Emerging Developments in Integrative and Complementary Medicine: Advancements in Research and Clinical Applications

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 4147

Special Issue Editor

1. CBSin—Center of BioSciences in Integrative Health, 4405-604 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
2. Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
3. CTEC—Centro Transdisciplinar de Estudos da Consciência, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
Interests: biomedical engineering; parameterization of TCM diagnosis and therapeutics; acupuncture; Qigong; meditation; biofield phenomena; focused intention

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, there has been a growing demand for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities in Western culture. To integrate CAM, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), into Western healthcare systems and research, a pragmatic, science-based approach is necessary. This process involves a standardization effort that encompasses diagnosis to therapeutics and combines ancient knowledge with modern science and technology. A rational communicable theory, scientific proof of efficacy and safety, and quality control are essential requirements. Validated technological methods must be employed, or even developed, to measure TCM-related effects objectively.

A well-established TCM diagnosis, like in Western medicine, reflects the functional vegetative state of the patient and guides therapy allocation to symptoms. TCM treatment involves, for example, the systematic stimulation of acupoints on the skin. The success of acupuncture has led to extensive studies on the conduits system or channels, which is the foundation of traditional acupuncture theory. Techniques such as acupuncture and "Qigong" may activate the self-organizing system of an organism, leading to fundamental improvements in structure and function beyond symptomatic relief. This research area has broad implications in medicine and has the potential to stimulate the scientific community's understanding of human regulation and physiological changes associated with these practices.

We are looking forward to receiving contributions related to fundamental research and clinical applications of TCM modalities, which include but are not limited to acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbs and dietetics, Qigong, Tai Chi, Tuina, automatic diagnosis systems, other CAM modalities,as well as studies exploring biofield phenomena and intention.

Dr. Luís Carlos Matos
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • acupuncture and moxibustion
  • Chinese herbs and dietetics
  • Qigong and Tai Chi
  • tuina and cupping
  • auriculotherapy, hand acupuncture, and reflexology
  • automatic diagnosis systems
  • laser and electrical stimulation of acupoints
  • meditation and focused intention
  • biofield phenomena
  • other CAM modalities

