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Modern Research & Acupuncture

ACUTE PAIN:

Acupuncture Has Been Found to be More Effective and Faster Acting than Intravenous Morphine in the Management of Acute Pain in the Emergency Department1

Due to Acupuncture’s Safety and Efficacy, The United States Veterans Affairs Now Educates their Health Providers to use Acupuncture as a First Line Treatment for Acute Pain.2 

 

CHRONIC PAIN:

Acupuncture Significantly Outperforms Standard of Care in the Treatment of Chronic Pain

A meta- analysis of 20,827 patients from 39 clinical trials published in The Journal of Pain (Official Journal of The American Pain Society) in 2017 found Acupuncture significantly outperforms standard of care in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain. 

They wrote, “we also found clear evidence that the effects of acupuncture persist over time with only a small decrease, approximately 15%, in treatment effect at 1 year….We conclude that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain.”3

 

To understand the mechanisms of how acupuncture achieves its results see our page “How Acupuncture Works”.  

 

Sources:

  1. Grissa MH, Baccouche H, Boubaker H, et.al. Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED. American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2016;34:2112-2116
  2. Himstreet J, Popish S, Wells D, et al.” Acute Pain Management, Meeting the Challenges” Veterans Health Administration PBM Academic Detailing Service, July 2017
  3. Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Pain. 2017 Dec

 

In addition to its effectiveness in treating pain, acupuncture has a proven track record of treating a variety of endocrine, circulatory and systemic conditions.

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World health organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. 

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Cancer pain
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Earache
  • Epistaxis
  • Facial pain
  • Facial spasm
  • Female infertility
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Headache
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster
  • Hypertension
  • Induction of labor
  • Insomnia
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Malposition of fetus
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain in dentistry
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Postoperative pain
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis
  • Raynaud syndrome
  • Renal colic
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sciatica
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Sprain
  • Stiff neck
  • Stroke
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

 

SOME MISCELLANEOUS ACUPUNCTURE RESEARCH

 

Acupuncture & Women’s Reproductive Health

A recent review concluded that acupuncture treatment may help women who are trying to conceive. A review of more than 300 papers on acupuncture found evidence of benefits for reproductive function of women. The results supported acupuncture for menstrual irregularity, menstrual pain, ovulatory dysfunction and infertility.9

Acupuncture & Fertility: 

Results of systematic review and meta-analysis: The pregnancy rate was significantly improved with acupuncture treatment, compared to that in the control group.  The subgroup according to different types of infertility showed a significant improvement in infertility caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, tubal infertility, ovulatory disorder, and other factors. In addition, the ovulation rate and endometrial thickness were significantly increased. The level of LH was obviously decreased. Moreover, with acupuncture, less adverse effects occurred.29

Acupuncture & In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

The BMJ in 2013 reported acupuncture can increase the success rate of in-vitro fertilization and increase the number of viable pregnancies when embryo implantation has failed. The additional benefits were listed as receiving no adverse side effects and contraindications as a result of receiving acupuncture treatment.3

Acupuncture & Insomnia

In the treatment of insomnia, acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep efficiency and sleep disorders compared to those who do not receive acupuncture treatment. Long-term improvements in sleep were also seen from the acupuncture treatment according to clinical research.7

Acupuncture & Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture can be a great form of treatment for individuals with fibromyalgia. In 2016, The BMJ published a study concerning the effects of acupuncture on patients who have fibromyalgia. The study found acupuncture to be effective in the realm of managing pain experienced as a result of having fibromyalgia.  The study even went on to strongly recommend those with fibromyalgia seek acupuncture treatment in order to help manage their pain.8

Acupuncture & Irritable Bowel Syndrome

According to a study published by The BMJ, acupuncture has been found to produce significant results for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.10

Acupuncture & Hypertension

A recent meta-analysis published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture lowers blood pressure in patients who are taking medication for hypertension or high blood pressure. The trials included 386 patients with hypertension and found weekly acupuncture treatment for six to 10 weeks lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure.13

Acupuncture & Cancer Patients

In Italy, a 2016 study involving 190 breast cancer patients proved acupuncture can eliminate the need for additional drugs and is an effective method in improving the quality of life of women who have breast cancer. Acupuncture was shown to be effective in managing hot flashes the women received as a result of the cancer. 4

