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Autoimmune disease

Acupuncture and herbs for autoimmune disorders

35 replies

CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 10:43

Hello, I would like to spread some awareness about this subject as there are so many posts around autoimmune diseases (psoriasis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis and more). There is a sense of despair in many of these - people suffering for years with apparently no solutions being offered to them, some having concerns about medication they are given and some even asking for magical cures.
So I thought it is worth knowing that acupuncture and herbs offer a reliable solution for this problem. There is nothing magical about it by the way - the treatment simply stops one's immune system from overreacting and attacking its own body cells. In this way it stops the symptoms from appearing.
It's simple, natural, safe for anyone, including children, pregnant women and the elderly.
It does however require a high level of skill, so the best results (as with anything else in life) are delivered by highly qualified and experienced TCM practitioners. So make sure you find the right practitioner as the skill levels vary greatly. Generally the ones trained in China (i.e. those who have Traditional Chinese Medicine degree from a Chinese medical university) being the best.
I hope this will help you and your families.

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Babdoc · 08/07/2022 10:50

Can you link to reputable peer reviewed articles in medical journals, assessing the efficacy of these “treatments”, please OP.
Preferably comparing them in controlled trials against conventional medical treatment. Because otherwise you are just promoting alternative woo to the desperate or gullible.

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HeyBlaby · 08/07/2022 10:57

Evidence?

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 12:56

Hi, thank you for comments. There is a lot of literature available on the subject, some examples below but I'm sure you would be able to find much more if you are interested.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772076/
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1581655/
www.harvardmagazine.com/2021/01/right-now-acupuncture-relieves-inflammation

Are you doctors or scientists perhaps? What are exactly your concerns/experience with alternative medicine? Have you tried it yourselves?

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HeyBlaby · 08/07/2022 13:39

I don't think you understand 'evidence'.

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 13:46

Please let me know should be the right definition

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 13:47

I mean what do you think is the right definition of "evidence"

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 13:56

By the way, are you affected by the disease yourself? I would be very interested in knowing a little more about your views on this subject and what kind of evidence you would like to see

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MagpiePi · 08/07/2022 14:06

It's simple, natural, safe for anyone, including children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Nothing with any efficacy is 100% safe for everyone. If something is potent enough to have a physical effect, then it is capable of causing negative effects on some people.

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MagpiePi · 08/07/2022 14:06

That first paragraph is a quote from the OP

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zaza687 · 08/07/2022 14:09

I love acupuncture !!!

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PastMyBestBeforeDate · 08/07/2022 14:15

Does it work for MS? I doubt it. I can get on board with alternative medicine helping to relieve pain and lessen flare ups but not as a prevention. I

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Beanomatica · 08/07/2022 14:17

From the Harvard article:

But Ma’s team also discovered that acupuncture can worsen inflammation when administered at the wrong time, suggesting the ancient healing technique can be harmful if not practiced properly. These findings, described in the journal Neuron in August, hold promise for improving acupuncture’s safety and effectiveness and eventually may help treat patients with inflammatory diseases.

It's definitely not unquestionably safe for everyone, I've had terrible results from 2 different courses of acupuncture with different practitioners, both of which worsened my CFS/ME symptoms.

I'm not saying there isn't an acupuncture practitioner out there who could help me - there quite possibly is - but the two I tried were well qualified and claimed to be able to assist with cfs/me.

I think it is as the poster above said - anything that can genuinely have an effect can also have unintended effects. I think acupuncture can definitely work well for some people in some circumstances. But it's complicated and it is definitely not foolproof.

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 14:19

Yes MaggieP, this is common sense and would apply to any medical intervention or any medication. This is why it's important to see properly qualified practitioners and not just anybody who says they can do acupuncture.

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 14:45

It cannot prevent or permanently cure the disease as the underlying cause is in the DNA. But it can help with the symptoms.

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PastMyBestBeforeDate · 08/07/2022 15:16

The underlying cause is in the DNA? You sure about that?

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 15:24

With autoimmune disorders yes, or more precisely a combination of genetic and environmental factors, so unfortunately neither conventional or alternative medicine can alter these.
Are you surprised with this? What did your doctor say was the cause?

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 16:38

Hi All, thank you for all your contributions, much appreciated. It was not meant to be a scientific publication but just an attempt to let people know that there is a potential alternative to be considered, in the hope that some may find it useful. By all means, do your own research and seek professional advice before you decide whether or not it is the right choice for you, bearing also in mind that any treatment, conventional or alternative will have some inherent risks, even those generally considered as very safe. A competent practitioner should be able to explain to you any risks and benefits of the procedures they offer.

