Research in acupuncture

Acupuncture studies have also shown positive results in the treatment of chronic pain relief and drug addiction, two areas where conventional western medical treatment has achieved limited results.

Challenges in the coordination of research

One of the biggest challenges in acupuncture research is to manage a reliable control group. When testing new medicaments, a double-blind test is accepted as a standard procedure, however, acupuncture being a practical remedy and not a pill it is difficult to arrange studies in such a way that both patient and therapist are blinded. The same problem surfaces in double-blind testing of biomedicine, under which virtually all operative procedures, dentistry, physiotherapy, etc. are included. 

The challenge lies in blinding the therapist. A solution for blinding the patient has been the development of “sham acupuncture”, meaning the needling of points that are not acupuncture points. The conflict about “sham acupuncture” is whether it in fact can be regarded as a placebo, particularly in studies regarding pain management since all needling in a painful area can provide the patient with pain relief. 

Links to websites on studies that have been conducted

Methodological and Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture.

Lessons from a Trial of Acupuncture and Massage for Low Back Pain.

In vitro fertilization. And a second site HERE.

Osteoarthritis of the knee joint.

Back pain.

National Institutes of Health.;jsessionid=Lhrb08JwnGGmfX73pmThzCbpJLJcfk12xKx96xXtGnJZZQl75p1j!-2001756042!181195629!8091!-1