By relaxing and toning the back muscles, Acupressure makes the spinal adjustments easier and more effective, and the chiropractic results last longer. In other words, 'sham' or 'placebo' acupuncture generally produces the same effects as 'real' acupuncture and, in some cases, does better." 78 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. 79 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. 79 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. 76 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. 80 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. 80 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. 81 Using the principles of evidence-based medicine to research acupuncture is controversial, and has produced different results. 72 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-lasting. 15 There is insufficient evidence to support use of acupuncture compared to mainstream medical treatments . 82 Acupuncture is not better than mainstream treatment in the long term. 75 Publication bias is cited as a concern in the reviews of randomized controlled trials RCTs of acupuncture. 58 83 84 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. 85 A 2011 assessment of the quality of RCTs on TCM, 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 TCM remedies. 86 The study also found that trials published in non-Chinese journals tended to be of higher quality. 86 Chinese authors use more Chinese studies, which have been demonstrated to be uniformly positive. 87 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. 88 The conclusions of many trials and numerous systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent with each other. 13 A 2011 overview of high-quality Cochrane reviews suggests that acupuncture is effective for certain types of pain. 14 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 Cochrane 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 Anesthesia book, "when compared with placebo, acupuncture treatment has proven efficacy for relieving pain". 45 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 Edzard Ernst and David Colquhoun said the results were of negligible clinical significance. 91 92 Edzard 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 Andrew Vickers , lead author of the original 2012 paper and chair of the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration, rejects that analysis, stating that the differences between acupuncture and sham acupuncture are statistically significant. 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. 16 The same review found that it remains unclear whether acupuncture reduces pain independent of a psychological impact of the needling ritual. 16 A 2016 Cochrane 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 nonspecific 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 nonspecific 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 overview of Cochrane reviews found inconclusive evidence regarding acupuncture efficacy in treating low back pain. 14 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 Cochrane 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 to no treatment or sham therapy for chronic low back pain only in the short term immediately after treatment. 100 The same review also found that acupuncture is not more effective than conventional therapy and other alternative medicine treatments. 100 Two separate 2016 Cochrane reviews found that acupuncture could be useful in the prophylaxis of tension-type headaches and episodic migraines . 101 102 The 2016 Cochrane review evaluating acupuncture for episodic migraine prevention concluded that true acupuncture had a small effect beyond sham acupuncture and found moderate-quality evidence to suggest that acupuncture is at least similarly effective to prophylactic medications for this purpose. 102 A 2012 review found that acupuncture has demonstrated benefit for the treatment of headaches, but that safety needed to be more fully documented in order to make any strong recommendations in support of its use. 103 A 2009 Cochrane review of the use of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis treatment concluded that "true" acupuncture was no more efficient than sham acupuncture, but "true" acupuncture appeared to be as effective as, or possibly more effective than routine care in the treatment of migraines, with fewer adverse effects than prophylactic drug treatment. 104 The same review stated that the specific points chosen to needle may be of limited importance. 104 A 2009 Cochrane review found insufficient evidence to support acupuncture for tension-type headaches. 104 The same review found evidence that suggested that acupuncture might be considered a helpful non-pharmacological approach for frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headache. 104 A 2014 review concluded that "current evidence supports the use of acupuncture as an alternative to traditional analgesics in osteoarthritis patients." 105 As of 2014 update , a meta-analysis showed that acupuncture may help osteoarthritis pain but it was noted that the effects were insignificant in comparison to sham needles. 106 A 2013 systematic review and network meta-analysis found that the evidence suggests that acupuncture may be considered one of the more effective physical treatments for alleviating pain due to knee osteoarthritis in the short-term compared to other relevant physical treatments, though much of the evidence in the topic is of poor quality and there is uncertainty about the efficacy of many of the treatments. 107 A 2012 review found "the potential beneficial action of acupuncture on osteoarthritis pain does not appear to be clinically relevant." 75 A 2010 Cochrane review found that acupuncture shows statistically significant benefit over sham acupuncture in the treatment of peripheral joint osteoarthritis; however, these benefits were found to be so small that their clinical significance was doubtful, and "probably due at least partially to placebo effects from incomplete blinding". 108 A 2014 systematic review found moderate quality evidence that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in the treatment of lateral elbow pain. 109 A 2014 systematic review found that although manual acupuncture was effective at relieving short-term pain when used to treat tennis elbow , its long-term effect in relieving pain was "unremarkable". 110 A 2007 review found that acupuncture was significantly better than sham acupuncture at treating chronic knee pain; the evidence was not conclusive due to the lack of large, high-quality trials. 111 A 2011 overview of Cochrane reviews found inconclusive evidence regarding acupuncture efficacy in treating shoulder pain and lateral elbow pain. 14 Nausea and vomiting and post-operative pain A 2014 overview of systematic reviews found insufficient evidence to suggest that acupuncture is an effective treatment for postoperative nausea and vomiting PONV in a clinical setting. 112 A 2013 systematic review concluded that acupuncture might be beneficial in prevention and treatment of PONV. 113 A 2009 Cochrane review found that stimulation of the P6 acupoint on the wrist was as effective or ineffective as antiemetic drugs and was associated with minimal side effects. 112 114 The same review found "no reliable evidence for differences in risks of postoperative nausea or vomiting after P6 acupoint stimulation compared to antiemetic drugs." 114 A 2014 overview of systematic reviews found insufficient evidence to suggest that acupuncture is effective for surgical or post-operative pain. 112 For the use of acupuncture for post-operative pain, there was contradictory evidence. 112 A 2014 systematic review found supportive but limited evidence for use of acupuncture for acute post-operative pain after back surgery. 