Welcome to the Acupuncture Section @ Chiro.Org! This section contains information about
acupuncture, meridians, ryodoraku, and information relating to this ancient analysis technique.



This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary. If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual. You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this, or any other health topic.

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Acupuncture Articles

Commonly Used Meridian Points
Chapter 3 from:   “Applied Physiotherapy in Chiropractic”

By Richard C. Schafer, D.C., FICC and the ACAPress
Of major interest in this Chapter is the section titled:   “Major Points: Locations, Primary Indications, and Precautions”, because it contains sketches and indications for the use of all the major acupoints.

Acupuncture Therapy as an Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic
Strategy for Comprehensive Acute Pain Care: The Academic
Consortium Pain Task Force White Paper Update

Pain Medcine 2022 (Aug 31); 23 (9): 1582–1612 ~ FULL TEXT

The majority of reviews found acupuncture therapy to be an efficacious strategy for acute pain, with potential to avoid or reduce opioid reliance. Future multicenter trials are needed to clarify the dosage and generalizability of acupuncture for acute pain in the emergency department. With an extremely low risk profile, acupuncture therapy is an important strategy in comprehensive acute pain care.

Efficacy of Invasive Laser Acupuncture in Treating Chronic
Non-specific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

PLoS One 2022 (May 31); 17 (5): e0269282 ~ FULL TEXT

This study aimed to provide preliminary evidence for the efficacy of invasive laser acupuncture (ILA) for chronic non-specific low back pain (CNLBP). This was a single-center, randomized, patient and assessor-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm, clinical trial with a 1:1:1 allocation ratio that included a full analysis set. Forty-five participants with CNLBP were randomly assigned to the control group (sham laser), 650 group (650 nm-wavelength ILA), or 830 group (830 nm-wavelength ILA) (n = 15/group). All participants received ILA for 10 min, followed by electroacupuncture for 10 min on the same day. The treatment was performed once per day, twice per week for 4 weeks at bilateral BL23, BL24, BL25, and GB30. The primary outcome was the among-group difference of changes in the visual analog scale (VAS) scores at intervention endpoint (week 4). The secondary outcomes were the among-group difference of changes in VAS at 4 weeks after intervention completion (week 8), those in the Korean version of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the European Quality of Life Five-Dimension- Five-Level (EQ-5D-5L) at intervention endpoint (week 4) and 4 weeks after intervention completion (week 8). The VAS scores of the 650 group decreased significantly compared with those of the control group (p = 0.047; week 4 vs. week 0). The ODI scores of the 650 group (p = 0.018, week 4 vs. week 0; p = 0.006, week 8 vs. week 0) and 830 group (p = 0.014, week 4 vs. week 0) decreased significantly compared with those of the control group. There was no adverse event related to ILA and no significant difference in changes in vital signs among the three groups. The 650 group showed significant improvements in pain intensity and functional disability. The 830 group showed significant improvements in functional disability. Therefore, ILA therapy at 650 nm and 830 nm wavelengths can be used to treat CNLBP.

Nontraditional Therapies (Traditional Chinese Veterinary
Medicine and Chiropractic) in Exotic Animals

Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2018 (May); 21 (2): 511–528 ~ FULL TEXT

The nontraditional therapies of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and chiropractic care are adjunct treatments that can be used in conjunction with more conventional therapies to treat a variety of medical conditions. Nontraditional therapies do not need to be alternatives to Western medicine but, instead, can be used simultaneously. Exotic animal practitioners should have a basic understanding of nontraditional therapies for both client education and patient referral because they can enhance the quality of life, longevity, and positive outcomes for various cases across multiple taxa.

