A huge new study from York University recommends acupuncture and shows it in a very promising light.  This extract summarises the researchers’ findings:

‘We used systematic processes to combine and interpret data from high-quality clinical trials of acupuncture involving approximately 18,000 patients. The types of pain investigated in these trials were neck and lower back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, headache and migraine. We found acupuncture to be more than simply a placebo as it was more effective than sham acupuncture, with sham acupuncture consisting of needling that did not penetrate the skin or needling at the wrong points. Acupuncture was also found to be better than standard medical care for all of these chronic pain conditions.

‘In another analysis, we compared acupuncture with other physical therapies for acupuncture in oxfordosteoarthritis of the knee and found acupuncture to be one of the more clinically effective therapies and, when based on high-quality trial evidence, also cost-effective. When all trials were analysed, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation was cost-effective. We also conducted a large-scale clinical trial of acupuncture or counselling for depression in which we found both interventions to be clinically effective and acupuncture to be cost-effective. Counselling was also cost-effective where acupuncture was contraindicated or unavailable’

The new study from York University recommends acupuncture for some physical and mental health conditions

This is perhaps the strongest evidence of the effects of acupuncture to date.  The study validates acupuncture’s efficacy for pain conditions, showing mechanisms that reduce pain.  It also shows that acupuncture is effective for many other conditions, including both mental and physical health conditions.  Showing its cost-effectiveness is also a great thing, as it will allow policy makers to consider acupuncture in the future.

For more details on how the new study from York University recommends acupuncture, you can read the full study: click here.  Warning, it is 342 pages long.  I’ll be doing a more in-depth blog on it in the coming weeks.