Sunday, December 19, 2010

Acupuncture restores sense of smell

Acupuncture Helps Olfaction

A recent controlled study published in the Journal of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery notes that acupuncture is effective for restoring the sense of smell. The researchers studied participants with dysosmia (loss of sense of smell) due to viral infections. Acupuncture was applied to acupuncture points Du16 (Fengfu), Du20 (Baihui), LI20 (Yingxiang), Lu7 (Lieque), Lu9 (Taiyuang), St36 (Zu San Li), and K3 (Tai Xi). The needles were manipulated by an expert acupuncturist with more than ten years of professional experience and were retained for 30 minutes. Several acupuncture treatments were administered over a 10 week period. A statistical analysis revealed a significant improvement in the acupuncture patients. A control group receiving standard vitamin B complex therapy did not improve greatly.
Acupuncture and Pharmaceutical Drugs
Also of interest is that the patients chosen for this study had already tried standard western medical therapies but did not recover the sense of smell. Yet, these patients enjoyed a significant improvement in their olfactory senses with acupuncture treatment. Western medicine approaches include systemic and topical steroids, vitamin B therapy, caroverine, alpha lipoic acid, and several other medications.

Scalp Acupuncture
Scalp acupuncture was employed in this study by choosing Du16 and Du20. Scalp acupuncture is especially well suited for both head injuries and post-viral neurological dysfunction. Hopefully, future studies will choose to include Du24 (Shenting) in the acupuncture point selection. Use of triple needling, also referred to as ranked needling, at acupuncture point Du24 is a powerful method for benefiting the sense of smell. Du24 is known to eliminate wind, calm the spirit and benefit the brain, nose, and eyes. It is the meeting point of the Governing vessel with the UB and Stomach meridians. Its actions to expel pathogenic head wind make it an excellent choice for the treatment of post-viral dysosmia. Commonly used to treat rhinitis, this acupuncture point is well regarded for its ability to benefit and stimulate the nose.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Acupuncure treats Lazy Eye

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, especially in older children with a poor response to the common patching therapy, a new study says.

Amblyopia, a state of miscommunication between the brain and the eyes, is characterized by vision problems in one eye. About 5 percent of individuals around the world suffer from lazy eye, considered as the most common cause of poor vision in children.

According to the study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, visual acuity with eyeglasses improved in more than 66 percent of the children receiving two hours of daily patching therapy, compared with more than 75 percent of the acupuncture group.

''These results suggest that the treatment effect of acupuncture is equivalent to that of patching for anisometropic amblyopia in older children," said lead researcher So Dennis Lam.

Chinese researchers failed to explain the mechanism through which acupuncture improved lazy eye. They, however, suggested that the treatment may have affected the regional blood flow in these children.

Previous studies have shown that acupuncture increases the blood flow in the brain and eye, stimulating the release of retinal nerve growth factors and subsequently leading to metabolic changes in the central nervous system.

While the findings of the present study have surprised many ophthalmologists, they still do not recommend parents to swap patches for acupuncture. Many of them believe further researches are needed to confirm these results.

Friday, December 3, 2010

excerpts from a very nice letter to me about The Asian Diet

"I have just completed* The Asian Diet and wanted to tell  you that, in my opinion, this is one of the most important books I have ever read in my 76 years,  I use the word "completed" because I believe it was just that - a course of study and understanding of the principles you present....As a survivor of five (5) types of cancer (it runs in my family on both sides) and a long-time diabetic with A1C readings usually around 5.4, I have always tried to surround myself with positive energy and maintain good eating habits...As an avid fan of Asian cooking, I am absolutely delighted to know that my penchant for Japanese noodles and white rice can once again be on my grocery list. ... I am so glad you included the section on green tea in your book, because I started drinking at least 6 to 8, 8-oz. glasses each day since in my early 30's, when I had my first encounter with cancer.  I love the ritual of loose leaf tea.  Since reading (and rereading) your book, I have lost a total of seven pounds...I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for such a marvelous book.  I am a native of Chicago and only wish I had had knowledge of you before I moved.  
Most Sincerely, Susan V" (full name withheld)