[Objective] The effects of acupuncture on oxidative stress level and antioxidant capacity have been reported in basic studies of acupuncture and moxibustion. However, to date, no studies have evaluated its effects in atopic dermatitis using oxidative stress levels and antioxidant capacity. Therefore, in Study 1, we compared the oxidative stress level and antioxidant capacity between healthy adults and patients with atopic dermatitis. In Study 2, we investigated the effects of acupuncture on atopic dermatitis using oxidative stress level and antioxidant capacity as indices.
[Materials and Methods] Consent was obtained from five patients with atopic dermatitis and five healthy adults who were students at the Morinomiya University of Medical Sciences. Study 1 compared the oxidative stress level and antioxidant capacity between the patients with atopic dermatitis and the healthy adults. Study 2 investigated the effects of acupuncture with an extended reversal design (ABABA) with A as the untreated period and B as the acupuncture treatment period, each taking place for 10 weeks. For the evaluation, serum was used to measure the oxidative stress level (d-ROMs) and antioxidant power (BAP/OXY-absorbent). In addition, the evaluation measured the daily moisture content of the skin and the degree of itching. Acupuncture was performed with 0.16 × 40 mm disposable needles using needle placement therapy (10 minutes) at the bilateral chi ze (LU5), san yin jiao (SP6), and zu san li (ST36) points as well as two auxiliary points.
[Results] Compared with the healthy adults, the patients with atopic dermatitis had increased oxidative stress levels to a "borderline level" and insufficient antioxidant capacity. Performing acupuncture in patients with atopic dermatitis significantly decreased and normalized the oxidative stress level. In contrast, the antioxidant capacity increased during both the acupuncture treatment period and the untreated period. No changes in skin moisture content or degree of itching were observed.
[Discussion and Conclusion] Patients with atopic dermatitis had an increased oxidative stress level and insufficient antioxidant capacity. With repeated acupuncture, the oxidative stress level normalized. However, non-acupuncture factors may have affected antioxidant capacity, and the effects of acupuncture alone could not be verified. Since skin moisture content did not change with acupuncture, the degree of itching was not alleviated.
[Purpose] We conducted a survey of acupuncture instructors' awareness of the use of silver needles for clinical training and education.
[Subjects and Methods] An anonymous questionnaire was sent by mail to teachers at 87 acupuncture schools (vocational colleges) across the country. Two respondents were requested for each facility. Statistical analysis of the collected data was performed using the Fisher's exact test and a simple tabulation of the total.
[Results] The questionnaire collection rate was 67.8% with 118 respondents. A total of 35 respondents (29.7%) reported using silver needles in clinical practice, a majority of which, 28 respondents (80.0%), reported using only disposable acupuncture needles. There was a significant association between clinical usage of silver needles and treatments (P ‹ 0.01). The most common reason for their use is derived from "Oriental Medicine" concepts such as "qi." Meanwhile, the most common rationale for not using them was "financial reasons." Ninety-three respondents (80.9%) recognized the need for education about silver needles. The most common reason why it was considered necessary was to improve techniques, whilst the most common reason for why it was not considered necessary was that silver needles are now used less in clinical practice due to the presence of stainless-steel acupuncture needles.
[Discussion] The reason why most of the people who employ silver needles used disposable needlesis probably due to the difficulty in cleaning and sterilizing silver needles. The most common reason why silver needles are used is based on Oriental Medical concepts such as "qi," which may account for the association between the usage of acupuncture needles and treatments. It was suggested that factors such as "cost," which is recognized as a disadvantage of silver needles, have resulted in a decline in their use. Meanwhile, many respondents recognized the need for education about silver needles to improve their skills, despite some dispute on this point. Therefore, a better understanding of the use of silver needles in clinical training and education is considered of utmost importance.
[Conclusion] This survey revealed that although silver needles are not frequently used in clinical practice, many teachers recognize the need for educating and training students on their use. In the future, it will be necessary to clarify the actual use of training and education in the use of silver needles in a clinical setting.
[Introduction] This study explored acupuncture systems in the United States, South Korea, and Japan. We analyzed the survey results to examine the tasks pertinent to the expansion and development of the acupuncture system in Japan.
[Method] Search engines such as pubmed.gov, scholar.google.com and google.com were used to search for publications from the United States, South Korea, and Japan. The search terms included "acupuncture," "regulation," "license," "education," and "survey."
[Results] The prevalence of acupuncture is decreasing in Japan and increasing in the United States. Among the three countries, acupuncture and moxibustion are the most frequently used in South Korea. Acupuncture is a regulated practice in 47 states and the District of Columbia in the United States and it is considered to be within the scope of practice of physicians in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Since 2020, the United States Federal Government has started to cover the costs for acupuncture treatment under the health insurance system for the elderly if certain conditions are met. In South Korea, the Korean Health Care System, which includes traditional medicine, was enacted by law, Korean doctors can administer treatments in Korean Medicine, including acupuncture, with treatment covered by public health insurance. In the United States, it is estimated that 10,000 physicians have received training in acupuncture. Moreover, the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, a professional society of physicians, has more than 1,300 members. The number of acupuncture license holders was 37,886 in 2018. In South Korea, there were 23,845 Korean Medicine doctors in 2016.
[Conclusion] Including the previous report, only Japan, out of the six countries surveyed, was found not to employ acupuncture as a medical practice at medical facilities. Japan has less information on acupuncture as a medical treatment than other countries, and acupuncture is not recognized as a medical treatment by the Japanese people; this is one of the reasons for the decreasing prevalence of acupuncture. It is important to consider the following four tasks to develop the acupuncture system in Japan: 1) providing acupuncture at medical facilities so that people can recognize it as a medical treatment, 2) measures taken by acupuncturists for ensuring the future of acupuncture at medical facilities, 3) identifying the role of acupuncture in medical facilities, and 4) improving acupuncture education for physicians and acupuncturists.