Sleep is not overrated! Sleep is how our body restores itself. Lack of sleep leads to inflammation and there is good data tying lack of sleep to many undesirable health consequences.
There can be many reasons why someone is not sleeping well. The typical patterns I see when someone complains of a not sleeping well or ‘insomnia’ is either:
- A person cannot fall asleep. Either their head is spinning with thoughts (“monkey mind” 心猿) or they just feel wired and jittery.
- A person wakes up after a few hours of sleep. Often around 2 am for about 1-2 hours.
- A person wakes up early in the morning feeling they haven’t had enough sleep, but cannot fall back asleep. (even though it is 4:00am).
Some sleep issues can stem from endocrine system and blood sugar dysregulation. Some can be caused by anemia. Some may stem from circumstantial life situations one is currently experiencing and causing a ‘Heart’ disturbance. Certainly the sleep disorder is not from an Ambien deficiency.Read More
A recent Archives of Internal Medicine systematic review article of acupuncture randomized control trials (RCTs) found that acupuncture was more effective than what customary care for chronic pain. The meta analysis examined 29 studies involving almost 18,000 adults. The researchers concluded that acupuncture was more effective than customary medical treatments and slightly better than ‘sham’ acupuncture.
Here we have a meta analysis that looked at raw data from over 2 dozen studies and it showed that acupuncture is an effective treatment for back pain. However the anti-alternative medicine folks are quick to pounce on the fact that real acupuncture over sham acupuncture only had about a 10% improvement in chronic pain scores. In other words it wasn’t statistically significant. The 5 senses only folks then claim acupuncture is just a placebo effect, which is a ridiculous argument in of itself for a few reasons:
- The sham group in this case is not ‘sham’, as in receiving no treatment. “Sham” absolutely can trigger a physiological response. As any acupuncturists will tell you the mere puncturing of the skin in needles at random points can bring about positive change in some. Yes you don’t need to hit exact points in some people as they may respond to almost anything.
- Of course there is a ‘placebo’ effect in acupuncture treatments. How can there not be? The patient/practitioner relationship plays a significant role as shown by Ted Kaptchuk. But what is the ‘placebo effect’? It is the mind bringing about a healing response. If the goal is to make people feel better than that is a treatment! Who cares how one gets there as long as they feel better.
- If it is just a placebo effect then how does one explain the numerous reports of improvement of health for animals?
At the recent annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology came the following report of acupuncture improving heart rate variability. The article below is taken from the Internal Medicine News website:
CHICAGO – Traditional acupuncture improves heart rate variability, and it may prove to reduce the risk of sudden death for patients with established coronary heart disease, a pilot study suggests.
The blinded study with a sham-acupuncture control arm demonstrated that acupuncture accomplishes autonomic remodeling via sympathovagal modulation as reflected in increased heart rate variability (HRV), according to Dr. Puja K. Mehta of the Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. The clinically meaningful improvements in heart rate variability in this pilot study lay the groundwork for a future large outcome-based clinical trial of traditional acupuncture in patients with known CHD.
Acupuncture and in particular Chinese Medicine is a proven technique for increasing conception rates. Massachusetts is one of 16 states that require insurance companies to cover ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) which is a cost we all incur. The cost for a single IVF cycle is at minimum $10,000. The goal of ARTs is to have a baby, but ignores the health of the mother and father.Read More