In.ther.ords,.sham'.r.placebo'.cupuncture.enerally.roduces.he.ame effects as 'real' acupuncture and, in some cases, does better.” 77 A 2013 meta-analysis found little evidence that the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain compared to sham was modified by the location of the needles, the number of needles used, the experience or technique of the practitioner, or by the circumstances of the sessions. 78 The same analysis also suggested that the number of needles and sessions is important, as greater numbers improved the outcomes of acupuncture compared to non-acupuncture controls. 78 There has been little systematic investigation of which components of an acupuncture session may be important for any therapeutic effect, including needle placement and depth, type and intensity of stimulation, and number of needles used. 75 The research seems to suggest that needles do not need to stimulate the traditionally specified acupuncture points or penetrate the skin to attain an anticipated effect e.g. psychosocial factors. 2 A response to “sham” acupuncture ear acupuncture for weight loss in osteoarthritis may be used in the elderly, but placebos have usually been regarded as deception and thus unethical. 79 However, some physicians and ethicists have suggested circumstances for applicable uses for placebos such as it might present a theoretical advantage of an inexpensive treatment without adverse reactions or interactions with drugs or other medications. 79 As the evidence for most types of alternative medicine such as acupuncture is far from strong, the use of alternative medicine in regular healthcare can present an ethical question. 80 Using the principles of evidence-based medicine to research acupuncture is controversial, and has produced different results. 71 Some research suggests acupuncture can alleviate pain but the majority of research suggests that acupuncture's effects are mainly due to placebo. 9 Evidence suggests that any benefits of acupuncture are short-listing. 14 There is insufficient evidence to support use of acupuncture compared to mainstream medical treatments . 81 Acupuncture is not better than mainstream treatment in the long term. 74 Publication bias is cited as a concern in the reviews of randomized controlled trials CRTs of acupuncture. 57 82 83 A 1998 review of studies on acupuncture found that trials originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were uniformly favourable to acupuncture, as were ten out of eleven studies conducted in Russia. 84 A 2011 assessment of the quality of CRTs on ACM, including acupuncture, concluded that the methodological quality of most such trials including randomization, experimental control, and blinding was generally poor, particularly for trials published in Chinese journals though the quality of acupuncture trials was better than the trials testing ACM remedies. 85 The study also found that trials published in non-Chinese journals tended to be of higher quality. 85 Chinese authors use more Chinese studies, which have been demonstrated to be uniformly positive. 86 A 2012 review of 88 systematic reviews of acupuncture published in Chinese journals found that less than half of these reviews reported testing for publication bias, and that the majority of these reviews were published in journals with impact factors of zero. 87 Scientist and journalist Steven Salzburg identifies acupuncture and Chinese medicine generally as a focus for “fake medical journals” such as the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies and Acupuncture in Medicine . 88 The conclusions of many trials and numerous systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent with each other. 13 A 2011 systematic review of systematic reviews found that for reducing pain, real acupuncture was no better than sham acupuncture, and concluded that numerous reviews have shown little convincing evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing pain. 10 The same review found that neck pain was one of only four types of pain for which a positive effect was suggested, but cautioned that the primary studies used carried a considerable risk of bias. 10 A 2009 overview of Cochran reviews found acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions, and suggested that it may be effective for only chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, postoperative nausea/vomiting, and idiopathic headache. 13 A 2014 systematic review suggests that the nocebo effect of acupuncture is clinically relevant and that the rate of adverse events may be a gauge of the nocebo effect. 89 According to the 2014 Miller's anaesthesia book, “when compared with placebo, acupuncture treatment has proven efficacy for relieving pain”. 44 A 2012 meta-analysis conducted by the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration found “relatively modest” efficiency of acupuncture in comparison to sham for the treatment of four different types of chronic pain back and neck pain, knee osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain and on that basis concluded that it “is more than a placebo” and a reasonable referral option. 90 Commenting on this meta-analysis, both Eduard Ernst and David Colquhoun said the results were of negligible clinical significance. 91 92 Eduard Ernst later stated that “I fear that, once we manage to eliminate this bias that operators are not blind … we might find that the effects of acupuncture exclusively are a placebo response.” 93 A 2010 systematic review suggested that acupuncture is more than a placebo for commonly occurring chronic pain conditions, but the authors acknowledged that it is still unknown if the overall benefit is clinically meaningful or cost-effective. 94 A 2010 review found real acupuncture and sham acupuncture produce similar improvements, which can only be accepted as evidence against the efficacy of acupuncture. 95 The same review found limited evidence that real acupuncture and sham acupuncture appear to produce biological differences despite similar effects. 