A new explanation for acupuncture channels?

The very latest techniques in microscopy have uncovered a new tissue - the interstitium A network of fluid filled connective tissue fibres, it helps protect tissues by absorbing shock and pressure It lies under the skin and around most organs and tissues which are squeezed in some way, including the other amazing connective tissue - the fascia One of the researchers, Dr. Neil Theise, believes that the protein bundles seen in the interstitium are likely to generate electrical current, and this might explain how acupuncture is able to transmit signals along the jingluo pathways Jingluo (channels and branches) could turn out to be a very apt term! For more details, see this article in ZM Science

Strong exercise may damage the heart, soft exercise helps

In a long term study of over 3000 participants, the University of Illinois found that white men who exercise at high levels are 86 percent more likely to develop plaque in the heart arteries by middle age than those who exercise at low levels Interestingly, women and black men were not affected in the same way.
Softer exercise is traditionally valued in Chinese culture, and "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" recently showed that tai chi had similar benefits to Zumba in a 12 week course Blood pressure, blood markers, and flexibility of blood vessels all showed similar improvements Qigong has similar effects

Acupuncture helps unexplained symptoms

One in five patients have symptoms that are unexplained by conventional medicine. It costs twice as much to treat this group compared with those having a clear diagnosis.
A research team from the University of Exeter has carried out a randomised control trial with 80 such patients.
Acupuncture had a significant and sustained benefit for these patients and it was recommended that it could be safely added to the therapies currently used.

Sleep cleans toxins from brain

A study, published in the journal Science, reveals that the brain's unique method of waste removal also clears away toxins responsible for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders To flush waste toxins out of the brain, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is pumped through the brain's tissue, where it makes its way into the blood circulation system before reaching the liver The system was ten times more active in mice when they were asleep, compared to when they were awake

Blue light lowers blood pressure, improves arteries

A study published in September 2018 showed that 30 minutes of whole body exposure to blue light showed a striking decrease in blood pressure and improvement in circulation
Interestingly, this confirms what many colour therapists have been saying for decades You can view the study here

Ice and tissue healing

I have had many awkward moments with patients over the years when I disagreed with the use of ice on painful sprains or strains The practice was recommended by Dr Mirkin over 30 years ago in his RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for athletic injuries
Most physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors I knew would recommend it to patients Unfortunately it is exactly what Traditional Chinese Medicine has told us not to do! Finally an American study confirmed the TCM view - ice actually prevents an important hormone from helping to heal damaged tissue The new acronym is MCE - Move safely when you can, as much as you can, Compress and Elevate. Much more in line with TCM But definitely no ice!

The orthodox medical view of acupuncture

"The Scope Of Acupuncture" is a newly published survey of how acupuncture is used in some surprisingly orthodox situations. You can download it free here

Qigong and taiji help with Long Covid

With only limited orthodox treatments to manage Long Covid symptoms, more traditional methods are coming into their own An article published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry recommends qigong in the treatment of Chest infections including Covid 19 The same methods are ideal for improving Long Covid symptoms in all age groups as they can be modified for those who are very exhausted They fit well with the recommendations in the British Medical Journal, including a holistic approach and graduated exercise See my Qigong page for helpful videos and links. The ba duan jin exercises mentioned in the first study are very similar to the Emei series on that page

Can something as simple as salt water help with early Covid?

I was heartened to read that simple gargling and nasal rinsing with salt water has finally reached orthodox medicine. The intriguingly titled ELVIS study here and the government clinical trials here may surprise you!