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Research Archive

Welcome to our Chinese medicine and acupuncture research news pages. We add to the content of these pages continuously as more research news comes in. Browse through the complete archive below or use the category links on the right.

Please note that the most twenty recent research archive items are free to view but access to the thousands of items in the archive require a journal subscription.

A review of the role of nitric oxide signalling at acupuncture points outlines its important contributions to the specificity of the points themselves and the techniques used to stimulate them ...

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A review by Taiwanese authors provides evidence that five different mechanisms are involved in the beneficial effects of acupuncture on ischaemic stroke rehabilitation ...

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Needling the acupoint Tongli HE-5 on the right forearm results in activation of bilateral language-related areas in the brain, according to Chinese investigators 

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Chinese researchers have shown that electro-acupuncture and moxibustion treatment result in similar improvements in clinical outcomes, but different changes in brain connectivity in Crohn's disease patients ...

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Needle retention time does not affect the perceived benefits of acupuncture for oncology patients, according to research carried out in Australia ...

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Acupuncture could play a significant role in combating the opioid epidemic that is raging in the USA ...

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An update of the landmark 2012 study by the international Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration reinforces the evidence that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain and that its benefits cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects ...

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The analgesic effects of auricular acupuncture may be explained by stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagal nerve ...

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Electro-acupuncture (EA) applied to the trigeminal nerve area can reduce heart rate (HR), and increase parasympathetic nervous activity and cerebral blood flow ...

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Dysmenorrhoea patients that experience a ‘deqi’ needling sensation demonstrate larger reductions in pain relative to those who do not, according to a Chinese study ...

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The Acupuncture Now Foundation (a non-profit organisation dedicated to educating the public, healthcare providers and health policymakers about acupuncture) has submitted an extensive document to the Food and Drug Administration  ...

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A large cohort study from Taiwan appears to confirm the association between the lungs and large intestine suggested by Chinese medical theory ...

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Compared with tactile stimulation, acupuncture stimulation produces stronger de qi sensations and results in more widespread spatial patterns of sensation, including areas remote from the stimulus site ...

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Stimulation of acupuncture points, both local to and distant from the trapezius muscle, can result in an increase in muscle strength ipsilateral and contralateral to the side of stimulation ...

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The type of control used is likely to affect the study conclusion in acupuncture trials, Chinese authors report ...

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Intraoperative electro-acupuncture on anaesthetised patients can reduce postoperative use of analgesics and improve immune and stress responses to surgery ...

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Chinese scientists have found evidence that combinations of acupuncture points have a synergistic effect by analysing how different brain regions are activated after acupuncture ...

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Acupuncture treatment can reduce hospital visits and decrease total hospital charges among vulnerable patient populations ...

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Electrical stimulation at Hegu L.I.-4, located on the dorsum of the hand, results in activation of parts of the brain that overlap extensively with those activated by Jiache ST-6, located on the face ...

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Researchers from Korea have found that there is a correlation between the acupuncture practitioner's perception of deqi and the recipient’s experience of it ...

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Acupuncture can accelerate the relief of post-exercise fatigue by regulating energy metabolism and attenuating the effects of oxidative stress on body tissues ...

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A systematic review of acupuncture studies that use placebo needling devices suggests that they are inadequate as controls for randomised controlled trials of acupuncture

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Repeated verum acupuncture (but not sham acupuncture) may help reduce chronic pain symptoms by normalising dysregulated connectivity between key brain regions involved in pain perception ...

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The authors of a Brazilian study have concluded that for temporomandibular disorders (TMD) involving joint components, local acupuncture is the most effective, while for TMD of muscular origin, distal needling are most effective

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Simultaneous use of local acupoints together with points on the Governing vessel can promote functional repair after peripheral nerve injury, report Chinese investigators ...

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A study of acupuncture for neck pain carried out in Italy suggests that the number of needles used may be unimportant in achieving a therapeutic effect ...

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A high level of expectation after acupuncture treatment rather than at baseline is associated with better long-term outcome improvements in patients with migraine ...

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Accumulating evidence demonstrates that acupuncture has an antioxidant effect, and can prevent oxidative stress which causes pathophysiological changes involved in various disease processes ...

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An international team has found that modification of body ownership results in changes in both local blood flow and brain responses during acupuncture needle stimulation ...

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Using four needles may be superior to two needles in generating rapid pain relief with acupuncture, according to British investigators ...

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The acupuncture point combination known as the ‘Four Gates’ (Siguan - a combination of bilateral Hegu L.I.-4 and Taichong LIV-3) can elicit specific activities in the brain, conclude Chinese scientists ...

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Instructions given to a patient can significantly affect therapeutic outcomes and the relationship between acupuncture intensity and clinical response, according to research from Korea ...

