Acupuncture News

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. It has been studied as a treatment for a variety of health conditions, from chronic pain to arthritis to asthma to infertility. Many scientific studies have shown acupuncture to be helpful for people with broad range of conditions.

An acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of thin metal needles at certain points around the body to alter the flow of energy. This energy, known as qi (pronounced chee) can cause problems in the body when its flow is out of balance, according to traditional Chinese medical theories. There are more than 400 acupuncture points on the body, but typically four to 12 are stimulated during each acupuncture treatment. Often, multiple treatments are needed to determine if the procedure will be effective.

More About Acupuncture

Some people are hesitant to try acupuncture because of a fear of needles, but most people who try it report little to no pain. The needles are also discarded after use so there is no chance of infection.

An acupuncture treatment can last from 45 to 90 minutes. The acupuncturist may use other means of manipulating the body as well, such as acupressure applied with the fingers, gentle heat or mild electrical stimulation.

Conditions That Acupuncture Helps

Despite its mythical qualities, acupuncture has shown solid results in many scientific studies. The U.S. National Institutes of Health regards it as a reasonable treatment for many types of pain, including headaches, neck pain and low back pain. Other studies have shown it to be helpful for anxiety, depression, dizziness and urinary problems. Acupuncture is also generally regarded as a safe treatment with few side effects.

It’s important to find a qualified and licensed acupuncturist if you’re considering the treatment. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine ( has a tool on its website that can aid in the search for a licensed acupuncturist.

SOURCES: National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Date Posted
Article Title
Study Finds Options to Opioid Use After Knee Surgery

Non-drug approaches that may work include acupuncture and electrotherapy, review finds

Consider Acupuncture for Incontinence, Not Certain Infertility Cases

Research yields mixed results for this traditional Chinese treatment

Acupuncture May Be Effective Painkiller in the ER

It's a safe alternative to addictive opioid pain relievers, Australian researchers say

Yoga, Meditation May Ease Some Breast Cancer Symptoms

But study into alternative therapies didn't find evidence to support using dietary supplements

For a Colicky Baby, You Might Give Acupuncture a Try

Treatment with 1 to 5 needles might stop the excessive crying, Swedish researchers say

Can Acupuncture Ease Severe Constipation?

'Electroacupuncture' led to symptom relief even 12 weeks after treatment, study finds

Review Suggests Safe, Effective Ways to Relieve Pain Without Meds

Approaches such as acupuncture, massage and tai chi may ease discomfort

Acupuncture May Slow Pre-Dementia Memory Loss: Study

However, definitive evidence remains lacking, experts say

New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients' Post-Treatment Pain

Specialists urge doctors to offer alternative therapies for this widespread problem

Alternative Medicine Taking Hold Among Americans: Report

More than $30 billion paid out-of-pocket for acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic care, supplements

Electroacupuncture Helped Ease Carpal Tunnel in Study

But experts say finding is preliminary, didn't include a control 'sham' treatment

Acupuncture May Ease Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Patients

Italian trial finds the therapy was also linked to better quality of life among women in the study

Acupuncture May Help Ease Fibromyalgia Pain, Study Finds

Alternative therapy combined with medication appears safe and effective, expert says

Sham Acupuncture Equals Real Acupuncture for Hot Flashes: Study

Researchers say placebo effect likely played a role in results

Acupuncture May Ease Neck Pain Over Long Term

'Alexander technique' also helped more than drugs and physical therapy, study found

Acupuncture Might Help Ease High Blood Pressure

But small study isn't conclusive, experts say

Acupuncture Best for Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

Even 'sham' acupuncture beat one frequently used medication

Belief in Acupuncture Key to Effect on Back Pain, Study Suggests

Doctor says finding illustrates power of placebo effect

New Guidelines for People With Nasal Allergies

Testing is recommended, sinus imaging is not for hay fever

Acupuncture, Exercise May Ease Pain for Breast Cancer Patients

Treatment-related discomfort, swelling helped by the approaches, studies find

Acupuncture May Not Help Chronic Knee Pain, Study Finds

Laser, needle treatment worked no better than 'sham' procedure

Making Acupuncture Even Safer

Researchers recommend improving needle quality

Acupuncture No Better Than 'Sham' Version in Breast-Cancer Drug Study

Findings suggest any benefit resulted from placebo effect

Ear Acupuncture May Hold Promise for Weight Loss

But small study doesn't prove it works, expert says

Exercise, Alternative Therapies May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Report suggests some approaches might work alongside -- not instead of -- traditional therapy

Acupuncture May Help Ease Hay Fever

Study found patients who had treatment for 8 weeks fared better with symptoms

Acupuncture Might Ease Fatigue Linked to Breast Cancer

Women in study had less physical, mental fatigue and better quality of life

More Evidence Acupuncture Can Ease Chronic Pain

Ancient technique outperformed 'sham' acupuncture in large review

More Proof That Healthy Habits Fight Disease

New studies look at ways to stop smoking and fight cancer, heart disease and obesity

Acupuncture May Help Ease Symptoms of COPD

In small study, alternative treatment plus meds seemed to help with shortness of breath

Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates

Centuries-old therapy can help men and women alike with fertility issues, experts say

Power of Acupuncture to Ease Migraines Questioned in Study

Precise needle location may be less important than thought, expert says

Acupuncture Might Ease Chemotherapy Pain

Patients in small, preliminary study had pain relief in calves, feet

Acupuncture Safe for Children, Review Finds

Serious side effects generally related to less well-trained practitioners

Many Health-Care Workers Have Turned to Alternative Medicine

Their use of everything from herbals to massage exceeds that of the general public, research suggests

Acupuncture May Help Ease Hot Flashes Tied to Prostate Cancer Treatment

Study was very small, but some men got quick relief, researchers say

Acupuncture May Take Edge Off Menopause Symptoms

Small study finds less severe hot flashes after 10 weeks of treatment

Acupuncture Might Treat Certain Kind of Lazy Eye

Small Chinese study found it worked better than an eye patch in older kids with condition

Acupuncture Really Does Help Relieve Pain: Study

Researchers say it affects perception and processing of discomfort

Sham Acupuncture for Knee Arthritis as Effective as the Real Therapy

Substantial relief found with both sham, traditional Chinese acupuncture, researchers find

Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller

Needle insertion stimulates production of chemical known to reduce discomfort, scientists say

Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell

Traditional Chinese therapy beat vitamin B for those with scent-robbing viral infection, study found

Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work

For fearful patients, ancient therapy could help, study suggests

Prevention of Acupuncture Infection Needs More Focus

Funding to promote safety guidelines urged by experts

Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy

In study, response rate almost 20 percent higher with depression-specific acupuncture

Medical Students Supportive of Alternative Medicine

Blending therapies would benefit patients, survey reports