Scientifically Proving Acupuncture Effectiveness

To date, most of the scientific research into the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine has focused on Acupuncture. At the current time, there is still no scientific consensus as to whether Acupuncture is really effective or whether it only has value as a placebo.

Evidence-based reviews of prior clinical trials, such as those reviews conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration and Bandolier, suggest that Acupuncture is effective for treating:

    • Headache,

    • Lower back pain,

    • Nausea, pain, and vomiting that may occur following surgery, dental work, or a course of chemotherapy.

However, for most conditions there is either a lack of proven effectiveness or a lack of properly conducted clinical trials.

The official positions of the American Medical Association (AMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO) are that Acupuncture is relatively safe and that it might be useful as an additional or alternative treatment for a range of conditions, such as:

    • Addiction,
    • Asthma,
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
    • Fibromyalgia,
    • Lower Back Pain,
    • Menstrual Cramps,
    • Myofascial Pain,
    • Osteoarthritis,
    • Stroke Rehabilitation,
    • Tennis Elbow,

However, all of these health organizations (AMA, NIH, and WHO) agree that further research and investigation into Acupuncture is required.

Efforts to prove or disprove the effectiveness of Acupuncture are hamstrung by the difficulty of creating effective placebos for Acupuncture studies.