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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Austrian Acupuncture Study and HRV study Part 4: Chronic Fatigue

In the final section of the Austrian study, 24 hour Heart Rate Variability (HRV) monitoring was performed on 9 patients with chronic fatigue. The really fascinating result in this study, both from a clinical and scientific standpoint is that not only did the patients HRV improve, but their sleep wake cycle was restored to normal. In one illustrative patient, there was no discernible autonomic difference in the patients readings during a 24 hour cycle when the patient started. By the fourth session there was a discernible difference between day and night, and by the end of the 10 sessions there was significant clinical improvement. This could be of some importance since there often is marked sleep disturbance in patients with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Some of the clinical benefit seen with acupuncture for chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia could be from improving patients’ sleep quality, in addition to decreasing the stress response. (See pictures at end of post.)

The study was performed as follows.
There were a total of ten acupuncture sessions for each patient. The patients had 2 or 3 24 hour HRV measurements done. One was before treatment began, then after the 4th treatment and then after the 10th treatment.
The point selection was Xinshu BL15,Geshu BL17, ShenshuBL23, Dachangshu BL25. In the one illustrative patient mentioned above, a diagnosis of Kidney Qi deficiency was ascribed. In addition to the points described above ear acupuncture was applied at Shenmen , liver (97)and an antidepression point (psychotropic point 3), and laser acupuncture (dichromatic red 685 nm and infrared 785 nm; 30-40 mW, diameter 500 mm, duration 10 minutes) were performed at the acupoints Hegu (LI4) and Zusanli (ST36).
Before treatment

After 10 treatments.

(To read more about acupuncture and my practice, please click here.)

Insurers need to spend more on health care. What a concept.

Title ripped straight from the Onion

November 22, 2010
New Rules Tell Insurers: Spend More on Care

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration issued new federal rules on Monday that will require many health insurance companies to spend more on medical care and allocate less to profits, executive compensation, marketing and overhead expenses.

The rules, intended to benefit consumers, vastly expand federal authority to direct the use of premiums collected by companies like Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint. While some states have had such requirements, Monday’s announcement is the first such mandate by the federal government and grows out of the new national health care law.

“Millions of Americans will get better value for their health insurance premium dollar,” Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said in issuing the rules...

Starting next year, she said, insurers in the individual and small-group markets must spend at least 80 percent of their premium revenues on medical care and activities to improve the quality of care. Insurers in the large-group market must spend at least 85 percent of premium dollars for those purposes...

He said most insurers should be able to meet the standards because “their profitability and reserves are at an all-time high.”

Italics and emphasis are mine. This underscores the problem with for profit healthcare companies which are run without any sort of protections for the consumer/patient. The more they deny care, the more profitable they are. They make money by denying care. And it's the consumers who bear the brunt if they are unlucky enough to get sick and can easily go bankrupt in the process. A majority of bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by the costs of a medical illness. So, of course, the Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can for the big insurers, and making the claim that it will "destabilize insurance markets" and that there will be less competition. Competition has not decreased medical costs in this country. We spend more per capita on healthcare than any of the other industrialized countries and have worse results.

(To read more about acupuncture and my practice, please click here.)