Home > Current Events > Year 2014 October
A review of stories making the headlines

Doctors discover man's chest and back pains are due to acupuncture needle lodged in his gut for 40 years
Dailymail.co.uk, 3 October 2014

A man complaining of chest and back pains was found to have an acupuncture needle that had been lodged in his gut for 40 years. Xu Long had been treated with acupuncture in 1974 to cure stomach ache. Doctor who carried out the surgery to remove the 3cm-long needle said it was really quite a surprise for all of them, the needle had probably been working its way through the man's body as he moved, pushing it slowly to different positions before finally being identified 40 years later.

Breast cancer patients find that acupuncture has ‘shocking’ health benefits
Pottsmerc.com, 8 October 2014

Researchers at Penn Medicine led a controlled trial and found that electroacupunture helped relieve the symptoms of breast cancer patients such as joint pain, fatigue and depression. Dr. Jun Mao, the corresponding author said the patients felt relief afterward but the amount of time it took varied by each individual. Mao said the electric currents used in electroacupuncture have a positive effect on the endorphins being released in the brain.

‘Virological Penicillin’ found in Chinese Traditional Medicine
Asian Scientist, 8 October 2014

A research has validated the use of honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) to treat viral infections, that it contains a plant microRNA which directly targets influenza A viruses including H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9. This research has been published in Cell Research. The study is the first demonstration that a natural product can directly target a virus, and also provides evidence that dietary exogenous miRNAs are able to be functionally absorbed by mammalian gastrointestinal tract and play a regulatory role in a cross-kingdom manner.

Sino-American hospital planned for south China
English.news.cn, 8 October 2014

A Sino-American hospital is to be established in south China's Guangdong Province. Funded by MGH Hospital China will be run by Massachusetts General Hospital and Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The agreement describes a state of the art hospital with technology, equipment and personnel from MGH, alongside a research and teaching center to train Chinese staff. Other projects include encouraging integration of traditional Chinese medicine with western medicine.

Chinese medicine students bring their practice to San Quentin
Potreroview.net, 13 October 2014

Nine American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine graduate students, one practitioner, and one administrator attended the 11th Annual Health Fair in San Quentin State Prison. The students provided auricular therapy  to the inmates during the four-hour period, and common complaints of the 400 patients included stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain. One student noted that two different inmates asked for help with “a broken heart.”

Da Nang doctors claim to have homeopathic cure for heroin addiction
Thanh Nien News, 14 October 2014

After successfully treating three hardened addicts, doctors in Da Nang are hopeful that they've developed a treatment for heroin addiction and withdrawal. The patients were submitted to six sessions of daily electro-acupuncture for around a week, and are supplemented with so-called “fire treatments.” Outpatients are prescribed herbs that they must take every day to continue the detoxification process. They also need further physical therapy and psychological consultation sessions to overcome future temptations.

Beijing doctor offers reward to prove effectiveness of pregnancy pulse checks
Chinatopix.com, 16 October 2014

A western doctor posted on his micro blog, that he will offer 50,000 yuan (US$10,397) to any TCM doctors who can tell whether more than 80% in a group of women are pregnant just by feeling their pulse. If a doctor is successful, he will never state TCM is a fake science. He also said the money on offer has been increased to 100,000 yuan through donations. The challenge has triggered heat debate about the efficacy of TCM, with thousands of comments.

Acupuncture an alternative for treatment-refractory dry eye
Ophthalmologytimes.modernmedicine.com, 18 October 2014

Findings of a prospective randomized, sham-controlled study showed acupuncture provided significant and fairly durable benefits. Dr. Dhaliwal, an associate professor of ophthalmology, said true acupuncture did not significantly improve the assessed objective measures of dry eye, however it significantly improved patients’ subjective assessment of dry eye symptoms versus sham, a reduction in use of artificial tears at 6 months, and its benefits lasted for 9 to 12 months.

Acupuncture helps Stanford intensive care infants
HealthCMI, 20 October 2014

A study in Stanford University finds acupuncture effective for reducing the need for sedative medications for neonates and infants undergoing treatments in the intensive care unit. The study concludes that acupuncture may be a useful adjunct for managing agitation and withdrawal in neonates and infants in the intensive care unit, and may lead to a decreased need for sedative medications. Acupuncture points used in the study were EX-HN3, ST36, and PC6 plus acupuncture point protocols developed by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.

Pennsylvania acupuncture law and insurance
HealthCMI, 23 October 2014

The Acupuncture Licensure Act in Pennsylvania has been amended. The governor signed SB990 into law and it is now officially Act 134. This makes two impactful changes to the state law. The first change affects wellness visits for patients and the second affects liability insurance for licensed acupuncturists. Patients may be able to seek long-term preventative care visits from acupuncturists without first making a trip to a doctor’s office to get a diagnosis.

