One of the great pleasures in my professional life is exploring and reading the latest research articles available on acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2017, a systematic review of the latest research into acupuncture was updated by Dr. John McDonald and Stephen Janz as part of the Acupuncture Evidence Project – A Comparative Literature Review(1). This review was written about by Mel Hopper Koppelman, DAC, MSC, MSC in his article, “Acupuncture: An Overview of Scientific Evidence” on the page, Evidence-Based Acupuncture(2).
This article highlights the fact that research on acupuncture is being produced at a rate twice that of that other conventional biomedical modalities in the past twenty years. There have been more than 13000 studies performed during this time period involving some 60 countries. That is an amazing number and hundreds of these studies are made up of meta-analyses which summarise many of the studies performed on humans and animals.
The outcomes of all these studies highlight the fact that acupuncture and its effectiveness is more than the placebo effect and that it is not only useful for just musculoskeletal pain. The Acupuncture Evidence Project found some evidence of effect for 117 conditions. Some of these conditions had stronger evidence than other conditions and, that under the care of highly trained practitioners, is considered safe and cost-effective. Just a few conditions mentioned to have positive effects from the reviews of systemic reviews of acupuncture include allergic rhinitis, knee osteoarthritis, migraine prevention, headache (tension-type and chronic), post-operative pain and post-operative nausea and vomiting. There is also evidence for potentially positive effects for conditions such as acute low back pain, acute stroke, anxiety, perimenopausal and postmenopausal insomnia, plantar heel pain, constipation, and sciatica to name just a handful.
In my clinical experience acupuncture has assisted many people with varied health conditions and the mounting evidence supports this experience. Over the next few months, I will be releasing individual articles discussing evidence for individual conditions that acupuncture commonly treats.
- The Acupuncture Evidence Project – A Comparative Literature Review 2017 – Acupuncture.org.au. 2017;:1–81.http://www.acupuncture.org.au/OURSERVICES/Publications/AcupunctureEvidenceProject.aspx