Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture News and Research


ankylosing spondylitis

Acupuncture and herbs outperform sulfasalazine for the alleviation of ankylosing spondylitis. Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers investigated the benefits of drugs, acupuncture, and herbal medicine for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. The researchers conclude that acupuncture plus herbs is more effective than the sulfasalazine (an antirheumatic medication).

BL15 BL20

Acupuncture alleviates postpartum depression. In a recent study conducted by the Traditional Medicine Hospital of Hainan Province (Haikou), acupuncture was found safe and effective. [1] This study compared standard care (psychological intervention and medication) to standard care paired with acupuncture for 80 women diagnosed with postpartum depression. The standard care control group measured a 67.5% total effective rate, while the group also receiving acupuncture measured a 90% total effective rate.

bladder artery

Acupuncture improves bladder function for spinal cord injury patients. First Affiliated Huai’an People’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University researchers find acupuncture combined with intermittent catheterization alleviates neurogenic bladder dysfunction caused by traumatic spinal cord injuries . The study found significant improvements in bladder capacity, residual volume, urinary flow rate, urinary volume, and detrusor pressure following this combined treatment approach. [1]

TB4 Yangchi

Acupuncture is more effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis and improving markers of oxidative stress than pharmaceuticals. This was discovered in a recent study conducted at Gansu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated Hospital. [1]

SP6 acupoint

Acupuncture outperforms diclofenac sodium for the treatment of gout. Yangchun City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers compared the effectiveness of acupuncture plus a Chinese herbal wash with diclofenac sodium drug therapy for the treatment of acute gout. Diclofenac sodium is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by arthritis. Patients receiving acupuncture plus the Chinese herbal wash had a 93.33% total effective rate. Another group of patients receiving diclofenac sodium drug therapy had a 76.67% total effective rate. [1]


Acupuncture is effective for lumbar disc herniation treatment. A recent study conducted at Xinzheng Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Henan, China found that a combination of acupuncture and a modified Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang herbal formula relieves pain and improves quality of life for patients with lumbar disc herniation. This study compared treatments of acupuncture and herbal medicine with the anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical celecoxib. Acupuncture patients experienced greater relief from pain and improvement in quality of life with a 90.69% total effective rate and no reported adverse effects. [1] In comparison, the control group experienced an 81.40% total effective rate.


Acupuncture alleviates irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and reduces IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) recurrences. Pu’er People’s Hospital (Yunnan, China) researchers conclude that warm needle acupuncture is clinically effective against type-D (diarrhea predominant) IBS. A six-month follow-up after completion of acupuncture treatments confirms lasting improvements.


Acupuncture boosts clinical pregnancy rates and balances biochemistry in infertility patients with a thin endometrium. First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University researchers combined acupuncture with standard drug therapy. They determined that acupuncture plus estradiol valerate drug therapy produced superior patient outcomes compared with patients using only estradiol valerate.

Estradiol valerate is a form of estrogen used to treat hormone imbalances. The estradiol valerate tablet control group obtained a 20.0% clinical pregnancy rate. The combined protocol treatment group had a 33.3% clinical pregnancy rate. The addition of acupuncture to the treatment protocol increased the pregnancy rate by 13.3% (p<0.05). [1]

TB23 Sizhukong

Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine outperforms an immunomodulatory drug for the treatment of Sjögren syndrome. Sjögren syndrome is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system attacks the lacrimal and salivary glands, causing impaired production of tears and saliva. Researchers (Li et al.) compared the therapeutic effects of acupuncture plus herbs with hydroxychloroquine.


Acupuncture is effective for treating knee osteoarthritis. Dongzhimen Hospital and Puxiang Hospital in Beijing researchers treated joint dysfunction and pain due to knee osteoarthritis successfully with abdominal acupuncture in their multicenter study. [1]


Acupuncture and herbs are effective for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Gansu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (endocrinology department) researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial comparing drug therapy with acupuncture and herbs. Patients receiving both acupuncture and herbal medicine had a total effective rate of 96.67%. Patients receiving Chinese herbal medicine monotherapy had a 73.33% total effective rate. Drug therapy patients had a 53.33% total effective rate for the alleviation of DPN (diabetic peripheral neuropathy). [1]

PC6 Neiguan

Acupuncture relieves carpal tunnel syndrome pain and restores function. Two independent studies reveal the benefits of warm needle acupuncture for CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome). Participants in both studies experienced significant improvements in pain levels and wrist function following acupuncture treatment combined with either Huang Qi Gui Zhi Wu Wu Tang herbal formula or nighttime wrist splinting.

Xinshu BL15

Acupuncture and herbs alleviate insomnia. Wenzhou Central Hospital and First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University researchers conclude that acupuncture plus the herbal formula Jiao Tai Wan improves sleep and reduces inflammatory biomarkers. [1] The inclusion of inflammatory biomarkers as an outcome measure is of special interest since insufficient sleep has been linked with an increased risk of systemic inflammation and associated health risks.

diabetes shu

Acupuncture aids weight loss and reduces blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Sanming County Hospital of Integrated Medicine researchers (Fujian) conducted a clinical trial of obese patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They conclude that acupuncture treatment in addition to routine care is more effective in promoting healthy weight loss and improved blood chemistry than routine care monotherapy. [1]

hair loss

Acupuncture and herbs outperform a popular hair loss drug for patients with seborrheic alopecia. Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Second Affiliated Hospital researchers compared results in a clinical trial. Drug therapy produced an 82.5% total effective rate. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine produced an 87.5% total effective rate. The researchers conclude that the application of acupuncture and herbs “is an effective method in treating seborrheic alopecia.” [1]

LV14 Qimen

Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is effective for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Ganzhou City Third People’s Hospital (Jiangxi, China) researchers conducted a clinical trial and confirm that not only is Chinese medicine (acupuncture and herbs) effective, but it is also more effective than a popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). [1]


Acupuncture plus herbal medicine assists in the reduction of uterine fibroids. Anshan Tumor Hospital (Liaoning, China) researchers compared two study groups in a clinical trial. One group received acupuncture and herbal medicine therapy. The other group received drug and herbal medicine therapy but did not receive acupuncture. Both groups demonstrated significant improvements, but the group receiving acupuncture achieved superior patient outcomes.


Researchers find acupuncture and herbs effective for the treatment of liver cirrhosis. Researchers from the Third People’s Hospital of Yiwu City combined acupuncture and herbs with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both drug therapy and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) treatment in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only drug therapy. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture and herbs to conventional drug therapy can “effectively improve liver function, control the development of the disease, promote the recovery of gastrointestinal function, and reduce relevant complications.” [1]


Acupuncture and herbal medicine are effective for the alleviation of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, acid reflux). Independent investigations confirm that acupuncture and herbal medicine produce significant positive patient outcomes for patients with GERD. One of the clinical studies reveals an important integrative medicine finding. The combination of acupuncture and herbs with a proton pump inhibitor medication into a combined treatment protocol produces superior patient outcomes to patients receiving only drug therapy.


Acupuncture and herbs increase the efficacy of drug therapy for the relief of heart arrhythmias. Researchers from the Qinghai Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine combined acupuncture and herbs with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both drugs and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) therapy in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only drugs. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture and herbs to conventional drug therapy improves heart rate variability and downregulates serum inflammatory cytokines.