Findings published in Integrative Cancer Therapies found that 90 percent of participants at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, reported pain had significantly decreased by the end of 10 acupuncture treatments, 42 out of 52 participants who had pain related to cancer rated the acupuncture study as “very useful.”14

Acupuncture & Migraines

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that  acupuncture significantly decreased patients’ migraine frequency and severity.15

A 2018 study published by The Cochrane Review that included 4985 participants concluded acupuncture treatments can not only relieve the pain associated with headaches, but it can reduce frequency of headaches.5

Acupuncture & Allergic Rhinitis

In a 2016 study from the Mucosal Immunology Research Group, acupuncture treatment was shown to benefit those suffering from allergies in multiple ways. The study concluded acupuncture was effective in reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis.20

 

Resources:

  1. “Acupuncture for Acute Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review,” The Clinical Journal of Pain, published February, 2013.
  2. “Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,”  Spine Journal,, 2013; Vol 38 (24).
  3. “Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial,” British Medical Journal, published March 19. 2013.
  4. “Acupuncture As an Integrative Approach for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Women With Breast Cancer: A Prospective Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (AcCliMaT),” Journal of Clinical Oncology, published March 28, 2016.
  5. Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Vertosick EA, Vickers A, White AR. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jun 28;2016(6):CD001218. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub3. PMID: 27351677; PMCID: PMC4977344.
  6. Suzanne Cochrane, Caroline A. Smith, Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, and Alan Bensoussan, “Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3587569, 11 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3587569
  7. Source: Copyright © 2014 World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion House. Published by Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.
  8. Vas J, Santos-Rey K, Navarro-Pablo R, et al Acupuncture for fibromyalgia in primary care: a randomised controlled trial Acupuncture in Medicine Published Online First: 15 February 2016. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2015-010950
  9. Cochrane S, Smith CA, Possamai-Inesedy A, Bensoussan A. Int J Womens Health. March 2014; 6: 313–325
  10. MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Agbedjro D, et al Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: 2-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial Acupuncture in Medicine 2017;35:17-23.
  11. Quah-Smith, Im, Caroline Smith, John D. Crawford, and Janice Russell. “Laser acupuncture for depression: A randomised double blind controlled trial using low intensity laser intervention.” Journal of Affective Disorders 148, no. 2-3 (2013): 179-87. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2012.11.058.
  12. J. Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2003 Sept.; 23 (3): 201-202.
  13. Li D, Zhou Y, Yang Y, Ma Y, Li X, Yu J, Zhao Y, Zhai H, Lao L. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 March, Epub
  14. Garcia MK, Driver L, Haddad R, Lee R, Palmer JL, Wei Q, Frenkel M, Cohen. Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 Mar;13(2):133-40. doi: 10.1177/1534735413510558. Epub 2013 Nov 25.
  15. Rezvani M, Yaraghi A, Mohseni M, Fathimoghadam F. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 May; 20(5):371-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/acm.2013.0120. Epub 2013 Dec 28.
  16. J. Rehab. Med., 2008 Jul.; 40 (7): 582-588.
  17. Brinkhaus Benno, Roll Stephanie, Jena Susanne, Icke Katja, Adam Daniela, Binting Sylvia, Lotz Fabian, Willich Stefan N., and Witt Claudia M.. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. April 2017, 23(4): 268-277. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2016.0357
  18. Zhu LB, Chan WC, Lo KC, Yum TP, Li L. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014 July 14, Epub http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4123534/
  19. Manyanga T, Froese M, Zarychanski R, Abou-Setta A, Friesen C, Tennenhouse M, Shay BL. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Aug 23; 14(1): 312.
  20. Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis
  21. McDonald, John Leslie et al.
  22. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , Volume 116 , Issue 6 , 497 – 505
  23. Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., 2001.v
  24. Acupuncture – A scientific appraisal, Ernst, E., White, A., 1999, p. 74.
  25. Acupuncture Energetics, “A Clinical Approach for Physicians”, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, pgs 41-42, 66.
  26. Anatomy of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture, Volume 1, Wong, Dr. J., 1999, p. 34.
  27. National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture, “Acupuncture Activates Endogenous Systems of Analgesia.”, Han, J.S., 1997 (Bethesda, MD).
  28. Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific Evidence of Acupuncture Revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., p.116.
  29. Yun L, Liqun W, Shuqi Y, Chunxiao W, Liming L, Wei Y. Acupuncture for infertile women without undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART): A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jul;98(29):e16463. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016463. PMID: 31335705; PMCID: PMC6709164.
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