Acupuncture increases percentage of normal sperm form

This study showed that acupuncture significantly improves sperm morphology (increases percentage of normal form sperm). This was a randomised controlled blinded trial and was published in a peer-reviewed Asian Journal of Andrology.


Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8.
Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities.
Gurfinkel E, Cedenho AP, Yamamura Y, Srougi M.
Human Reproduction Division, Discipline of Urology, São Paulo Federal University, Paulista School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil.
To evaluate the effect of Chinese Traditional Medicine, acupuncture and moxa treatment, on the semen quality in patients with semen abnormalities.
In a prospective, controlled and blind study, nineteen patients, aged 24 years approximately 42 years and married for 3 years approximately 11 years without children with semen abnormalities in concentration, morphology and/or progressive motility without apparent cause, were randomized into two groups and submitted to acupuncture and moxa treatment at the therapeutic (Study Group) and the indifferent points (Control Group), respectively, for 10 weeks. Semen analyses were performed before and after the treatment course.
The patients of the Study Group presented a significant increase in the percentage of normal-form sperm compared to the Control Group (calculated U=16.0, critical U=17.0).
The Chinese Traditional Medicine acupuncture and moxa techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in infertile patients with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause.

Natural depression relief – Electro-acupuncture

Comparative study of electro-acupuncture and maprotiline in treating depression
[Article in Chinese]
Han C, Li XW, Luo HC.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion School, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of electro-acupuncture (EA) and maprotiline (Map) in treating depression. METHODS: Thirty patients of depression were treated with EA and 31 patients with Map orally taken respectively. The therapeutic effect and side-effect were evaluated by measurement of Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD), Self-Rating Scale for Depression (SDS), Self-Rating Scale for Anxiety (SAS), Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) and Asberg Rating Scale for side-effects (ARS) before treatment and on the day 14, 28 and 42 of the therapeutic course. RESULTS: After treatment, the scores of HAMD and SDS lowered significantly (P < 0.01) than before treatment, and with insignificant difference between the group (P > 0.05). For patients with somatic syndrome, the HAMD score decrease rate was obviously higher in the Map group than that in the EA group. However, for the patients with anxiety somatization syndrome, the score of SAS, ARS in the EA group were significantly lower than those in the Map group (P < 0.05). Moreover, the efficacy index was higher in the EA group (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Both EA and Map are effective in treating depression. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2002 Jul;22(7):512-4, 521.

Auricular (ear) acupuncture decreases the anxiety

Auricular acupuncture: a potential treatment for anxiety.
Wang SM, Kain ZN.

Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut 06521, USA.

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for chronic anxiety disorders. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture in reducing anxiety in a volunteer population. If found effective, this modality could be introduced as a treatment of anxiety before surgery. Adult volunteers (n = 55), were randomized to three treatment groups: a) Shenmen group–bilateral auricular acupuncture at the “shenmen” point; b) Relaxation group-bilateral auricular acupuncture at a “relaxation” point; and c) Sham group-bilateral auricular acupuncture at a “sham” point. Press-acupuncture needles were inserted at the respective auricular areas for 48 h. State anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, and electrodermal activity were assessed at 30 min, 24 h, and 48 h after insertion. Analyzing anxiety levels using repeated-measures analysis of variance has demonstrated a significant difference [F (2,51) =8.8, P = 0.001] between the three treatment groups. Post hoc analysis demonstrated that patients in the Relaxation group were significantly less anxious at 30 min (P = 0.007) and 24 h (P = 0.035) as compared with patients in both the Shenmen group and the Sham group, and less anxious at 48 h (P = 0.042) as compared with patients in Shenmen group. Repeated-measures analysis of variance performed for electrodermal activity, blood pressure, and heart rate demonstrated no group differences (P = ns). We conclude that auricular acupuncture at the “relaxation” point can decrease the anxiety level in a population of healthy volunteers.

Anesth Analg. 2001 Feb;92(2):548-53.

Remarkable reduction in anxiety symptoms and depression with acupunture

Acupuncture in patients with minor depressive episodes and generalized anxiety. Results of an experimental study
[Article in German]
Eich H, Agelink MW, Lehmann E, Lemmer W, Klieser E.

Klinik fur Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, am Evangelischen Krankenhaus Gelsenkirchen Universitatsklinik der Ruhr-Universitat Bochum.

