Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy В2013
Second, the 20 medical institutions that form the main source of the reports of adverse events collected by the Food and Drug Administration are all hospitals that only prescribe non-herbal medicines. Most of the institutions that focus on traditional Korean medicine do not currently contribute to the national official pharmacovigilance scheme.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Cupping Therapy В©2013
Third, although institutions that focus on traditional Korean medicine can report adverse events to the Food and Drug Administration, most report such events only to the Association of Traditional Korean Medicine. Data collected by the Association are rarely passed on to the Food and Drug Administration.25
Of the 6 diseases/conditions, 3 were related to pain, including herpes zoster, an inflammatory pain of the nerve; and lumbar disc herniation and cervical spondylosis, pain caused by nerve compression. Relieving pain was the main purpose of cupping therapy in these studies. Retained cupping or wet cupping was typically applied.
Respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma, for which the main purpose of treatment is to alleviate the symptoms of cough and dyspnea are also treated by cupping therapy. Retained cupping or wet cupping therapy on EX-B1, a so-called extra acupoint (acupuncture point not located on one of the traditional channels), was mostly used in the studies for treating cough and dyspnea symptoms.
Despite the large number of studies on cupping therapy, including the 62 new ones, there remains a lack of well-designed investigations. Of the 135 RCTs included in this review, 84.44% were high risk of bias. One issue is adherence to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT)  in which randomization methods should be clearly described and fully reported. Another issue is blinding, which continues to be a challenge for studies involving manual healing therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and cupping therapy. Lee et al  report developing a sham cupping device with a tiny opening that in effect reduces the negative pressure in the cup once it is attached to the skin. The RCT they conducted showed that the device appears to be tenable as a control for actual cupping, though confirmatory studies are needed. While blinding during studies on cupping therapy may be difficult to achieve, at the very least, blinding of outcome assessors and statistics should be attempted to minimize performance and assessment biases. Another area that researchers should be attentive to is adapting STRICTA  standards when designing and reporting studies. Similar to acupuncture, cupping therapy is based on energy channels (meridians) and acupoints. Therefore, methodology details should be reported, including types of cups, acupoints used and their TCM rationale, practitioner background, number of treatment sessions and frequency, among other STRICTA-recommended information. Standardization can also be achieved by registering with and following the protocol of international organizations , such as WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) .
Finally, our meta-analysis revealed that cupping therapy combined with other treatments, such as acupuncture or medications, showed significant benefit over other treatments alone in effecting a cure for herpes zoster, acne, facial paralysis, and cervical spondylosis. This appears to support the common practice in China of combining TCM therapeutic modalities, either TCM with TCM, or TCM with routine western medicine, to enhance efficacy. The effect of cupping therapy over time is not known, but use of cupping is generally safe based on long-term clinical application and outcomes reported in the reviewed trials.
All the treatments showed positive effectiveness compared with baseline measurements. Compared with sham acupuncture (SA), acupuncture may be more effective in reducing pain and disability in the immediate and one-month term for individuals with CNP, which was consistent with the former SRs [97,98]. However, inconsistency was found with another SR, which reported no significant differences between these two groups . We determined that this inconsistency arises from three subsequent RCTs with larger sample sizes and positive results favoring acupuncture. Similarly, these differences in immediate-term and short-term outcomes about pain also existed for individuals with CLBP, but no difference about disability. Moreover, the difference was evident for acute LBP in the immediate term. Nevertheless, the difference in clinical importance between acupuncture and SA was small. The SA group was used to estimate the specificity of the acupuncture points and of the technique itself. However, a standardized SA has not yet been established. Therefore, it has been a challenge for researchers to choose the correct acupoints for the SA group. As a result, the effect of true acupuncture will be underestimated. Thus, various degrees of efficacy were observed in different studies. For example, the trial by Vas et al. (2012)  reported the effects of acupuncture in subjects with acute nonspecific LBP. In its protocol , the authors had chosen some acupoints for SA groups, such as Neiguan (PC-6) and Kongzui (LU-6), which were proven to be effective in previous studies. In 1989, Geng  found that 51 patients with acute LBP (pain duration
Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.
Dear Michelle, unfortunately we cannot give you any more specific advice without a consultation. If you are interested in learning more about Chinese medicine diet therapy, we can recommend reading The Tao of Healthy Eating, by Bob Flaws. It has many recipes and food ideas which you may find useful. Activities such as meditation and light exercises that relieve emotional stress should also help to prevent stagnation and heat from building up in your body.
Dear Jenna, Chinese medicine diet therapy considers eggs to be a sweet and neutral food that is nourishing for the body. It especially nourishes Blood and Yin of the body for symptoms such as dryness, fatigue, insomnia, blurred vision. Some people with weak digestion (Spleen Qi) may find eggs hard to digest in which case this may contribute to the formation of dampness and phlegm. Otherwise, eggs are suitable to eat for almost everyone.
Dear Leslee, we believe that diet is one of the most important aspects of healing the body and improving health. No form or amount of medicine can replace a healthy diet that is suitable for your body. Black sesame seeds, carrots and goji berries are excellent foods that benefit the eyes you could introduce into your diet. You can also ask your Chinese medicine practitioner for more specific diet therapy advice.
Dear Neha, if you have been advised to avoid raw foods, then this also includes the cold natured foods according to Chinese medicine diet therapy. Neutral foods are suitable for everyone, and how much warm foods you should eat depends on the balance of how much heat or cold you have in your body.
Dear Casey, thanks for sharing your concerns. It sounds like you could benefit from a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis. An experienced practitioner will be able to help you make sense of your symptoms, find out if there is an underlying organ imbalance, and offer you the right treatment plan and advice.
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