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Center for Integrative Medicine Fall 2011

Shared Acupuncture Medical Appointments Make Ancient Therapy More Accessible

For more than 3,500 years, acupuncture has been practiced as a healing therapy for a multitude of conditions. Acupuncture is one of the most utilized services offered at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine, and is most effective with regular and frequent treatments.

To increase accessibility for patients, and to address the concerns over the costs of this treatment, which is sometimes not covered by health insurance, Shared Acupuncture Medical Appointments (SAMA) are now available. This method allows a group of patients to receive treatment at the same time in one room.

Currently, SAMA is offered at Cleveland Clinic's Lyndhurst Campus at the Center for Integrative Medicine.

SAMA works the same way as traditional acupuncture, except that patients remain fully clothed, and simply roll up their pant and shirt sleeves while sitting in recliner chairs. Multiple people can be treated at one time. The cost of each SAMA treatment is $40, whereas a private acupuncture treatment, where the patient is alone in a treatment room, oftentimes needing more extensive treatment or techniques, is $100.

For both SAMA and private visits, the patient needs an initial consultation which costs $100. During the inital visit medical conditions to be treated will be discussed, and a treatment plan will be formulated that is specific to each patient.

For additional information about SAMA, contact the Center for Integrative Medicine at 216.986.HEAL(4325).

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine becomes a member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine has been recently elected to be a member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), placing it among the top complementary or integrative medicine programs in the United States and Canada.

The Consortium represents 50 highly esteemed academic medical centers and affiliate institutions. The mission of the Consortium is to advance the principles and practices of integrative healthcare within academic institutions. The Consortium provides its institutional membership with a community of support for its academic missions and a collective voice for influencing change.

Truth and Guidance from The Prescriptive Wellness Committee

Vitamins and supplements are being consumed more and more for wellness and as a preventive measure. With a diverse array of offerings, brands and advertized benefits, it can be difficult to sift through the multitude of health claims to make an informed purchase choice.

As an effort to remove the confusion from these health claims, Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute launched the Prescriptive Wellness Committee, a team of doctors and medical experts that evaluates the scientific literature and safety profile of popular vitamin and supplement products. The team then constructs a well-balanced pro and con debate, to help buyers make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing vitamins and supplements.

Readers are then able to identify, at a glance, the level of supporting evidence found by the PWC with a grading scale. Products that are given the PWC seal of approval are made available at Here, find three examples of what might be included in a pro and con debate.

Note: These examples are not comprehensive. They are not intended to replace advice from an individual’s medical provider.


PRO: Multivitamins contain numerous vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that may be missing in your diet. I view a daily multivitamin split in half as insurance against an imperfect diet.

CON: A healthy diet is the most practical and important way to prevent micronutrient and vitamin deficiencies. People who take multi’s should not consider them perfect replacements for the proven health benefits of a healthy diet.

Level of Evidence: A supplement “insurance policy” for restoring missing dietary micronutrients: +3 Go! Multiple studies in humans have shown positive benefits and our team feels confident in its therapeutic potential.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids (DHA)

PRO: DHA improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and coronary heart disease. DHA also increases HDL (good) cholesterol and decreases LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (which are especially harmful to the arteries). Moreover, DHA is derived from algae, making it an excellent option for people who do not eat fish, whether due to allergy or dietary preference.

CON: The clinical trials studying the effect of DHA on cholesterol tested with very large doses, which would be extraordinarily expensive. You would probably have to rob a bank to keep a steady supply coming (not that we recommend doing so!). A mixture of EPA/DHA from the less expensive source of fish oil can also be used to lower triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Level of evidence: Lowering triglycerides and raising HDL (good) cholesterol: +2 Gather Speed. Well-designed studies in humans have generally shown positive benefit and our team feels confident in its therapeutic potential.

Level of Evidence: Improving minimal cognitive impairment and improving cognitive development in infants whose mothers receive supplements during pregnancy: 1+ Proceed Slowly. Preliminary studies suggest benefit but conflicting studies may exist. Future trials are needed before our team feels confident making a stronger recommendation.

Irvingia Gabonensis (African Mango)

PRO: In just 10 weeks, people taking this product saw a 10% decrease in weight and waist measurements, almost a 50% in good cholesterol, and a 50% decrease in the inflammatory c-reactive protein. Furthermore, African mango is commonly eaten locally with few side effects.

CON: The researcher who conducts these studies is the Chief Scientific Officer for the company selling the product. This conflict of interest may potentially bias the study results. I am also skeptical about the ability of a supplement to produce such huge improvements in cholesterol levels.

Level of Evidence: Weight loss and improving HDL cholesterol: +1 Proceed Slowly. Preliminary studies suggest benefit but conflicting studies may exist. Future trials are needed before our team feels confident making a stronger recommendation.

Shopping for Vitamins and Supplements

Currently, dozens of approved vitamins and supplements are available at and in Cleveland Clinic Wellness retail storefronts at Miller Pavillion, Beachwood, Medina and Macedonia. Each supplement has a link to the corresponding pro and con debate. New products are continually being added with the PWC’s approval.

There is also a large assortment of approved medical devices, gifts for fun and relaxation, healthy eating tools and exercise equipment. Cleveland Clinic employees receive a 10% discount online and in Cleveland Clinic Wellness Store. Look for Cleveland Clinic Wellness Holiday Gift Guide for a complete list of healthy holiday shopping ideas!