In a placebo-controlled, randomized, modified double-blind study we investigated the effects of body needle acupuncture (n = 10) in 43 patients with minor depression (ICD 10 F32.0, F32.1) and 13 patients with generalized anxiety disorders (ICD10 F41.1). The severity of the disease was assessed by the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI). Treatment response was defined as a significant improvement in CGI. An intent-to-treat analysis was performed to compare treatment responses between verum- and placebo acupuncture. After completing an total of 10 acupuncture sessions the verum acupuncture group (n = 28) showed a significantly larger clinical improvement compared to the placebo group (Mann-Whitney test, p < 0.05). There were significantly more responders in the verum-compared to the placebo group (60.7% vs. 21.4%; chi-square test, p < 0.01). In contrast, no differences in the response rates were evident just after 5 acupuncture sessions. A multivariate analysis with the independent factor acupuncture (verum vs. placebo) and the results of the results of the additional rating scales (total score of HAMA, HAMD, Bf-S, BL) as dependent variables (ANOVA, 1:54 D.F.) revealed a clear trend towards lower HAMA scores in the verum group after completing 10 acupunctures (F3.29, p = 0.075). This corresponds well to the high response rate of 85.7% in patients with generalized anxiety disorders, in whom verum acupuncture was applied. Our results indicate that needle acupuncture (Du.20, Ex.6, He.7, Pe.6, Bl.62) leads to a significant clinical improvement as well as to a remarkable reduction in anxiety symptoms in patients with minor depression or with generalized anxiety disorders. The total sum of acupuncture sessions and the specific location of acupuncture needle insertions might be important factors for bringing about therapeutic success.

Anxiety, depression, somatic and vasomotor symptoms improved by acupuncture

Tumori. 2002 Mar-Apr;88(2):128-30.
Acupuncture in the treatment of menopause-related symptoms in women taking tamoxifen.
Porzio G, Trapasso T, Martelli S, Sallusti E, Piccone C, Mattei A, Di Stanislao C, Ficorella C, Marchetti P.

Medical Oncology Unit, University of L’Aquila, Italy.

Fifteen patients were enrolled in a pilot study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in tamoxifen-treated patients. Patients were evaluated before treatment and after one, three and six months with the Greene Menopause Index and were treated according to the traditional Chinese medicine. Anxiety, depression, somatic and vasomotor symptoms were improved by the treatment; libido was not modified. Acupuncture seems to be safe and effective for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women with previous breast cancer taking tamoxifen. Confirmatory studies with a larger number of patients and with a placebo-treated group are warranted.

Acupuncture helps patients with very poor sperm density

Acupuncture is effective for men with very poor sperm density. With these men acupuncture can improve sperm quality to the extent that they don’t have to undergo testicular biopsy. The abstract of the study:

Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study.
Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B.
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Classic therapies are usually ineffective in the treatment of patients with very poor sperm density. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of acupuncture on these males. Semen samples of 20 patients with a history of azoospermia were examined by light microscope (LM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), with which a microsearch for spermatozoa was carried out. These examinations were performed before and 1 month after acupuncture treatment and revealed that the study group originally contained three severely oligoteratoasthenozoospermic (OTA), two pseudoazoospermic and 15 azoospermic patients. The control group was comprised of 20 untreated males who underwent two semen examinations within a period of 2-4 months and had initial andrological profiles similar to those of the experimental group. No changes in any of the parameters examined were observed in the control group. There was a marked but not significant improvement in the sperm counts of severely OTA males following acupuncture treatment (average = 0.7 +/- 1.1 x 10(6) spermatozoa per ejaculate before treatment vs. 4.3 +/- 3.2 x 10(6) spermatozoa per ejaculate after treatment). A definite increase in sperm count was detected in the ejaculates of 10 (67%) of the 15 azoospermic patients. Seven of these males exhibited post-treatment spermatozoa that were detected even by LM. The sperm production of these seven males increased significantly, from 0 to an average of 1.5 +/- 2.4 x 10(6) spermatozoa per ejaculate (Z = -2.8, P < or = 0.01). Males with genital tract inflammation exhibited the most remarkable improvement in sperm density (on average from 0.3 +/- 0.6 x 10(6) spermatozoa per ejaculate to 3.3 +/- 3.2 x 10(6) spermatozoa per ejaculate; Z = -2.4, P < or = 0.02). Two pregnancies were achieved by the IVF-ICSI procedure. 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.

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