Symposium draws 350 to Chicago
AAMA's 16th Annual Symposium, Medical Acupuncture in the New Millennium: Integrating
Science with Tradition, was enjoyed by nearly 350 people in Chicago, thanks again to the hard work of Chair Roberto A. Jodorkovsky, MD, FAAMA, an excellent Faculty, Pre-Symposium instructors, exhibitors and contributions from all the members who attended.
AAMA President Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA (left), and Bryan L. Frank, MD, FAAMA, congradulate Elizabeth Sebestyen, MD, for winning first place in Poster presentations competition. See winners in accompanying article.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHANGES
In Chicago, some changes were made to the Board of Directors, which now includes: President Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA; President-Elect Michael W. Coomes, MD, FAAMA; Treasurer Gene G. Hong, MD, DABMA (new to position), and Secretary Hiroshi Nakazawa, MD, FAAMA. Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA, is immediate past president. Directors include Drs. Bruce R. Gilbert (newly elected), Roberto A. Jodorkovsky (newly elected), Susan G. Kaplan, Yuan-Chi Lin, Glenn S. Rothfeld and William D. Rutenberg. See staff box on page 3 for individual credentials.
As they stepped off the Board, Wendy E. Page-Echols, DO; Steven E. Braverman, MD, and Kathleen E. Bishop, MD, FAAMA, were thanked for their service as directors.
At the Annual Membership Meeting, members voted to remove the 50 CME requirement for all Full members (excluding DABMAs). Last year, members voted to remove the CME requirement for Associate members, too. Also, Dr. Soliman announced a decision by the Board of Directors to limit Symposium attendance to MDs and DOs only, while allowing non-physicians to attend AAMA weekend workshops throughout the year. (See his column below.)
Faculty members, who offered outstanding presentations, included Drs. Joseph Audette, David J. Bilstrom, Mitchell Elkiss, Richard Feely, Edward S. Garbacz, Dominik Irnish, Helene Langeven, Lixing Lao, Yuan Chi Lin, May Loo, Kiiko Matsumoto, Allen McDaniels, Noel Nowicki, John Reed, Glenn S. Rothfield, Jay Sandweiss, Jay Shah and Jeffrey Yuen.
Tapan K. Chaudhuri, MD, FAAMA, who served as vice chair of the 16th annual Symposium, again organized the four Pre-Symposium workshops in Chicago. Faculty included Dr. Audette and Kiiko Matsumoto with Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture and Matsumoto's Strategies: A Theoretical-Practical Approach; Dr. Rothfeld with Practical Five Elements; Dr. Sandweiss with Integrating Acupuncture and Manual Medicine: An Intersection for Energetic and Somatic Pathways; and Dr. Yuen with Immunological Conditions: The Divergent Meridians and Western Correlates: Anatomy, Pathophysiology, Clinical Implications, Autoimmune Diseases. Also that evening, Introduction to Medical Acupuncture was offered by Dr. Audette and Physician Practice Management Workshop by Drs. Reed and Bilstrom.
The curriculum was quite rich and covered a wide range of acupuncture practice. The Symposium also featured a Poster presentation of many interesting abstracts of clinical research projects and case reports. Many Academy members also were recognized for their outstanding services.
There were 15 abstracts accepted for Poster presentations of research and interesting cases. First place $300 went to Elizabeth Sebestyen, MD, for "Acupuncture as a Complementary Treatment in Cancer." Second place $200 went to Hi-Joon Park, KMD, PhD, for "The Association of DRD2 Taq 1 A Polymorphism and Acupuncture Response to Smoking Cessation." Third place $100 was a tie to Anaflavia O. Freire, MD, for "Effect of Moxibustion in Acupoints Ren-12 (Zhongwan), st-25 (Tianshu) and St-36 (Zuzanli) in the Prevention of Gastric Lesions Induced by Indomethacin in Wistar Rats" and to Ronald Reimer, MD, for "Management of Post-Operative Pain Secondary to Ileus Utilizing Neuroanatomic Acupuncture."
For MARF Acupuncture Research Award winners, see page 4.
Drs. Jodorkovsky and Chaudhuri are to be applauded for their relentless efforts over the past year to again provide members with outstanding lecturers and a fulfilling curriculum. Watch the AAMA Newsletter and website (www.medicalacupuncture.org) for the announcement of Symposium dates and location in 2005.
