Clinical Studies

Conditions

Study Summary

Study details and link

Chronic pain

Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option. Significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo.

Vickers, A. J., Cronin, A. M., Maschino, A. C., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., … & Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration, F. T. (2012). Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine, 172(19), 1444-1453.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1357513

Crohn’s disease

Moxibustion with acupuncture provided significant therapeutic benefits in patients with active Crohn’s disease beyond the placebo effect and is therefore an effective and safe treatment for active Crohn’s disease.

Bao, C. H., Zhao, J. M., Liu, H. R., Lu, Y., Zhu, Y. F., Shi, Y., … & Chen, W. F. (2014). Randomized controlled trial: moxibustion and acupuncture for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG, 20(31), 11000.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4138481/

Depression

Electronicacupuncture treatment was an effective therapeutic method for depressive disorders. It is the treatment of choice for depressed patients who were unable to comply with the classic tricyclic antidepressants.

 

Luo, H., MENG, F., JIA, Y., & ZHAO, X. (1998). Clinical research on the therapeutic effect of the electro‐acupuncture treatment in patients with depression. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 52(S6), S338-S340.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1440-1819.1998.tb03262.x

Depression in pregnancy

The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

Manber, R., Schnyer, R., Chambers, A., Lyell, D., Caughey, A., Carlyle, E., & Allen, J. (2009). Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 201(6 Suppl), S19.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20177281

Hypertension

Electroacupuncture at select acupoints reduces blood pressure.

Acupuncture may be beneficial in several cardiovascular disease conditions. Electronicacupuncture appears to be useful in patients with mild to moderate hypertension, whether or not anti-hypertensive drugs are used.

Li, P., Tjen-A-Looi, S. C., Cheng, L., Liu, D., Painovich, J., Vinjamury, S., & Longhurst, J. C. (2015). CME Article: Long-Lasting Reduction of Blood Pressure by Electroacupuncture in Patients with Hypertension: Randomized Controlled Trial. Medical acupuncture, 27(4), 253-266. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281538021_Long-Lasting_Reduction_of_Blood_Pressure_by_Electroacupuncture_in_Patients_with_Hypertension_Randomized_Controlled_Trial

Painovich, J., & Longhurst, J. (2015). Integrating acupuncture into the cardiology clinic: can it play a role. Sheng Li Xue Bao, 67(1), 19-31. http://www.actaps.com.cn/qikan/manage/wenzhang/2015-1-02.pdf

Labour pain

Acupressure seems to reduce pain during the active phase of labour in women having their first baby and it may be most effective during the initial phase of labour.

Hjelmstedt, A., Shenoy, S. T., Stener-Victorin, E., Lekander, M., Bhat, M., Balakumaran, L., & Waldenström, U. (2010). Acupressure to reduce labor pain: a randomized controlled trial. Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica, 89(11), 1453-1459.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20822474

Migraines

The current evidence suggests that acupuncture is significantly superior to waiting list, at least as good as sham acupuncture, and of comparable efficiency to several proven drug therapies for the treatment and prevention of migraine.

Scott, S. W., & Deare, J. C. (2006). Acupuncture for migraine: a systematic review. Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 1(1), 3.

https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=440987512381840;res=IELHEA

Nausea in pregnancy

Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

Smith, C., Crowther, C., & Beilby, J. (2002). Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Birth, 29(1), 1-9.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11843784

Post-operative pain

Stanford University doctors conclude that acupuncture during surgery reduces pain. Research published in The Laryngoscope finds acupuncture effective for reducing pain and improving restoration of a normal diet postoperatively when acupuncture is applied during surgery. 

Tsao, G. J., Messner, A. H., Seybold, J., Sayyid, Z. N., Cheng, A. G., & Golianu, B. (2015). Intraoperative acupuncture for posttonsillectomy pain: A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial. The Laryngoscope, 125(8), 1972-1978.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/stanford-university-acupuncture-reduces-pain-after-surgery_1461200.html

Skin conditions

Acupuncture improves outcome measures in the treatment of dermatitis, chloasma, pruritus, urticaria, hyperhidrosis, and facial elasticity.

Ma, C., & Sivamani, R. K. (2015). Acupuncture as a treatment modality in dermatology: a systematic review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(9), 520-529. https://ucdavis.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/acupuncture-as-a-treatment-modality-in-dermatology-a-systematic-r

Weight management

The Chinese herbal concoction RCM-104 is well tolerated and appears to be effective in reducing weight and improving quality of life in obese individuals after 12 weeks.

Lenon, G. B., Li, K. X., Chang, Y. H., Yang, A. W., Da Costa, C., Li, C. G., … & Xue, C. C. (2012). Efficacy and safety of a Chinese herbal medicine formula (RCM-104) in the management of simple obesity: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/435702/

The Acupuncture Evidence Project (2017) found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions.

For further details: https://www.acupuncture.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/28-NOV-The-Acupuncture-Evidence-Project_Mcdonald-and-Janz_-REISSUED_28_Nov.pdf

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