Female infertility

Conclusions: Following a "fertility diet" pattern may favorably influence fertility in otherwise healthy women. Further, the majority of infertility cases due to ovulation disorders may be preventable through modifications of diet and lifestyle.

Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD1,2, Janet W. Rich-Edwards, MPH, ScD2,3,4, Bernard A. Rosner, PhD2,5 and Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH1,2,4

Conclusions: The missing advantage of verum acupuncture versus placebo needling may be due to the methodical problem that real placebo models for acupuncture are lacking. Our placebo needle set induces an acupressure effect thus leading to a higher pregnancy rate than in our population without any complementary treatment.


Paulus W.E.1, Zhang M.2, Strehler E.1, Seybold B.1 and Sterzik K.Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Reproductive Medicine, Ulm, Germany and 2Tongji Medical University, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China


CONCLUSIONS: The review found promising evidence supporting the use of Chinese herbal medicine for primary dysmenorrhoea

Zhu X, et al, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD005288.

Conclusion(s): In this study, there appears to be a beneficial regulation of CORT and PRL in the Ac group during the medication phase of the IVF treatment with a trend toward more normal fertile cycle dynamics. (Fertil Steril® 2008;-:-–-. ©2008 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.) 

Paul C. Magarelli, M.D.,a Diane K. Cridennda, L.Ac.,b and Mel Cohen, Ph.D.a

a Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Centers and b East Winds Acupuncture, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that acupuncture may be a useful adjuvant to gonadotropin therapy among women undergoing ICSI. In this context, acupuncture increased the number of follicles produced and appeared to also increase the estradiol level.

Sandra L. Emmons, MD Phillip Patton, MD

Source: Medical Acupuncture, A Journal For Physicians By Physicians 

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: The study concluded that acupuncture and stabilizing exercises were effective complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Also, acupuncture was superior to stabilizing exercises in this study.

Elden H, Ladfors L, et al. Perinatal Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Sahlgrenska Academy, East Hospital, 41685 Gothenburg, Sweden.

Conclusions: Acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth.

Neri I, Airola G, Contu G, Allais G, Facchinetti F, Benedetto C., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Conclusions: In light of the findings, "acupuncture can be considered an effective non-pharmacological treatment option for women who experience nausea and dry retching and should be promoted and offered to women"

SOURCE: Birth 2002;29.

 Conclusions: The evidence from the Cochrane systematic review suggests that acupuncture may reduce the need for induction methods; however, there is a need for well-designed trials in this area.

Smith et al, Obstetrics & Gynecology: November 2008 - Volume 112 - Issue 5 - pp 1067-1074

Conclusions: The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

Manber R, et al, Obstet Gynecol. 2010; 115 (3): 511-20

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 appears to be equivalent to drug therapy in these patients. It is a safe, effective and durable treatment for vasomotor symptoms secondary to long-term antiestrogen hormone use in patients with breast cancer.

Source Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.

Preliminary data establish the feasibility of recruitment and acceptance as well as promising preliminary safety and effectiveness. A randomized controlled trial is warranted to establish the efficacy of EA for AI-related arthralgia in breast cancer survivors.

Source: Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

A systematic review published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organisation that evaluates medical research, pooled results from nine studies into the use of acupuncture for post-chemotherapy vomiting. Overall, 22% of patients who received acupuncture suffered vomiting the first day after chemotherapy, compared to 33% of those who did not receive acupuncture. When acupressure studies were evaluated, it was found that it was able to relieve nausea the day after chemotherapy (which acupuncture did not do) although it had no effect on vomiting.

(Ezzo JM et al. Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 2).

Acupressure at the P6 point is a value-added technique in addition to pharmaceutical management for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer to reduce the amount and intensity of delayed CINV.

Source: Institute for Health and Aging, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


By the end of the study, the fathers who massaged their infants were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and more warmth during floor-play interactions with their infants.

Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A. & Hartshorn, K. (2000). Father-infant interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 164, 41-47.


Compared with the control group, women in the intervention group reported lower mood disturbances and perceived stress levels were reduced after massage therapy.

 Listing, M., Krohn, M., Liezmann, C., Kim, I, Reisshauer, A., Peters, E., Lapp, B.F. & Rauchfuss, M. (2010).

Methods: Breast cancer patients received a massage for 3 consecutive weeks.

Results: Participants reported lower state anxiety, and improved sleep quality, and quality of life/ function.

Sturgeon, M., Wetta-Hall, R., Hart, T., Good, M., & Dakhil, S. (2009). Effects of therapeutic massage on the quality of life among patients with breast cancer during treatment. Journal of Complementary Medicine, 15, 373-380.


Long-term care staff have high levels of musculoskeletal concerns. This research provided a pilot program to evaluate the efficacy of employer-funded on-site massage therapy on job satisfaction, workplace stress, pain, and discomfort. Twenty-minute massage therapy sessions were provided. Evaluation demonstrated possible improvements in job satisfaction, with initial benefits in pain severity, and the greatest benefit for individuals with preexisting symptoms. A long-term effect was not demonstrated.

Source Holistic Nursing Practice. 23(1):19-31, 2009 Jan-Feb.


The immediate massage therapy effects included reduced anxiety, depressed mood, and anger. The longer-term massage effects included reduced depression and hostility, increased urinary dopamine, serotonin values, natural killer cell number and lymphocytes. Avoidance coping was associated with greater NK cell number and intrusive coping with lower dopamine levels.

 Hernandez-Reif, M., Ironson, G., Field, T., Katz, G., Diego, M., Weiss, S., Fletcher, M., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2003). Breast cancer patients have improved immune functions following massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57, 45-52.

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