Provider and Patient Perspectives on Opioids and
Alternative Treatments for Managing Chronic Pain:
A Qualitative Study

BMC Fam Pract. 2017 (Mar 24); 17 (1): 164 ~ FULL TEXT

Despite widespread dissatisfaction with opioid medications for pain management, many practical barriers challenged access to other options. Most of the participants' perceived acupuncture and chiropractic (A/C) care as helpful for short term pain relief. We identified that problems with timing, expectations, and plan coverage limited A/C care potential for pain relief treatment.   CONCLUSIONS:   These results suggest that education about realistic expectations for chronic pain management and therapy options, as well as making acupuncture and chiropractic (A/C) care more easily accessible, might lead to more satisfaction for patients and providers, and provide important input to policy makers.

Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms in a
31-Year-Old Woman Using Cervical Manipulation and
Acupuncture: A Case Report

J Chiropractic Medicine 2015 (Sep); 14 (3): 220–224 ~ FULL TEXT

A 31-year-old woman had acute neck pain, headache, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue following a fall. She was diagnosed at an urgent care facility with mTBI immediately following the fall. Pharmaceutical intervention had been ineffective for her symptoms.   The patient was treated with chiropractic adjustments characterized as high velocity, low amplitude thrusts directed to the cervical spine and local acupuncture points in the cervical and cranial regions. The patient received care for a total of 8 visits over 2.5 weeks with resolution of concussive symptoms.

Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care:
Utilization and Electronic Medical Record Capture

American Journal of Managed Care 2015 (Jul 1); 21 (7): e414–421 ~ FULL TEXT

This recent study, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, underscores why so many chiropractic patients have to go “out of network” in order to get the care they need:   Managed care appears to be be effectively locking them out.   This study reviews chiropractic and acupuncture utilization by adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, an HMO.

Laser Acupuncture for Treating Musculoskeletal Pain:
A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2015 (Feb); 8 (1): 2–16 ~ FULL TEXT

Forty-nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Two-thirds (31/49) of these studies reported positive effects, were of high methodological quality, and reported the dosage adequately. Negative or inconclusive studies commonly failed to demonstrate these features. For all diagnostic subgroups, positive effects for both pain and functional outcomes were more consistently seen at long-term follow-up rather than immediately after treatment. Moderate-quality evidence supports the effectiveness of laser acupuncture in managing musculoskeletal pain when applied in an appropriate treatment dosage; however, the positive effects are seen only at long-term follow-up and not immediately after the cessation of treatment.

DoD-NCCAM/NIH Workshop on Acupuncture
for Treatment of Acute Pain

J Altern Complement Med. 2013 (Mar); 19 (3): 266–279 ~ FULL TEXT

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cosponsored a workshop that explored the possible benefits of acupuncture treatment for acute pain. One goal of the workshop was to establish a roadmap to building an evidence base on that would indicate whether acupuncture is helpful for treating active-duty military personnel experiencing acute pain. The workshop highlighted brief presentations on the most current research on acupuncture and acute pain mechanisms. The impact of various modifiers (stress, genetics, population, phenotypes, etc.) on acute pain pathways and response to acupuncture treatment was discussed. Additional presentations focused on common neural mechanisms, an overview of real-world experience with using acupuncture to treat traumatic acute pain, and best tools and methods specific for acupuncture studies. Three breakout groups addressed the gaps, opportunities, and barriers to acupuncture use for acute pain in military and trauma settings. Different models of effectiveness research and optimal research designs for conducting trials in acute traumatic pain were also discussed.

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain:
Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis

Archives of Internal Medicine 2012 (Oct 22); 172 (19): 1444–1453~ FULL TEXT

We found acupuncture to be superior to both no acupuncture control and sham acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain. Although the data indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo, the differences between true and sham acupuncture are relatively modest, suggesting that factors in addition to the specific effects of needling are important contributors to therapeutic effects. Our results from individual patient data meta-analyses of nearly 18,000 randomized patients on high quality trials provide the most robust evidence to date that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option for patients with chronic pain.