BACK TO TOP
President outlines Symposium success,
new policy on nonphysician attendance
By Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA
16TH ANNUAL AAMA SYMPOSIUM
The 16th Annual AAMA Symposium held in early April in the beautiful city of C
hicago is receiving rave reviews. The Symposium presented a wide variety of topics covering the many disciplines of acupuncture. Members enjoyed a fascinating group of speakers from around the country, as well as many international speakers.
Dr. Soliman at Symposium in Chicago
The Symposium's success is a testimony to the commitment of AAMA to offer the highest quality of education in medical acupuncture. On behalf of the Academy, I would like to thank every member of the Symposium Committee for this magnificent work. I also would like to thank all our national and international speakers for an outstanding job. Additionally, the Academy wishes to thank Bryan L. Frank, MD, FAAMA, for sharing his photographs of the Symposium featured in this issue of the AAMA Newsletter. If you missed this Symposium, I urge you to make every effort to attend AAMA's 17th Annual Symposium in 2005. Watch for the city and host hotel in future newsletters and on www.medicalacupuncture.org soon.
A recent poll among our membership about allowing non-physician licensed acupuncturists to attend our symposia (this affects only their attendance but not their participation as speakers) showed that the membership was equally divided on this issue. This prompted the Academy's Board of Directors to examine the issue further. A task force was formed of members from both sides to examine the issue in depth and to consider all the possible implications. For about a year, the task force has faithfully examined this issue and explored the mechanisms by which other medical societies allow the participation of non-physicians in their symposia and educational meetings.
Based on recommendations of the task force, AAMA's Board of Directors issued the following guidelines:
- Symposium attendance will be closed to non-physician acupuncturists (but not to their capacity as speakers).
- On a case-by-case basis, a licensed acupuncturist might be admitted to the symposia if he or she is a part of a team in the office of a medical acupuncturist.
- All weekend workshops held throughout the year outside of the symposia will be open to non-physicians with no restrictions.
These guidelines should satisfy the membership desire to give non-physicians the opportunity to benefit from AAMA educational programs and to foster appropriate interaction, but keep the symposia as the only time throughout the year that members can get together to learn, discuss issues of interest and socialize. Though other medical societies may admit non-physicians to all their educational programs, keep in mind that our Academy encompasses physicians from many different medical specialties, and the Symposium offers the only opportunity for members to get together.
The Academy will soon make available on our website (www.medicalacupuncture.org) job descriptions of the various committees. Knowing the job descriptions will make it possible for members to choose the most suitable committee that matches their talent or interest to join.
A volunteer site will also be available soon for those who want to serve on the Academy's different functions.
BACK TO TOP
Members earn DABMA
The following AAMA members recently met the stringent requirements of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) and have achieved Board Certification in medical acupuncture. They have earned the designation DABMA (Diplomate, American Board of Medical Acupuncture):
Ayman Abdel-Halim, MD, DABMA, of Little Rock, AR; Pamela G. Avery, MD, DABMA, of Madison, WI; Elizabeth T. Conrad, MD, DABMA, of Alexandria, VA; Maureen A. Flannery, MD, DABMA, of Berea, KY; Marc S. Goldstein, MD, DABMA, of Sturbridge, MA; Michael T. Greenwood, MD, DABMA, of Victoria, BC; Paul B. Juergens, MD, DABMA, of Marion, IL; Hiroshi Kamaya, MD, DABMA, of Salt Lake City, UT; Robert A. Locke, MD, DABMA, of Cicero, IN; Minh K. Nguyen, MD, DABMA, of Westminster, CA; Breanna Ruthrauff, MD, DABMA, of Sacramento, CA; Cynthia Lynn Smith, MD, DABMA, of Dallas, TX; Michael Towbin, MD, DABMA, of Ft. Collins, CO; Stephanie Warner, MD, DABMA, of Bluffton, SC; and Alan J. Watanabe, MD, DABMA, Columbus, OH
BACK TO TOP
New Fellows congratulated at Symposium
Newly named Fellows of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (FAAMA) are congratulated at Symposium in Chicago.
