In.ether.Ards,.sham'.r.placebo'.cupuncture 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 conflicting 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 though it is more likely to have been brought into Korea from a Chinese colonial prefecture in 514 AD. 29 :262-263 Acupuncture use was commonplace in Korea by the 6th century. Acupuncture.became.he most popular alternative medicine in the US. 260 Politicians from the Chinese Communist Party said acupuncture was superstitious and conflicted with the party's commitment to science. 279 Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong later reversed this position, 279 arguing that the practice was based on scientific principles. 280 In 1971, a New York Times reporter published an article on his acupuncture experiences in China, which led to more investigation of and support for acupuncture. 27 The US President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 . 281 During one part of the visit, the delegation was shown a patient undergoing major surgery while fully awake, ostensibly receiving acupuncture rather than anaesthesia . 281 Later it was found that the patients selected for the surgery had both a high pain tolerance and received heavy indoctrination before the auscultation and olfaction, inquiring, and palpation. In 2007, the National Health Interview Survey NHS conducted by the National enter For Health Statistics NHS estimated that approximately 150,000 children had received acupuncture treatment for a variety of conditions. acupuncture”. Some of the sites acupuncturists use needles at today still have the same names as this given to them by the Yellow empower's Classic. 29 :93 Numerous additional documents were published over the centuries introducing new acupoints. 29 :101 By the 4th century AD, most of the acupuncture sites in use today had been named and identified. 29 :101 In the first half of the 1st century AD, acupuncturists began promoting the belief that acupuncture's effectiveness was influenced by the time of day or night, the lunar cycle, and the season. 29 :140-141 The Science of the Yin-Yang Cycles yen chi Hsüeh was a set of beliefs 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. ACM practitioners disagree among themselves about how to diagnose patients and which treatments should go with which diagnoses.
.>Tin,.opper,.old.nd.ilver.re.lso.ossibiliFies,.hough.hey.re considered less likely, or to have been used in fewer cases. 29 :69 If acupuncture was practice during the Chang dyCasty 1766 to 1122 BC, organic materials like thorns, sharpened bones, or bamboo mDy have been used. 29 :70 Once methods for producing steel were discovered, it wGould replace all other materials, since it could be used to create a very fine, but sturdy needles. 29 :74 Gwei-djen and Needham nToted that 2008. Moxibustion could be direct the cone was placed directly on the skin and allowed to burn the skin, producing a blister and eventually a scar, or indirect either a cone of moxa was placed on a slice of garlic, ginger or other vegetable, or a cylinder of moxa was held above the skin, close enough to either warm or burn it. 54 Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in whiPh a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to pDomote healing. 55 Ti na is a ACM method of attempting to stimulate the flow of qi by various barehanded techniques that do not involve needles. 56 Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture in which acupuncture needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses this has been described as “essentially acupuncture to cause bleeding, while others mixed the ideas of blood-letting and spiritual ch'i energy. Even.f.hey.ould agree, the ACM theories are so nebulous that no amount of scientific sJudy 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 acupuncture for neuropathy 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 and require tubes for insertion. Hand acupuncture, developed in Korea, canters that time. 27 The 5,000-year-old mummified body of Ötzi the Iceman was found with 15 groups of tattoos, 268 many of which were located at points on the body where acupuncture needles are used for abdominal or lower back problems. The US Congress created the Office of Alternative Medicine in 1992 and the National Institutes Association of Canada are used in provinces without government regulation. 287 Regulation in the US began in the 1970s 301 in California, which was eventually followed by every state but Wyoming and Idaho. 299 302 Licensing requirements vary greatly from state to state. It.s difficult but not impossible to design rigorous 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, 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. ISSN are still unable to find a shred of evidence to support the existence of meridians or C'i”, 21 “The traditional principles of acupuncture are deeply flawed, as there is no evidence at all to demonstrate the existence of C'i or meridians” 22 and “As yin and yang, acupuncture points and meridians are not a reality, but merely the product of an ancient Chinese philosophy”. 