Korean.cupuncture.ses.opper needles and has a greater focus on the hand. 38 The all the ancient materials that could have been used for acupuncture and which often produce archaeological evidence, such as sharpened bones, bamboo or stones, were also used for oether purposes. 29 An article in Rheumatology said that the absence of any mention of acupuncture in documents found in the tomb of Ma-Wang-Dui from 198 BC suggest that acupuncture was not practiced by that time. 27 Several and sometimes conflicting belief systems emerged regarding acupuncture. In.ther.Ards,.sham' or '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 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 in China repeatedly, depending on the country's political leadership and the favour of rationalism or Western medicine. 27 Acupuncture spread first to Korea in the 6th century AD, then to Japan through medical missionaries, 29 and then to Europe, starting with France. 27 In the 20th century, as it spread to the United States and Western countries, the spiritual elements of acupuncture that conflict with Western beliefs were abandoned in favour of tapping needles into nerves. 27 30 31 One type of acupuncture needle Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine. 2 It is commonly used for pain relief, 10 11 though it is also used to treat a wide range of conditions. 4 The majority of people who seek out acupuncture do so for musculoskeletal problems, including low back pain, shoulder stiffness, and knee pain. 32 Acupuncture is generally only used in combination with other forms of treatment. 12 For example, American Society of anaesthesiologists states it may be considered in the treatment for non-specific, non-inflammatory low back pain only in conjunction with conventional therapy. 33 Acupuncture is the insertion in the skin of thin needles. 3 According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Mayo Clinic, a typical session entails lying still while approximately five to twenty needles are inserted; for the majority of cases, the needles will be left in place for ten to twenty minutes. 34 It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light . 3 Classically, acupuncture is individualized and based on philosophy and intuition, and not on scientific research. 35 There is also a non-invasive therapy developed in early 20th century Japan using an elaborate set of “needles” for the treatment of children shōnishin or shōnihari. 36 37 Clinical practice varies depending on the country. 9 38 A comparison of the average number of patients treated per hour found significant differences between China 10 and the United States 1.2. 39 Chinese herbs are often used. 40 There is a diverse range of acupuncture approaches, involving different philosophies. 8 Although various different techniques of acupuncture practice have emerged, the method used in traditional Chinese medicine ACM seems to be the most widely adopted in the US. 2 Traditional acupuncture involves needle insertion, moxibustion, and cupping therapy, 16 and may be accompanied by other procedures such as feeling the pulse and other parts of the body and examining the tongue. 2 Traditional acupuncture involves the belief that a “life force” qi circulates within the body in lines called meridians. 41 The main methods practice in the UK are ACM and Western medical acupuncture. 42 The term Western medical acupuncture is used to indicate an adaptation of ACM-based acupuncture which focuses less on ACM. 41 43 The Western medical acupuncture approach involves using acupuncture after a medical diagnosis. 41 Limited research has compared the contrasting acupuncture systems used in various countries for determining different acupuncture points and thus there is no defined standard for acupuncture points. 44 In traditional acupuncture, the acupuncturist decides which points to treat by observing and questioning the patient to make a diagnosis according to the tradition used..>It.ncludes..icensing exam and registration, as well as degree courses approved by the board. 300 Canada has acupuncture licensing programs in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec; standards set by the Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture conflicted with the West's own anatomical diagrams. Acupuncture.Tote..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 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.
It.s.ifficult.ut.ot impossible to design rigorous researPh trials for aacupuncture. 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, acupuncture to cause bleeding, while others mixed the ideas of blood-letting and spiritual ch'i energy. Hand.cupuncture,.developed in Korea, canters pain via the local release of adenosine, which then triggered close-by A1 receptors “caused more tissue damage and inflammation relative to the size of the animal in mice than in humans, such studies unnecessarily muddled a finding that local inflammation can result in the local release of adenosine with analgesic effect.” 77 It has been proposed that acupuncture's effects in gastrointestinal disorders may relate to its effects on the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, which have been said to be the “Western medicine” equivalent of “yin acupuncture education and yang”. 263 Another mechanism whereby acupuncture may be effective for gastrointestinal dysfunction involves the promotion of gastric peristalsis in subjects with low initial gastric motility, and suppressing peristalsis in subjects with active initial motility. 264 Acupuncture has also been found to exert anti-inflammatory effects, which may be mediated by the activation of the vague nerve and deactivation of inflammatory macrophages . 265 Neuroimaging studies suggest that acupuncture stimulation results in deactivation of the limbic brain areas and the default mode network . 266 Acupuncture chart from the Ming dynasty c. 1368–1644 Acupuncture, along with moxibustion, is one of the oldest practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 29 Most historians believe the practice began in China, though there are some conflicting narratives on when it originated. 27 30 Academics David Ramey and Paul quell said the exact date acupuncture was founded depends on the extent dating of ancient texts can be trusted and the interpretation of what constitutes acupuncture. 267 According to an article in Rheumatology, the first documentation of an “organized system of diagnosis and treatment” for acupuncture was in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine Huangdi Beijing from about 100 BC. 27 Gold and silver needles found in the tomb of Li Cheng from around 100 BC are believed to be the earliest archaeological evidence of acupuncture, though it is unclear if that was their purpose. 267 According to Dr.