Recent Studies on the Benefits of Acupuncture

by John & Barbara Connor, M.Ac., L.Ac.

John & I would like to share with you today the results of some recent studies showing the benefits of  acupuncture treatment for different conditions. Chinese Medicine has been around for at least 3000 years since the Shang Dynasty when the hieroglyphs of acupuncture and moxibustion appeared. Golden and silver needles were excavated from the Han Dynasty in 113 BC. Health in Eastern medical philosophies is regarded as a state of balance between the different energies, where all the systems of the body, including mind and spirit, function in harmony with each other. Today we witness society’s view of health gradually changing and expanding due to a blending of Eastern and Western medical philosophy. Thus the overall perspective of health as we see it today is slowly being transformed into a more holistic vision. We hope you find this compilation helpful in understanding and appreciating the value of acupuncture treatments as part of your quest for optimal health.

Allergic rhinitis

Because acupuncture may modulate the immune system, it has been proposed as a useful treatment for patients with allergic rhinitis (AR). Here, we assessed the evidence for the clinical efficacy of acupuncture for the management of AR patients by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published literature. Our meta-analysis suggests that acupuncture could be a safe and valid treatment option for AR patients. (Feng et al 2015)

Alzheimer’s disease

Acupuncture may be more effective than drugs and may enhance the effect of drugs for treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in terms of improving cognitive function. Acupuncture may also be more effective than drugs at improving AD patients’ ability to carry out their daily lives. Moreover, acupuncture is safe for treating people with AD. (Zhou et al 2015)

Aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia

Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are commonly used as adjunctive hormone treatment for early breast cancer patients. The major side effect of AIs is arthralgia, which affects adherence. Previous reviews suggested that acupuncture is effective in the management of cancer-related pain. The aim of this review is to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on arthralgia caused by AIs. This systematic review suggests that acupuncture has potential benefits to improve arthralgia caused by AIs. However, further trials of adequate sample size, appropriate control group, and longer follow-up are necessary to investigate the efficacy of acupuncture in AI-induced arthralgia. (Bae et al 2015)

Lymphedema in patients with breast cancer

The Saam acupuncture method appeared to provide reduction of lymphedema among women after they had undergone surgery for breast cancer. A randomized, controlled prospective study with a larger sample size is required to clarify the role of acupuncture for managing lymphedema in patients with breast cancer. (Jeong et al 2015)


In a randomized, patient/assessor blinded, controlled trial with one-year follow-up it was found that manual acupuncture was an effective and safe treatment for short-term relief of frequent migraine in adults. Larger trials are warranted. (Wang et al 2015)

Nausea, vomiting and fatigue caused by chemotherapy

The results of clinical trials in acupuncture have provided important clues in oncologic practice. The evidence suggests that acupuncture is a safe and effective therapy for managing cancer and treatment-related symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting and fatigue caused by chemotherapy. As more evidence emerges, the potential advantages of acupuncture in tumor treatment will eventually be clear. (Wang et al 2015)

Parkinson’s disease

After 36 weeks of long-term acupuncture treatment, the mean Unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale (UPDRS) total scores and sub-score of mentation, behavior and mood, sub-score of complications of therapy and BDI-II score decreased significantly when compared to the pretreatment baseline. In conclusion, acupuncture treatment had integrated effects in reducing symptoms and signs of mind, behavior, mood, complications of therapy and depression in PD patients who received Western medicine. (Chen et al 2015)

Post-stroke shoulder-hand syndrome

Warm acupuncture combined with routine acupuncture and rehabilitation training is effective in improving shoulder pain, hand edema and limb motor function in stroke patients with shoulder-hand syndrome at phase I. (Meng & Wen 2014)

Primary hypertension

In this randomized controlled trial it was found that acupuncture combined with auricular point sticking for primary hypertension has a reliable effect. It is better than captopril for the improvement of 24 hr ambulatory blood pressure, angiotensin II level and creatinine level, and can improve dizziness, palpitations and other clinical symptoms. (Yang & Liu 2015)

Smoking cessation

Twenty-eight smokers were recruited to attend two 1 hour acupuncture sessions weekly for 12 weeks.Sixteen of the 28 patients enrolled (57%) completed 12 weeks of treatment. Of the 17 patients who completed the end-of-study questionnaire, 94% (16/17) rated the program as helpful, and 82% noted they would recommend it to friends for smoking cessation. Three of the 28 who initially enrolled in the study were confirmed abstinent at 12 weeks (10.7%); one of the 28 (3.6%) was abstinent at 26 weeks. A larger study with a slightly less rigorous and more acceptable treatment protocol is feasible and should be considered. (McFadden et al 2015)  


Compassionate Acupuncture and Healing Arts, providing craniosacral acupuncture, herbal and nutritional medicine in Durham, North Carolina. Phone number 919-309-7753.


This entry was posted in acupuncture, acute conditions, addictions, allergies, arthritis, cancer, cancer care, cardiovascular disease, chronic conditions, cognitive decline, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, Mental disorders, migraine, migraine headaches, moxibustion, pain, side effects of chemos, stroke, Traditional Chinese Medicine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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