Recent Research on Acupuncture

Acupuncture & Acute Pain

Acupuncture has been found to be more effective and faster acting than intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the emergency department. (1) Due to acupuncture’s safety and efficacy, the United States Veterans Affairs now educates their health providers to use acupuncture as a first line treatment for acute pain. (2)

Acupuncture & Chronic Pain

A meta- analysis of 20,827 patients from 39 clinical trials published in The Journal of Pain (Official Journal of The American Pain Society) in 2017 found acupuncture significantly outperforms standard of care in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain. They wrote, “we also found clear evidence that the effects of acupuncture persist over time with only a small decrease, approximately 15%, in treatment effect at 1 year….We conclude that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain.” (3)

Acupuncture works as an effective alternative and adjunct treatment modality. It is a safe, effective and natural approach to help regain and maintain health and well-being.

Acupuncture & Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture can be a great form of treatment for individuals with fibromyalgia. In 2016, The BMJ published a study concerning the effects of acupuncture on patients who have fibromyalgia. The study found acupuncture to be effective in the realm of managing pain experienced as a result of having fibromyalgia. The study even went on to strongly recommend those with fibromyalgia seek acupuncture treatment in order to help manage their pain. (11)

Acupuncture & Migraines

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that acupuncture significantly decreased patients’ migraine frequency and severity. (18)

A 2018 study published by The Cochrane Review that included 4985 participants concluded acupuncture treatments can not only relieve the pain associated with headaches, but it can reduce frequency of headaches. (8)

Acupuncture & Cancer Patients

In Italy, a 2016 study involving 190 breast cancer patients proved acupuncture can eliminate the need for additional drugs and is an effective method in improving the quality of life of women who have breast cancer. Acupuncture was shown to be effective in managing hot flashes the women received as a result of the cancer. (7)

Findings published in Integrative Cancer Therapies found that 90 percent of participants at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, reported pain had significantly decreased by the end of 10 acupuncture treatments, 42 out of 52 participants who had pain related to cancer rated the acupuncture study as “very useful.” (17)

Acupuncture & Irritable Bowel Syndrome

According to a study published by The BMJ, acupuncture has been found to produce significant results for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. (13)

Acupuncture & Hypertension

A recent meta-analysis published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture lowers blood pressure in patients who are taking medication for hypertension or high blood pressure. The trials included 386 patients with hypertension and found weekly acupuncture treatment for six to 10 weeks lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (16)

Acupuncture & Allergic Rhinitis

In a 2016 study from the Mucosal Immunology Research Group, acupuncture treatment was shown to benefit those suffering from allergies in multiple ways. The study concluded acupuncture was effective in reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis. (23)

Acupuncture & Women’s Reproductive Health

A recent review concluded that acupuncture treatment may help women who are trying to conceive. A review of more than 300 papers on acupuncture found evidence of benefits for reproductive function of women. The results supported acupuncture for menstrual irregularity, menstrual pain, ovulatory dysfunction and infertility. (12)

Acupuncture & Fertility

Results of systematic review and meta-analysis: The pregnancy rate was significantly improved with acupuncture treatment, compared to that in the control group. The subgroup according to different types of infertility showed a significant improvement in infertility caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, tubal infertility, ovulatory disorder, and other factors. In addition, the ovulation rate and endometrial thickness were significantly increased. The level of LH was obviously decreased. Moreover, with acupuncture, less adverse effects occurred. (32)

Acupuncture & In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

The BMJ in 2013 reported acupuncture can increase the success rate of in-vitro fertilization and increase the number of viable pregnancies when embryo implantation has failed. The additional benefits were listed as receiving no adverse side effects and contraindications as a result of receiving acupuncture treatment. (6)

Acupuncture & Erectile Dysfunction

In recent studies, 20 patients were treated with acupuncture. Before the acupuncture was administered, serum sexual hormone levels, IIEF score, and nocturnal penile tumescence testing was done. A benefit was shown in 68% of the treatment group. Additionally, 21.05% of the patients had improved erections including sufficient rigidity. The results of the study show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for more than two-thirds of patients that experience erectile dysfunction. (33, 34)

Acupuncture & Insomnia

In the treatment of insomnia, acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep efficiency and sleep disorders compared to those who do not receive acupuncture treatment. Long-term improvements in sleep were also seen from the acupuncture treatment according to clinical research. (10)


  1. Grissa MH, Baccouche H, Boubaker H, Acupuncture vs intravenous morphine in the management of acute pain in the ED. American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2016;34:2112-2116

  2. Himstreet J, Popish S, Wells D, et al.” Acute Pain Management, Meeting the Challenges” Veterans Health Administration PBM Academic Detailing Service, July 2017

  3. Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Pain. 2017 Dec

  4. “Acupuncture for Acute Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review,” The Clinical Journal of Pain, published February, 2013.

