Issue 52


 Procedure Performed at MWA by Emma McGowan, M.D. & Martin Gallagher, M.D.

Acupuncture Stimulates Regions of the Brain

 In this meta-analysis of studies conducted to investigate the effects of acupuncture needle stimulation on regions of the brain, assessed via functional MRI studies, a total of 51 acupuncture and 10 tactile stimulation experiments were examined and included in the analysis. The authors found that acupuncture needle stimulation was found to activate the sensorimotor cortical network, including the insula, thalamus, anterior cingulate cortex, and primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, and deactivation in the limbic-paralimbic neocortical network, including the medial prefrontal cortex, caudate, amygdala, posterior cingulate cortex, and parahippocampus -- as compared to the control tactile stimulation which led to weaker patterns of brain responses in similar regions of the brain. The authors state, "The activation and deactivation patterns following acupuncture stimulation suggest that the hemodynamic responses in the brain simultaneously reflect the sensory, cognitive, and affective dimensions of pain." Additional research in this area will help to further elucidate the ways in which acupuncture alleviates pain.

"Inserting Needles Into the Body: A Meta-Analysis of Brain Activity Associated With Acupuncture Needle Stimulation," Chae Y, Chang DS, et al, J Pain, 2013 Feb 5; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea; Department of Brain Cognitive Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).



There are over 2,500 types of mushrooms!



Performed at MWA by Michael Steinhauser, D.C. & Martin Gallagher, M.D., D.C.

 MEDICAL PRACTICE - Alternative Medicine Used By Children

In evaluating 1911 questionnaires, it was found that 208 children (11%) had consulted one or more alternative medicine practitioners. Eighty-four percent of these visits were to practitioners of chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, and acupuncture. Children who used alternative medicine were significantly different than those who used conventional medicine in that they were older, their mothers were better educated, and their parents tended to use alternative medicine practices themselves. These results note that there is a high percentage of children utilizing alternative medicine practitioners, and physicians should be aware of this high frequency and discuss alternative therapies with patients in order to maintain continuity of essential conventional treatments. Questions by physicians should be asked in a nonjudgemental manner so that an open dialogue between patients may be maintained.

"The Use of Alternative Medicine By Children", Spigelblatt, Linda, M.D., et al, Pediatrics, December 1994;94(6):811-814.


Dr. Gallagher's Custom Formulas


Defense Factors, available exclusively from Medical Wellness Associates, is a synergistic blend of ingredients specially designed to support optimal immune function.

Native Americans traditionally used echinacea to treat a variety of disorders, primarily where enhancement of the immune system was needed. Echinacea’s therapeutic efficacy was recognized by Western medical science in the late 19th century. Today, echinacea is best known as a non-specific, immuno-supporting botanical.
Echinacea has no direct effects on infective agents themselves. Instead, echinacea works by supporting the body’s own natural defense mechanisms.

Mushrooms have been an integral component of folk medicine worldwide for many centuries. Scientists are actively investigating the many healthful components of mushrooms, yet, several active constituents have already been identified. Polysaccharides, dietary fiber, lectins, and terpenoids have all been identified as beneficial components of certain mushroom species. Reishi is one beneficial type of medicinal mushroom used to support immune health.

Eleutherococcus has been used for centuries as a panacea in the traditional medicine of Russia, to maintain and stimulate the function of the body’s various systems, including its immunological defenses. As an adaptogen, Eleutherococcus is thought to increase the body’s resistance to biological and chemical stresses, and thus stimulate a person’s general vitality, both physical and emotional.

Goldenseal and red clover also have been used traditionally to help provide support to the immune and upper respiratory systems. Proanthocyanidins are highly regarded for their strong antioxidant properties. Recent studies using elderberry and lactoferrin have indicated they both may have effective immuno-protective abilities. Arabinogalactan, a derivative of the Western Larch tree (Larix occidentalis) and the Eastern Larch tree (Larix laricina) is a polysaccharide composed of galactose and arabinose units. Arabinogalactan is added in this formula for the supportive role it plays in immune health.

