Acupuncture Research Evidence

The safety and effectiveness of acupuncture has been established by a very large number of research studies. In the past 20 years, several hundred randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture have been conducted and published. Many of these RCTs were very well designed and were large enough to provide definitive answers to specific questions. Most of these RCTs have demonstrated that a course of treatment with acupuncture results in greater improvement of people’s health (or reduction in pain or other symptoms) compared to no acupuncture. In other words, acupuncture has been proven time and again to “work”, compared to not undergoing a treatment of acupuncture. This is true for a wide variety of clinical conditions and symptoms.

Acupuncture has also been proven to work as well as, or better than, standard therapies for many different conditions. For example, one RCT demonstrated that acupuncture is as effective in the treatment of depression as the antidepressant medication fluoxetine (Prozac), and as effective as paroxetine (Paxil).

What is not as clear, however, is the extent to which acupuncture is more effective than “sham” acupuncture, which is a procedure that is commonly tested in clinical trials (but never in actual practice). Many RCTs have not been designed to answer the question: “does acupuncture improve health or symptoms?” or the question: “to what extent might acupuncture be helpful in the treatment of a given condition?”. Instead, many RCTs were designed to answer the question: “is true acupuncture more effective than fake acupuncture?”  All three of these questions (does acupuncture work, how well does acupuncture work, and does acupuncture work better than a fake or placebo acupuncture treatment) are important to ask and answer. Research has clearly answered the first question (acupuncture works for many conditions) and is currently helping to answer the second question (how well does acupuncture work), but the answer to the third question (is true acupuncture better than a placebo procedure) is unclear.  Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. This represents an active area of research at the moment.

We at Acupuncture Balanced Health have designed and conducted several RCTs of acupuncture. We have conducted a clinical trial of acupuncture for chronic daily headache, two clinical trials of acupuncture for labor induction, and two clinical trials of acupuncture of menopausal hot flashes. Please click on the links below to read the abstracts of our published articles, as well as selected articles by author researchers.

Acupuncture in Pregnancy
Acupuncture in Pregnancy
19526433.html
81.8 KiB
421 Downloads
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Acupuncture in Pregnancy
Acupuncture in Pregnancy
16966110.html
75.5 KiB
347 Downloads
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Acute low back pain
Acute low back pain
23269281.html
73.0 KiB
351 Downloads
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Anxiety and Infertility
Anxiety and Infertility
21978220.html
75.9 KiB
370 Downloads
Details
Anxiety in Women Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization
74.9 KiB
351 Downloads
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Bell’s Palsy and Facial Spasm
73.8 KiB
349 Downloads
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Chronic Daily Headache
Chronic Daily Headache
16178942.html
75.1 KiB
344 Downloads
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Chronic Low Back Pain
Chronic Low Back Pain
23026870.html
75.5 KiB
378 Downloads
Details
Chronic low back pain
Chronic low back pain
24026151.html
71.9 KiB
343 Downloads
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Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain
22965186.html
91.1 KiB
315 Downloads
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Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain
23940892.html
71.1 KiB
328 Downloads
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Constipation
Constipation
23895148.html
74.1 KiB
371 Downloads
Details
Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Neuropathy
9597381.html
74.4 KiB
414 Downloads
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Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing) After Stroke
74.2 KiB
330 Downloads
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Ear Acupuncture for Pain Management
81.7 KiB
344 Downloads
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Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia
23728665.html
77.9 KiB
360 Downloads
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Hypertension
Hypertension
24060112.html
72.3 KiB
354 Downloads
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In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization
23337556.html
73.1 KiB
342 Downloads
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Insomnia
Insomnia
24159338.html
82.9 KiB
372 Downloads
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Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome
24587665.html
79.7 KiB
355 Downloads
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Major Depression
Major Depression
24086114.html
84.1 KiB
338 Downloads
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Menopausal Hot Flashes
Menopausal Hot Flashes
20142787.html
71.6 KiB
316 Downloads
Details
Migraine Prevention
Migraine Prevention
22231691.html
85.2 KiB
320 Downloads
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Migraine Prevention
Migraine Prevention
19160193.html
112.9 KiB
334 Downloads
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Moxibustion for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
81.5 KiB
394 Downloads
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Pelvic pain and back pain in pregnancy
77.6 KiB
339 Downloads
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Premenstrual Syndrome
Premenstrual Syndrome
21609380.html
74.7 KiB
342 Downloads
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Primary Dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods)
74.6 KiB
315 Downloads
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Safety of acupuncture during pregnancy
71.1 KiB
377 Downloads
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Tension-type headache
Tension-type headache
19160338.html
107.5 KiB
327 Downloads
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