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Q. How treat for Eczema. What points apply?

 

A. Eczema, as sufferers know to their cost, can be very difficult to treat, even in western medicine. It is not unusual for someone to have tried a wide range of medications and more complex interventions. Whlle there is no clinical evidence accepted in the west according to the exacting standards required by bodies such as PCTs and NICE, there have been thousands of slightly less rigorous trials in China which seem to show that acupuncture many help to relieve some of the discomfort and symptoms associated with the condition.
 
As we say in all the answers. there are no specific points for named conditions. Each person is given a unique diagnosis which determines where needles may be applied. In some cases the practitioner might use local points, i.e. near where the problem is located, if they feel that this may be of direct benefit to an acute patch of inflammation.

 

Q. I suffer cronic insomnia i canot get too sleep and am awake all night, and i mean all night, i am feeling very worried what is the sucess rate re acupunture, thank you

 

A. We are sorry to hear of your problem. Insomnia is a great deal more widespread than people think, and the effects on someone's overall health and well-being can be devastating. Our factsheet on insomnia, which you can find on our website under the 'research' button at the top of the home page or by clicking this link is very encouraging about how acupuncture has been used in trials.
 
The strict advertising rules under which all healthcare practitioners now operate means that we have to be careful not to 'over-claim' the benefits of treatment unless there is accepted and definite proof of efficacy. There are, though, a number of conditions, of which insomnia is one, where many of the small-scale studies and trials show positive indications and where eventually we believe significant large-scale trials will provide hard evidence.
 
As we repeat in every answer, however, everyone is unique and different in Chinese medicine, so there is no single simple formula treatment for a named condition. Your best way of finding out whether your own case is suitable for treatment is to visit a practitioner lcoal to you and to ask for advice on whether they think they may be able to help you.

 

Q. Is acupuncture helpful to bells palsy

 

A. As you can see from our factsheet
 
http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/index.php?option=com_k2&;view=item&id=1128:bellas-palsy&Itemid=106
 
the evidence for the successful treatment of Bell's Palsy is not very conclusive. The trials which have been done are not of a very high standard, and their results not all that compelling.
 
However, it is fair to say that in China the condition is a great deal more common and acupuncture is often used alongside, or occasionally instead of conventional medications, as a form of treatment. The Chinese believe that exposure to cold wind can sometimes trigger an attack, and since a great many people work the land the incidence is much higher. Oddly enough, in the days before air conditioning in cars there were often cases which appeared to have been triggered by high speed driving with the driver's window open. Most often, though, the direct cause is not apparent.
 
The received wisdom of Chinese medicine is that any condition involving paralysis or rigidity of muscles becomes more difficult the longer after initial onset the treatment begins. Any well-trained practitioner will take this into account before offering a view of the potential success of treatment.

 

Q. I was wondering if you could help me and give me some advice. I have had some back pains for the last 3 months which radiate to other areas and which my Dr says are caused by muscle knots/trigger points in my back. He says the best way to treat it would be with Trigger Point Acupuncture. But many people I know say that the best is to have acupuncture using the traditional Chinese method. My question is: is it actually safe to do both, for example 2 sessions of traditional acupuncture and 2 sessions of Trigger Point Acupuncture in a week?

 

A. As you will see from our website and factsheets the use of acupuncture for chronic back pain is recognised by NICE as an effective intervention. The NICE guidelines make no comment on the style of acupuncture which ise used, however, because the trials on which the good results were achieved left the choice of points and rationale to the individual practitioner.
 
Trigger point acupuncture is a system mainly used by western trained doctors and physios, whereas Traditional Chinese Medicine is the province of professional acupuncturists. In clinical practice there is often a great deal of overlap - after all, it's all the same body and points are likely to be in the same place, whatever system is used to classify and choose them. It is quite likely that both forms of intervention will use much the same kind of strategy with the same aims, so in theory there should not be a problem in doing both.
 
That said, most practitioners, western and eastern, like to be able to assess how effective treatment is, and if someone else is doing something similar but not identical, it might be an issue for both practitioners to determine how well sessions worked and what fine tuning may be necessary. From a traditional practitioner's perspective a problem also occurs against a backdrop of someone's overall health, and the treatment may not necessarily focus on the back itself. This might have an impact on how they approach treatment.
 
The final point is whether after three months of difficulty you need four sessions a week. In Chinese hospitals where acute back pain is treated with acupuncture it is not uncommon to have ten sessions, once a day for ten days, but chronic problems are sometimes treated over longer periods of time to give the body a chance to re-adjust. Over-treating can sometimes be as much a problem as under-treating.

 

Q. My daughter had acupuncture for hayfever and this was very successful. She has been geting hiccups several times a day for a year now. Could acupuncture help?
    
A. The intermittent nature of a problem like hiccoughs means that there is little or no systematic research of whether acupuncture can help. There are a number of case reports and papers which gather up individual case studies and which appear to show that there may be some benefit, but these are a long way from conclusive.
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11908864
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11908864
 
The fact that acupuncture has been successful in treating your daughter's hay fever is a very positive sign, though.  The fact that this has worked well would normally be taken as a good sign that acupuncture may well be useful in tackling other health issues. Many practitioners find that there is often one therapy which works well for a patient, and in your daughter's case this may be acupuncture treatment. It is certainly worth going back to the practitioner who helped her before and seeking his or her advice on this specific problem.

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