Adamik B, Zimecki M, Wlaszczyk A, et al. Lactoferrin effects on the in vitro immune response in critically ill patients. Arch Immunol Ther Exp 1998;46:169-76.
Bohn B, Nebe CT, Birr C. Flow-cytometric studies with eleutherococcus senticosus extract as an immunomodulatory agent. Arzneimittelforschung 1987;37:1193-6.
Chan WK, Lam DT, Law HK, Wong WT, Koo MW, Lau AS, Lau YL, Chan GC. Ganoderma lucidum mycelium and spore extracts as natural adjuvants for immunotherapy. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Dec;11(6):1047-57 Chandra A, Rana J, Li Y. Separation, identification, quantification, and method validation of anthocyanins in botanical supplement raw materials by HPLC and HPLC-MS. J Agric Food Chem 2001 Aug;49(8):3515-21
Elsasser-Beile U, Willenbacher W, Bartsch HH, et al. Cytokine production in leukocyte cultures during therapy with Echinacea extract. J Clin Lab Anal 1996;10:441-5.
Kanner et al. Natural antioxidants in grapes and wines. J Agric Food Chem 1994;42:64-69.
Kelly GS. Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Apr;4(2):96-103 Rehman J, Dillow JM, Carter SM, Chou J, Le B, Maisel AS. Increased production of antigen-specific immunoglobulins G and M following in vivo treatment with the medicinal plants Echinacea angustifolia and Hydrastis canadensis. Immunol Lett. 1999 Jun 1;68(2-3):391-5.
Steinmuller C, Roesler J, Grottrup E, et al. Polysaccharides isolated from plant cell cultures of Echinacea purpurea enhance the resistance of immunosuppressed mice against systemic infections with Candida albicans and Listeria monocytogenes. Int J Immunopharmacol 1993;15:605-14.


Procedure Ordered at MWA by Emma McGowan, M.D. & Martin Gallagher, M.D.


What is Major Autohemotherapy (MAH)?
MAH is similar to an IV vitamin drip. The difference is that your blood is first withdrawn from your vein into an IV bag, then medical ozone is infused into the bag. After your blood and ozone are mixed together in the bag, the mixture will be dripped back into your vein. As a result, no Ozone actually enters your bloodstream. Rather the biological byproduct of the external mixing of your blood with ozone (ozinides, etc.) are actually creating the healing effect.

I read online that Ozone should not be injected into the blood stream?
That is correct. Ozone injected directly into a vein or artery can cause a gas embolus that is dangerous to your health. That is why MAH must be done under medical supervision and in the manner described above. It is both safe and effective, properly applied in a medical setting by trained personnel. See above.

What are the Indications for MAH?
Chronic Fatigue and CFS Diabetic Circulatory Diseases
Fibromyalgia Cancer (Complementary concept in oncology)
Chemical Sensitivities Asthma and COPD
Chronic Allergies Hepatitis B and C
LYME Disease Herpes simplex and herpes zoster (shingles)
Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis Eye diseases especially retinopathies
Auto Immune Diseases Infections (viral, bacterial, fungal)
Heart and vascular disease Low Immunity
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Acute hearing loss (vascular only)
Dementia and Cerebral Vascular Disease Tinnitus (vascular only)
Post Stroke

As complementary therapy in general fatigue, geriatric and environmental medicine
Who cannot receive MAH?
Those with a Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (favism, acute hemolytic anemia). This is a rare condition pre-screened prior to treatment.

  • Hyperthyroidism if not controlled
  • The first 3 months of pregnancy
  • MAH is not indicated in leukemia

How often and how many treatments are required?
The frequency is usually 1-3 times per week. The number of treatments can be up to 20 depending on the severity of the condition, age, and associated health problems.

Are there any side effects associated with the treatment?
You may experience slight detox symptoms especially if you a have viral, bacterial or fungal component to your illness. This is usually characterized by short term fatigue, hot and cold sensations, muscle or body aches (flu like symptoms).

What should I expect after a treatment?
MAH is an extremely beneficial medical therapy that has a long history of use in the US and especially Europe. The reported benefits are increased energy, enhanced immune function, improved circulation, less pain, etc.