115 A 2014 systematic review found that while the evidence suggested acupuncture could be an effective treatment for postoperative gastroparesis , a firm conclusion could not be reached because the trials examined were of low quality. 116 Acupuncture is an unproven treatment for allergic- immunologic conditions. 117 A 2015 meta-analysis suggests that acupuncture might be a good option for people with allergic rhinitis AR, 118 and a number of randomized clinical trials RCTs support the use of acupuncture for AR and itch . 119 There is some evidence that acupuncture might have specific effects on perennial allergic rhinitis PAR, though all of the efficacy studies were small and conclusions should be made with caution. 120 There is mixed evidence for the symptomatic treatment or prevention of AR. 121 For seasonal allergic rhinitis SAR, the evidence failed to demonstrate specific effects for acupuncture. 121 Using acupuncture to treat other allergic conditions such as contact eczema, drug rashes, or anaphylaxis is not recommended. 119 A 2015 Cochrane review found that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for cancer pain in adults. 122 A 2014 systematic review found that acupuncture may be effective as an adjunctive treatment to palliative care for cancer patients. 123 A 2013 overview of reviews found evidence that acupuncture could be beneficial for people with cancer-related symptoms, but also identified few rigorous trials and high heterogeneity between trials. 124 A 2012 systematic review of randomised clinical trials RCTs using acupuncture in the treatment of cancer pain found that the number and quality of RCTs was too low to draw definite conclusions. 125 A 2014 systematic review reached inconclusive results with regard to the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating cancer-related fatigue. 126 A 2013 systematic review found that acupuncture is an acceptable adjunctive treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting , but that further research with a low risk of bias is needed. 127 A 2013 systematic review found that the quantity and quality of available RCTs for analysis were too low to draw valid conclusions for the effectiveness of acupuncture for cancer-related fatigue . 128 A 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis found very limited evidence regarding acupuncture compared with conventional intramuscular injections for the treatment of hiccups in cancer patients. 129 The methodological quality and amount of RCTs in the review was low. 129 A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis found some evidence that acupuncture was effective for FD, but also called for further well-designed, long-term studies to be conducted to evaluate its efficacy for this condition. 130 A 2014 Cochrane review found that "it remains unknown whether manual acupuncture or electroacupuncture is more effective or safer than other treatments" for functional dyspepsia FD. 131 A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis found poor quality evidence for use of acupuncture in infertile men to improve sperm motility, sperm concentration, and the pregnancy rate; the evidence was rated as insufficient to draw any conclusion regarding efficacy. 132 A 2013 Cochrane review found no evidence of acupuncture for improving the success of in vitro fertilization IVF. 133 A 2013 systematic review found no benefit of adjuvant acupuncture for IVF on pregnancy success rates. 134 A 2012 systematic review found that acupuncture may be a useful adjunct to IVF, 135 but its conclusions were rebutted after reevaluation using more rigorous, high quality meta-analysis standards. 136 A 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis found that acupuncture did not significantly improve the outcomes of in vitro fertilization. 137 A 2011 overview of systematic reviews found that the evidence that acupuncture was effective was not compelling for most gynecologic conditions. Some proponents claim acupressure not only treats the energy fields and body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit. Laminated acupuncture charts will create a professional atmosphere in your office - acupressure.com/acupuncture_charts.html . If there is no blockage, you won't feel any effect from pressing the point and won't need to treat it. 16 Relaxing can also help emphasize the effects. 17 Press for the appropriate length of time. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body's natural painkillers and increases blood flow. Acupuncturists tend to perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than structural terms e.g., as being useful in guiding evaluation and care of patients. 11 There are several different instruments for applying nonspecific pressure by rubbing, rolling, or applying pressure on the reflex zones of the body. If you want to learn … Access full post by Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D. Acupuncture became the most popular alternative medicine in the US. 258 Politicians from the Chinese Communist Party said acupuncture was superstitious and conflicted with the party's commitment to science. 277 Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong later reversed this position, 277 arguing that the practice was based on scientific principles. 278 In 1971, a New York Times reporter published an article on his acupuncture experiences in China, which led to more investigation of and support for acupuncture. 28 The US President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972 . 279 During one part of the visit, the delegation was shown a patient undergoing major surgery while fully awake, ostensibly receiving acupuncture rather than anesthesia . 279 Later it was found that the patients selected for the surgery had both a high pain tolerance and received heavy indoctrination before the operation; these demonstration cases were also frequently receiving morphine surreptitiously through an intravenous drip that observers were told contained only fluids and nutrients. 279 One patient receiving open heart surgery while awake was ultimately found to have received a combination of three powerful sedatives as well as large injections of a local anesthetic into the wound. 58 After the National Institute of Health expressed support for acupuncture for a limited number of conditions, adoption in the US grew further. 28 In 1972 the first legal acupuncture center in the US was established in Washington DC 280 and in 1973 the American Internal Revenue Service allowed acupuncture to be deducted as a medical expense. 281 In 2006, a BBC documentary Alternative Medicine filmed a patient undergoing open heart surgery allegedly under acupuncture-induced anesthesia. This short video clip will give you hands-on instruction on how to use this recovery point. Students from all over the world utilize acupressure charts by Michael Reed Gach. They should be about 2 inches from the middle of your neck. Learn Large Intestine 4. Other techniques aim at "tonifying" Chinese : 补; pinyin : bǔ or "sedating" Chinese : 泄; pinyin : xiè qi. 53 The former techniques are used in deficiency patterns, the latter in excess patterns. 53 De qi is more important in Chinese acupuncture, while Western and Japanese patients may not consider it a necessary part of the treatment. 39 Acupressure being applied to a hand.
Through a variety of acupressure methods ranging from light touch, tapping, to simply holding the points, the body's life energy is able to flow and rebalance. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. An acupoint can be stimulated with different methods. In fact, Acupressure and chiropractic treatments were originally practice together in ancient China.