A 2014 breast nodule acupuncture study found that acupuncture combined with Chinese herbs was effective for treating mammary gland hyperplasia, commonly referred to as breast lumps or nodules. Mammary gland hyperplasia is a common disorder occurring more frequently in young and middle-aged females and accounts for over 70% of all breast disease cases. Nodules are typically non-cancerous and fall into the categories of fibroadenomas or cysts.
Breast Nodule Acupuncture Study
Patients saw a significant reduction in breast lump size and pain following three months of acupuncture, herbs, and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) counseling. Researchers at the TCM Hospital in Shaoguan City, Guangdong, recruited 200 patients with mammary gland hyperplasia and randomly divided them into two groups:
- Group 1 received counseling and the Chinese herbal formula Xiao Yao San.
- Group 2 received counseling, Xiao Yao San, and acupuncture.
TCM Treatment of Breast Nodules
TCM theory classifies mammary gland hyperplasia as breast nodules. The most common cause of breast nodules is liver qi stagnation resulting in phlegm stagnation in the breast.
Investigators in this breast nodule acupuncture study provided counseling to the participants to reduce emotional stress, improve qi circulation, and relieve stagnation. In addition, the researchers prescribed the Chinese herbal formula Xiao Yao San to enhance qi circulation, build blood, and smooth the flow of liver qi to reduce stress.
Furthermore, participants received acupuncture to reduce qi stagnation, unblock the breast collaterals, and increase qi and blood circulation to reduce swelling and transform phlegm accumulation in the breast.
Acupuncture Treatment For Breast Nodules
Practitioners treated patients once a day for 20 minutes for a total of thirty days and used the following acupoints:
- Jianjing (GB21) – alleviates qi and blood stagnation in the Shaoyang channel, which traverses the breasts.
- Chize (LU5) – clears the upper jiao (chest) to dispel qi stagnation.
- Zusanli (ST36) – one of the most powerful points on the body, it regulates qi, blood, yin, and yang.
- Qimen (LV14) – located below the breast, eliminates local swelling.
TCM theory believes unresolved emotions can pathologically congeal qi, phlegm, and blood in the breast region. However, a combination of acupuncture, herbs, and TCM counseling can relieve this stagnation. The counseling consisted of talking with patients about things in their lives that were causing them anxiety and depression and practical steps they could take to overcome them. Specifically, TCM counseling intervention guides patients to control, regulate and dispel the effect of negative emotions.
Breast Nodule Study Outcomes
After a month of treatment, the cure rate for the acupuncture group was 94 percent compared with 86 percent for the control group. In addition, the SAS (Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale) and SDS (Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale) scores for the acupuncture group were significantly lower than those for the control group.
Furthermore, the recurrence rate for the acupuncture group was 9 percent compared with 45 percent for the control group. Most importantly, the scores regarding breast lump size, breast pain, and other types of pain for the acupuncture group were also much better than those for the control group.
Breast Nodule Research Conclusions
The researchers noted that combining acupuncture, herbal medicine, and counseling achieved the most significant positive clinical outcomes. In addition, they found substantial reductions in breast lump size and breast pain. Furthermore, patients reported significant improvements in eliminating negative emotions such as anxiety and depression.
The researchers concluded that TCM effectively treated mammary gland hyperplasia based on objective and subjective data.
The practitioners at Raleigh Acupuncture have been successfully treating breast lumps and nodules for nearly two decades. Specifically, treatments benefit the body and the mind, easing pain and stress.
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Ci, Dilan, Huoqun Yu, Liping Geng, etc. “Observation of curative effect of acupuncture combined with early nursing intervention in the treatment of mammary gland hyperplasia.” China Medical Herald 11.10 (2014): 101-105.
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