Combination of Acupuncture and Spinal Manipulative Therapy:
Management of a 32-year-old Patient With Chronic
Tension-type Headache and Migraine

J Chiropractic Medicine 2012 (Sep); 11 (3): 192–201 ~ FULL TEXT

Acupuncture has been found to be clinically beneficial for patients with chronic headaches, particularly migraines [3–6] and tension-type headaches (TTHs). [7, 8] Acupuncture has also been suggested to be an effective first-line complementary alternative medicine modality to treat migraines. [9] Chiropractic care has also demonstrated evidence to manage adults with headaches. [10] However, at present, there have been no reported cases of management of migraine headaches with a combination of these 2 management strategies. The purpose of this case report is to describe treatment of chronic TTHs (CTTHs) with superimposed migraine using acupuncture and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Multifaceted Integrated
Complementary-Alternative Therapy for
Chronic Herpes Zoster-related Pain

Alternative Medicine Review 2012 (Mar); 17 (1): 57–68 ~ FULL TEXT

Participants had a mean age of 69.8 years (SD=11.1) and had had herpes zoster-related pain for a median of 4.8 months (range: 1 month to 15 years). The immediate treatment and control groups had similar pain levels at baseline (treatment = 7.5; control = 7.8; p=0.5; scores based on the 10-point Likert pain scale). At three weeks post-randomization (i.e., after the immediate treatment group completed treatment) pain scores differed significantly (treatment = 2.3; control = 7.2; p<0.001). The observed reduction in pain in the immediate treatment group was maintained at nine weeks and at long-term follow-up (one to two years later).

Comparative Effectiveness of Exercise, Acupuncture, and
Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 (Oct 1); 36 (21 Suppl): S120–130 ~ FULL TEXT

Two studies were identified comparing the use of structured exercise with SMT that met our inclusion criteria. Although these studies utilized different approaches for the exercise and SMT treatment groups, patients in both groups improved in terms of pain and function in both studies. Using random-effects modeling, there was no difference between the exercise and SMT groups when the data from these studies were pooled. We identified no studies meeting our inclusion criteria that compared acupuncture with either structured exercise or SMT or that addressed the relative cost-effectiveness of these approaches in the treatment of patients with chronic LBP.

The Use of Glucosamine, Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens),
and Acupuncture as Complementary and Alternative Treatments
for Osteoarthritis

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Sep); 16 (3): 228–238 ~ FULL TEXT

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic in!ammatory conditions seen in the general population. Current pharmacological treatments focus on reduction of pain and increased mobility to improve overall quality of life. However, the relief afforded by current standard care is often insuficient and can be associated with significant side effects. Many patients, therefore, seek the option of non-standard therapies, such as nutritional and herbal supplements, acupuncture, and exercise regimens. Glucosamine, Harpagophytum procumbens, and acupuncture are among the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine approaches utilized by patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Their clinical relevance, safety, and potential mechanisms of action are discussed in this review.

Randomized Controlled Trial of Electro-acupuncture
for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Alternative Medicine Review 2010 (Jul); 15 (2): 136–46 ~ FULL TEXT

Children with ASD were randomly assigned to an electro-acupuncture (EA) group (n=30) or a sham electro-acupuncture (SEA) group (n=25) matched by age and severity of autism. The EA group received electro-acupuncture for selected acupoints while the SEA group received sham electro-acupuncture to sham acupoints. There were significant improvements in the language comprehension domain of WeeFIM (p=0.02), self-care caregiver assistant domain of PEDI (p=0.028), and CGI-I (p=0.003) in the EA group compared to the SEA group. A short, four-week (12 sessions) course of electro-acupuncture is useful to improve specific functions in children with ASD, especially for language comprehension and self-care ability.

Efficacy of Low-level Laser Therapy in the Management
of Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
of Randomised Placebo or Active-Treatment Controlled Trials

Lancet. 2009 (Dec 5); 374 (9705): 1897–1908 ~ FULL TEXT

Our results show moderate statistical evidence for efficacy of LLLT in treatment of acute and chronic neck pain in the short and medium term. For chronic pain, we recorded an average reduction in visual analogue scale of 19·86 mm across all studies, which is a clinically important change. [64, 65] Categorical data for global improvement also Significantly favoured LLLT. From our analysis, 820–830 nm doses are most effective in the range of 0·8–9·0 J per point, with irradiation times of 15–180 s. At 904 nm, doses are slightly smaller (0·8–4·2 J per point), with slightly longer irradiation times (100–600 s) than at 820–830 nm.