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The context in which a needle is inserted into the body makes a difference to how it affects the brain ...

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Chinese scientists have shown that acupuncture at Shenmen HE-7 can affect cardiac autonomic neural regulation in healthy subjects ...

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Headache is the prestigious peer-reviewed journal of the American Headache Society. When they publish an article on headache and acupuncture, we would expect an informed, well-referenced piece. Read what Mel Hopper Koppelman has to say below and join us in wondering how Headache can demean itself by putting out such a load of lazy, biased rubbish.

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A response to a study debunking acupuncture for back pain ... 

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Ear acupuncture and acupressure can effectively manage pain, according to a meta-analysis ...

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Korean scientists have examined acupuncture practitioners' motion patterns during needle manipulation to evaluate their consistency ...

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Japanese investigators have found that applying moxibustion at Shenshu BL-23 (back shu point of the Kidney) leads to a reduction in renal vascular resistance ...

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An experimental study from China suggests that moxibustion generates a protective response against bacterial infection by activating macrophage autophagy ...

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A US/Korean team has developed and tested a novel form of placebo acupuncture, dubbed ‘phantom acupuncture’, which reproduces the acupuncture needling ritual without any tactile stimulation ...

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Chinese scientists report that acupuncture at Taichong LIV-3 can specifically affect areas of the brain related to vision, movement, emotion and pain ...

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Data from research carried out in Italy suggests that needling the acupuncture points Neiguan P-6 and LIV-3 Taichong has markedly different effects on cerebral blood flow (CBF) ...

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Investigators from Brazil have used two-dimensional ultrasonography (2DUS) and ultrasound elastography (UE) to objectively confirm the subjective analgesic effects of acupuncture on pain from myofascial trigger points (MTrP) ...

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Chinese scientists have shown that needling active acupoints in migraine patients reduces pain and affects key disease-affected brain regions involving pain.

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Caffeine can inhibit the analgesic effect of acupuncture, according to animal studies carried out in Brazil. Mice subjected to plantar incision surgery were treated with both manual acupuncture and electro-acupu

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A paper by a UK author suggests that ancient Chinese texts relating to the Chong Mai (Penetrating Vessel or Sea of Blood), are likely to have been a description of the vascular system, derived via cadaver dissection.

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German researchers have used fMRI scanning to compare needling at a verum acupuncture point to the needling of a sham point...

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Adding acupuncture to usual care for patients in an emergency department (ED) is feasible and provides effective pain and nausea relief.

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A secondary analysis of data from the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration has shown that acupuncture is significantly superior to control, irrespective of the type of control used.

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American authors who have spent the last two decades investigating the neural mechanisms underlying the ability of acupuncture to regulate blood pressure have summarised their work in a review paper.

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Swedish authors have reviewed the results of randomised studies on the use of acupuncture for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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An American group has found that the brain’s response to electro-acupuncture (EA) correlates with symptom reduction following EA for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

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A review of German acupuncture trials has concluded that the sham acupuncture controls used are not standardised and may not be suitable for clinical research.

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According to American researchers, weekly acupuncture is associated with improvements in pain and quality of life when used as an adjunct to usual treatment for chronic pain in urban health centres.

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A Danish study has attempted to discern the contribution of specific and non-specific factors to acupuncture analgesia in patients undergoing dental surgery.

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The placebo effects of different therapies are not identical, and patients who respond to one type of placebo may not respond to others, according to research from the USA. In a crossover study, researchers tested the analgesic effects of four

...

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Acupuncturists outperform non-acupuncturists (NA) in tests of behavioural skills associated with their profession and this is reflected in structural differences in their brains.

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Needling non-acupoints that lie on an acupuncture channel has a stronger effect on blood perfusion (BP) in the surrounding tissue than needling non-acupoints that do not line on a channel.

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Needle rotation and sensation play an important role in the effects of acupuncture, Korean investigators report.

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Japanese researchers have found evidence that acupuncture points have specific actions on the autonomic functions of particular internal organs.

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A British neuroscientist has proposed that a novel extracellular signalling system, based on adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP), is the mechanism underlying the effects of acupuncture.

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Facial cosmetic acupuncture (FCA) results in improvement of objective measures of facial elasticity, a Korean pilot study suggests.

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Patient-centred interviewing techniques don’t just put patients more at ease, they can change the brain’s stress response and increase pain tolerance, according to an American research team.

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A study by a team of US researchers has shown that an enhanced response to sham acupuncture (SA) may be present in fibromyalgia patients who are more sensitive to experimental-pressure stimuli.

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A small case control study carried out in Canada has found evidence that electrodermal activity at acupuncture points (APs) differs between patients with current pain and pain-free controls.