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CherryRipe1 · 08/07/2022 19:56

Hi OP. I have been thinking about acupuncture for a while to deal with an autoimmune issue and yes, my gene analysis showed autoimmune issues and gluten which I also have! There is an 'official' British acupuncture school in London who do treatments but would you advise TCM acupuncture over this? I'm wary of the medicine as I've heard plant steroids make the patient feel 'better'. My DP was quite ill from the herbs and potions which has put me off.

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CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 20:49

Hi CherryRipe1, acupuncture is part of the wider TCM tradition/methodology, so I don't think there really is a distinction between TCM and "British" acupuncture, it's all part of TCM. But in my view the practitioners trained in China are the most skilled and can deliver best results. Firstly because the discipline originates from there, secondly because the standard of training of TCM doctors there is higher than in the Western countries (they receive a full medical training at medical universities and are actually trained both in conventional and alternative medicine so they understand both disciplines) and thirdly, China invests a lot in research into TCM and the discipline is practiced as part of the country's official state health system so is tried and tested in hospitals and similar medical settings. Now, I do understand your concerns because there are a lot of practitioners around but not all may be equally good and it is not easy to know which one to choose. As for the herbal potions, again it's hard to say, not knowing what these were and for what reason they were prescribed, but as a general rule your DP should be feeling better and not worse after taking them... because herbs, if prescribed and used correctly, are unlikely to cause discomfort or side effects . I would say that would mainly depend on the practitioner's skills. Wellbeing Clinic in Richmond has an outstanding TCM doctor, so it may be worth speaking to them if you are in London , but obviously there are others too... Good luck with your search and it would be great to hear about your experiences once you've decided what to do

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MagpiePi · 09/07/2022 11:50

CuriouMum · 08/07/2022 14:19

Yes MaggieP, this is common sense and would apply to any medical intervention or any medication. This is why it's important to see properly qualified practitioners and not just anybody who says they can do acupuncture.

As I said, any treatment can have harmful effects, even if it is provided by a professional.
I'm not saying it can't help in some, or even a lot of cases, but no treatment that is actually doing something can be completely safe for everyone.

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CuriouMum · 09/07/2022 15:17

Evidently so, but that applies to absolutely any procedure, whether you go to a dentist, get an injection, give birth or whatever else medical treatment you get. But it would be nonsensical to tell someone not to see a dentist or a doctor or not to go to a maternity ward because "nothing is 100% safe".
What is well known about TCM treatments is that they are based on natural remedies and are non-invasive, so overall a risk of either malpractice, an adverse reaction to the treatment or of side effects is much lower compared to many conventional medicine procedures but the effectiveness is still very high. Besides, cases of medical malpractice in public and private medical facilities with deplorable consequences are not entirely unknown? So are we going to stop going to hospitals for this reason? Isn't it almost funny that people think nothing about getting very risky and not strictly necessary procedures such as cosmetic surgery, Botox injections and so on, but may be so highly concerned with the risk of getting acupuncture. Anyway we are all capable to make our own choices and decide what is right for us.

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MagpiePi · 09/07/2022 15:22

I am not saying nobody should seek medical treatment because nothing is 100% safe, or that convenetional medicine is risk free.

You said in your original post:

"It's simple, natural, safe for anyone, including children, pregnant women and the elderly"

I am saying, if it has any efficacy it cannot be guaranteed 'safe for anyone'

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CuriouMum · 09/07/2022 15:25

And besides all that, what about the very real risk of not getting the help you need because the health services are overwhelmed, there are long waiting lists and so on? Is it better to just wait until things get much worse and it is too late, or does it make more sense to seek some help where you can actually get it?
I'm obviously not there to tell you what answer is right...

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YourLittleSecret · 09/07/2022 15:39

If I had £1 for everyone who tried to sell me a quack / alternative remedy I would be rich, but I'd still have RA. I rather think if there was a magical cure my Rheumatologist would be telling me.
In fact I have tried a few things but sadly I think you are required to "believe" in them in order for the placebo effect to work.

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CuriouMum · 09/07/2022 15:42

Hi MagpiePi, I understand your point now, what I meant to say is that the treatment is suitable, and yes, safe by all reasonable standards, for people of any age/condition such as children, pregnant women, the elderly (the same cannot be said about all conventional treatments or medication).
But I don't think I've ever said there is 100% absolutely no risk whatsoever. Yes, there is always some residual risk in whatever you do, I thought that goes without saying.
Even dying your hair at the hairdresser's can give you serious allergic reaction, with no medical benefits whatsoever, obviously, and yet we are not going all grey for this reason...

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