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 938 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Early Acupuncture on Bell’s Palsy Recurrence: Real-World Evidence from Korea
Healthcare 2023, 11(24), 3143; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11243143 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Evidence-based treatment for Bell’s palsy includes the administration of steroids within 3 days of symptom onset. Additionally, a few studies have suggested the importance of combining early acupuncture treatment in the acute phase of Bell’s palsy with steroids. This study aimed to observe [...] Read more.
Evidence-based treatment for Bell’s palsy includes the administration of steroids within 3 days of symptom onset. Additionally, a few studies have suggested the importance of combining early acupuncture treatment in the acute phase of Bell’s palsy with steroids. This study aimed to observe the impact of early acupuncture for Bell’s palsy using real-world health insurance data in Korea. This retrospective study extracted data from 45,986 adult patients with Bell’s palsy who received steroids between 2015 and 2017 with a follow-up period of at least 3 years until 2020 from the Korea National Health Insurance database. They were divided into the early acupuncture group (n = 28,267) and the comparison group (n = 17,719) based on the presence of an acupuncture treatment code within 7 days of diagnosis. The impact of early acupuncture on the likelihood of Bell’s palsy recurrence was evaluated using multivariate logistic regression. The patients in the early acupuncture group had a lower likelihood of recurrence (odds ratio: 0.81, 95% confidence interval: 0.69–0.95). This study observed a beneficial impact of early acupuncture on Bell’s palsy using real-world health insurance data in Korea. Further research is required to confirm these findings. Full article
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12 pages, 498 KiB  
Article
Effect of Acupuncture on Recovery of Consciousness in Patients with Acute Traumatic Brain Injury: A Multi-Institutional Cohort Study
Healthcare 2023, 11(16), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11162267 - 11 Aug 2023
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes cognitive dysfunction and long-term impairments. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture on the recovery of consciousness in TBI patients. This is a retrospective, multi-institutional cohort study. We enrolled patients with newly diagnosed TBI from 1 [...] Read more.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes cognitive dysfunction and long-term impairments. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture on the recovery of consciousness in TBI patients. This is a retrospective, multi-institutional cohort study. We enrolled patients with newly diagnosed TBI from 1 January 2007 to 3 August 2021, aged 20 years and older, from the Chang Gung Research Database (CGRD). The outcome was defined based on the difference between the first and last Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). A total of 2163 TBI patients were analyzed, and 237 (11%) received acupuncture in the treatment period. Generally, the initial GCS was lower in the acupuncture users (11 vs. 14). For the results of our study, a higher proportion of acupuncture patients achieved significant improvement (GCS differences ≥ 3) compared to non-acupuncture users (46.0% vs. 22.4%, p-value < 0.001). The acupuncture users had a 2.11 times higher chance of achieving a significant improvement when considering all assessable covariates (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2, 11, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31–3.40; p-value = 0.002). Using 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM), the acupuncture users still had better outcomes than the non-acupuncture users (45.3% vs. 32.9%, p-value = 0.020). In conclusion, this study suggests that acupuncture treatment may be beneficial for TBI patients. Full article
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12 pages, 744 KiB  
Article
Insights into Current Education of Acupuncture as a Non-Conventional Therapy in Portugal
Healthcare 2023, 11(10), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11101389 - 11 May 2023
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Abstract
Acupuncture, as an ancient practice for healthcare in China, is now widely used in the world and regarded as a non-conventional therapy (NCT) in many Western countries. In Portugal, acupuncture has been structured and well regulated for the market of teaching and clinical [...] Read more.
Acupuncture, as an ancient practice for healthcare in China, is now widely used in the world and regarded as a non-conventional therapy (NCT) in many Western countries. In Portugal, acupuncture has been structured and well regulated for the market of teaching and clinical practice, but little effort has been put in to explore it in depth. This article aims to disclose the current education of acupuncture as a NCT in Portugal through investigation of acupuncture laws, field surveys, teaching work, and interviews with people from the NCT field. We found that according to the academic norms and rules of education in Portugal, there is a gradual difficulty in the progression and maintenance of the degree training dynamics. The reasons are the lack of more tolerant transitional measures and many practical difficulties confronted by the institutions that embark on these complementary programs. Therefore, it will be necessary to promote additional programs and measures to avoid a total emptiness of the teaching of acupuncture and at the same time losses of clinicians, competencies, and quality of information that are difficult to recover. It could be very meaningful and thought provoking to the future development and improvement of acupuncture in Portugal and in other countries that welcome acupuncture and intend to have better legislation and application. Full article
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24 pages, 735 KiB  
Systematic Review
Acupuncture Therapy for Military Veterans Suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Related Symptoms: A Scoping Review of Clinical Studies
Healthcare 2023, 11(22), 2957; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11222957 - 14 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Military personnel in combat face a high risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, a protocol-based scoping review was conducted to identify the current status of research on the efficacy of acupuncture for treating combat-related PTSD in military personnel. A [...] Read more.
Military personnel in combat face a high risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, a protocol-based scoping review was conducted to identify the current status of research on the efficacy of acupuncture for treating combat-related PTSD in military personnel. A literature search was conducted across 14 databases in November 2022, and data from the included studies were collected and descriptively analyzed. A total of eight studies were included. Participants were assessed for core PTSD symptoms using the PTSD Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 and the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, as well as related symptoms, such as sleep issues. Although the efficacy of acupuncture has been substantiated in numerous studies, certain metrics did not exhibit improvement. Auricular acupuncture was the most commonly used treatment (50%) followed by manual acupuncture (25%) and a combination of both (25%). Shenmen and Kidney points were frequently targeted at auricular acupoints. The treatment period varied between 5 days and 2 months. While adverse events were reported in two of the fifty-five patients in the intervention group and in four of the sixty-four patients in the control group in the randomized controlled trial studies, no fatal adverse events were reported. Full article
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