95 A 2009 systematic review and meta-analysis found that acupuncture had a small analgesic effect, which appeared to lack any clinical importance and could not be discerned from bias. 15 The same review found that it remains unclear whether acupuncture reduces pain independent of a psychological impact of the needling ritual. 15 A 2016 Cochran review found moderate quality evidence that real acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture or inactive for short-term relief of neck pain measured either upon completion of treatment or at short-term follow-up. 96 A 2013 meta-analysis found that acupuncture was better than no treatment for reducing lower back pain, but not better than sham acupuncture, and concluded that the effect of acupuncture “is likely to be produced by the non-specific effects of manipulation”. 97 A 2013 systematic review found supportive evidence that real acupuncture may be more effective than sham acupuncture with respect to relieving lower back pain, but there were methodological limitations with the studies. 98 A 2013 systematic review found that acupuncture may be effective for non-specific lower back pain, but the authors noted there were limitations in the studies examined, such as heterogeneity in study characteristics and low methodological quality in many studies. 99 A 2012 systematic review found some supporting evidence that acupuncture was more effective than no treatment for chronic non-specific low back pain; the evidence was conflicting comparing the effectiveness over other treatment approaches. 12 A 2011 systematic review of systematic reviews found that “for chronic low back pain, individualized acupuncture is not better in reducing symptoms than formula acupuncture or sham acupuncture with a toothpick that does not penetrate the skin.” 10 A 2010 review found that sham acupuncture was as effective as real acupuncture for chronic low back pain. 2 The specific therapeutic effects of acupuncture were small, whereas its clinically relevant benefits were mostly due to contextual and psychosocial circumstances. 2 Brain imaging studies have shown that traditional acupuncture and sham acupuncture differ in their effect on limbic structures, while at the same time showed equivalent analgesic effects. 2 A 2005 Cochran review found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against either acupuncture or dry needling for acute low back pain. 100 The same review found low quality evidence for pain relief and improvement compared to no treatment or sham therapy for chronic low back pain only in the short term immediately after treatment. 100 The same review also found that acupuncture is not more effective than conventional therapy and other alternative medicine treatments. 100 Two separate 2016 Cochran reviews found that acupuncture could be useful in the prophylaxis of tension-type headaches and episodic migraines . 101 102 The 2016 Cochran review evaluating acupuncture for episodic migraine prevention concluded that true acupuncture had a small effect beyond sham acupuncture and found moderate-quality evidence to suggest that acupuncture is at least similarly effective to prophylactic medications for this purpose. 102 A 2012 review found that acupuncture has demonstrated benefit for the treatment of headaches, but that safety needed to be more fully documented in order to make any strong recommendations in support of its use. 103 A 2009 Cochran review of the use of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis treatment concluded that “true” acupuncture was no more efficient than sham acupuncture, but “true” acupuncture appeared to be as effective as, or possibly more effective than routine care in the treatment of migraines, with fewer adverse effects than prophylactic drug treatment. 104 The same review stated that the specific points chosen to needle may be of limited importance. 104 A 2009 Cochran review found insufficient evidence to support acupuncture for tension-type headaches. 104 The same review found evidence that suggested that acupuncture might be considered a helpful non-pharmacological approach for frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headache. 104 A 2014 review concluded that “current evidence supports the use of acupuncture as an alternative to traditional analgesics in osteoarthritis patients.” 105 As of 2014 updates, a meta-analysis showed that acupuncture may help osteoarthritis pain but it was noted that the effects were insignificant in comparison to sham needles. 106 A 2013 systematic review and network meta-analysis found that the evidence suggests that acupuncture may be considered one of the more effective physical treatments for alleviating pain due to knee osteoarthritis in the short-term compared to other relevant physical treatments, though much of the evidence in the topic is of poor quality and there is uncertainty about the efficacy of many of the treatments. 107 A 2012 review found “the potential beneficial action of acupuncture on osteoarthritis pain does not appear to be clinically relevant.” 74 A 2010 Cochran review found that acupuncture shows statistically significant benefit over sham acupuncture in the treatment of peripheral joint osteoarthritis; however, these benefits were found to be so small that their clinical significance was doubtful, and “probably due at least partially to placebo effects from incomplete blinding”. 108 A 2014 systematic review found moderate quality evidence that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in the treatment of lateral elbow pain. 109 A 2014 systematic review found that although manual acupuncture was effective at relieving short-term pain when used to treat tennis elbow, its long-term effect in relieving pain was “unremarkable”. 110 A 2007 review found that acupuncture was significantly better than sham acupuncture at treating chronic knee pain; the evidence was not conclusive due to the lack of large, high-quality trials. 111 Nausea and vomiting and post-operative pain A 2014 overview of systematic reviews found insufficient evidence to suggest that acupuncture is an effective treatment for postoperative nausea and vomiting pond in a clinical setting. 