Female infertility

Conclusions: The pregnancy rate was 31% in the acupuncture group and 23% in the control group. For those subjects receiving acupuncture, the odds of achieving a pregnancy were 1.5 higher than for the control group.

Caroline Smith, Ph.D., Meaghan Coyle, B.Hlth.Sc. (Acup.), Robert J. Norman, M.D.

Conclusions: Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.



Wolfgang E. Paulus, M.D.,[a] Mingmin Zhang, M.D.,[b] Erwin Strehler, M.D.,[a] Imam El-Danasouri, Ph.D.,[a] and Karl Sterzik, M.D.[a]


Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, especially double TEAS, significantly improved the clinical outcome of ET.

◦ Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Neurobiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Health, Beijing, People's Republic of China

Conclusions: Electro-acupuncture was at least as efficacious as i.v. alfentanil for pain control during oocyte retrieval for IVF, requiring less additional analgesics, and resulted in less pain and discomfort after the procedure. The analgesic method had no significant effect on pregnancy rate.

Lawrence C. Tsen MD

Conclusions: The conclusion of this study is that repeated EA treatments reduce ovarian NGF concentrations to within normal ranges.

Elisabet Stener-Victorin,[2,3] Thomas Lundeberg,[4] Urban Waldenström,[3] Luigi Manni,[5] Luigi Aloe,[5] Stefan Gunnarsson,[6] and Per Olof Janson[3] Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,[3] Göteorg University, SE-413 45 Goteborg, Sweden Department of Physiology and Pharmacology,[4] Karolinska Institutet, SE-164 01 Stockholm, Sweden,

Male infertility

It is concluded that acupuncture may be a useful, nontraumatic treatment for males with very poor sperm density, especially those with a history of genital tract inflammation.

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B.
Source: Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

 By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata

In a recent article in the journal Biology of Reproduction, healthy young men exhibited a small but statistically significant improvement in sperm health after adding walnuts to their diet.

The authors conclude that walnuts improved sperm development and function. Walnuts were also associated with increases in omega-3 ALA and omega-6 fatty acids. While walnuts appear to improve sperm function and development, it is not currently known if walnuts will help improve male fertility and improve birth outcomes. Further research is required.

Conclusions: These data suggest that higher intake of soy foods and soy isoflavones is associated with lower sperm concentration.

Jorge E. Chavarro, Thomas L. Toth, Sonita M. Sadio and Russ Hauser

Conclusions: The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture. A general
improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after

Jian Pei, Ph.D.,a,b Erwin Strehler, M.D.,b Ulrich Noss, M.D.,c Markus Abt, Ph.D.,d
Paola Piomboni, Ph.D.,e Baccio Baccetti, Ph.D.,e and Karl Sterzik, M.D.b


Conclusions: Glycol ether exposure was related to low motile sperm count in men attending fertility clinics. This suggests that, at the time of the study, glycol ethers continued to be a hazard for male fertility. 

Nicola Cherry, Harry Moore, Roseanne McNamee, Allan Pacey, Gary Burgess, Julie-Ann Clyma, Martin Dippnall, Helen Baillie, Andrew Povey


Conclusions: Scalp acupuncture has a better analgesic effect in vaginal delivery with no adverse effect on the mother and infant.

Bo QX, Zhang JX., Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2006 Sep;26(9):659-61.

Conclusions: PNI research suggests two goals for the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression: reducing maternal stress and reducing inflammation. Breastfeeding and exercise reduce maternal stress and are protective of maternal mood. In addition, most current treatments for depression are anti-inflammatory. These include long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, cognitive therapy, St. John's wort, and conventional antidepressants.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Address: Family Research Laboratory, 126 Horton Social Science Center, 20 College Road, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, 03824, USA

Conclusions: Results from a large study show that regular use of a multivitamin supplement in the months before and during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preeclampsia by as much as 71%.

Bodnar LM, et al. Periconceptional multivitamin use reduces the risk of preeclampsia. 2006. Am J Epidemiol 164(5):470-7. 

