Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review

Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review

Hussain, J., Cohen, M. (2018) Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review Evidenced Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine In press-accepted January 8, 2018 [Paper

Abstract

Introduction Many health benefits are claimed by individuals and facilities promoting sauna bathing,
however the medical evidence to support these claims is not well established. This paper aims to
systematically review recent research on the effects of repeated dry sauna interventions on human
health. Methods A systematic search was made of medical databases for studies reporting on the
health effects of regular dry sauna bathing on humans from 2000 onwards. Risk of bias was
assessed according to the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. Results Forty clinical studies involving
a total of 3855 participants met the inclusion criteria. Only 13 studies were randomized controlled
trials and most studies were small (n<40). Reported outcome measures were heterogeneous with
most studies reporting beneficial health effects. Only one small study (n=10) reported an adverse
health outcome of disrupted male spermatogenesis, demonstrated to be reversible when ceasing
sauna activity. Conclusions Regular dry sauna bathing has potential health benefits. More data of
higher quality is needed on the frequency and extent of adverse side effects. Further study is also
needed to determine the optimal frequency and duration of distinct types of sauna bathing for
targeted health effects and the specific clinical populations who are most likely to benefit.
Keywords
Finnish Sauna, Infrared Sauna, Whole body thermotherapy, Hormesis

Acupuncture alone or in conjunction with pharmacotherapy for analgesia in common emergency department presentations

Acupuncture alone or in conjunction with pharmacotherapy for analgesia in common emergency department presentations

Cohen, M., Parker, S., Taylor, D., Smit, D., Ben Meir, M., Cameron, P., Xue, C., (2017) Acupuncture alone or in conjunction with pharmacotherapy for analgesia in common emergency department presentations: A pragmatic, multicentre, randomised, controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
This study aimed to assess analgesia provided by acupuncture, alone or in combination with pharmacotherapy, to patients presenting to emergency departments with acute low back pain, migraine or ankle sprain.
DESIGN:
A pragmatic, multicentre, randomised, assessor-blinded, equivalence and non-inferiority trial of analgesia, comparing acupuncture alone, acupuncture plus pharmacotherapy, and pharmacotherapy alone for alleviating pain in the emergency department. Setting, participants: Patients presenting to emergency departments in one of four tertiary hospitals in Melbourne with acute low back pain, migraine, or ankle sprain, and with a pain score on a 10-point verbal numerical rating scale (VNRS) of at least 4.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
The primary outcome measure was pain at one hour (T1). Clinically relevant pain relief was defined as achieving a VNRS score below 4, and statistically relevant pain relief as a reduction in VNRS score of greater than 2 units.
RESULTS:
1964 patients were assessed between January 2010 and December 2011; 528 patients with acute low back pain (270 patients), migraine (92) or ankle sprain (166) were randomised to acupuncture alone (177 patients), acupuncture plus pharmacotherapy (178) or pharmacotherapy alone (173). Equivalence and non-inferiority of treatment groups was found overall and for the low back pain and ankle sprain groups in both intention-to-treat and per protocol (PP) analyses, except in the PP equivalence testing of the ankle sprain group. 15.6% of patients had clinically relevant pain relief and 36.9% had statistically relevant pain relief at T1; there were no between-group differences.
CONCLUSION:
The effectiveness of acupuncture in providing acute analgesia for patients with back pain and ankle sprain was comparable with that of pharmacotherapy. Acupuncture is a safe and acceptable form of analgesia, but none of the examined therapies provided optimal acute analgesia. More effective options are needed.

Acupuncture Needles and the Seebeck Effect: Do Temperature Gradients Produce Electro-stimulation?

Acupuncture Needles and the Seebeck Effect: Do Temperature Gradients Produce Electro-stimulation?

Cohen M., Kwok, G., and Cosic, I., Acupuncture Needles and the Seebeck Effect: Do Temperature Gradients Produce Electro-stimulation? Acupuncture and Electro-therapeutics Research. 22 No 1: 1997; 9-15.

Abstract

 

Acupuncture may act through modifying bioelectric events and this may occur through different mechanisms including the application of external currents. According to the Seebeck effect which produces a potential difference when a temperature gradient is placed across a conductor, the physical properties of acupuncture needles may produce internal currents due to the temperature gradient across the needle when placed insitu. Such currents were detected when needles were differentially heated and these currents were found to be in the range capable of producing biological effects. The traditional design of acupuncture needles and traditional needle manipulations seem to maintain a temperature gradient across the needle and thus enhance the Seebeck effect.