Here is a compilation of various articles and pieces of research on a variety of conditions treated with acupuncture. It must first be mentioned that the scientific research employs a very particular and precise language that is not always easy to understand. A few of the articles below are from the Cochrane research group. This group is effectively the pinnacle of scientific research. They accumulate all the research in one area, cross analyse it and the come to conclusions. They only include high quality studies and are completely unbiased. Therefore they are very tentative at drawing conclusions, but when they do they really mean something to the scientific community.
Some care must also be take when interpreting the results of the research. For one, the outcome of treatment depends on the quality of the practitioner and the surroundings. As Traditional Acupuncturists, we are trained in the full philosophy of where acupuncture has developed from, and have been trained to treat the whole person not just a condition and consider symptoms as one part of a big picture. Medical acupuncturists often carrying out these trials and are not taught the full spectrum of the theory behind acupuncture, and therefore would choose and treat acupuncture points differently.
It is also important to note the more one can relax in a treatment session, there is generally a better outcome. Most of these studies were done in controlled environments, which is excellent for measuring results but not so great for the patients ability to relax. Another issue is how to have an effective placebo group. Some studies prick points rather than inserting, others insert needles in different locations. Each of these have different issues and could affect the results. Therefore, we share these links to give an idea of the current research and results for different diseases.
Scientific research papers
- British Acupuncture Councils research fact sheets – from acne to vertigo
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for back pain
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for breech presentation
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for dysphagia and poor nutrition follow a stroke
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for fibromyalgia
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for labour pain
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for migraine
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for neck pain
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for osteoarthritis
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for pelvic and back pain in pregnancy
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for period pain
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for post-operative nausea and vomiting
- Cochrane group on acupuncture for tension headaches
- World Health Organisation on acupuncture
- York University – acupuncture for depression
- Cancer Research UK on acupuncture
- The Independant – ‘Best way to treat back pain is with acupuncture’
- NHS on acupuncture