  5. “Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Spine Journal,, 2013; Vol 38 (24).

  6. “Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial,” British Medical Journal, published March 19. 2013.

  7. “Acupuncture As an Integrative Approach for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Women With Breast Cancer: A Prospective Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (AcCliMaT),” Journal of Clinical Oncology, published March 28, 2016.

  8. Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Vertosick EA, Vickers A, White AR. Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jun 28;2016(6):CD001218. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001218.pub3. PMID: 27351677; PMCID: PMC4977344.

  9. Suzanne Cochrane, Caroline A. Smith, Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, and Alan Bensoussan, “Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3587569, 11 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3587569

  10. Source: Copyright © 2014 World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion House. Published by Elsevier (Singapore) Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Vas J, Santos-Rey K, Navarro-Pablo R, et al Acupuncture for fibromyalgia in primary care: a randomised controlled trial Acupuncture in Medicine Published Online First: 15 February 2016. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2015-010950

  12. Cochrane S, Smith CA, Possamai-Inesedy A, Bensoussan A. Int J Womens Health. March 2014; 6: 313–325

  13. MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Agbedjro D, et al Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: 2-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial Acupuncture in Medicine 2017;35:17-23.

  14. Quah-Smith, Im, Caroline Smith, John D. Crawford, and Janice Russell. “Laser acupuncture for depression: A randomised double blind controlled trial using low intensity laser intervention.” Journal of Affective Disorders 148, no. 2-3 (2013): 179-87. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2012.11.058.

  15. J. Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2003 Sept.; 23 (3): 201-202.

  16. Li D, Zhou Y, Yang Y, Ma Y, Li X, Yu J, Zhao Y, Zhai H, Lao L. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 March, Epub

  17. Garcia MK, Driver L, Haddad R, Lee R, Palmer JL, Wei Q, Frenkel M, Cohen. Integr Cancer Ther. 2014 Mar;13(2):133-40. doi: 10.1177/1534735413510558. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

  18. Rezvani M, Yaraghi A, Mohseni M, Fathimoghadam F. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 May; 20(5):371-4. Epub 2013 Dec 28.

  19. J. Rehab. Med., 2008 Jul.; 40 (7): 582-588.

  20. Brinkhaus Benno, Roll Stephanie, Jena Susanne, Icke Katja, Adam Daniela, Binting Sylvia, Lotz Fabian, Willich Stefan N., and Witt Claudia M.. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. April 2017, 23(4): 268-277.

  21. Zhu LB, Chan WC, Lo KC, Yum TP, Li L. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014 July 14, Epub

  22. Manyanga T, Froese M, Zarychanski R, Abou-Setta A, Friesen C, Tennenhouse M, Shay BL. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Aug 23; 14(1): 312.

  23. Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis

  24. McDonald, John Leslie et al.

  25. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , Volume 116 , Issue 6 , 497 – 505

  26. Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific evidence of acupuncture revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., 2001.v

  27. Acupuncture – A scientific appraisal, Ernst, E., White, A., 1999, p. 74.

  28. Acupuncture Energetics, “A Clinical Approach for Physicians”, Helms, Dr. J., 1997, pgs 41-42, 66.

  29. Anatomy of Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture, Volume 1, Wong, Dr. J., 1999, p. 34.

  30. National Institute of Health Consensus Conference on Acupuncture, “Acupuncture Activates Endogenous Systems of Analgesia.”, Han, J.S., 1997 (Bethesda, MD).

  31. Neuro-acupuncture, “Scientific Evidence of Acupuncture Revealed”, Cho, ZH., et al., p.116.

  32. Yun L, Liqun W, Shuqi Y, Chunxiao W, Liming L, Wei Y. Acupuncture for infertile women without undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART): A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jul;98(29):e16463. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016463. PMID: 31335705; PMCID: PMC6709164.

  33. Bao-yong Lai, Hui-juan Cao, Guo-yan. (2019) Acupuncture for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: ASystematic Review and Meta-AnalysisYang. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 11 March 2021].

  34. P.F Engelhardt, L.K Daha, T. Zils, R. Simak. (2003). Acupuncture in the treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction: first results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 11 March2021].