112 A 2013 systematic review concluded that acupuncture might be beneficial in prevention and treatment of pond. 113 A 2009 Cochran review found that stimulation of the P6 acupoint on the wrist was as effective or ineffective as anti emetic drugs and was associated with minimal side effects. 112 114 The same review found “no reliable evidence for differences in risks of postoperative nausea or vomiting after P6 acupoint stimulation compared to anti emetic drugs.” 114 A 2014 overview of systematic reviews found insufficient evidence to suggest that acupuncture is effective for surgical or post-operative pain. 112 For the use of acupuncture for post-operative pain, there was contradictory evidence. 112 A 2014 systematic review found supportive but limited evidence for use of acupuncture for acute post-operative pain after back surgery. 115 A 2014 systematic review found that while the evidence suggested acupuncture could be an effective treatment for postoperative gastroparesis, a firm conclusion could not be reached because the trials examined were of low quality. 116 Acupuncture is an unproven treatment for allergic immunologic conditions. 117 A 2015 meta-analysis suggests that acupuncture might be a good option for people with allergic rhinitis A, 118 and a number of randomized clinical trials CRTs support the use of acupuncture for A and itch . 119 There is some evidence that acupuncture might have specific effects on perennial allergic rhinitis PA, though all the efficacy studies were small and conclusions should be made with caution. 120 There is mixed evidence for the symptomatic treatment or prevention of AR. 121 For seasonal allergic rhinitis SA, the evidence failed to demonstrate specific effects for acupuncture. 121 Using acupuncture to treat other allergic conditions such as contact eczema, drug rashes, or anaphylaxis is not recommended. 119 A 2015 Cochran review found that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for cancer pain in adults. 122 A 2014 systematic review found that acupuncture may be effective as an adjunctive treatment to palliative care for cancer patients. 123 A 2013 overview of reviews found evidence that acupuncture could be beneficial for people with cancer-related symptoms, but also identified few rigorous trials and high heterogeneity between trials. 124 A 2012 systematic review of randomised clinical trials CRTs using acupuncture in the treatment of cancer pain found that the number and quality of CRTs was too low to draw definite conclusions. 125 A 2014 systematic review reached inconclusive results with regard to the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating cancer-related fatigue. 126 A 2013 systematic review found that acupuncture is an acceptable adjunctive treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, but that further research with a low risk of bias is needed. 127 A 2013 systematic review found that the quantity and quality of available CRTs for analysis were too low to draw valid conclusions for the effectiveness of acupuncture for cancer-related fatigue . 128 A 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis found very limited evidence regarding acupuncture compared with conventional intramuscular injections for the treatment of hiccups in cancer patients. 129 The methodological quality and amount of CRTs in the review was low. 129 A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis found some evidence that acupuncture was effective for CD, but also called for further well-designed, long-term studies to be conducted to evaluate its efficacy for this condition. 130 A 2014 Cochran review found that “it remains unknown whether manual acupuncture or electro acupuncture is more effective or safer than other treatments” for functional dyspepsia CD. 131 A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis found poor quality evidence for use of acupuncture in infertile men to improve sperm motility, sperm concentration, and the pregnancy rate; the evidence was rated as insufficient to draw any conclusion regarding efficacy. 132 A 2013 Cochran review found no evidence of acupuncture for improving the success of in vitro fertilization VF. 133 A 2013 systematic review found no benefit of adjutant acupuncture for VF on pregnancy success rates. 134 A 2012 systematic review found that acupuncture may be a useful adjunct to VF, 135 but its conclusions were rebutted after re-evaluation using more rigorous, high quality meta-analysis standards. 136 A 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis found that acupuncture did not significantly improve the outcomes of in vitro fertilization. 137 A 2011 overview of systematic reviews found that the evidence that acupuncture was effective was not compelling for most gynecologic conditions. Acupuncturists insert needles into specified points along meridian lines to influence the restore balance to the flow of qi. Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/4/2016 Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Food and Drug Administration FDA. To begin the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acupoints are stimulated on various areas of your body. The acupuncturist may use the following techniques during the treatment: moxibustion - heating of acupuncture needles with dried herb sticks to activate and warm the acupuncture point. What conditions are commonly treated by acupuncture? For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, usually eight to ten visits in total. Even if they could agree, the ACM theories are so nebulous that no amount of scientific study will enable ACM to offer rational care.” 5 Some modern practitioners support the use of acupuncture to treat pain, but have abandoned the use of qi, meridians, yin, yang and other energies based in mysticism, as explanatory frameworks. 8 25 26 The use of qi as an explanatory framework has been decreasing in China, even as it becomes more prominent during discussions of acupuncture in the US. 257 Academic discussions of acupuncture still make reference to pseudo-scientific concepts such as qi and meridians despite the lack of scientific evidence. 