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Current research on acupuncture

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 nasal itch, eye itch and sneezing those with allergies suffer from.1

A 2017 study recently published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated acupuncture’s effectiveness at treating asthma. Acupuncture was used in conjunction with normal asthmatic treatments in order to see if there was increased relief effects. There was an increased quality of life shown in patients who received both forms of treatment at the same time.2

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 an effective force in managing hot flashes the women received as a result of the cancer.3

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, and 42 out of 52 participants who had pain related to cancer rated the acupuncture study as “very useful.”4

The effects of laser acupuncture were tested in a study published by the Journal of Affective Disorders. The study aimed to see if laser acupuncture had positive effects on those experiencing depression. The results from the study turned out to be very promising. Twelve laser acupuncture sessions were conducted in total, and the results indicated that the participants showed reduced symptoms of depression after getting laser acupuncture.5

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. In order to get the results, real acupuncture treatment was compared with placebo sham acupuncture. The study even went on to strongly recommend those with fibromyalgia seek acupuncture treatment in order to help manage their pain.6

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.7

A 2016 research study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that fertility awareness was increased in women who received a multiphasic fertility protocol for acupuncture. In addition, the study found women who received this acupuncture protocol also had an overall improved well-being.8


The BMJ in 2013 reported acupuncture and moxibustion 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 and moxibustion treatment.9

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 from Henan University of TCM, Zhengzhou.10

According to a study published by the BMJ, acupuncture has been found to produce significant results for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Participants in the study were subjected to different intervals of acupuncture treatment. Overall, patients were selected to receive random amounts of acupuncture up to as much as 10 weekly sessions.11

In China, a February 2013 study conducted by the Clinical Journal of Pain concluded that low back pain, the most common musculoskeletal problem, can be relieved by acupuncture with little to no adverse side effects. 12

In a systematic review published by Spine Journal, acupuncture has been shown to have significantly favorable effects on chronic low back pain. In the systematic review, 32 different studies were compared, and 25 of those studies provided relevant data to come to this conclusion. Actual acupuncture treatments were compared with sham acupuncture treatments throughout the study in order to obtain the results.13

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that traditional Chinese acupuncture as well as Yamamoto new scalp acupuncture significantly decreased patients’ migraine frequency and severity. The study involved 80 patients who suffer from migraine headaches and concluded that participants had improvement in their ability to do daily activities after treatment.14

A 2016 study published by The Cochrane Review concluded acupuncture treatments can not only relieve the pain associated with headaches, but it can help to control or prevent migraines before they happen. Out of the 22 trials conducted, considerable evidence was shown that in addition to prophylactic drugs, acupuncture should be strongly considered for migraine treatment and prevention.15

A recent review of 1,763 participants found that acupuncture treatment significantly reduced pain in patients compared to patients who did not receive the treatment. Patients with osteoarthritis who received acupuncture reported gains in mobility and a better quality of life. The trials found that longer treatment periods resulted in higher reductions in pain.16

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.17




Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. McDonald, John Leslie et al. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , Volume 116 , Issue 6 , 497 – 505.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

“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.

Source: Copyright © 2014 World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion House. Published by Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

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.

“Acupuncture for Acute Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review,” The Clinical Journal of Pain, published February, 2013.

“Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Spine Journal,, 2013; Vol 38 (24).

Rezvani M, Yaraghi A, Mohseni M, Fathimoghadam F. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 May; 20(5):371-4. Epub 2013 Dec 28.

“Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine,” The Cochrane Review, published June 28, 2016.

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.

Cochrane S, Smith CA, Possamai-Inesedy A, Bensoussan A. Int J Womens Health. March 2014; 6: 313–325.

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