Harvard scientists ask 'what is the point?' in challenge to acupuncture researchers

March 22, 2018

New Rochelle, NY, March 22, 2018--The effectiveness of acupuncture compared to standard treatments has led to its growing inclusion in pain guidelines and in delivery organizations like the U.S. military and Veterans Administration, yet many continue to believe acupuncture lacks scientific credibility. Central to the skepticism are unanswered questions about acupuncture points. Integrative health researchers from Harvard Medical School propose a coordinated effort to develop a clear definition of acupuncture points and to carefully evaluate their "specificity" and possible biological basis, as described in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers dedicated to paradigm, practice, and policy advancing integrative health. The article is available free on the JACM website.

Helene Langevin, MD and Peter Wayne, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, face head-on the criticism that there is a lack of scientific rigor underlying acupuncture in the article entitled "What Is the Point? The Problem with Acupuncture Research That No One Wants to Talk About." The acupuncture research community has for too long ignored the need for better terminology and for less confusing, more biological or anatomical descriptions of acupuncture points, contend the authors. Without the basic scientific and comparative studies needed to support acupuncture as an evidence-based therapy its legitimacy will continue to be questioned and its inclusion as a healthcare service will be limited.

Lead author Langevin notes that "For decades, acupuncture research has served as a convenient punching bag for skeptics. Researchers need to fix some problems that contribute to this situation."

"Acupuncture is making a leap into mainstream health care. This position of relative strength is a great time to take on sticky challenges that remain in its evidence profile," says JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks, johnweeks-integrator.com, Seattle, WA. "Langevin and Wayne thoroughly examine the issues and propose a path forward. Their paper is a landmark document for moving our understanding of acupuncture to the next level."
-end-
About the Journal

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print that is dedicated to research on paradigm, practice and policy advancing integrative health. Led by John Weeks (johnweeks-integrator.com), the co-founder and past Executive Director of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, JACM publishes human clinical trials, observational studies, systematic reviews and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals, delivery organization leaders, policy-makers and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols, payment strategies and appropriate protocols. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the JACM website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Medical Acupuncture, and Journal of Medicinal Food. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Related Acupuncture Articles from Brightsurf:

Nonverbal doctor-patient rapport relieved pain during acupuncture treatment
When 22 acupuncture clinicians and 23 patients seeking pain relief mirrored each other's facial expressions during acupuncture treatment, patients experienced less pain, according to a new study.

Acupuncture before surgery means less pain, significantly fewer opioids for Veterans
Veterans who have acupuncture before surgery report less pain and need far fewer opioids to manage their discomfort, according to a randomized, controlled study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2020 annual meeting.

Acupuncture can reduce migraine headaches
Acupuncture can reduce migraine headaches compared to both sham (placebo) acupuncture and usual care, finds a new trial from China published by The BMJ today.

Acupuncture equals disease prevention say new studies
Well-recognized for its therapeutic effects, acupuncture is increasingly being appreciated for its ability to promote wellness and contribute to the prevention of a broad range of conditions.

Acupuncture may ease troublesome menopausal symptoms
A brief course of acupuncture may help to ease troublesome menopausal symptoms, suggests a small study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Number of veterans affairs facilities offering acupuncture growing rapidly
Acupuncture is an increasingly important and effective component of chronic pain management and other areas of care in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Fertility study finds acupuncture ineffective for IVF birth rates
A study of over 800 Australian and New Zealand women undergoing acupuncture treatment during their IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle has confirmed no significant difference in live birth rates.

Acupuncture possible treatment for dental anxiety
Researchers have found evidence that acupuncture could help people who experience dental anxiety.

Harvard scientists ask 'what is the point?' in challenge to acupuncture researchers
The effectiveness of acupuncture compared to standard treatments has led to its growing inclusion in pain guidelines and in delivery organizations like the US military and Veterans Administration, yet many continue to believe acupuncture lacks scientific credibility.

Can acupuncture help alleviate menopausal symptoms?
An umbrella review from Duke Clinical Research Institute that was a comprehensive assessment of previous systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials has found that women who received acupuncture had less frequent and less severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause than women who did not have acupuncture.

Read More: Acupuncture News and Acupuncture Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.