New Fellows were congratulated at the Symposium in Chicago. The following physicians have been elected Fellows of the Academy and earned the designation FAAMA (Fellow, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture) for their extraordinary contributions to the Academy and to medical acupuncture:
Robert J. Abramson, MD, FAAMA, of New York, NY; Brian Bouch, MD, FAAMA, of Petaluma, CA; David L. Cohen, DO, FAAMA, of Oakwood, GA; Michael W. Coomes, MD, FAAMA, of Minneapolis, MN; Randall C. Cork, MD, PhD, FAAMA, of Shreveport, LA; Donald R. Counts, MD, PA, FAAMA, of Austin, TX; James A. Della Valle, MD, FAAMA, of Lanesboro, PA; William John Diamond, MD, FAAMA, of Reno, NV; Mary Jo Fishburn, MD, FAAMA, of Towson, MD; Gerald W. Grass, MD, FAAMA, of New York, NY; Michael Green, MD, FAAMA, of Minneapolis, MN; Jan T. Hendryx, DO, FAAMA, of Bradford, PA; Henry F Kenkel, MD, FAAMA, of Cincinnati, OH; Jai Sung Lee, MD, FAAMA, of Laurel, MD; Frank M. Lobacz, MD, FAAMA, of Bayshore, NY; Paul J. Millea, MD, FAAMA, Milwaukee, WI; Robert M. Roeshman, DO, FAAMA, of Allentown, PA; Lynn M. Rusy, MD, FAAMA, of Milwaukee, WI; Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA, of Ann Arbor, MI; Joseph Sciammarella, MD, FAAMA, of Hempstead, NY; Dein M. Shapiro, MD, FAAMA, of Branchburg, NJ; and Rebecca Wilks, MD, FAAMA, of Glendale, AZ
BACK TO TOP
instructor lists sources
At the Symposium, Jeffrey Yuen was asked where more details could be found about his teachings after his Pre-Symposium workshop, "Immunological Conditions: The Divergent Meridians and Western Correlates: Anatomy, Pathophysiology, Clinical Implications, Autoimmune Diseases."
One resource is the American University of Complementary Medicine, Los Angeles (www.aucm.org). This is a PhD program in Classical Chinese Medicine. Another website that soon will list classes worldwide is www.jadepurityfoundation.org. Tapes can be obtained through California State Oriental Medical Association (www.csomaonline.org) and American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (www.aobta.org). Transcripts also can be ordered from Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, at email@example.com and through www.herbalroom.com.
In Chicago, Dr. Yuen taught about the pathophysiology of pernicious influences (as manifested in autoimmune diseases) and treatment with divergent meridians by putting it in the context of the history of Chinese medicine and its development. Margaret Mullins, MD, said Dr. Yuen showed how when unable to deal with pernicious influences, the body can put them into a state of latency to deal with later.
By addressing the various levels of involvement and ways to deal with them later, Dr. Yuen showed the therapeutic models to use in either helping maintain the latency if the body was not strong enough to release the PFs or if it was strong enough, how to do treatments that would help release the PFs in a controlled manner. This can be done so as not to cause the body further harm -- but rather to heal and reverse autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Yuen is a Taoist priest of the Jade Purity School and the Complete Reality School; he is also dean for academic affairs at the Swedish Institute, school of acupuncture and Oriental studies, and director and instructor at the International Tai Chi Institute, both in New York City. He is a guest lecturer at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Columbia University School of Medicine.
BACK TO TOP
Norman Zavela, MD, DABMA, recently presented the two-part lecture, Introduction to Medical Acupuncture and Energetic Medicine, to anesthesiology residents at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. The lectures were well received by residents. Also, Dr. Zavela has launched his website at www.drzacupuncture.com.
Acupuncture Society of Michigan will host Prof. Neil R. Gumenick, MAc (UK), CT(A), LAc, Dipl. Ac., of the Institute of Classic Five-Element Acupuncture, Inc. of Santa Monica, CA, who will present Five Elements: Exploring the Path July 10-11, 2004 in Walled Lake, MI. For details, call 248/669-0068.
May 31st is the deadline to submit an abstract for the 11th Annual Conference of the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR), which will be held Oct. 1-3, 2004 at Radisson Miyako Hotel (800/333-3333) in San Francisco. The conference will provide a forum for discussion of state-of-the-art research on acupuncture and for clinical and basic science researchers to share their contributions with acupuncture practitioners and educators.. Abstracts are solicited on clinical studies of acupuncture's therapeutic effect, basic science studies of its mechanism of action, methodological issues in acupuncture research and epidemiological studies of acupuncture. For more information and abstract forms, visit SAR's website at www.acupunctureresearch.org.
