Acupuncture for colic

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Minimal acupuncture may help infants experiencing colic, according to a new study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine. Infants experiencing colic—crying time more than three hours a day, for a minimum of three days a week— showed fewer symptoms after receiving minimal acupuncture treatment compared to the standard treatment.

Largely human acupuncture research has been conducted in adult populations with research often showing reduced pain, improved gastrointestinal function and increased calm. To see if it might reduce babies with colic crying time, researchers treated 147 babies between two and eight weeks old who had been diagnosed with colic.

The babies and their families visited a child health center twice weekly for two weeks and were assigned to one of three groups, . Parents in all three groups spoke with a nurse about their child’s symptoms, and two of the groups also received acupuncture.

Babies in the first group were given standard minimal acupuncture at LI4, a spot on the hand between index finger and thumb, for 2 to 5 seconds. babies in the second group received acupuncture at up to five locations on the hands and legs, for up to 30 seconds.

All of the parents kept diaries of how much time the babies spent crying at home. As expected after two weeks, all three groups were crying less since colic tends to resolve in time.

However the researchers noticed a greater reduction in crying time in both acupuncture groups than in the standard-treatment group, suggestive of a faster recovery. During the second week of the experiment, only 16 babies in the standard acupuncture group and 21 in the tailored group still met the criteria for colic, compared to 31 babies in the standard-treatment group.

The results also suggest that acupuncture could have a lasting impact. Six days after the final clinic visit, the differences between the acupuncture and non-acupuncture groups remained. Overall, there were no meaningful differences between results in the two acupuncture groups.

The babies tolerated the acupuncture well. Sleeping babies rarely woke during treatment, and 200 of the 388 treatments given involved no crying at all. Only 31 sessions involved crying for longer than a minute, and only 15 resulted in any bleeding. (In each of those cases, only a single drop of blood was noted.) Three families dropped out of the trial before it ended.

Fussing and crying are normal for babies, the authors point out, and the goal of treatment should be a reduction to normal crying levels, not complete silence. The authors also recommend eliminating cow’s milk from a baby’s diet before seeking acupuncture or other treatment. (This means choosing formula without cow’s milk protein, or, if a mother is breastfeeding, avoiding cow’s milk herself.) Doing so can help treat excessive crying; in the week long registration period for the study, this helped treat excessive crying in 269 of the 426 babies initially identified for the research.

Acupuncture is performed routinely in paediatric pain clinics in the United States, and has also been used to treat bed wetting, ADHD, nausea and constipation. In some cases, it allows less medication to be given: an important benefit for young children who are more sensitive to the effects of drugs.

Although research on infants is sparse, some earlier studies have shown promise for colic and pain. “I think that acupuncture is especially interesting in symptoms where there’s no other safe method or medication that relieves the symptoms, like in colic,” says study author Landgren. 

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Acupuncture for osteoarthritis

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A Cochrane review published in 2010 presents what we know from research about the effect of acupuncture on osteoarthritis.

The review shows that in people with osteoarthritis,

-Acupuncture may lead to small improvements in pain and physical function after 8 weeks.

-Acupuncture may lead to small improvements in pain and physical function after 26 weeks.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the joints, such as your knee or hip. When the joint loses cartilage, the bone grows to try and repair the damage. Instead of making things better, however, the bone grows abnormally and makes things worse. For example, the bone can become misshapen and make the joint painful and unstable. This can affect your physical function or ability to use your knee.

According to the philosophy of traditional acupuncture, energy circulates in 'meridians' located throughout the body.  Pain or ill health happens when something occurs to cause this meridian energy circulation to be blocked. The way to restore health is to stimulate the appropriate combination of acupuncture points in the body by inserting very thin needles.  Sometimes in painful conditions, electrical stimulation along with the acupuncture is also used.  According to acupuncture theory, one way you can tell that acupuncture is relieving pain is that you may feel numbness or tingling, called de qi, where the needle is inserted.

Sham-controlled trials show statistically significant benefits; however, these benefits are small. Waiting list-controlled trials of acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis suggest statistically significant and clinically relevant benefits.

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Acupuncture for Migraine prevention

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A Cochrane Systematic review published June 2016 concluded the available evidence suggests that a course of acupuncture consisting of at least six treatment sessions can be a valuable option for people with migraine. The available evidence suggests that adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment of attacks reduces the frequency of headaches. 