The Neuroimmune Basis of Anti-inflammatory Acupuncture
Integrative Cancer Therapies 2007 (Sep); 6 (3): 251–257 ~ FULL TEXT

This review article presents the evidence that the antiinflammatory actions of acupuncture are mediated via the reflexive central inhibition of the innate immune system. Both laboratory and clinical evidence have recently shown the existence of a negative feedback loop between the autonomic nervous system and the innate immunity. There is also experimental evidence that the electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve inhibits macrophage activation and the production of TNF, IL-1beta , IL-6, IL-18, and other proinflammatory cytokines. It is therefore conceivable that along with hypnosis, meditation, prayer, guided imagery, biofeedback, and the placebo effect, the systemic anti-inflammatory actions of traditional and electro-acupuncture are directly or indirectly mediated by the efferent vagus nerve activation and inflammatory macrophage deactivation. The use of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy to conventional medical treatment for a number of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases seems plausible and should be validated by confirming its cholinergicity.

Patients Seeking Care from Acupuncture Practitioners in the UK:
A National Survey

Complement Ther Med. 2006 (Mar); 14 (1): 20–30

Who seeks acupuncture treatment? According to this survey of 9408 acupuncture patients in the UK, 74% of patients were female. The most common main problem or symptom reported by patients was musculo-skeletal (38%), followed by psychological (11%), general (9%), neurological (8%) and gynaecological/obstetric (8%), while 3% of patients were seeking treatment for their general well-being.

Acupuncture for Upper-Extremity Rehabilitation in Chronic Stroke:
A Randomized Sham-Controlled Study

Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2005 (Dec); 86 (12): 2248–2255

Based on ITT analyses, we conclude that acupuncture does not improve UE function or QOL in patients with chronic stroke symptoms. However, gains in UE function observed in protocol-compliant subjects suggest traditional Chinese acupuncture may help patients with chronic stroke symptoms. These results must be interpreted cautiously because of small sample sizes and multiple, unadjusted, post hoc comparisons. A larger, more definitive RCT using a similar design is feasible and warranted.

Chronic Spinal Pain: Spinal Manipulation vs. Acupuncture vs. Meds
- A Brilliant Series of 3 Research Studies

   The Pilot Study   (1999)   

   Chronic Spinal Pain Syndromes: A Clinical Pilot Trial
Comparing Acupuncture, A Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory
Drug, and Spinal Manipulation

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 (Jul); 22 (6): 376-381 ~ FULL TEXT

Randomization was successful. After a median intervention period of 30 days, spinal manipulation was the only intervention that achieved statistically significant improvements (all expressed as percentages of the original scores) with (1) a reduction of 30.7% on the Oswestry scale, (2) an improvement of 25% on the neck disability index, and (3) reductions on the visual analogue scale of 50% for low back pain, 46% for upper back pain, and 33% for neck pain (all P<.001). Neither of the other interventions showed any significant improvement on any of the outcome measures.

   The Trial   (2003)   

   Chronic Spinal Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing
Medication, Acupuncture, and Spinal Manipulation

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2003 (Jul 15); 28 (14): 1490-1502

Randomization proved to be successful. The highest proportion of early (asymptomatic status) recovery was found for manipulation (27.3%), followed by acupuncture (9.4%) and medication (5%). Manipulation achieved the best overall results, with improvements of 50% (P = 0.01) on the Oswestry scale, 38% (P = 0.08) on the NDI, 47% (P < 0.001) on the SF-36, and 50% (P < 0.01) on the VAS for back pain, 38% (P < 0.001) for lumbar standing flexion, 20% (P < 0.001) for lumbar sitting flexion, 25% (P = 0.1) for cervical sitting flexion, and 18% (P = 0.02) for cervical sitting extension. However, on the VAS for neck pain, acupuncture showed a better result than manipulation (50% vs 42%).