There's been a dramatic increase in patient encounters for chiropractic and acupuncture services, according to the most recent data available from Solucient (www.solucient.com). Solucient tracks data on many outpatient procedures, based on procedure and diagnostic codes from more than 160 million service records. Their white paper, "Top Growth Areas in the Outpatient Market," reports that chiropractic visits increased 91% from 1999 to 2001, while acupuncture visits increased 200%. "Noteworthy growth in chiropractic and acupuncture results from physician acceptance, patient demand and insurers covering the therapies," the report states. In 1999, 1,302,266; in 2000, 1,317,760 and in 2001, 4,103,084 estimated encounters for acupuncture (with and without electrical stimulation) were tracked.
"Managed care organizations and other third-party payers have strong incentive to reimburse for chiropractic care as studies demonstrate that the therapy reduces the rate of surgical interventions and inpatient stays," Solucient reports. "Spurred by their patients, physicians are increasingly recommending CAM, especially for chronic conditions, such as back problems, anxiety, depression and headaches. For a copy of the report, go to www.solucient.com/forms/outpatient_whitepaper.asp and fill out a short form.
Members participating in AAMA's referral program will be happy to hear that 380 calls came into national headquarters (and 4,293 website hits to the referral page) in January; 230 calls (and 4,460 website hits) in February, and 249 calls (and 5,114 website hits) in March from patients seeking medical acupuncturists.
Practice members (associate, full and Fellows) who are not participating in the patient referral program but would like to, need to notify AAMA by mail (4929 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 428, Los Angeles, CA 90010) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). To see if you're signed up for this program, check the referral search (Find an Acupuncturist) at: www.medicalacupuncture.org/findadoc/index.html.
The Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine of Weill Medical College of Cornell University announces Research Fellowships in Complementary and Integrative Medicine supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This two-year program will train post-residency physicians in complementary approaches to integrate with conventional medicine. Fellows will enroll in the Master's Program in Clinical Epidemilology and Health Services Research with 20 required courses, as well as nine courses focusing on complementary and alternative medicine modalities. Each Fellow will design a research project under mentorship. For further information, contact Program Coordinator Sally Moon (212/746-1608, email@example.com) or visit www.medicalacupuncture.org.
Members can now receive the AAMA Newsletter via e-mail. Not only will they get the issues quicker, but this also will save AAMA money by reduced printing and postage costs. To receive newsletters electronically, contact Membership Coordinator Natalie Ortiz (firstname.lastname@example.org, 323/937-5514, x20). Incidentally, past issues are posted online at www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/newsletter/newslist.htm.
Helms Medical Institute is offering Unit 3: Clinical Unit May 21-30 in Tempe, AZ, and Oct. 29-Nov. 7 in Boca Raton, FL or Dec. 3-12 in Tempe, AZ. For more details, log on to www.hmieducation.com or call 510/649-8692.
If you've read any good books on acupuncture or related products recently, please send that information to AAMA headquarters to be shared with the membership. You can also post a review of the publications in the Academy's online bookstore. Go to: www.medicalacupuncture.org, click on AAMA Store and then on Check Out Our Comprehensive Selection. Next click on the book cover (or More Info) and then on Post a Review.
Academy of Pain Research announces that 10th North American Symposium and Peri/symposium seminars and workshops will be held as follows: Phase 1 June 26-July 3 and Phase 2 Oct. 30-Nov. 6, and Second American Congress on Chinese Herbal Medine Aug. 28-Sept. 4. All events will be held at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel in San Francisco. More details are available at www.acupuncturecourse.org, 888/882-1330 or email@example.com.
If you have acupuncture privileges at a hospital and have not notified AAMA, fax your name, hospital, city and state to 323/937-0959 to be added to our list. You can see if you're already listed at: www.medicalacupuncture.org/acu_info/hospriv.html. If you need a hospital privileges credentialing package, call 323/937-5514 (or download it from our website). On the AAMA website home page, click on General Information & Research. Under Hospital Privileges, you will see a Guide for Physicians, Criteria for Privileges, List of Members with Privileges and Links of Interest.
Integrated Medicine Seminars is offering Auricular Therapy seminars May 22-23 in San Francisco and Aug. 28-29 in Philadelphia, Auricular Medicine Nov. 6-7 in Las Vegas, and Homeopathy for Acupuncture Practitioners June 5-6 in Baltimore. All offer 15 hours CEU. For details, call Bryan L. Frank, MD, FAAMA, at 405/623-7667 or visit www.auriculartherapy.com.
