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Acupuncture – Evidence (NHS)

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Acupuncture/Pages/Evidence.aspx

There is some scientific evidence that acupuncture is effective for a small number of health conditions. However, for the majority of conditions for which acupuncture is used, the scientific evidence is inconclusive or there has been no attempt to collect good-quality evidence. For a small number of conditions, there is evidence that acupuncture does not work.

More research is needed into the effectiveness of acupuncture on a wide range of conditions.

It is important to remember that when we use a treatment and feel better, this can be because of a phenomenon called the placebo effect and not because of the treatment itself.

When scientists gather evidence on the effectiveness of a treatment, they take the placebo effect into account. For more information, watch a video about the placebo effect.

Positive evidence

There is reasonably good evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for:

  • chronic back pain
  • dental pain
  • pain and discomfort during gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting after an operation
  • pain and discomfort during oocyte retrieval (a procedure used during IVF)
  • osteoarthritis of the knee

Scientific trials conducted to investigate the effect of acupuncture on these conditions found that acupuncture had a beneficial effect.

However, because of disagreements over the way acupuncture trials should be carried out and over what their results mean, this evidence does not allow us to draw definite conclusions.

Some scientists believe that good evidence exists only for nausea and vomiting after an operation. Others think that there is currently not enough evidence to show that acupuncture works for any condition.

More research is needed to investigate whether acupuncture works for these conditions.

Negative evidence

There is some evidence that acupuncture does not work for:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • stopping smoking
  • losing weight

This means that when scientific trials were conducted to see if acupuncture helped patients in these cases, they found that the treatment had no effect.

As with the positive evidence on acupuncture, this evidence does not allow us to draw definite conclusions. More research is needed into the effectiveness of acupuncture for these conditions.

Inconclusive or no evidence

For most conditions against which acupuncture is used, we do not have enough good-quality evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture. More research is needed before we can draw conclusions on whether acupuncture is effective for the following conditions:

  • addictions
  • asthma
  • chronic pain
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • neck pain
  • sciatica
  • shoulder pain
  • stroke
  • tinnitus

Further reading

This information is based on The Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine: An Evidence-Based Approach (2006). 2nd edition. Ernst E, Pittler MH and Wider B, eds.

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Having been diagnosed with unexplained infertility I went for treatment with Daian. She made me feel at ease straight away and gave me support and advice alongside the weekly acupuncture sessions. Three months later I discovered I was pregnant (without any other interventions). We welcomed our baby into the world almost 11 months to the day after my first visit to Daian. I really believe it would not have been possible without her!I remain a regular client and I can’t recommend Daian highly enough.
Richard BishopRichard Bishop
11:31 24 Jan 21
Daian is an extremely talented and caring professional and I cannot say enough about how helpful and effective her treatments have been. I highly recommend a visit here if you are thinking about acupuncture. The atmosphere is peaceful and calming and Daian’s highly effective skills and treatment provides welcome relief from chronic pain in a calm in a restful environment.
Emma SchorEmma Schor
19:19 21 Aug 20
It was an incredible experience and I would like to call it “magic”! I had not been able to sleep well for several months, and my whole body felt hard when I lied in bed, especially the neck and shoulders. Daian found a little lump on the back of my neck at the consultation . 30 minutes of acupuncture after, I immediately felt my neck relaxed. I did it again two days later, and the lump just disappeared! I went to sleep easily for the first time in months! Thank you, Daian! Thank you, the wonderful Chinese medical treatment!!
Sally NuttallSally Nuttall
20:37 22 Dec 19
I have been going to Daian for treatment for many years now. She is a kind and compassionate lady who is also very accomplished in Acupuncture. I have suffered with severe Vertigo for many years, having had medication, exercises etc to no avail. Having treatment with Daian has completely changed my life - I very seldom have symptoms now, thanks to acupuncture but, if it flares up, a visit to the clinic soon settles it down again. My husband has also recently started to attend her clinic to have treatment for migraines and this, also, has been very successful. I would recommend Dr Daian Zou highly.
rachel powellrachel powell
21:55 07 Dec 19
Can highly suggest acupuncture especially with this wonderful lady (Daia) she is nothing but kind, compassionate & proffesional. Acupuncture has really helped me with my healthy problem, I'm so thrilled with the results. I really look forward 2 my acupuncture every week its so relaxing & Daia is such a wonderful lady. Don't suffer call Daia (SJ Hill Clinic) up & she can help you out she is amazing....highly reccomend to anyone. Can't thank you enough Daia you deserve 100 stars x x x x

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