The researchers findings about the number of days with migraine per month can be summarized as follows. If people have six days with migraine per month on average before starting treatment, this would be reduced to five days in people receiving only usual care, to four days in those receiving fake acupuncture or a prophylactic drug, and to three and a half days in those receiving true acupuncture.

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Chinese herbal medicine may reduce menstrual pain

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Dysmenorrhoea is a very common complaint that refers to painful menstrual cramps in abdomen. Primary dysmenorrhoea refers to pain of an unknown cause (i.e. no medical condition is identified). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs or the contraceptive pill have been used successfully for treatment but more women are looking for non-drug therapies. Chinese herbal medicine has been used for centuries in China and it is currently used in public hospitals in China for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea. A Systematic review found promising evidence for the use of Chinese herbal medicine in reducing menstrual pain in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea, compared to conventional medicine such as NSAIDs and the oral contraceptive pill, acupuncture and heat compression. No significant adverse effects were identified in this review. However the findings should be interpreted with caution due to the generally low methodological quality of the included studies. 

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy

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A Cochrane Review reports that there is moderate-quality evidence for pain relief and improved functionality with acupuncture for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. 

I loved this quote from an editorial in the British Medical Journal:

Those caring for women with pregnancy related pelvic pain now need to press for increased availability of acupuncture.
— BMJ 2005;331:249

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Seasonal Living: Autumn

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Welcome to Autumn! Even though the weather over summer in Perth was mild, I for one certainly enjoy the cooler night temperatures and Autumn days are still long enough to fit in some time outdoors after work! How are you finding the seasonal change?

 

In Chinese Medicine we think of the body as a small version of the universe around us. As the seasons change, so should we. Humans should be adaptable; to flow with the seasons is to live in harmony. By doing this, we support our physical and mental health. Autumn is a time to slow down, to harvest and enjoy the abundance of what bore fruit over Summer. 

 

What happens to our Qi in Autumn?

The Metal season of Autumn is when the Yang movement of the Spring and Summer months comes to an end and the Yin months begin. Because of this, our Qi should start to CONTRACT and MOVE INWARDS.  Autumn relates to the LUNG and LARGE INTESTINE organs, the colour is WHITE and the flavor is PUNGENT. This is a time of HARVEST, COMPLETION and REST – making it the perfect time to reflect deeply on your ATTACHMENTS and to LET GO of anything that no longer serves you.

 

The Lungs and Large intestine - our five element metal organs

In Chinese Medicine, the LUNG is considered to be one of the most important organs (after the HEART, of course) – and its function is what determines the flow of Qi around the body. It is also in charge of your defense mechanism and immune system – known as Wei Qi. As the Wei Qi travels over the surface of the body to protect it, your Lung organ also looks after your skin to keep it moist and glowing. Your Lung houses the Po, which is your bodily soul and sense of self. This spirit gives our personality boundaries and establishes our connection between ourselves and the world around us.

 

The LARGE INTESTINE on the other hand is a digestive organ that deals with separating the foods you eat into pure fluids (that get used by the body) and impure fluids (that it excretes). In classical Chinese Medical texts it is known as ‘the great eliminator’ as it not only excretes things that don’t serve our body from a physical sense, but also lets go of emotional issues that no longer serve us.

 

If your "Metal" organs are functioning properly then you should have a clear sense of self and connection with the world. You should experience inspiration and hope and be able to breath deeply and your bowels should be regular. However, if your Lung or Large Intestine become dysfunctional your Po may scatter, stirring emotions which may include feelings of grief or depression, or with skin issues, sinus problems or bowel blockages.

 

As Autumn is the time of the Lung organ it is the perfect time to make a few small changes so that you can avoid these kinds of Lung imblanaces and make the most of the magnificent Autumn months!

Mental Health in Autumn

As the Qi of Autum is constangly moving DOWNWARDS and INWARDS, the main themes of the season tend to revolve around

 

BOUNDARIES        ATTACHMENT      LETTING GO         

 

If your Lung and Po are balanced and the body is harmonious then you should feel hope and inspiration. However if the Liver is unbalanced and the Qi becomes stagnant then emotions of sadness, grief and excessive attachment may be stirred. 