Please send news items and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACK TO TOP
MARF Acupuncture Research winners named
Winners of the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) annual Acupuncture Research Award, sponsored by Seirin-America, were announced at AAMA's Symposium 2004 by Thomas Riihimaki, CEO of Seirin America and OMS:
- First Place was "Biological Effects of Painless Laser Needle Acupuncture" by Dr. Gerhard Litscher. His paper was presented at the Symposium. He was awarded $3,000, Symposium registration, travel to $500 and three night's hotel lodging.
- Second Place was "The Use of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Bronchitis" by Dr. Vadim Buevich. He was awarded $2,000, Symposium registration and travel to $500.
- Third Place was "Acupuncture in Severe COPD in Horses (218 Cases)" by Dr. Uwe Peterman. He was awarded $1,000 and Symposium registration.
Papers for second and third place were announced at the Symposium and authors acknowledged there.
First Honorable Mention was "Acupuncture for Emotional Complaints in Pregnancy. A Prospective, randomized, non-controlled study" by Dr. Joao Bosco Silva.
Second Honorable Mention was "A Parametric Study of Electroacupuncture on Persistent Hyperalgesia and Fos Protein expression in Rats" by Lixing Lao, PhD.
MARF's website (www.acubriefs.com) continues to provide online acupuncture references free of charge. There is now also an online acupuncture manual with a robust search engine that should be quite handy for those reviewing the literature and/or are away from standard paper references. Additionally, AAMA members are entitled to some free librarian services. Check out the details at www.acubriefs.com and/or e-mail email@example.com.
While visiting the website, don't forget to sign up for the free quarterly online research newsletter.
BACK TO TOP
Dr. Sager to chair ICMART Education Chapter
Event to be Oct. 1-4 in Australia
Above (from left) are Dr. and Mrs. Chin Chan and Dr. and Mrs. Danny Traum of Australia, hosts of ICMART 2004 in Sydney.
Above, Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA presents at ICMART 2003 in Brazil
The International Council on Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques Board of Directors has asked Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA, immediate past president of AAMA, to serve as chair of the Education Chapter. He has been invited to attend the ICMART Bureau meeting with international members in August as a special guest to discuss Chapter goals and priorities.
The Bureau determined that establishing an education protocol for international physician medical acupuncture was so time consuming and urgent that the education component would be separated from the public relations aspect. Leaders agreed that international PR must follow in order for ICMART standards to become the international convention.
Australian Drs. Danny Traum and Chin Chan and the Australian Medical Acupuncture College (AMAC) announced that ICMART XI World Medical Acupuncture Congress will be held Oct. 1-4, 2004 in Sydney, Australia at the Shangri La Hotel (formerly the ANA) of the historic Rock's district, with spectacular views of Sydney Harbor and the famous Sydney Opera House. The Education Chapter plans to have a draft ready for that meeting regarding international physician medical acupuncture education standards.
Information on this Congress is available from Des Kennedy, conference organizer (firstname.lastname@example.org, +61 7 3295 9565, fax +61 7 3295 9566), on ICMART and AMAC websites at www.icmart.org and www.acupunctureaustralia.org, from Bryan L. Frank, MD, FAAMA, at email@example.com and at www.medicalacupuncture.org/events/icmart_2004.html. The XII ICMART Congress will be held in Prague in 2005, followed by the XIII Congress hosted by AAMA in the USA in 2006.
BACK TO TOP
The Arizona Chapter hosted Leon Hammer, MD, for a weekend of pulse diagnosis in March. Members began to learn some of the subtleties of palpating the pulse in different positions. They plan to have followup weekends during the year to continue to practicing their skills. Twelve hours of Category I CME credit were granted through the Academy.
Chapter President Martha M. Grout, MD, FAAMA, has been appointed Secretary of the Arizona State Board of Acupuncture.
Rebecca Wilks, MD, was recently awarded the Dream Scholarship from the Arizona Consortium of Complementary Healing Organizations to pursue education in homeopathy.
Also, Abraham Kuruvilla, MD, has been appointed to the following faculty positions:
- Clinical Assistant Professor, Family Practice, University of Arizona School of Medicine
- Clinical Lecturer, Pediatrics, University of Arizona School of Medicine
- Adjunct Faculty, Arizona State University School of Nursing, South West College of Naturopathy and Midwestern University (Osteopathic Medicine)
Edward Garbacz, MD, teaches at Georgia Chapter meeting. Participants learned in a hands-on practical section during the second day.