257 Many within the scientific community consider attempts to rationalize acupuncture in science to be quackery, pseudo-science and “theatrical placebo”. 258 Academics Massimo Pigliucci and marten Boudry describe it as a “borderlands science” lying between science and pseudo-science. 259 Many acupuncturists attribute pain relief to the release of endorphins when needles penetrate, but no longer support the idea that acupuncture can affect a disease. 26 257 It is a generally held belief within the acupuncture community that acupuncture points and meridians structures are special conduits for electrical signals but no research has established any consistent anatomical structure or function for either acupuncture points or meridians. n 1 24 Human tests to determine whether electrical continuity was significantly different near meridians than other places in the body have been inconclusive. 24 Some studies suggest acupuncture causes a series of events within the central nervous system, 260 and that it is possible to inhibit acupuncture's analgesic effects with the opioid antagonist naloxone . 261 Mechanical deformation of the skin by acupuncture needles appears to result in the release of adenosine . 2 The anti-nociceptive effect of acupuncture may be mediated by the adenosine A1 receptor . 262 A 2014 Nature Reviews Cancer review article found that since the key mouse studies that suggested acupuncture relieves pain via the local release of adenosine, which then triggered close-by A1 receptors “caused more tissue damage and inflammation relative to the size of the animal in mice than in humans, such studies unnecessarily muddled a finding that local inflammation can result in the local release of adenosine with analgesic effect.” 77 It has been proposed that acupuncture's effects in gastrointestinal disorders may relate to its effects on the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, which have been said to be the “Western medicine” equivalent of “yin and yang”. 263 Another mechanism whereby acupuncture may be effective for gastrointestinal dysfunction involves the promotion of gastric peristalsis in subjects with low initial gastric motility, and suppressing peristalsis in subjects with active initial motility. 264 Acupuncture has also been found to exert anti-inflammatory effects, which may be mediated by the activation of the vague nerve and deactivation of inflammatory macrophages . 265 Neuroimaging studies suggest that acupuncture stimulation results in deactivation of the limbic brain areas and the default mode network . 266 Acupuncture chart from the Ming dynasty c. 1368–1644 Acupuncture, along with moxibustion, is one of the oldest practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 29 Most historians believe the practice began in China, though there are some conflicting narratives on when it originated. 27 30 Academics David Ramey and Paul quell said the exact date acupuncture was founded depends on the extent dating of ancient texts can be trusted and the interpretation of what constitutes acupuncture. 267 According to an article in Rheumatology, the first documentation of an “organized system of diagnosis and treatment” for acupuncture was in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine Huangdi Beijing from about 100 BC. 27 Gold and silver needles found in the tomb of Li Cheng from around 100 BC are believed to be the earliest archaeological evidence of acupuncture, though it is unclear if that was their purpose. 267 According to Dr. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. The acupuncturist then interviews the client, asking about his or her primary health concern, lifestyle habits, diet, emotions, menstrual cycle, sleep, temperature, appetite, stress, and sensitivity to foods, temperature, and seasons. Acupuncture is one of the best known of the alternative therapies.
Acupuncture.ecame.he most popular alternative medicine in the US. 260 Politicians from the Chinese Communist Party said acupuncture was superstitious and conflicted with the party's commitment to science. 279 Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong later reversed this position, 279 arguing that the practice was based on scientific principles. 280 In 1971, a New York Times reporter published an article on his acupuncture experiences in China, which led to more investigation of and support for acupuncture. 27 The US President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 . 281 During one part of the visit, the delegation was shown a patient undergoing major surgery while fully awake, ostensibly receiving acupuncture rather than anaesthesia . 281 Later it was found that the patients selected for the surgery had both a high pain tolerance and received heavy indoctrination before the operation; these demonstration cases were also frequently receiving morphine surreptitiously through an intravenous drip that observers were told contained only fluids and nutrients. 281 One patient receiving open heart surgery while awake was ultimately found to have received a combination of three powerful sedatives as well as large injections of a local aesthetic into the wound. 57 After the National Institute of Health expressed support for acupuncture for a limited number of conditions, adoption in the US grew further. 27 In 1972 the first legal acupuncture canter in the US was established in Washington DC 282 and in 1973 the American Internal Revenue Service allowed acupuncture to be deducted as a medical expense. 283 In 2006, a BBC documentary Alternative Medicine filmed a patient undergoing open heart surgery allegedly under acupuncture-induced anaesthesia. Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for the following diseases, symptoms or conditions: Allergic rhinitis including hay fever Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. Acupuncture is now covered by many insurance policies and is used most broadly to relieve pain.