A Call for More Comparative and Basic Science Acupuncture Research.

Author: Jones DB1,2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup>Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Atlanta, GA. <sup>2</sup>Atlanta Restorative Acupuncture at MindBody Wellness Atlanta, L.L.C., Atlanta, GA.
Conference/Journal: Med Acupunct.
Date published: 2018 Apr 1
Other: Volume ID: 30 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 68-72 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1089/acu.2018.1270. , Word Count: 218

Background: The acupuncture profession is stymied by a dearth of comparative research. A review of the literature for acupuncture research reveals no meta-analyses comparing the effectiveness of different clinically popular methods/systems of acupuncture. Rather than comparing different methods/systems, acupuncture research seems more focused on determining if acupuncture, in general, works. Objectives: The aim of this Perspective is to examine the current state of acupuncture research and determine what, if any, problems or gaps in this research exist. Materials and Methods: A number of studies are discussed and analyzed to determine the current state of acupuncture research. Results: There is a lack of focus on details related to clinical practice in much of acupuncture research, and there is lack of diversity of point selection and a subsequent lack of comparison of different acupuncture methods in most acupuncture studies. There are, however, some good exceptions. Conclusions: There is a need for more comparative and basic science research-not only to demonstrate the efficacy and mechanisms of acupuncture to policymakers and insurers, or to help us know the most potent protocols for certain conditions, but also to instill greater confidence in inexperienced practitioners.

KEYWORDS: acupuncture efficacy research; acupuncture mechanism research; acupuncture research; basic science acupuncture research; comparative acupuncture research; specific effects

PMID: 29682146 PMCID: PMC5908422 [Available on 2019-04-01] DOI: 10.1089/acu.2018.1270