Laser acupuncture alleviates TMD pain
HealthCMI, 24 October 2014

Laser acupuncture alleviates pain for patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Laser acupuncture employs the use of cold lasers and does not burn the skin or involve the use of needles. TMD disorders include structural abnormalities and muscular disorders of the temporomandibular joint region, which is a major cause of orofacial pain. Researchers demonstrate that noninvasive laser acupuncture therapy applied to acupuncture points on the face and hand can significantly reduce pain levels.

Chinese Patent Medicine Market Trends Analysis and 2018 Forecasts
PR Newswire, 24 October 2014

The implementation of New Medical Reform Plan provides solid guarantee for the development of Chinese patent medicine, the National Essential Drugs List lists large batch of Chinese Patent Medicine, which have driven the continual expansion of Chinese patent medicine market scale in China. Since 2010, the industry has been maintaining fast growth, the cumulative output was 1.9977 million ton in 2010 and 3.1052 million ton in 2013.

Beat post-traumatic stress with needle
Newindianexpress.com, 25 October 2014

A randomized controlled pilot trial indicates that acupuncture may be efficacious for reducing symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and impairment in people diagnosed with DSM-IV PTSD. Acupuncture provided treatment effects similar to a group CBT intervention, and both interventions were superior to a wait-list control condition for all outcome measures. Furthermore, treatment effects of both acupuncture and group CBT were maintained for three months after the end of treatment.

Indigowoad root touted as dengue cure; prices surge
Cantchinatimes.com, 28 October 2014

The recent outbreak of dengue fever in southern China has driven the public to buy indigowoad root, an herb held to have some medicinal benefit. People use it as a possible cure or a preventative measure for dengue. Strong sales have especially been seen in Guangzhou, one of the most serious regions in the dengue outbreak, which has affected tens of thousands of people this year. However, there is no scientific evidence indicating that it can prevent people from becoming infected, and long-term intake can cause side effects.

Health shows scrutinized in China
Asiaone.com, 30 October 2014

China's top media regulator has tightened control over health-related TV programs, in a bid to provide viewers with better scientific content. Last month, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said that such programs shown on TV must have only qualified doctors and medical experts to advise audiences on the prevention and treatment of diseases. The experts are also required to be certified by health authorities.

New report looks into global alternative medicines and therapies market outlook to 2020
WhaTech Channel, 29 October 2014

Growing demographics and economies in the developing countries is expected to lead the growth in the market in Asia. In addition, rapid increase in aging population, increasing demand for herbal medicines and rise in demand of alternative drugs and natural therapies are expected to offer new opportunity globally. However, safety in clinical trials and standardization is a challenge. Increasing number of collaborations and partnerships and new products launched in the market are some of the trends.

Call for herbal medicines, complementary treatment be exempted from GST
English.astroawani.com, 30 October 2014

A Member of Parliament called for herbal-based traditional medicines and complementary therapies and treatments to be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Datuk Wee Jeck Seng (BN-Tanjong Piai) said at the tabling of the 2015 Budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that medicines for common illness will be exempted from the GST, but not for herbal-based medicines.It would be badly affected and become less competitive for the industry.

Breeding more donkeys to keep tradition alive
China Daily, 30 October 2014

A breeding center of donkey-hide gelatin (e jiao) plans to increase its stud scale to 10,000 by the end of next year, as shortened supplies keep pushing up the price of the TCM. The center currently keeps a total stock of about 700. The number of donkeys raised by farmers dropped sharply as they are now seldom working in farming. Dong'e Ejiao Co Ltd, the largest maker of donkey-hide gelatin, announced in September that it would raise the price by more than 50%, which was the third time since last year.

China aims to tighten supervision over clinical studies
Jdsupra.com, 31 October 2014

China’s health authority, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, released the Administrative Measures for the Clinical Study Projects of Medical Institutions jointly with China Food and Drug Administration and the Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, effective as of October 16, 2014. The Measures, as a specific code of conduct for research behaviors of hospitals and physicians, should be read in conjunction with the general anti-corruption disciplinary rules in the “Nine Prohibitions” issued in late 2013.

30 experts awarded title of TCM master
CRIENGLISH.com, 31 October 2014

China has selected outstanding TCM masters and held an awarding ceremony for them to promote authentic Chinese medicine and medical practice. Thirty experts, including one who has passed away, won the title of TCM master this year. The first group of 30 TCM masters was awarded in 2009 and this is the second time for it. The 30 masters came from 22 provinces or cities, eight provinces more than the previous one. Their average age is 80, five years younger than that of the first one, and their expertise also covers a broader field.

RM60mil in the bag for training hospital
Thestar.com.my, 31 October 2014

The specialist training hospital to be managed by Utar is off to a good start with RM60mil in donations in the bag. Utar council chairman, Dr Ling Liong Sik, said more fund­raising activities would be held soon to secure funds for the RM300mil hospital. The teaching hospital will have 300 beds and offer treatment using conventional and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.