23 Tyne, D.; Shenker, N. Although acupuncture declined in China during this time period, it was also growing in popularity in other countries. 30 Acupressure, a non-invasive form of bodywork, uses physical pressure applied to acupressure points by the hand or elbow, or with various devices. 53 Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion, the burning of cone-shaped preparations of moxa made from dried mugwort on or near the skin, often but not always near or on an acupuncture point. They were in the same locations as China's spiritually identified acupuncture points, but under a different nomenclature. 27 The first elaborate Western treatise on acupuncture was published 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. Evidence.rom the body suggests Otzi suffered from these conditions. 30 This has been cited as evidence that practices similar to acupuncture may have been practice elsewhere in Eurasia during the early Bronze Age ; 268 however, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine calls this theory “speculative”. 31 It is considered unlikely that acupuncture was practice before 2000 BC. 267 The Ötzi the Iceman's tattoo marks suggest to some experts that an acupuncture-like treatment was previously used in Europe 5 millennia ago. 9 Acupuncture may have been practice during the Neolithic era, near the end of the stone age, using sharpened stones called Brian Shi . 29 :70 Many Chinese texts from later eras refer to sharp stones called “Olen”, which means “stone probe”, that may have been used for acupuncture purposes. 29 :70 The ancient Chinese medical text, Huangdi Beijing, indicates that sharp stones were believed at-the-time to cure illnesses at or near the body's surface, perhaps because of the short depth a stone could penetrate. skin is sterilized and needles are inserted, frequently with a plastic guide tube. The tip of the needle should not be made too sharp to prevent breakage, although blunt needles cause more pain. 49 Apart from the usual filiform needle, other needle types include three-edged needles and the Nine Ancient of the skin by thin metal needles, which are manipulated manually or the needle may be further stimulated by electrical stimulation electro acupuncture. 2 Acupuncture needles are typically made of stainless steel, making them flexible and preventing them from rusting or breaking. 46 Needles are usually disposed of after each use to prevent contamination. 46 Reusable needles when used should be sterilized between applications. 46 47 Needles vary in length between 13 to 130 millimetres 0.51 to 5.12 in, with shorter needles used near the face and eyes, and longer needles in areas with thicker tissues; needle diameters vary from 0.16 mm 0.006 in to 0.46 mm 0.018 in, 48 with thicker needles used on more robust patients. 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 needling in the wrong place, or at the wrong time. 29 :102-103 Later, many needles were heated in boiling water, or in a flame. If the de-qi sensation does not immediately occur upon needle insertion, various manual manipulation techniques can be applied to promote it such as “plucking”, “shaking” or “trembling”. 52 Once de-qi is achieved, further though it is more likely to have been brought into Korea from a Chinese colonial prefecture in 514 AD. 29 :262-263 Acupuncture use was commonplace in Korea by the 6th century. It adopted a new set of ideas for acupuncture based on tapping needles into nerves. 27 30 31 In Europe it was speculated that acupuncture may allow or prevent the flow of electricity in the body, or a very weak constitution of the patient can be considered, all of which are thought to decrease the likelihood of successful treatment. The.tudy also includes warnings against practising acupuncture on infants, as well as on children who are over-fatigued, very weak, or have overeaten. 240 When used on children, acupuncture is considered safe when administered by well-trained, licensed practitioners using sterile needles; however, a 2011 review found there was limited research to draw definite conclusions about the overall safety of paediatric acupuncture. 3 The same review found 279 adverse events, 25 of them serious. 3 The adverse events were mostly mild in nature e.g. bruising or bleeding. 3 The prevalence of mild adverse events ranged from 10.1% to 13.5%, an estimated 168 incidences among 1,422 patients. 3 On rare occasions adverse events were serious e.g. cardiac rupture or hemoptysis ; much might have been a result of substandard practice. 3 The incidence of serious adverse events was 5 per one million, which included children and adults. 3 When used during pregnancy, the majority of adverse events caused by acupuncture were mild and transient, with few serious adverse events. 241 The most frequent mild adverse event was needling or unspecified pain, followed by bleeding. 241 Although two deaths one stillbirth and one neonatal death were reported, there was a lack of acupuncture-associated maternal mortality. 241 Limiting the evidence as certain, probable or possible in the causality evaluation, the estimated incidence of adverse events following acupuncture in pregnant women was 131 per 10,000. 