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A review by two authors from the USA discusses the ‘fascia acupuncture hypothesis’, which suggests that fascial planes are the basis of the acupuncture channels. The article considers the concept of qi in light of recent studies

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Authors from the USA have carried out a systematic review showing that the protocols for blinding in acupuncture studies are generally effective, and that patients cannot determine if they have received verum acupuncture or a different procedure.

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Acupuncture that elicits the sensation of deqi can improve facial muscle recovery, disability and quality of life for patients with Bell’s palsy. In a randomised controlled trial, Chinese researchers compared the efficacy of weak versus stro

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Relief of pain is rewarding, according to a researchers from the USA. They demonstrated that treatments that relieve the unpleasant feeling of pain also activate reward circuits in the brain and thus reinforce behaviors that result in relief of pain.

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Another Chinese study has found that acupuncture needle sensations of deqi and sharp pain are associated with different patterns of activations and deactivations in the brain.

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Taiwanese authors have compared the advantages and limitations associated with different control group designs in acupuncture RCTs.

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Investigators from South Korea have found that the effect of acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system differs between the wood and metal points of the Pericardium and San Jiao channels.

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An experimental study carried out in Korea has found that the skin at acupuncture points contains higher levels of the signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) than surrounding areas.

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An fMRI study from China has found changes in brain activity following electro-acupuncture (EA) at acupoints Yintang N-NH-3 and Baihui DU-20, both of which are used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

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American scientists have investigated the brain circuitry involved in the antipruritic effects of acupuncture.

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Experimental studies carried out in humans have shown that acupuncture triggers local increases in interstitial adenosine concentrations.

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Acupuncture is now supported by a broad range of surveys of safety, clinical trials and basic science studies of physiological action.

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Acupuncture is a cost-effective treatment modality, according to Korean authors who performed a systematic review of economic evaluations carried out alongside randomised controlled trials.

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An Australian systematic review has found preliminary support for the use of acupuncture as a means to enhance exercise performance and post-exercise recovery.

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Up until now, the placebo effect has seemed to make no sense…if people are able to heal themselves unaided, why does the body wait for a sugar pill to prompt recovery?

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A review by an Italian author has examined the placebo effect in terms of the ‘therapeutic ritual’ created around the patient and how this plays a crucial role in the therapeutic outcome.

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A review paper from authors based in Hong Kong gives an overview of research into the mechanisms of acupuncture and proposes a new theory of the channels and the flow of qi and blood, based on the latest findings in medical imaging, cell biology and physiology.

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A review paper by Chinese authors has focused on the neurophysiological basis of the effects of Neiguan P-6 stimulation on cardiovascular mechanisms.

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Japanese investigators have used colour doppler ultrasound imaging (CDI) to non-invasively evaluate haemodynamic changes caused by acupuncture.

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Blood perfusion at the acupoint Hegu L.I.-4 increases when the contralateral Hegu L.I.-4 is stimulated by acupuncture, according to Chinese team.

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An international team, consisting of acupuncturists, doctors, patients, researchers and medical insurance company representatives has produced a consensus document aimed at those conducting comparative effectiveness research (CER) trials in acupuncture.

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Acupuncture is cost-effective for the treatment of chronic pain, according to a systematic review carried out by UK researchers.

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A UK-based study looking at acupuncture carried out in a busy GP practice by an experienced traditional acupuncturist, found that it resulted in clinically relevant improvements in patients

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Using fMRI, Chinese researchers have shown that the organisation of functional brain networks is altered after acupuncture and that these alterations exhibit point specificity.

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Researchers from South Korea have found clinical evidence for an anti-fatigue effect of indirect moxibustion and suggest that the effect could be because the technique acts like an anti

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A review article from American authors focuses on clinical and laboratory studies supporting the existence of point specificity in acupuncture, but also addresses studies that do not support this concept.

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The concept of the ‘neural acupuncture unit’ (NAU) has been put forward by an international team of authors as a new way of interpreting the effects and mechanisms of acupuncture.

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A discussion paper by a team of American authors argues that the ability of acupuncture to affect heart rate variability (HRV) might explain how it is able to regulate complex physiological systems.

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A study by German and US authors has revealed a high degree of variation in the localisation of acupuncture points, and suggests that the term 'acupuncture field' may in fact be more appropriate.

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A group of UK authors has used a qualitative approach to examine in detail how participants in an RCT, conducted in the USA, conceptualised placebos.

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A systematic review has investigated the effect of patient expectancy on treatment responses to acupuncture.

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A systematic review has concluded that the non-specific effects of sham acupuncture are likely to bring tangible benefits to patients, compared with no treatment.

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An international team of authors has conducted a systematic overview of studies that have used fMRI to investigate brain responses to acupuncture, concluding that it can affect a broad network of regions involving somatosensory, affective and cognitive processing.

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Acupuncture at Taixi KID-3 can enhance activity in brain areas associated with memory in patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

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