Conclusions: Massage eases anxiety and depression, as well as leg and back pain, in depressed pregnant women, and their newborns seem to benefit as well.

-Source: Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine, in Florida. Authors: T. Field, Ph.D.; M.A. Diego; M. Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D.; S. Schanberg; and C. Kuhn. Originally published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 2004, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 115-122.


Our results showed that electroacupuncture can be used to obtain cervical ripening, with similar results as compared with misoprostol, with a significantly higher frequency of vaginal deliveries and without occurrence of obstetric complications. 

Gribel GP, Coca-Velarde LG, Moreira de Sá RA.
Maternidade Escola Hospital, Serviço de Obstetrícia, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rua das Laranjeiras, 180 (Laranjeiras), Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22240-003, Brazil.

Injuries and pain

Conclusions: Acupuncture seems to provide improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee when compared with credible sham acupuncture and education control groups.

Brian M. Berman, MD; Lixing Lao, PhD; Patricia Langenberg, PhD; Wen Lin Lee, PhD; Adele M.K. Gilpin, PhD; and Marc C. Hochberg, MD

Conclusions. Trigger point inactivation by dry needling is a valuable supplement to the list of migraine prophylactic tools, being equipotent to metoprolol in the influence on frequency and duration (but not severity) of attacks, and superior in terms of negative side-effects.

Hesse J, Mogelvang B, Simonsen H. Journal of Internal Medicine. 1994; 235: 451-456. 

 Acupuncture reduces post-operative pain following gynecologic and abdominal surgeries. A new study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology concludes that, “Pain control after hospital discharge is suboptimal for many women after both vaginal and abdominal surgery.” The researchers add that there is a need to improve post-operative at-home pain control measures, “Given increasingly rapid hospital discharge….” Acupuncture helps to improve recovery times and improves at-home pain control.

Conclusions: Acupuncture fared most favorably when compared to sham treatments. Nine of the 14 trials comparing true and sham acupuncture in migraine and tension-type headache patients either "showed trends in favor of acupuncture" or had patients who "did significantly better than those in the sham acupuncture group."

Conclusions: Short-term acupuncture treatment is as effective as short-term low-dose prednisolone for mild-to-moderate CTS. For those who do have an intolerance or contraindication for oral steroid or for those who do not opt for early surgery, acupuncture treatment provides an alternative choice.

Abstract Source: Clin J Pain. 2009 May;25(4):327-33. PMID: 19590482
Abstract Author(s):Chang MH, Hsieh CL, Hwang KL, Li TC, Wang NH, Yang CP, Yu SC

General Health

Conclusions: DBT preparations at 6.0 g/day significantly improve physical and psychological scores and significantly reduce vasomotor symptoms from baseline. The treatment was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events noted during the 12-week intervention period. The changes do not affect hormones and lipid profiles.

Wang, Chi Chiu MD, PhD; Cheng, King Fai MD; Lo, Wing Man RN; Law, Cindy BNurs; Li, Lu MD, PhD; Leung, Ping Chung MD; Chung, Tony Kwok Hung MD; Haines, Christopher John MD

 Acupuncture and physical activity improved hormone levels and menstrual patterns in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, according to a study conducted by researchers in Sweden.

Jedel E. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011;300:37-45.

Conclusions:  Subjects randomized to the true acupuncture group had a mean 63.30% (median = 65.99%) reduction in daytime accidents/day at 1 week postacupuncture and 67.47% reduction (median = 75.76%) at 4 weeks postacupuncture. In contrast, the mean reduction in daytime accidents was 18.88% (median = 19.64%) at 1 week and 16.67% (median = 0%) at 4 weeks post-sham acupuncture.

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;36(6):661-70. 

Conclusions: In this study, based on a small outpatient sample of women with major depression, it appeared that acupuncture provided significant symptom relief at rates comparable to standard treatments such as psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy. The effect sizes observed in this small sample were at least as large or larger than those seen in trials of antidepressant medication or psychotherapy, and they suggest that a larger clinical trial is warranted.


by John J.B. Allen, Ph.D.

