John McDonald – Allergic Rhinitis, Recent research discoveries & Dry Needling – #1
John McDonald is an Acupuncturist with a Masters of Acupuncture with Distinction and is currently a PhD candidate awaiting his results on his submitted thesis in Acupuncture and Allergic Rhinitis. A former psychiatric nurse, who transitioned into Acupuncture and became an influential figure in the Chinese medical world. Having spoken at dozens of conferences over the past 10 years including the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies and Australasian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Annual Conference. He has authored or co-authored 4 articles published in peer reviewed journals, including one recent article published in the British Medical Journal. He’s also authored or co-authored 12 articles in non-peer reviewed journals, has written six books, and is a lecturer at several universities in Australia.
Why you should listen – John McDonald comes on Needle Chat to be our first guest ever and discuss his transition from psychiatric nursing to acupuncture, how he got involved in acupuncture research, what he has discovered during his research on the subject of acupuncture and it’s interaction with the immune system as well as suggest better study designs for the future of acupuncture researcher. Finally, John talks about dry needling, his involvement in the Acupuncture Now Foundation and what he would like to see for the future of acupuncture as a field.
0m 0s – Introduction of John McDonald
1m 41s – Transition from Psychiatric Nurse to Acupuncturist
3m 22s – John’s PhD work on Acupuncture & Allergic Rhinitis
5m 19s – John’s transition into Acupuncture research
8m 18s – John’s discoveries on Acupuncture and Immunomodulation
- Modulation in IgE for house dust mites, which is important for persistent allergic rhinitis
- Acupuncture drops dust mite specific IgE by 24%, which
correlated with the improved signs and symptoms
- Also looked at cytokines, neuropeptides, neurotrophins
Found that Acupuncture reduced levels of substance P, an important neuropeptide that functions as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator.
- IgE more important than substance P
- Treatment must be similar every time, and often enough, and long enough to see any significant lasting changes
13m 25s – Minimum dose effectiveness for allergic rhinitis based on the evidence
17m 12s – The problem of under dosing in research studies
19m 45s – Other problems in Acupuncture research and study designs
- Placebo Acupuncture (non-penetrating needles)
- Sham Acupuncture (needling of non-acupoints)
- Minimal Acupuncture (superficial insertion)
- No evidence that non-acupoints have no physiological effect
- 80% of acupuncture effects may be non-specific
- Stephen Birch, acupuncture’s positive effects underestimated in trials
- 3-arm studies are better than 2-arm studies
- Appropriate blinding
26m 05s – Treatment expectations before or after trials
28m 55s – Optimal study designs for the future of acupuncture research
- Range of study designs
- head to head studies
- does placebo actually exist?
- do placebo effects even matter if they work?
- all interventions probably have some placebo
- mechanism and pathway studies
- does lack of mechanism invalidate an intervention?
- demonstrate flawed model of placebo controlled trials in physical interventions
- massive open pragmatic trials
- Evidence Based Renaissance Group
40m 45s – Acupuncture done on animal models
43m 18s – Opinions on dry needling
- Cummings et al – Pneumothorax video
- David Legge – Acupuncture Dry Needling
- Question of safety
- increases in pneumothorax instances
- Regulation differences between physiotherapy dry needling and Chinese Medical acupuncture
54m 52s – John’s involvement in the AcupunctureNowFoundation
1h 2m 9s – What does John want to see for Acupuncture in the future?