The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Measuring the histamine response to acupuncture

    Always on the lookout for evidence of an objective response to CAM, here are the results from two studies (two decades apart) on the effects of acupuncture on itchiness caused by histamine.

    Thirty-two healthy volunteers with itchy palms caused by histamine were treated with right or left ear acupuncture. Then, four weeks later, they went through the same procedure, except they received no acupuncture.

    The itchiness on the same side as the acupuncture got better. By comparison, itchiness on the hand opposite to the acupuncture got worse. No acupuncture treatment resulted in worsening itchiness on both palms.

    Except for the fact that in this study the needles were connected to an electrical point stimulation device, the results are similar to those reported more than 20 years ago. This older study, however, also found that the specific acupuncture site needled was important in getting the best response.

    In other words, simply sticking pins in a person does not reduce itchiness. As concluded by these researchers, “acupuncture points displayed specificity in that needling near-by, non-acupuncture sites resulted in greater itching.”

    11/12/06 11:31 JR

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