March 2000, Vol. XVII, Issue 3


Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that adding acupuncture to breast cancer treatment regimens may establish an integrative approach that is more effective in managing symptoms due to treatment with fewer side effects than conventional pharmacotherapy treatment.

E. M. Walker1, A. I. Rodriguez2, B. Kohn2, J. Pegg1, R. M. Bell2, R. A. Levine2

Breast Cancer

Acupuncture palliates xerostomia for many patients. A regimen of three to four weekly treatments followed by monthly sessions is now recommended, although some patients achieve lasting response without further therapy.

Source: Radiation Oncology Service, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California 92134-1014, USA. Copyright 2002 American Cancer Society. DOI 10.1002/cncr.10348

Source: Department of Cariology, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.

A study carried out at at Mount Vernon Hospital in Middlesex, England, has found that traditional acupuncture is able to relieve the hot flushes that many women experience when taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer. Of 54 women on tamoxifen suffering from side effects of flushes or sweats before the treatment, 36% reported that their symptoms had decreased by 50% or more, while 89% reported some improvement. These positive results were maintained after treatment had ended. Personal accounts also showed that the women felt their energy levels had increased, that they could do more, and that their overall quality of life had improved after acupuncture.

(UK Complementary Health Care Conference, 5th December 2002).


Acupuncture in rehabilitation after breast cancer surgery was shown to be associated with improvements in movement amplitude of the shoulder, symptoms of heaviness and tightness in the arm, and the degree of lymphoedema. However, controlled trials should be performed to ascertain whether the results were due to the natural history of the complaint or the acupuncture treatment.

Source: Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, School of Medicine, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, UNICAMP, Brazil.

We observed clinically relevant trends of higher WBC values during one cycle of chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer, which suggests a potential myeloprotective effect of acupuncture. A larger trial is warranted to more definitively determine the efficacy of acupuncture on clinically important outcomes of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia.

Source: Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



The massage therapy subjects reported fewer distress symptoms, less pain, more headache free days, fewer sleep disturbances, and they showed an increase in serotonin levels.

Hernandez-Reif, M., Dieter J., Field, T., Swerdlow, B., & Diego, M. (1998). Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.


The infants who experienced massage therapy compared to infants in the rocking control group spent more time in active alert and active awake states, cried less, and had lower cortisol levels, suggesting lower stress. Over the 6-week period, the massage-therapy infants gained more weight, showed greater improvement on emotionality, sociability, and soothability temperament dimensions, and had greater decreases in stress neurotransmitters/hormones (norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol). 

Field, T., Grizzle, N., Scafidi, F. Abrams, S., Richardson, S., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. (1996). Massage therapy for infants of depressed mothers. Infant Behavior and Development, 19, 107-112.


The massage therapy group women versus the control group women not only had reduced depression by the end of the therapy period, but they also had reduced depression and cortisol levels during the postpartum period. Their newborns were also less likely to be born prematurely and low birthweight, and they had lower cortisol levels and performed better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation and motor scales. 

Source: Infant Behavior and Development, Volume 32, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 454-460. Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Osvelia Deeds and Barbara Figueiredo

The massage therapy group women versus the control group women not only had reduced depression by the end of the therapy period, but they also had reduced depression and cortisol levels during the postpartum period. Their newborns were also less likely to be born prematurely and low birthweight, and they had lower cortisol levels and performed better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation and motor scales.

Source: Infant Behavior and Development, Volume 32, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 454-460. Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Osvelia Deeds and Barbara Figueiredo

Massage with KS is a relatively simple and inexpensive intervention that can improve weight gain in selected preterm infants.

Source: Journal of Perinatology (2009) 29, 352–357; doi:10.1038/jp.2008.230; published online 15 January 2009. A N Massaro1,2, T A Hammad3, B Jazzo2 and H Aly1,2.

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