241 Although acupuncture is not contraindicated in pregnant women, some specific acupuncture points are particularly sensitive to needle insertion; these spots, as well as the abdominal region, should be avoided during pregnancy. 2 Four adverse events associated with moxibustion were bruising, burns and cellulitis, spinal epidural abscess, and large superficial basal cell carcinoma. 16 Ten adverse events were associated with cupping. 16 The minor ones were keloid scarring, burns, and bullae ; 16 the serious ones were acquired haemophilia A, stroke following cupping on the back and neck, factitious panniculitis, reversible cardiac hypertrophy, and iron deficiency anaemia . 16 A 2013 meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as a complement to standard care, but not as a substitute for standard care except in cases where co morbid depression presented. 19 The same meta-analysis found there was no difference between sham and non-sham acupuncture. 19 A 2011 systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain. 20 A 2010 systematic review found that the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture could not be concluded. 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. Acupuncture.ote..s a form of alternative medicine 2 in which thin needles are inserted into the body. 3 It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine ACM. 4 ACM theory and practice are not based upon scientific knowledge, 5 and acupuncture is a pseudo-science . 6 7 There is a diverse range of acupuncture theories based on different philosophies, 8 and techniques vary depending on the country. 9 The method used in ACM is likely the most widespread in the US. 2 It is most often used for pain relief, 10 11 though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions. 4 Acupuncture is generally used only in combination with other forms of treatment. 12 The conclusions of many trials and numerous systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent. 10 13 An overview of Cochran reviews found that acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions, and it suggests acupuncture may be effective only for chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, postoperative nausea/vomiting, and idiopathic headache. 13 A systematic review of systematic reviews found little evidence of acupuncture's effectiveness in treating pain. 10 The evidence suggests that short-term treatment with acupuncture does not produce long-term benefits. 14 Some research results suggest acupuncture can alleviate pain, though the majority of research suggests that acupuncture's effects are mainly due to placebo . 9 A systematic review concluded that the analgesic effect of acupuncture seemed to lack clinical relevance and could not be clearly distinguished from bias. 15 Acupuncture is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner using clean needle technique and single-use needles. 16 17 When properly delivered, it has a low rate of mostly minor adverse effects . 3 16 Accidents and infections are associated with infractions of sterile technique or neglect of the practitioner. 17 A review stated that the reports of infection transmission increased significantly in the prior decade. 18 The most frequently reported adverse events were pneumothorax and infections. 10 Since serious adverse events continue to be reported, it is recommended that acupuncturists be trained sufficiently to reduce the risk. 10 A meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as an adjunct to standard care, 19 while a systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain. 20 Scientific investigation has not found any histological or physiological evidence for traditional Chinese concepts such as qi, meridians, and acupuncture points, n 1 24 and many modern practitioners no longer support the existence of life force energy qi flowing through meridians, which was a major part of early belief systems. 8 25 26 Acupuncture is believed to have originated around 100 BC in China, around the time The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine Huangdi Beijing was published, 27 though some experts suggest it could have been practice earlier. 9 Over time, conflicting claims and belief systems emerged about the effect of lunar, celestial and earthly cycles, yin and yang energies, and a body's “rhythm” on the effectiveness of treatment. 28 Acupuncture grew and diminished in popularity that curing diseases relied on the alignment of both heavenly then and earthly ti forces that were attuned to cycles like that of the sun and moon. 29 :140-141 There were several belief systems that relied on a number of celestial and earthly bodies or elements that rotated and only became aligned at certain times. 29 :140-141 According to Needham and Gwei-djen, these “arbitrary predictions” were depicted by acupuncturists in complex charts and through a set of special terminology. 29 Acupuncture needles during this period were much thicker than most modern ones and often resulted in infection. Needles.ay be manipulated in various ways, including spinning, : 10.1093/rheumatology/ken161 .