The Georgia Chapter (Georgia Association of Medical Acupuncture) had a great turnout, a lot of fun and wonderful information presented at Dr. Edward Garbacz's two-day lecture in March. The topic was Traditional Chinese Medicine and treating Psycho-Emotional Disturbances. The weather was sunny and warm, so both days, lunch was served outside by the pool. If you missed this year's meeting, look for information about next year in the AAMA Newsletter in a few months.
AAMA welcomes the Maryland Chapter (Maryland Society of Medical Acupuncture) approved at the recent Symposium. Officers include President Kathleen Eaton, MD, Secretary Mary Jo Fishburn, MD, FAAMA, and Treasurer Tammi David, MD. For details on joining, contact Dr. Eaton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph Sciammarella, MD, FAAMA, recently delivered a lecture entitled, "Acupuncture in Cardiovascular Disease," at the American Heart Association's Annual Nursing Seminar in Melville, NY. The seminar was attended by more than 450 Registered Nurses, and the topic was very well received. Dr. Sciammarella is president of the New York State Chapter of AAMA.
Dr. Pat Lariccia, Sylvia Webster, John Kohler, Tom Burgoon, Lois Stenowski and Mitchell Krause just some of the members of the Pennsylvania chapter who enjoyed a talk on the uses of infrared laser for acupuncture.
The Pennsylvania Chapter recently had a successful talk on the uses of infrared laser for acupuncture and other medical treatments. A spring meeting is being planned.
Does your state have a regional AAMA chapter? If not, please consider forming one. Chapters provide fellowship, professional camaraderie, education and curbside consults. Contact Regional Chapter Subcommittee Chair Martha M. Grout, MD, FAAMA (602/787-8500, email@example.com). Dr. Grout reports lots of member interest in forming chapters in states such as California, Ohio and others.
BACK TO TOP
Study: Acupuncture useful headache treatment
A recent study by American researchers confirmed that acupuncture is a useful, cost-effective treatment for patients who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, reports AAMA Treasurer Gene Hong, MD, DABMA.
Using one of the largest randomized studies to assess effectiveness, scientists concluded that acupuncture worked better than just conventional treatments alone. Reuters (www.reuters.com) published an interview with Dr. Andrew Vickers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Scientists compared acupuncture plus standard treatment to normal therapy alone in 401 patients in England and Wales who suffered from headaches several days each week, with findings published in the online British Medical Journal (www.bmj.com, click on Search/Archive and then type "acupuncture headache").
After a year, scientists noticed a big change between the two groups. Patients receiving acupuncture had 22 fewer days of headaches per year, used 15% less medication, made 25% fewer visits to their family doctor and took fewer days off sick than the other group. There were not many side effects and the treatment was cost effective. German researchers have also said acupuncture could help women undergoing fertility treatment to conceive, the study reports.
BACK TO TOP
BACK TO TOP
Two reports assessing efficacy of acupuncture
On fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis
NCCAM announced that AHRQ produced two technology assessments on the use of acupuncture for treatment of fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The reports provide an overview of the disease, treatment and an assessment of prior systematic reviews. In both cases, authors stated that there is insufficient evidence to support a conclusion that acupuncture has specific beneficial effects.
The report on the osteoarthritis study reached the conclusion that no acceptable studies have demonstrated that acupuncture is better than sham acupuncture. More research on larger groups needs to be done, and more research needs to be done on the effect of sham acupuncture on such study results, as the act of placing a needle anywhere -- even though not a valid acupuncture point -- may have an analgesic effect and thus, is coloring the results of those studies.
On the fibromyalgia study, it concluded that previously reported studies have not produced sufficient evidence that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia. However, as previous studies involved small populations and had other possible deficiencies, more research is needed.
In both of these reports, researchers concluded that based on a review of all other "evidenced-based" research, there is inconclusive evidence that acupuncture is indicated as the primary treatment option. Though some studies do report efficacy, there are particular study flaws in the osteoporosis studies regarding the use and impact of sham acupuncture points. With the fibromyalgia study, there seemed to be evidence of efficacy, but the study size and duration of relief were insufficient to rely on as conclusive.
Most importantly though, they report that there is a major research project on just those points that is now in Phase III trial involving 1,000-plus patients. Funded by NCCAM, that study is expected to produce more acceptable data. A list of citations at the conclusion of both reports shows how much is now out there in traditional Western medical journals. Both reports are worth reading to understand their methodology, some of the weaknesses in current studies and the efforts to overcome those problems going forward.
For more details on these studies, visit NCCAM's website at