It.s.difficult.ut.ot.mpossible.o.esign.igorous research trials for acupuncture. 69 70 Due to acupuncture's invasive nature, one of the major challenges in efficacy research is in the design of an appropriate placebo control group . 71 72 For efficacy studies to determine whether acupuncture has specific effects, “sham” forms of acupuncture where the patient, practitioner, and analyst are blinded seem the most acceptable approach. 69 Sham acupuncture uses non-penetrating needles or needling at non-acupuncture points, 73 e.g. inserting needles on meridians not related to the specific condition being studied, 1462-0324 . Even.f.hey.Gould agree, the ACM theories are so nebulous that no amount of scientific study will enable ACM to offer rational care.” 5 Some modern practitioners support the use of acupuncture to treat pain, but have abandoned the use of qi, meridians, yin, yang and other energies based in mysticism, as explanatory frameworks. 8 25 26 The use of qi as an explanatory framework has been decreasing in China, even as it becomes more prominent during discussions of acupuncture in the US. 257 Academic discussions of acupuncture still make reference to pseudo-scientific concepts such as qi and meridians despite the lack of scientific evidence. 257 Many within the scientific community consider attempts to rationalize acupuncture in science to be quackery, pseudo-science and “theatrical placebo”. 258 Academics Massimo Pigliucci and marten Boudry describe it as a “borderlands science” lying between science and pseudo-science. 259 Many acupuncturists attribute pain relief to the release of endorphins when needles penetrate, but no longer support the idea that acupuncture can affect a disease. 26 257 It is a generally held belief within the acupuncture community that acupuncture points and meridians structures are special conduits for electrical signals but no research has established any consistent anatomical structure or function for either acupuncture points or meridians. n 1 24 Human tests to determine whether electrical continuity was significantly different near meridians than other places in the body have been inconclusive. 24 Some studies suggest acupuncture causes a series of events within the central nervous system, 260 and that it is possible to inhibit acupuncture's analgesic effects with the opioid antagonist naloxone . 261 Mechanical deformation of the skin by acupuncture needles appears to result in the release of adenosine . 2 The anti-nociceptive effect of acupuncture may be mediated by the adenosine A1 receptor . 262 A 2014 Nature Reviews Cancer review article found that since the key mouse studies that suggested acupuncture relieves on using acupuncture on the ear. 29 :164 Acupuncture research organizations were founded in the 1950s and acupuncture services became available in modern hospitals. 27 China, where acupuncture was believed to have originated, was increasingly influenced by Western medicine. 27 Meanwhile, acupuncture grew in popularity in the US. Korea is believed to be the first country in Asia that acupuncture spread to outside of China. 29 Within Korea there is a legend that acupuncture was developed by emperor Dan gun, 292 293 This usage has been criticized owing to there being little scientific evidence for explicit effects, or the mechanisms for its supposed effectiveness, for any condition that is discernible from placebo. 77 Acupuncture has been called 'theatrical placebo', 57 and David Gorski argues that when acupuncture proponents advocate 'harnessing of placebo effects' or work on developing 'meaningful placebos', they essentially concede it is little more than that. 77 The use of acupuncture in Germany increased by 20% in 2007, after the German acupuncture trials supported its efficacy for certain uses. 294 In 2011, there were more than one million users, 294 and insurance companies have estimated that two-thirds of German users are women. 294 As a result of the trials, German public health insurers began to cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee, but not tension headache or migraine. 295 This decision was based in part on socio-political reasons. 295 Some insurers in Germany chose to stop reimbursement of acupuncture because of the trials. 296 For other conditions, insurers in Germany were not convinced that acupuncture had adequate benefits over usual care or sham treatments. 297 Highlighting the results of the placebo group, researchers refused to accept a Acupuncture placebo therapy as efficient. 298 Main article: Regulation of acupuncture There are various governments and trade association regulatory bodies for acupuncture in the United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, Canada, and in European countries and elsewhere. The.imperial Medical Service and the Imperial Medical College, which both supported acupuncture, became more established and created medical colleges in every province. 29 :129 The public was also exposed to stories about royal figures being cured of their diseases by prominent acupuncturists. 29 :129–135 By time The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion was published during the Ming dynasty 1368–1644 AD, most of the acupuncture practices used in the modern era had been established. 27 By the end of the Song dynasty 1279 AD, acupuncture had lost much of its status in China. 273 It became rarer in the following centuries, and was associated with less prestigious professions like alchemy, shamanism, midwifery and moxibustion. 274 : 10.1093/rheumatology/ken161 .