   The Long-term Follow-up   (2005)   

   Long-Term Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial Assessing
the Efficacy of Medication, Acupuncture, and Spinal Manipulation
for Chronic Mechanical Spinal Pain Syndromes

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jan); 28 (1): 3-11 ~ FULL TEXT

The results of this “fastidious” approach were able to add some information regarding the efficacy of treatment regimens in patients with chronic spinal pain syndromes. Overall, patients who have chronic mechanical spinal pain syndromes and received spinal manipulation gained significant broad-based beneficial short-term and long-term outcomes. For patients receiving acupuncture, consistent improvements were also observed, although without reaching statistical significance (with a single exception). For patients receiving medication, the findings were less favorable. Larger studies are now clearly justified.

   End of the Trial Series   

New Reporting Method for Acupuncture Services
to Begin in January 2005

Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, there will be a new reporting method for acupuncture services. Effective on that date, CPT codes 97780 (acupuncture, one or more needles; without electrical stimulation) and 97781 (acupuncture, one or more needles; with electrical stimulation) will be deleted. Four new codes have been developed for reporting acupuncture services.

Acupuncture of Chronic Headache Disorders in Primary Care:
Randomised Controlled Trial and Economic Analysis

Health Technol Assess 2004 (Nov); 8 (48): 1–50

Patients in the acupuncture group experienced the equivalent of 22 fewer days of headache per year. SF–36 data favoured acupuncture, although differences reached significance only for physical role functioning, energy and change in health. Compared with controls, patients randomised to acupuncture used 13% less medication, made 23% fewer visits to GPs and took 13% fewer days off sick. The study suggests that acupuncture leads to persisting, clinically relevant benefits for primary care patients with chronic headache, particularly migraine.

Acupuncture Using Laser Needles Modulates Brain Function:
First Evidence From Functional Transcranial Doppler Sonography
and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Lasers Med Sci 2004 (Aug); 19 (1): 6–11

Acupuncture using laser needles is a new totally painless stimulation method which has been described for the first time. This paper presents an experimental double-blind study in acupuncture research in healthy volunteers using a new optical stimulation method. Significant changes ( p<0.05) of brain activity were demonstrated in the occipital and frontal gyrus by fMRI. Optical stimulation using properly adjusted laser needles has the advantage that the stimulation cannot be felt by the patient (painless and no tactile stimulation) and the operator may also be unaware of whether the stimulation system is active. Therefore true double-blind studies in acupuncture research can be performed.

Writing Case Reports
Author Guidelines for Acupuncture in Medicine

Acupuncture in Medicine 2004 (Mar); 22 (2): 83–86 ~ FULL TEXT

Case reports are particularly valuable in specialist clinical areas such as acupuncture to report new adverse events and to suggest possible new hypotheses. They can also be used to report events that have been reported previously but are rare or serious, in order to illustrate their frequency. They may illuminate the wider side of clinical practice by describing personal experiences of one practitioner. Constraints to writing case reports include finding time, working in isolation, and not having enough experience at the task. This article reproduces and develops a set of guidelines that were previously published, in an attempt to help authors to write thorough but succinct reports in a structured manner.

Relief of Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain by Manual Acupuncture
to Tender Points –– A Sham-controlled Randomized Trial

Complement Ther in Med 2002 (Dec); 10 (4): 217–222 ~ FULL TEXT

Acupuncture applied to tender points appears to have short-term effects on neck and shoulder pain and stiffness, but this study was unable to demonstrate any long-term superiority over sham acupuncture.

