Abstract: Background: Whether acupuncture treatment employing multiple penetrating, skin-touch placebo, or no-touch placebo needles designed for double blinding actually do blind practitioners and patients has not been investigated. We aimed to investigate this question. Subjects: 120 patients with functional neck/shoulder stiffness but in otherwise healthy condition were randomly assigned to a treatment using four penetrating, four skin-touch placebo, or four no-touch placebo needles. Each of six acupuncturists applied four needles to four acupoints in the neck/shoulder of 20 patients. Acupuncturists and patients were asked to guess the treatment mode and their confidence in their guesses on 100 mm visual analog scales. Results: The kappa coefficients between practitioner guesses and treatment type and between patient guesses and treatment type were 0.15 and 0.44, respectively. The median score of practitioner confidence was 46.8, and no significant difference in confidence between correct and incorrect guesses was revealed for any treatment. The median score of patient confidence for correct guesses was 77.6. The kappa coefficient between practitioner and patient guesses was 0.06. Conclusions: The practitioners were blinded to the nature of treatment using the same multiple needles, but patient blinding was insufficient. Further improvement is necessary to achieve satisfactory patient blinding with these acupuncture needles.
Abstract: The Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Research Network was founded in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The network comprises many partners from China and is highly involved in research and publication activities. This report introduces the network’s activities in the year 2014.
Abstract: Background: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, acupuncture effects are based on the integrity function of meridians. Meridians are thought to regulate body function through the normal flow of qi and/or blood. Disturbances in this flow are thought to cause disease, and acupuncture techniques are believed to cure disease by regulating this flow. However, it is still difficult to understand the exact meaning of qi and to evaluate the activation of meridians. Thus, more and more attention has been focused on the relationship of acupuncture and circulation. Methods: In this narrative review, the authors focus on the state of the art in acupoint activation, microcirculation response, and on investigation of mast cells, based on current literature research. Results: Altogether, 52 references are cited and discussed critically. A schematic diagram of the relationship between acupuncture stimulation, changes of microcirculation and mast cells is presented as result. Conclusion: The block diagram presented in this review article shows that mast cells might play an important role in circulation response after acupoint stimulation.
Abstract: A total of 115 different plant extracts from our collection, representing 96 plant species, have been evaluated for in vitro antileishmanial activity against L. amazonensis promastigotes. In addition, the extracts were screened for cytotoxic activity against BALB/c mouse macrophages in order to assess a selectivity index. Crude extracts that showed a selectivity index (CC50 for macrophage / IC50 for promastigotes) ³ 5 or with IC50 < 12.5 μg/mL against promastigotes, a total of 28 extracts,were further screened for anti-amastigote activity. A total of 25 extracts showed promising activity against L. amazonensis promastigotes with low cytotoxic activity. Ten of these extracts showed selectivity indices, (CC50 for macrophages / IC50 for amastigotes) greater than 10 and are considered “hits”, worthy candidates for further phytochemical exploration: Conostegia xalapensis methanol bark extract, Endiandra palmerstonii bark extract, Eugenia monteverdensis acetone bark extract, Eugenia sp. “fine leaf” acetone bark extract, Exothea paniculata chloroform bark extract, Mallotus paniculatus ethanol bark extract, Matelea pseudobarbata ethanol extract, Quercus insignis ethanol bark extract, Sassafras albidum dichloromethane bark extract, and Stemmadenia donnell-smithii acetone bark extract.
Abstract: Background: Within this study, a new system which measures and analyzes electrical skin impedance in 48 channels within a 2.5 × 3.5 cm matrix is used in rehabilitation medicine for the first time. Methods: Electrodermal activity was measured in 20 patients before and after two different non-surgical treatments of a completely ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. The first treatment, RegentK, was developed by Mohamed Khalifa, the second is a standard physiotherapy. Results: The patients in the two groups were age-matched, and all demographic data showed no significant differences. It was interesting that electrodermal activity was significantly decreased only after RegentK. Conclusion: We conclude that not only local effects of pressure application are responsible for these results, rather as yet unknown neurovegetative mechanisms have to be taken into consideration.
Abstract: Acute skin surface temperature effects on the knee were investigated after a manual therapy developed by Mohamed Khalifa (RegentK) compared to standard physiotherapy in patients with completely ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Twenty patients participated in this study. They were randomly assigned to group A (receiving RegentK) or group B (physiotherapy). Each group consisted of 10 patients. Temperature values were registered on four spots (three on the knee, one on the foot) of the injured and the healthy leg (control). Skin temperature increased significantly after RegentK on all sites of the injured leg, but after physiotherapy only the measurement spots on the knee showed significant increases. After RegentK the temperature had also increased significantly on the control leg, whereas in group B, the results were not significant. Experimental and clinical testing of technical equipment, e.g., infrared thermography, for ACL injuries is important for a better understanding of the different physiological/pathophysiological mechanisms underlying different therapy approaches.