The Lung and the Large Intestine are also concerned with processing and elimination. After Summer when we focus on our INTERNAL BOUNDARIES, in Autumn we look outwards towards out EXTERNAL BOUNDARIES or how we approach and interact with the world. Basically, this is the perfect time to begin to reflect on your place in the world and how you would like that to change over the coming days and months. It also provides the perfect opportunity for you to LET GO (both emotionally and physically) of things that are no longer serving you. 

 

 

Autumn Health Tips

EAT WARM – as the temperatures are dropping it is important to begin incorporating more warming and nourishing foods into the diet.

 

SLEEP – The move into a more Yin time of year means that our bodies begin to need more sleep. In order to match the shorter days make sure that you’re getting to bed by 10pm and prioritizing 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

 

HYDRATION – the Metal organs have a tendency to become dry and brittle as the external environment does (think of how your skin in Winter). To combat this, make sure that you drink plenty of water.

 

YOGA – Did you know that the Yogis and Ayurvedic practitioners also consider the gut to be the centre of our immune systems? All of their deep twisting poses allow us to let go of the old and boost our immune systems. 

 

REGULATE YOUR BOWELS - Make sure your bowels are letting go! As the Large Intestine helps you to excrete both physical and emotional impurities, make sure that you have to …ahem…’go’ everyday.

 

 

BREATHING – Part of Autumn is based around ‘letting go’ and our body lets go through our skin and our bowels. If you can sit and practice some sort of mindful meditation for 10-15 minutes everyday you will not only notice a sense of calm and ease but also you’ll help your body to clear itself out! 

 

REFLECTION – Schedule in 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per week to reflect. How do you feel in your daily life? Are you finding fulfillment in your relationships, job, family, hobbies etc? This is a perfect time to begin journaling and exploring your thoughts, feelings and inner world which will allow you to connect with yourself but also with how you feel about your connections with the world around you.

 

 

 

CLEAR YOUR SINUSES – as the Lung detoxifies through your breath and skin, it’s important to keep your sinuses clear from pollens, mucus and excess bacteria. 

 

ACUPUNCTURE & HERBS – Acupuncture is an amazing and gentle way to even out any ‘stuck bits’ in the body – be it physical, emotional or energetic. If you’re feeling sick, stuck, sad or just plain confused, see your local acupuncturist for a seasonal tune-up. You might find that while you’re doing all the above things in the right way a good Acupuncture session or two can really help to turn things around. There are also some fantastic herbal formulas that might be up your ally too.

 

Autumn Foods

EAT WARM AND COOKED – begin to cook foods for longer periods such as baking or sautéing. Having foods with more warmth (and Yang) in them will help to keep our insides warmer while longer cooking times makes the food easier to digest. This is a great time to get into cooking soups and stews!

 

ANYTHING WHITE – cauliflower, brown pears, mushrooms, garlic, potatoes, onions, ginger, parsnips. White fruits and vegetables tend to have a higher amount of phytochemicals such as allicin, which has fantastic antibacterial and antiviral properties. Other white veggies are a fantastic source of potassium and magnesium too!

 

 

ADD IN PROBIOTICS – as the function of the Large Intestine is the centre of our digestion AND immune system, it’s super important to keep it happy in Autumn. If you can, add 1-2 doses of probiotics in each day. Try adding some yogurt to your breakfast, pop a spoon of sauerkraut or kimchi in your salad or have a glass of kombucha in the evenings.

 

FOODS TO AVOID – If you find that you tend to get more sinus infections or constipation it may be a good idea to avoid things that exacerbate the problem, e.g. dairy products, refined white foods (sugar, white flours and rice). Anything excessively ‘hot’ (like alcohol and coffee) can also dry out the mucous membranes, increasing the likelihood of a sinus infection.

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO AUTUMN!

To book in for an appointment click here. For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

The Acupuncture Evidence is in and it’s good news for sufferers of chronic low back pain, headaches, migraines, knee osteoarthritis and many others…

Australian researchers, Dr John McDonald and Stephen Janz, have recently published the Acupuncture Evidence Project. This huge comparative literature review has identified 46 conditions with strong or moderate evidence to support the use of acupuncture as a treatment. It is the largest piece of work of it’s kind in relation to acupuncture evidence and has been embraced world-wide.

The authors concluded “it is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain”.
— McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. http://www.acupuncture.org.au.

