Abstracts 2007 Volume 2 Issue 1

Meridians: Emergent Lines of Shape Control (Beach)

Rapid Response of Autonomic Nervous System to Acupuncture in Subjects Under Stress (Strudwick, McMahon and Choy)

Interactions Between Chinese Herbal Medicines and Drugs (Li, Yang and Zhou)

Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pain Management in Labour: A Systematic Review (Smith, Collins and Crowther)

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Treated with Acupuncture, Manual Techniques and Self-stretching Exercises: A Case Report (Gu)

Beach P. Meridians: emergent lines of shape control. Aust J Acupunct Chin Med 2007;2(1):5-8.
The Chinese concept of meridians has proved to be resistant to a bioscience understanding. Many investigative techniques and technologies have been applied to the human body in the search for a material substrate that is meridian-like. Using evolutionary biomechanics and embryology, the author has constructed a new model of human movement. The model, called 'Contractile Fields', has flexion/extension, side-bending, twisting, squeezing, limb, and visceral fields of contractility. That model was then turned towards the enigmatic meridians mapped over 2000 years ago in China. Recoil from a noxious stimulus is a reflex that all animals develop as a way of avoiding hurt. Acupuncture and moxibustion can elicit this reflex. Lines emerge on the body-wall and limbs that elicit similar biomechanical recoil vectors. The neurophysiology of recoil allied to the concept of 'border control' predicts 12 + 2 meridians as being the theoretical minimum needed to predictably control subtle human shape. Shape and function are closely coupled. Meridians are hypothesised to be 'emergent lines of shape control'.
KEYWORDS:  emergent, contractile fields, embryology, shape control, meridians.

[Back to Top]

Strudwick MW, McMahon KL, Choy STB. Rapid response of autonomic nervous system to acupuncture in subjects under stress. Aust J Acupunct Chin Med 2007;2(1):9-15.
Introduction: During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) investigating effects of acupuncture, numerous subjects reported immediate reduction in anxiety upon needle insertion. We hypothesised that the autonomic nervous system (ANS) reacted more rapidly to acupoint stimulation than previously reported. We investigated whether valid results could be obtained from 220 seconds of pulse recording. Furthermore, we looked for evidence that ANS responses differed depending on acupoints stimulated. Methods: 40 subjects participated in each of two sessions of acupuncture using LI4 Hegu, SP6 Sanyinjiao, PC6 Neiguan or ST36 Zusanli. A sterile hypodermic needle (Terumo, Ø0.50 × 16 mm) was inserted into the selected point. After a 10-minute washout period, 0.5 mL of normal saline was injected into the point at 30-second intervals for 5 doses, a total dose of 2.5 mL in 150 seconds. Continuous pulse recording was commenced 70 seconds before the first injection and continued for 220 seconds until the end of the injections. Calculated spectral power of the recordings was compared between the pre-stimulation and stimulation phases. Results: Paired-samples t-tests showed significant increases in low frequency (LF) power band for Sanyinjiao and Neiguan and in LF/HF (high frequency) ratio for Hegu, but not for Zusanli. A significant decrease in heart rate (HR) from baseline was demonstrated for all points by the end of the experiment, 10 minutes after cessation of stimulation. Conclusion: The significant decrease in HR between baseline and end-point implies effectiveness of point injection (PI) for acupoint stimulation. The initially elevated ANS response to an alien experimental environment was not reduced by acupoint stimulation, discounting ANS modulation as a cause for the self-reported reduction in anxiety. Despite the severe experimental environment, it was possible to show changes in HRV produced by stimulation of different acupoints, these changes being different between points.
KEYWORDS:  acupuncture, autonomic nervous system, heart rate variability, point injection, power spectral analysis.

[Back to Top]

Li CG, Yang LP, Zhou SF. Interactions between Chinese herbal medicines and drugs. Aust J Acupunct Chin Med 2007;2(1):17-24.
The popular use of herbal products in the general community raises concerns for potential herb-drug interactions. The risk of herb-drug interactions is increased if the herbal medicines are used concurrently with drugs which have a narrow therapeutic range, or are used in certain groups of patients, such as the elderly or those with impaired liver and renal functions. This short paper reviews some important concepts in herb-drug interactions and cases involving Chinese herbal medicines. It is important for Chinese medicine practitioners to understand, monitor and report potential herb-drug interactions. 
KEYWORDS:  herb-drug interactions, Chinese herbal medicine, efficacy, safety, adverse reactions, cytochrome P450.

[Back to Top]

Smith C, Collins CT, Crowther C. Acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour: a systematic review. Aust J Acupunct Chin Med 2007;2(1):25-32.
Introduction: Many women would like to avoid pharmacological or invasive methods of pain management in labour and this may contribute towards the popularity of complementary methods of pain management. The aim of the review is to examine the effects of acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour on maternal and perinatal morbidity. Methods: Design: Systematic review of published and unpublished randomised, controlled trials. Subjects: Women, whether primiparous or multiparous, and in spontaneous or induced labour, in the first and second stage of labour. Interventions: Acupuncture and acupuncture compared to placebo, no treatment or pharmacological forms of pain management in labour. Outcomes measured: Maternal satisfaction, use of pharmacological pain relief and maternal and neonatal outcomes. Results: Five trials were included in the review. Three trials involved acupuncture (n = 496 women) and two trials acupressure (n = 172 women). Women receiving acupressure reported less anxiety compared with women in the control group (WMD -1.40, 95% CI -2.51 to 0.29). A difference in labour pain was found in one acupressure trial in the active labour phase (WMD -2.12, 95% CI -3.65 to -0.59). The trials of acupuncture showed a decreased need for pain relief (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.49 to 1.00). There was a benefit from acupuncture with a reduced need for augmentation in one trial (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.69). Conclusions: Acupuncture may be beneficial for the management of pain during labour; however, the number of women studied has been small.
KEYWORDS:  acupuncture, acupressure, pain management, labour.

[Back to Top]

Gu S.Thoracic outlet syndrome treated with acupuncture, manual techniques and self-stretching exercises: a case report. Aust J Acupunct Chin Med 2007;2(1):33-5.
A case of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) treated with a combination of acupuncture, manual techniques and self-stretching exercises is presented. Brief literature reviews show that there are few documents relevant to TOS and acupuncture. Accumulation of the documented clinical cases will assist with further assessment of the benefits of Chinese medicine for this condition.
KEYWORDS:  thoracic outlet syndrome, TOS, acupuncture, Chinese medicine.

[Back to Top]