In.ether.Ards,.sham'.r.placebo' acupuncture generally produces the same effects as 'real' acupuncture and, in some cases, does better.” 77 A 2013 meta-analysis found little evidence that the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain compared to sham was modified by the location of the needles, the number of needles used, the experience or technique of the practitioner, or by the circumstances of the sessions. 78 The same analysis also suggested that the number of needles and sessions is important, as greater numbers improved the outcomes of acupuncture compared to non-acupuncture controls. 78 There has been little systematic investigation of which components of an acupuncture session may be important for any therapeutic effect, including needle placement and depth, type and intensity of stimulation, and number of needles used. 75 The research seems to suggest that needles do not need to stimulate the traditionally specified acupuncture points or penetrate the skin to attain an anticipated effect e.g. psychosocial factors. 2 A response to “sham” acupuncture in osteoarthritis may be used in the elderly, but placebos have usually been regarded as deception and thus unethical. 79 However, some physicians and ethicists have suggested circumstances for applicable uses for placebos such as it might present a theoretical advantage of an inexpensive treatment without adverse reactions or interactions with drugs or other medications. 79 As the evidence for most types of alternative medicine such as acupuncture is far from strong, the use of alternative medicine in regular healthcare can present an ethical question. 80 Using the principles of evidence-based medicine to research acupuncture is controversial, and has produced different results. 71 Some research suggests acupuncture can alleviate pain but the majority of research suggests that acupuncture's effects are mainly due to placebo. 9 Evidence suggests that any benefits of acupuncture are short-listing. 14 There is insufficient evidence to support use of acupuncture compared to mainstream medical treatments . 81 Acupuncture is not better than mainstream treatment in the long term. 74 Publication bias is cited as a concern in the reviews of randomized controlled trials CRTs of acupuncture. 57 82 83 A 1998 review of studies on acupuncture found that trials originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were uniformly favourable to acupuncture, as were ten out of eleven studies conducted in Russia. 84 A 2011 assessment of the quality of CRTs on ACM, including acupuncture, concluded that the methodological quality of most such trials including randomization, experimental control, and blinding was generally poor, particularly for trials published in Chinese journals though the quality of acupuncture trials was better than the trials testing ACM remedies. 85 The study also found that trials published in non-Chinese journals tended to be of higher quality. 85 Chinese authors use more Chinese studies, which have been demonstrated to be uniformly positive. 86 A 2012 review of 88 systematic reviews of acupuncture published in Chinese journals found that less than half of these reviews reported testing for publication bias, and that the majority of these reviews were published in journals with impact factors of zero. 87 Scientist and journalist Steven Salzburg identifies acupuncture and Chinese medicine generally as a focus for “fake medical journals” such as the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies and Acupuncture in Medicine . 88 The conclusions of many trials and numerous systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent with each other. 13 A 2011 systematic review of systematic reviews found that for reducing pain, real acupuncture was no better than sham acupuncture, and concluded that numerous reviews have shown little convincing evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing pain. 10 The same review found that neck pain was one of only four types of pain for which a positive effect was suggested, but cautioned that the primary studies used carried a considerable risk of bias. 10 A 2009 overview of Cochran reviews found acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions, and suggested that it may be effective for only chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, postoperative nausea/vomiting, and idiopathic headache. 13 A 2014 systematic review suggests that the nocebo effect of acupuncture is clinically relevant and that the rate of adverse events may be a gauge of the nocebo effect. 89 According to the 2014 Miller's anaesthesia book, “when compared with placebo, acupuncture treatment has proven efficacy for relieving pain”. 44 A 2012 meta-analysis conducted by the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration found “relatively modest” efficiency of acupuncture in comparison to sham for the treatment of four different types of chronic pain back and neck pain, knee osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain and on that basis concluded that it “is more than a placebo” and a reasonable referral option. 90 Commenting on this meta-analysis, both Eduard Ernst and David Colquhoun said the results were of negligible clinical significance. 91 92 Eduard Ernst later stated that “I fear that, once we manage to eliminate this bias that operators are not blind … we might find that the effects of acupuncture exclusively are a placebo response.” 93 A 2010 systematic review suggested that acupuncture is more than a placebo for commonly occurring chronic pain conditions, but the authors acknowledged that it is still unknown if the overall benefit is clinically meaningful or cost-effective. 94 A 2010 review found real acupuncture and sham acupuncture produce similar improvements, which can only be accepted as evidence against the efficacy of acupuncture. 