So you’re probably wondering which conditions is there strong evidence for… here’s the list:

  • Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)
  • Migraine prophylaxis
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Postoperative nausea & vomiting
  • Headache (tension-type and chronic)
  • Postoperative pain

And then there’s another 38 conditions with moderate evidence including pelvic pain in pregnancy, constipation, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain, and anxiety.

For some of the conditions reviewed that did not make it into the strong or moderate evidence category, acupuncture may just not have had enough high quality trials published yet – so do watch this space. Good quality acupuncture research is currently experiencing a growth spurt.

To read a plain English summary of the Acupuncture Evidence Project click here. Or for the full review click here.

If you’d like to try acupuncture for a health condition do be sure to choose a registered acupuncturist (and no, dry needling is not the same thing – it is not held to the same high standards of training or regulation to ensure safety.)

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

 

Moxibustion for Breech presentation

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photo courtesy: Bob Wong @artofacupuncture

The use of moxibustion applied to the little toe for difficult labour was first mentioned in the Moxibustion Methods for Emergencies by Wenren Qinian in 1226. In Chinese hospitals this technique has been used to treat breech presentations for decades, however the research to date, although promising, is not yet sufficient for this method to be incorporated into clinical practice guidelines for obstetricians in Australia. Consult your practitioner to discuss whether or not this ancient technique might be useful for you.

The latest Cochrane systematic review on moxibustion for breech presentation was conducted in 2012 and found "limited evidence".

While Vas et al 2012 concluded "moxibustion may be more effective than observation or postural methods alone for correcting non-vertex presentation and did not appear to increase complications. The authors suggested the findings should be interpreted cautiously due to heterogeneity between studies". Other research papers did not have the same findings so the research evidence base is regarded as “mixed".

New Zealand Evidenced based best practice guidelines for care of women with breech presentation includes offering women moxibustion therapy.

Please note that under national law claims of efficacy of treatment are required to be made with reference to evidence of a high standard. Traditionally acupuncture and moxibustion have been used to treat a wide variety of conditions however not all have been able to demonstrate evidence of efficacy within the constraints of clinical trials.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Acupuncture for depression

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In the Acupuncture Evidence Project, acupuncture was found to have “Evidence of Potential Positive Effect” for the effectiveness of acupuncture for depression when used as an adjunct to antidepressants. It is important to include the qualification that acupuncture is an adjunctive, not a stand-alone intervention for depression, based on this evidence. 

Chan 2015 conducted a systematic review that included 13 randomised control trials, of which 1 trial was considered high quality, 5 trials considered moderate quality and 7 trials low quality. Their analyses suggested that acupuncture combined with antidepressant medication could be effective, with an early onset of action, was safe and well-tolerated over the first 6-week treatment period. Moreover, this treatment combination appears to result in greater therapeutic efficacy than antidepressant therapy alone.

A Cochrane systematic review update published in March 2018 found that acupuncture may result in a moderate reduction in the severity of depression when compared with treatment as usual/no treatment. Use of acupuncture may lead to a small reduction in the severity of depression when compared with control acupuncture. Effects of acupuncture versus medication and psychological therapy are uncertain owing to the very low quality of evidence. Review authors rated the quality of evidence from most included studies as very low or low, and the effects described below should be interpreted with caution. Review authors recommend that additional high-quality randomised controlled trials should be undertaken.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.

Hi there, nice to meet you!

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There’s an old Chinese Proverb:

 

‘Tell me and I'll forget;

Show me and I may remember,

Involve me and I will understand.’

 

Yes, so exciting! Read on if you're ready to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and let's start on a road to transform your health.

Here, over the coming years, I aim to post on the topics, concepts and workable solutions I find myself explaining every day in my clinic.

Come here to find a few thoughts and ideas on how to make your health amazing. Whether you're able to come into the clinic and drift peacefully on the acupuncture table while your herbs are being mixed up or if you're on the other side of the world in another time zone, welcome, nice to see you here!

Take your time to browse. Let the words wash over you and see what you connect with. Let seeds of change be dropped and watch for opportunities to perhaps make different choices, ones that feel right for you.

I'm so grateful for having had the opportunity to dedicate years of study of the body, mind, health, wellness and the wisdom of chinese medicine with some amazing teachers.

Hope you enjoy these offerings.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.