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Battlefield Acupuncture Allows Quicker Recovery Time

by Senior Airman Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs

12/4/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- The Air Force has always been innovative when creating new and better ways to accomplish the mission, and another new way they are paving the way is with an increasingly popular medical treatment known as "battlefield acupuncture," a form of auricular acupuncture.

Acupuncture is one method of relieving pain, originally practiced by the Chinese, using needles inserted through the skin at specific points. Auricular acupuncture is a specific form of acupuncture that involves temporary needles placed at specific points in the ear for a variety of treatments.

Capt. Heather Mundy, medical director for the Peterson Family Health Clinic, said battlefield acupuncture was developed by a retired Air Force physician, Richard Niemtzow, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. It is a five point treatment, on both ears, with areas that correlates to the brain structure having to do with pain.

"Over the years they've done a lot of studies using functional MRIs that correlate specific areas within the ear with areas in the body," she said. "There's an area that correlates to the lower extremities, the upper extremities, the face. There's a whole body lay out on the ear."

The process takes just a couple minutes and is performed by placing needles into the ear, which releases small, almost microscopic, barbs into the ear, Mundy said. The temporary needles appear as golden studs scattered throughout one or both ears, remaining for three to seven days to allow for continued treatment. The studs fall out on their own. These studs are considered a medical device, similar to sutures or staples, and meet military standards for dress and appearance.

Battlefield acupuncture's quick and easy pain relief make it an ideal choice while deployed, Mundy said. If a service member develops acute or chronic pain, simply inserting a few needles into the ear allows them to return to duty faster without impairing their ability to complete the mission.

In addition to the quick results, Mundy said battlefield acupuncture can reduce dependence on addicting pain relievers.

Battlefield acupuncture is typically used for treating pain, however there are thousands of points on the ear that can be used for other treatments (such as allergies, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems and PTSD), Mundy said.

While the technique is gaining popularity, Mundy said it is still only offered on a limited case-by-case basis due to the extensive training required. Individuals interested in this new therapy should contact their primary care manager to determine if it would be helpful for their condition(s). If so, a consult will be placed for a military acupuncture provider. Acupuncture is not a TRICARE-covered benefit, so patients cannot be referred downtown for this care.

Dr. Helms has launched a new initiative to bring the benefits of acupuncture to wounded service members and their families. This occasional newsletter will provide updates and ways to support these efforts. If you prefer not to receive these updates you may unsubscribe below. 

Think acupuncture first
Acus aims to transform the culture of military medicine so that physicians think of acupuncture as a first rather than a last resort for a range of medical conditions. In the case of battlefield injuries, wounded service members may experience chronic pain that stubbornly resists conventional treatment. The overprescription and misuse of powerful narcotics for pain has been recognized as a national epidemic and military patients are also risk for dependency and overdose. The integration of acupuncture into these patients’ treatment plans can reduce or eliminate the need for pain medication.


Acus Foundation unleashed
In February 2014, Dr. Helms incorporated Acus Foundation as a California not-for-profit charitable 501(c)(3) corporation. The mission of Acus Foundation is to educate military physicians in the science and art of medical acupuncture and to facilitate its integration into conventional military care.

Between July 2014 and June 2015 the Acus teaching team trained 70 active duty physicians and 21 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) physicians in comprehensive medical acupuncture. Building on this success, the Acus team has now launched a major initiative focused on pain and stress at Nellis Air Force Base, recently featured in Aerotech News and Reviews.

Responding to the urgent needs of wounded warriors, Acus aims to refine treatment of their physical and psychological trauma, whether to facilitate their return to duty or to help them thrive after military service. Acus is committed to training military health professionals to provide therapeutic acupuncture to wounded service members and their families.


Millions of women are missing out on hormone replacement therapy
This much-maligned treatment could save many lives

Dec 12th 2019
It was a combination of things. An unusual feeling of depression. Constant forgetfulness. An irregular menstrual cycle. Lucy, a British woman in her early 40s, knew that something was wrong. Two years before she had been training at the gym five times a week. Now she could barely find the energy to exercise at all thanks to chronic insomnia, a new affliction. Her demeanor had shifted from one of cheeriness to constant anxiety. Her work and her home life were suffering as a result.

