A remedy that is effective for many conditions – but is often overlooked

On the Healthy by Nature show this week Daniel Chartrand, MD of McKinney, TX, joins me in the studio for open lines. Call us at 1-800-281-8255. We’ll also play a short interview with Dr. Cannell from the Vitamin D Council.

Oops: In last week’s newsletter I accidentally said that electronic cigarettes provide caffeine. While that might be an invention Starbucks could sell (Starbucks, please send royalties to Healthy by Nature), what they actually contain is nicotine.


When we first moved the radio show to a Christian station in 1998, the management told us to avoid discussing anything “anti-Christian”. The example they offered was acupuncture. They seemed to think it was tied into some new age or eastern religion and was probably the work of the devil. I ignored their warning, but on the other hand, really haven’t given an amazing healing modality its due exposure. Energy medicine is viewed as some new fangled cutting-edge technology and some forms indeed are. However, acupuncture is also energy medicine and it has been in practice for thousands of years since sharpened stones were used because needles hadn’t been invented.

Acupuncture is a complex discipline that takes years to master, but in short, it involves stimulating certain points on the body to achieve a more healthful flow of energy and nerve impulses. The stimulation can be done with pressure (called acupressure), electronic devices, lasers or more classically with extremely fine needles. (Often you can’t even feel the needles.) Several treatments may be required. In spite of almost 16,000 studies compiled in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) database and a positive report from an NIH consensus panel that reviewed over 2,000 studies, most docs still know little about the practice and so are not inclined to embrace it. (I’ll spare a rant about how drug companies control the practice of medicine.) The docs who dismiss the practice as a placebo effect should talk to the owners of animals (even race horses) treated by acupuncture.

An NIH expert consensus panel concluded in 1998: “promising results have emerged, for example, showing efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations, such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.” 1

Below is a sample of that “further research” they predicted. These recent studies do not conclusively prove acupuncture works in these conditions, but since acupuncture avoids the side effects of drugs and the risks of surgery, it might be worth trying.


Bed wetting3

Breech birth4

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy5


Dry eye syndrome7

High blood pressure8

Hot Flashes9

Immune / stress (elderly)10

Overactive bladder11

My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book : Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

Copyright 2010 Martie Whittekin, CCN

1NIH Consensus Conference. Acupuncture. JAMA. 1998 Nov 4;280(17):1518-24.

2Wong VC, Chen WX. Randomized controlled trial of electro-acupuncture for autism spectrum disorder. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Jul;15(2):136-46.

3Björkström G, Hellström AL, Andersson S. Electro-acupuncture in the treatment of children with monosymptomatic nocturnal enuresis. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2000 Feb;34(1):21-6.

4van den Berg I, Kaandorp GC, Bosch JL, Duvekot JJ, Arends LR, Hunink MG. Cost-effectiveness of breech version by acupuncture-type interventions on BL 67, including moxibustion, for women with a breech foetus at 33 weeks gestation: a modelling approach. Complement Ther Med. 2010 Apr;18(2):67-77. Epub 2010 Feb 7.

5Tong Y, Guo H, Han B. Fifteen-day acupuncture treatment relieves diabetic peripheral neuropathy. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2010 Jun;3(2):95-103.

6Quah-Smith I, Sachdev PS, Wen W, Chen X, Williams MA. The brain effects of laser acupuncture in healthy individuals: an FMRI investigation. PLoS One. 2010 Sep7;5(9):e12619.

7Jeon JH, Shin MS, Lee MS, Jeong SY, Kang KW, Kim YI, Choi SM. Acupuncture reduces symptoms of dry eye syndrome: a preliminary observational study. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Dec;16(12):1291-4.

8Park JM, Shin AS, Park SU, Sohn IS, Jung WS, Moon SK. The acute effect of acupuncture on endothelial dysfunction in patients with hypertension: a pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Aug;16(8):883-8.

9Walker EM, Rodriguez AI, Kohn B, Ball RM, Pegg J, Pocock JR, Nunez R, Peterson E, Jakary S, Levine RA. Acupuncture versus venlafaxine for the management of vasomotor symptoms in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Feb 1;28(4):634-40. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

10Pavão TS, Vianna P, Pillat MM, Machado AB, Bauer ME. Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation in the elderly. Neurosci Lett. 2010 Oct 22;484(1):47-50. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

11Emmons SL, Otto L. Acupuncture for overactive bladder: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jul;106(1):138-43.

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