95 The same review found limited evidence that real acupuncture and sham acupuncture appear to produce biological differences despite similar effects. 95 A 2009 systematic review and meta-analysis found that acupuncture had a small analgesic effect, which appeared to lack any clinical importance and could not be discerned from bias. 15 The same review found that it remains unclear whether acupuncture reduces pain independent of a psychological impact of the needling ritual. 15 A 2016 Cochran review found moderate quality evidence that real acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture or inactive for short-term relief of neck pain measured either upon completion of treatment or at short-term follow-up. 96 A 2013 meta-analysis found that acupuncture was better than no treatment for reducing lower back pain, but not better than sham acupuncture, and concluded that the effect of acupuncture “is likely to be produced by the non-specific effects of manipulation”. 97 A 2013 systematic review found supportive evidence that real acupuncture may be more effective than sham acupuncture with respect to relieving lower back pain, but there were methodological limitations with the studies. 98 A 2013 systematic review found that acupuncture may be effective for non-specific lower back pain, but the authors noted there were limitations in the studies examined, such as heterogeneity in study characteristics and low methodological quality in many studies. 99 A 2012 systematic review found some supporting evidence that acupuncture was more effective than no treatment for chronic non-specific low back pain; the evidence was conAlicting comparing the effectiveness over other treatment approaches. 12 A 2011 systematic review of systematic reviews found that “for chronic low back pain, individualized acupuncture is not better in reducing symptoms than formula acupuncture or sham acupuncture with a toothpick that does not penetrate the skin.” 10 A 2010 review found that sham acupuncture was as effective as real acupuncture for chronic low back pain. 2 The specific therapeutic effects of acupuncture were small, whereas its clinically relevant benefits were mostly due to contextual and psychosocial circumstances. 2 Brain imaging studies have shown that traditional acupuncture and sham acupuncture differ in their effect on limbic structures, while at the same time showed equivalent analgesic effects. 2 A 2005 Cochran review found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against either acupuncture or dry needling for acute low back pain. 100 The same review found low quality evidence for pain relief and improvement compared Acupuncture chart from Shisi Ming fahui Expression of the Fourteen Meridians written by Hun thou fl. 1340s, Ming dynasty . Around this time the surgeon-general of the Dutch East India Company met Japanese and Chinese acupuncture practitioners and later encouraged Europeans to further investigate it. 29 :264-265 He published the first in-depth description of acupuncture for the European audience and created the term “acupuncture” in his 1683 work De acupuncture. 269 France was an early adopter among the West due to the influence of Jesuit missionaries, who brought the practice to French clinics in the 16th century. 27 The French doctor Louis Berlioz the father 292 293 This usage has been criticized owing to there being little scientific evidence for explicit effects, or the mechanisms for its supposed effectiveness, for any condition that is discernible from placebo. 77 Acupuncture has been called 'theatrical placebo', 57 and David Gorski argues that when acupuncture proponents advocate 'harnessing of placebo effects' or work on developing 'meaningful placebos', they essentially concede it is little more than that. 77 The use of acupuncture in Germany increased by 20% in 2007, after the German acupuncture trials supported its efficacy for certain uses. 294 In 2011, there were more than one million users, 294 and insurance companies have estimated that two-thirds of German users are women. 294 As a result of the trials, German public health insurers began to cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee, but not tension headache or migraine. 295 This decision was based in part on socio-political reasons. 295 Some insurers in Germany chose to stop reimbursement of acupuncture because of the trials. 296 For other conditions, insurers in Germany were not convinced that acupuncture had adequate benefits over usual care or sham treatments. 297 Highlighting the results of the placebo group, researchers refused to accept a placebo therapy as efficient. 298 Main article: Regulation of acupuncture There are various governments and trade association regulatory bodies for acupuncture in the United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Japan, Canada, and in European countries and elsewhere.
amid flicking, or moving up and down relative to the skin. Since most pain is felt in the superficial layers of the skin, a quick insertion of the needle is recommended. 50 Often the needles are stimulated by hand in order to cause a dull, localized, aching sensation that is called de qi, as well as “needle grasp,” a tugging feeling felt by the acupuncturist and generated by a mechanical interaction between the needle and skin. 2 Acupuncture can be painful. Texts dated to be from 156–186 BC document early beliefs in channels of life force energy called meridians that would later be an element in early acupuncture beliefs. 267 Ramey and quell said the “practice and theoretical underpinnings” of modern acupuncture were introduced in the Yellow Emperor's Classic Huangdi Beijing around 100 BC. 28 267 It introduced the concept of using acupuncture to manipulate the flow of life energy qi in a network of meridian channels in the body. 267 272 The network concept was made up of acu-tracts, such as a line down the arms, where it said acupoints were located.