Acupuncture Journal Club: Acupuncture and Oxytocin -- Labor and Delivery Studies from Iran | Healthy Seminars

Acupuncture Journal Club: Acupuncture and Oxytocin -- Labor and Delivery Studies from Iran

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Acupuncture Journal Club: Acupuncture and Oxytocin -- Labor and Delivery Studies from Iran

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Journal Club hosted by Claudia Citkovitz, M.S., L.Ac. with Special Guests Sarah Budd and Debra Betts.

We recommend you read this article first:

Docs and researchers tend to ask questions like, "what are the effects of acupuncture during labor and delivery?" But as any practicing acupuncturist knows, our "effects" differ greatly depending on what's going with the patient who's getting the acupuncture. This study was conducted in Iran, where patients are routinely given very high levels of Oxytocin to induce labor. Lo and behold -- the effect of acupuncture in Iran is that it reduces the amount of Oxytocin used. We'll discuss the study, and a couple of important conversations that come out of it -- how to use acupuncture in relation to Oxytocin (differently, depending on the patient's constitution!) and how to use a study like this to open up a conversation that will engage and linger in Western providers' minds, rather than just listing acupuncture's many benefits.

At hospitals and schools, Journal Club is one of the most important ways that health professionals learn how to communicate about the relationship between research and clinical practice. After years of teaching young acupuncturists to function in a hospital, it's crystal clear to me that a big barrier to our effectiveness in communicating to physicians what we have to offer, is a simple language issue: if we don't take the trouble to become fluent in their language, then we are waiting for them to learn ours. (Never say never, but I wouldn't hold my breath). My goals in hosting this online journal club are: 1, to highlight interesting studies that may prove useful in talking to docs about what you do, and 2, to model and teach some of the concepts and verbal habits that I find lead to greater openness and interest from the medical staff in my work.

For each session, we'll download and read a journal article, and discuss its strengths, weaknesses and clinical applications. I'll try to strike a balance between promoting great work and debunking bad studies, while encouraging you all to develop critical thinking about research.

Moderated by Dr. Lorne Brown (

Claudia Citkovitz, PhD, LAc., has led the Acupuncture Service at NYU Lutheran since 2004, supervising 8 acupuncturists who provide inpatient care and clinical instruction in the areas of neurological and orthopedic management, rehabilitation, labor and delivery, pain management. Dr. Citkovitz studied Chinese language in Beijing and acupuncture at the Pacific and Tri-State colleges in New York. An internationally known lecturer on acupuncture practice and research methodology, she lectures regularly for the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, the University of Westminster in London and the British Acupuncture Council. Her PhD study on acupuncture during acute stroke rehabilitation was the first conducted in the United States, as was her 2006 study of acupuncture during labor and delivery. Dr. Citkovitz is a frequent peer reviewer and Editorial Board member on journals including Acupuncture in Medicine, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Explore, and Meridians. She is a past member of the NCCAOM’s Task Force on Hospital-Based Acupuncture, the Tri-State College Advisory Board and the Touro College Institutional Review Board, and is currently a Commissioner of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Debra gradu­ated from the London College of Acupuncture in 1989. With a practice based in women’s health she commenced acupuncture courses for midwives in 1997. This led to publications on the use of acupuncture and acupressure in obstetric practice including the text book “The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth” in 2006, which has been translated into German and French.

Debra completed her PhD on the use of acupuncture in threatened miscarriage in 2014 through the University of Western Sydney and is currently the Director of Postgraduate Programmes for an online Masters course through New Zealand School Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

She is also a clinical supervisor at a hospital antenatal acupuncture clinic in New Zealand, and lectures internationally on the use of acupuncture in obstet­ric care. She currently resides with her husband and three children in Wellington, New Zealand.

Sarah Budd has a background as a Midwifery Sister and subsequently trained as an acupuncturist in London and China. She set up an acupuncture service in Plymouth Maternity Unit in 1988, then completed a degree in Complementary Health Studies at Exeter University. In 1991, where she won a Churchill Fellowship, and then went to China again to study acupuncture anaesthesia. She was given the first and only full time post as acupuncturist midwife in the UK, then had a family, and now works one day per week in Plymouth, and privately at home. Over 6,000 pregnant women have been treated with acupuncture on the NHS in Plymouth, and the service was joint winner of the Prince of Wales' Foundation for Integrated Health Award in 2001.

Sarah co-authored a report for the Department of Health with Simon Mills, "Professional Organisation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United Kingdom 2000" and worked as a Research Assistant on the Regulation of Complementary Medicine, and in the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre. Over the years, Sarah has contributed to text books and journals and continues to teach in acupuncture colleges / universities.

“It is a joy to offer help to women struggling in pregnancy, who would not otherwise be able to afford treatment.” Sarah Budd.

Dr. Lorne Brown is the Founder and Clinical Director of Acubalance Wellness Centre, the first Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic in British Columbia dedicated to reproductive health and fertility.

After a career as a Chartered Accountant (CPA), Lorne received his Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Vancouver’s International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lorne has extensive postgraduate training in gynecology, obstetrics, and reproductive medicine. In 2012, Lorne published the Acubalance Fertility Diet which is made available for free through the Acubalance website.

Internationally known for his pioneering work as an educator and advocate for integrated fertility care, Lorne was the first Canadian to be a certified fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM).

Lorne has presented at fertility conferences and meetings throughout North America, including the 2012 annual meeting of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOCG), and the Science Advisory Panel of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC). He participates on numerous other boards and advisory panels as well, including the Quality Assurance Board of the British Columbia College of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture (CTCMA), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Program Advisory Committee for Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the PDA Advisory Panel for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Dr. Brown is the Acupuncturist advisor to : Canada’s premier online fertility community.

Dr. Brown has successfully integrated his entrepreneurial skills and background as a CPA with his passion for Chinese Medicine establishing a very successful practice ( and pioneering online continuing education through Pro D Seminars and for the continued success of Chinese Medicine Practitioners world wide.

The latest addition to his bucket list is organizing the very first International Integrative Fertility Symposium in beautiful Vancouver British Columbia where he resides.

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