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Does Acupuncture Really Work?

Updated: Apr 18


Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that originated in China over 2000 years ago. In recent years, it has been gaining popularity as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy in the Western world. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body, known as acupuncture points, to stimulate the body's natural healing process. The efficacy of acupuncture has been debated among scholars and practitioners for many years. This blog post will examine the evidence surrounding the effectiveness of acupuncture based on scholarly research.



Many studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating a range of medical conditions. A meta-analysis published in the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012 was one of the most significant studies. The researchers analyzed data from 29 randomized controlled trials involving over 17,900 participants and concluded that acupuncture effectively treated chronic pain. The study found that acupuncture was more effective than placebo needles or no intervention. The results showed that acupuncture effectively reduced pain intensity and was well-tolerated by patients.



Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2018 examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating anxiety. The study involved 116 participants with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who were randomly assigned to either an acupuncture or a control group. The results revealed that the acupuncture group had significantly lower scores on anxiety measures than the control group. This study indicates that acupuncture can be an effective treatment option for anxiety disorders.



While there is growing evidence to support the efficacy of acupuncture in treating a range of conditions, some scholars remain skeptical. One criticism of acupuncture is that it is challenging to design a placebo-controlled trial to account for the placebo effect. In some cases, the act of inserting needles into the skin may trigger a response that is unrelated to the specific effects of acupuncture. Moreover, there are different types of acupuncture techniques, including traditional Chinese acupuncture, Japanese acupuncture, and Korean acupuncture, among others, which may have different efficacy rates.



The evidence suggests that acupuncture can be an effective treatment option for a range of medical conditions, particularly in the management of chronic pain and anxiety disorders. Although there may be some limitations to the application of acupuncture, such as the difficulty of designing a placebo-controlled trial, the benefits of acupuncture appear to outweigh the risks. Scholarly research and medical journals support acupuncture as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medicine. Feel free to book a complimentary 15-minute consultation at Acute Acupuncture Wellington to discuss treatment options. Thank you for taking the time to read this Blog Post. Don't forget to like, subscribe, and share this post. If you have any more questions or concerns, check out our Acute-Acupuncture Wellington Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), as we find these help answer most people's questions.


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