes require different approaches in management, for example, the main category of drugs for migraine are triptans such as sumatriptan.

Drug delivery is an important consideration in pain treatment. Controlled release preparations provide a steady delivery of analgesics. Well-known non-injection methods such astransdermal, pulmonary and intranasal application have been used. Topical analgesics and local anesthetics are also available. Devices such as implanted pumps are used for delivery of drugs such as opioids intrathecally (introduction into spinal subarachnoid space by lumbar puncture) in patients with cancer pain.

The wide variety of drugs in development includes opioid receptor ligands, bradykinin antagonists, newer COX inhibitors, glutamate receptor antagonists, substance P and neurokinin receptor antagonists, P2X2 neuron receptor antagonists and nitric oxide-based analgesics. A number of cannabinoids are also in development for pain. Fish-derived tetrodotoxin was initially focused on indication of opiate addiction withdrawal but is found to have an analgesic action as well. Cone shells contain therapeutically useful peptides including the conotoxins, and one such peptide, ziconotide, has been approved. Various cell and gene therapies are also being developed for the management of pain.

Advances in molecular and biological techniques are markedly advancing our undestanding of pain. Understanding the pathophysiology of pain is an important factor in discovery of rational therapies for pain. Advances in pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics are enabling the development of personalized approaches to the management of pain.

Acupuncture can reduce vomiting after chemo

Acupuncture can reduce the likelihood of vomiting 24 hours after chemotherapy, according to a new review of recent studies — in which participants also took anti-vomiting medication.

Acupuncture is a 2,000-year-old Chinese medical procedure used to treat a variety of ailments by stimulating certain anatomical points on the body, usually with very thin needles that penetrate the skin. Electroacupuncture, in which a small electrical current is passed through the inserted needle, was the only technique that reduced the incidence of vomiting directly after chemotherapy, Jeanette Ezzo, Ph.D., of James P. Swyers Enterprises and colleagues found.

Read more

Acupuncture rids wrinkles

For 25 years, JoAnne Bergen has endured migraines. She turned to acupuncture for relief and not only does it work, she experienced an unexpected side effect.

Read more

Acupuncture receives OK from New England Journal

Some people think of acupuncture as a wacky Eastern medicine, without any basis in science, while others consider it to be a crucial alternative to pain-relief medicine. Whatever the perspective, acupuncture use in the United States is on the rise, and the medical establishment has been taking notice. Now scientists are using advanced brain-imaging techniques to study the ancient practice -- and have begun to uncover some tantalizing clues about how it works.

Two large controlled trials of acupuncture for osteoarthritis pain, published in 2004 and 2005, found that the practice is more effective than a sham treatment. Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005, found acupuncture to be effective for migraines; however, patients experienced the same level of pain relief regardless of whether needles were placed in traditional acupuncture points or other spots.

"Acupuncture has been shown to have some therapeutic effect, but we have an incomplete understanding of the basic science that supports it," says Bruce Rosen, director of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, within the Harvard-MIT division of Health Sciences and Technology. Rosen and colleagues are part of a small number of scientists using brain-imaging techniques to understand what acupuncture does to the brain, as well as which characteristics, such as needle placement, are important for beneficial effects.

Read more