Characteristics of Visits to Licensed Acupuncturists, Chiropractors,
Massage Therapists, and Naturopathic Physicians

J Am Board Fam Pract 2002 (Nov–Dec); 15 (6): 463–480 ~ FULL TEXT

More than 80% of visits to CAM providers were by young and middle-aged adults, and roughly two thirds were by women. Children comprised 10% of visits to naturopathic physicians but only 1% to 4% of all visits to other CAM providers. At least two thirds of visits resulted from self-referrals, and only 4% to 12% of visits were from conventional physician referrals. Most visits to chiropractors and naturopathic physicians, but less than one third of visits to acupuncturists and massage therapists, were covered by insurance.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain Treated with Low-level Laser and
Microamperes Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation:
A Controlled Study

Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002 (Jul); 83 (7): 978–988

Significant decreases in MPQ score, median nerve sensory latency, and Phalen and Tinel signs after the real treatment series but not after the sham treatment series. Patients could perform their previous work (computer typist, handyman) and were stable for 1 to 3 years.

Acupuncture Treatment During Labour:
A Randomised Controlled Trial

BJOG 2002 (Jun); 109 (6): 637–644

Acupuncture treatment during labour significantly reduced the need of epidural analgesia. Parturients who received acupuncture assessed a significantly better degree of relaxation compared with the control group. No negative effects of acupuncture given during labour were found in relation to delivery outcome.

Acupuncture ~ A Complementary Treatment in General Practice
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2002 (Apr 10); 122 (9): 921–923

THIS REVIEW FOUND THAT: Acupuncture is the complementary treatment most commonly used by general (medical) practitioners. UNFORTUNATELY:   “78% (of them) attended acupuncture courses for less than four weeks' duration” and the student's major complaint was that “Lack of time was regarded as the major limitation to the use of acupuncture.”

An Audit of the Effectiveness of Acupuncture on
Musculoskeletal Pain in Primary Health Care

Acupuncture in Medicine 2002 (Mar); 20 (1): 22–25

We found an association between the general practitioner using fewer needles and patients experiencing greater pain relief. This could be a reflection of treating myofascial pain syndromes, which often appear to respond well to a single needle in the key trigger point. Overall, we found that sixty-nine percent of patients had a good or excellent response to acupuncture treatment.

Standards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials
of Acupuncture: The STRICTA Recommendations

Acupuncture in Medicine 2002 (Mar); 20 (1): 22–25

Acupuncture treatment and control group interventions in parallel-group randomised trials of acupuncture are not always precisely reported. In an attempt to improve standards, an international group of experienced acupuncturists and researchers devised a set of recommendations, designating them STRICTA: STandards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture. FULL TEXT available

Informed Consent for Acupuncture
An Information Leaflet Developed by Consensus

Acupuncture in Medicine 2001 (Dec); 19 (2): 123–130

Patients have the right to be fully informed about the likely benefits and risks of any proposed examination or treatment, and practitioners are obliged to obtain informed consent beforehand. Accurate information about the risks of acupuncture is available following publication of the results of two prospective surveys. An informed consent form is provided.

Clinical Trials of Acupuncture:
Consensus Recommendations For Optimal Treatment,
Sham Controls and Blinding

Complement Ther in Medicine 2001 (Dec); 9 (4): 237–245 ~ FULL TEXT

Evidence of effectiveness is increasingly used to determine which health technologies are incorporated into public health provision. Acupuncture is a popular therapy that has been shown to be superior to placebo in the treatment of nausea and dental pain, and promising for migraine and osteoarthritis of the knee. For many other conditions, such as chronic pain, in which acupuncture is often used, the evidence is either insufficient or negative. Misleading results may occur for a number of reasons. False negative results may arise from inadequate treatment schedules and inappropriate control interventions. This consensus document considers these issues with the aim of improving the design of efficacy trials of acupuncture in order that they are more likely to be conclusive and more meaningfully interpreted.

Texas Attorney General
Restricts Acupuncturists from “Manipulation”

Dynamic Chiropractic (July 2, 2001)

For the past several years, the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) has received complaints, some quite serious, of patients injured by acupuncturists allegedly performing spinal manipulations. The TBCE forwarded the complaints to the appropriate regulatory body, the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners (TSBAE), with the appeal for them to take action.