Unsure what was causing these changes, she visited her doctor. The physician blamed stress. She suggested Lucy return in a year. Frustrated, Lucy turned to the internet. Her research led her to believe that she was entering the transition into menopause. Menopause is the time in the middle of a woman’s life—which can begin in the early 40s—when her levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone plummet. This eventually causes her ovaries to stop producing eggs and her periods to cease. After a year without periods, a woman is considered to be menopausal. The symptoms of menopause can include hot flushes, depression, aches and pains, insomnia, anxiety and transient memory loss.


Heartburn Drug Zantac Linked to Stomach Cancers
About the author: Bryan Hubbard

February 10th 2020 in Cancer

Heartburn drug Zantac may have been taken off the shelves late last year, but repercussions go on. More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed in recent weeks that claim the drug causes cancer, especially of the digestive tract.

One complainant, Californian Ronald Johnson, has been taking 150 mg of the drug regularly since 2004. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.

He joins more than 12 other complainants to file damages against the drug's manufacturers Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, who have all made versions of Zantac (ranitidine), including over-the-counter remedies.

The complaints relate to a range of digestive cancers, including colon, rectal, esophageal, stomach, bladder and liver cancers.

The drug contains the cancer-causing chemical NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine), but the public was not aware of the large amounts in the drug until an independent pharmacy carried out its own tests and discovered that a 150mg Zantac pill could contain up to 3 million nanograms (ng) of NDMA, when the safe upper limit is just 96ng.

Zantac was launched in 1986 and just two years later became the first drug to surpass $1 bn in sales in one year.
Source:; January 23, 2020



Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) IV:

What is ALA?
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is made by the body and is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy. Antioxidants are substances that attack "free radicals," waste products created when the body turns food into energy. Free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. They also damage organs and tissues.

Unlike other antioxidants, which work only in water (such as vitamin C) or fatty tissues (such as vitamin E), alpha-lipoic acid is both fat- and water-soluble. That means it can work throughout the body. In addition, antioxidants are depleted as they attack free radicals, but evidence suggests alpha-lipoic acid may help regenerate these other antioxidants and make them active again.

Orally, ALA is used for diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, cardiac autonomic neuropathy, retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Alpha-lipoic acid is also used orally for dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), HIV/AIDS, cancer, liver disease, Wilson's disease, cardiovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), intermittent claudication, Lyme disease, and lactic acidosis caused by inborn errors of metabolism.


Alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar levels, and its ability to kill free radicals may help reduce pain, burning, itching, tingling, and numbness in people who have nerve damage caused by diabetes (called peripheral neuropathy). Alpha-lipoic acid has been used for years for this purpose in Europe, and at least one study found that intravenous (IV) doses of alpha-lipoic acid helped reduce symptoms.

 Liver Disease

Alpha-lipoic acid has been proposed as a treatment for alcohol-related liver disease, but so far there is no evidence that it works. Alpha-lipoic acid has been administered by IV along with silymarin to treat people who have eaten the poisonous mushroom Amanita, which causes liver damage.

 Brain Function and Stroke

Because alpha-lipoic acid can pass easily into the brain, it has protective effects on brain and nerve tissue. Scientists are investigating it as a potential treatment for stroke and other brain disorders involving free radical damage. Animals treated with alpha-lipoic acid, for example, suffered less brain damage and had a four times greater survival rate after a stroke than animals who did not receive this supplement. More research is needed to understand whether this benefit applies to people as well.


High doses of alpha-lipoic acid are approved in Germany for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

 Packer L, Tritschler HJ, Wessel K. Neuroprotection by the metabolic antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid. Free Radic Biol Med 1997;22:359-78. Ziegler D, Hanefeld M, Ruhnau K, et al. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: A 7-month, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial (ALADIN III Study). Diabetes Care 1999;22:1296-301.



Healthy Living

Dr. Gallagher has been the coach of my preventative care for many years. His patient plan includes an interconnected holistic approach that builds the body’s inner strength making the healing process, when necessary, faster and more efficient. I continue to work construction and have an active lifestyle only because of the treatments and therapies his office provides.


Bio-Oxidative Therapies Offered at MWA:

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