Acupuncture Superior to Drug Therapy for Migraines
Acupuncture Today – April 2001

In one of the largest studies of its kind to date, a team of investigators in Italy examined the effectiveness of acupuncture versus a variety of pharmacological therapies in treating migraines. Their results, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, revealed that patients given acupuncture experienced fewer migraine episodes, missed fewer days from work, and suffered no side effects compared to patients on conventional drug therapy. They also found acupuncture to be more cost–efficient, estimating a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in private and social health expenditures if it were used to treat headaches alone instead of drugs.

Acupuncture as Complementary Therapy for Back Pain
Holist Nurs Pract 2001 (Apr);   15 (3):   35–44

Research has demonstrated that acupuncture may benefit those who suffer from back pain when they have failed to respond to previous treatment by drugs, bed rest, epidural injection, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractics, and surgery. Acupuncture is a powerful and complementary therapy for back pain.

Acupuncture Wins British Medical Association Approval
British Medical Journal (Jul 1) 2000;   321:   11 doi:   10.1136/bmj.321.7252.11/b

Acupuncture should become more widely available on the NHS and family doctors should be trained in some of its techniques, a BMA inquiry has concluded. The therapy has proved effective in treating back and dental pain, nausea and vomiting, and migraine, the BMA's Board of Science and Education has found after a two year study.

Acupuncture: Efficacy, Safety and Practice
BMA London Office – June 25, 2000

Up to five million people may have consulted a therapist specialising in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the last year with an incalculable extra number consulting a doctor or other health professional practising CAM. A new report from the British Medical Association, published today (6–25–2000), looks at the usefulness, safety and availability of acupuncture – one of the most widely requested treatments.

National Institutes of Health:
Report from the Acupuncture
Consensus Development Conference

JAMA 1998 (Nov 4); 280 (17): 1518–1524

Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is widely practiced in the United States. Although there have been many studies of its potential usefulness, many of these studies provide equivocal results because of design, sample size, and other factors. The issue is further complicated by inherent difficulties in the use of appropriate controls, such as placebos and sham acupuncture groups. However, promising results have emerged, for example, showing efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations, such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program. Further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture interventions will be useful.

Acupuncture and Stroke Recovery
Johansson et al (1993) investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture as a supplement to physical therapy in recovery from stroke. Pang (1994) investigated two particular scalp acupuncture techniques in order to compare their effectiveness in treating apoplexy following stroke.

Acupuncture and Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Two recent studies compare acupuncture with “sham” and demonstrate significant improvements in asthma symptons.

Acupuncture and Raynaud's Disease
A recent study indicates that acupuncture surpasses drug treatment for Raynaud's disease, a vascular disorder that causes the small arteries of the hands and, less commonly, the feet to spasm during exposure to cold or stress. The appendages go white and sometimes hurt due to insufficient blood flow.

Acupuncture and Crack–Cocaine Addiction
Lipton et al (1994) investigated ear acupuncture in treatment of cocaine dependency over a one–month period. 150 patients were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a placebo–control group. Konefal, Duncan and Clemence (1994) found a 57% reduction in the time it took to achieve a negative urine test with acupuncture.

Beyond Endorphins in Acupuncture Analgesia:
The Science Behind the Art

In the last 20 years much has been written about acupuncture and its efficiency in relieving pain. The ancient Chinese clinicians practised acupuncture based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles using well established guidelines. Their reasoning were based on empirical responses rather than scientific principles. This discussion hopes to bring to highlight some recent research findings.

Which Diseases Can Be Helped by Acupuncture?
HealthWorld has excerpted sections from Lewith's “Acupuncture: It's Place in Western Medical Science

Dr. John Amaro's Dynamic Chiropractic Articles
A Chiro.Org article collection

This page contains 110 articles, organized by topic.

Primary Acupuncture Information Sources

Commonly Used Meridian Points
Chapter 3 of:   Applied Physiotherapy in Chiropractic

By Richard C. Schafer, D.C., FICC and the ACAPress
The following is Chapter 3 from Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC’s best-selling book: “Applied Physiotherapy in Chiropractic”. Of major interest is the section titled:   “Major Points: Locations, Primary Indications, and Precautions”, because it contains sketches and indications for the use of all the major acupoints.

Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Acupuncture   (PDF)
World Health Organization;   1999;   35 pages (Adobe Acrobat)

The increasing popularity in recent years of acupuncture as a form of therapy and the interest of some countries in introducing it into primary health care mean that national health authorities must ensure safety and competence in its use.

Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports
on Controlled Clinical Trials
World Health Organization;   2003;   87 pages (Adobe Acrobat 2.18 MB)

In recognition of the increasing worldwide interest in acupuncture, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a symposium on acupuncture in June 1979 in Beijing, China. Physicians practising acupuncture in different countries were invited to identify the conditions that might benefit from this therapy. The participants drew up a list of 43 suitable diseases. However, this list of indications was not based on formal clinical trials conducted in a rigorous scientific manner, and its credibility has been questioned. The past two decades have seen extensive studies on acupuncture, and great efforts have been made to conduct controlled clinical trials that include the use of “sham” acupuncture or “placebo” acupuncture controls. Although still limited in number because of the difficulties of carrying out such trials, convincing reports, based on sound research methodology, have been published. In 1996, a draft report on the clinical practice of acupuncture was reviewed at the WHO Consultation on Acupuncture held in Cervia, Italy. The participants recommended that WHO should revise the report, focusing on data from controlled clinical trials. This publication is the outcome of that process.

Acupuncture Information and Resources
This collection was developed by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) @ the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The Consensus Development Statement on the Use of Acupuncture
NIH Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy drugs, surgical anesthesia, and pregnancy; and for pain resulting from surgery and a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, an expert panel concluded. The panel of non–Federal, non–advocate experts was convened in November 1997 for the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture, cosponsored by the OAM and the Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR). (NIH)

Position Statement on “Traditional Medicine”
The World Health Organization (WHO) says: “Traditional Medicine” refers to ways of protecting and restoring health that existed before the arrival of modern medicine. As the term implies, these approaches to health belong to the traditions of each country, and have been handed down from generation to generation. Traditional systems in general have had to meet the needs of the local communities for many centuries. China and India, for example, have developed very sophisticated systems such as acupuncture and ayurvedic medicine. In practice, the term “Traditional Medicine” refers to the following components: acupuncture, traditional birth attendants, mental healers and herbal medicine.”

AMAC Position Paper on Laser Acupuncture
Japan and several Scandinavian countries are at the forefront of clinical research work with laser. Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is also used in Australia, Canada, France, Korea, People's Republic of China, U.K. and many other countries. A tissue repair research unit, examining the effects of laser, now exists at Guy's Hospital, London. Many centres of research are now developing around the world.

Current Bibliographies in Medicine: Acupuncture
National Library of Medicine
This database contains 2302 citations from January 1970 through October 1997.

What is Electro Meridian Imaging (EMI)?
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) analysis for the the meridian system is based on pulse diagnosis. This involves taking pulse readings, twice on each wrist; the first three lightly, and the next three deeply (for a total of 12 readings). All this changed in the early 1950s, with the development of Ryodoraku by Dr. Yoshio Nakatani of Japan. Nakatani developed his procedure of electronic evaluation by measuring skin conductance at the yuan (source) points of the wrist and ankle. He created one of the most significant acupuncture diagnostic methods yet created in either contemporary or traditional acupuncture.

       Acupuncture Resources

   Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)

   Acubriefs (database of references on acupuncture)

   American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA)

   American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)

   National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

   Traditional Chinese Medicines Integrated Database (TCMID)

       Acupuncture Journals

   Acupuncture in Medicine: J British Medical Acupuncture Society

   American Journal of Chinese Medicine

   BMJ Acupuncture in Medicine

   Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies

   Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science

   Journal of Chinese Medicine

   Medical Acupuncture


Charts and Tables

Acupuncture Charts
We are very grateful to Dr. John Urbanski for the use of these charts!



Since 11–15–1998

Updated 1-22-2024

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