Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture News and Research


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Acupuncture alleviates diabetic neurogenic bladder. Jiaozuo Hospital (Henan, China) researchers conducted a controlled investigation and concluded that acupuncture significantly improves bladder function and regulates blood glucose levels in patients with diabetic neurogenic bladder. This condition is a type of diabetic neuropathy that causes a variety of issues dependent upon the type of nerve damage involved. Dysfunction ranges from an overactive bladder to impairment of bladder contractility.

yintang rhinitis

Acupuncture alleviates allergic rhinitis and is more effective than a corticosteroid nasal spray and oral antihistamine. Lianyungang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Kangda College of Nanjing Medical University) researchers conducted a clinical investigation and determined that acupuncture produces superior long-term patient outcomes. Allergic rhinitis (often referred to as hay fever) is an inflammatory reaction affecting the nose after exposure to airborne allergens including pollen, dander, dust, and mold or after consumption of foods that trigger an allergenic response.


Acupuncture increases the effectiveness of medications for the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF), with results confirmed by color doppler echocardiography, changes in blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels, and exercise tolerance tests. Affiliated Hospital of Yanbian University (Yanji, China) researchers compared two groups: control and acupuncture. One received standard pharmacologic medications and Sheng Mai San herbal injections and the other received the same treatment regimen plus the addition of acupuncture treatments. The group that did not receive acupuncture had an 86.7% total effective rate. The group receiving acupuncture had a 93.3% total effective rate. [1] Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture to treatment protocols is worthy of clinical promotion.


Acupuncture and herbal medicine rival drug therapy for the alleviation of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Traditional Chinese Medicine University researchers compared the therapeutic effects of acupuncture plus herbs with that of a pharmaceutical medication. One study group received acupuncture plus a modified version of the herbal formula Gui Zhi Long Gu Mu Li Tang. Another group received gabapentin tablets. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that acupuncture plus herbs is equally effective as gabapentin for the treatment of restless legs syndrome. However, acupuncture plus herbs produced significantly less adverse effects. [1]


Acupuncture provides tinnitus relief. Luoding City Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Guangdong, China) researchers determined that acupuncture combined with the herbal formula Liu Wei Di Huang Wan relieves symptoms and improves quality of life for tinnitus sufferers. The study compared acupuncture and herbs with hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Acupuncture plus herbs produced a 77.5% effective rate compared with 50% in the hyperbaric oxygen control group. [1] Study outcome measures included symptom severity, duration, and the impact of tinnitus on sleep, mood, and attention.

Yintang insomnia

Acupuncture improves sleep for insomnia sufferers, especially when combined with tuina massage. Hospital researchers examined 80 insomnia patients in two groups. All patients admitted to the study had insomnia and the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) differential diagnosis of spleen and stomach disharmony. Patients receiving acupuncture monotherapy had a 72.5% total effective rate and patients receiving both tuina massage and acupuncture had a 92.5% total effective rate (p<0.05).

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Researchers conclude that acupuncture increases the total effective rate of mannitol and oxiracetam for the relief of limb paralysis due to traumatic brain injury. Researchers from South Medical University combined acupuncture with drug therapy. Patients receiving both drug injections and acupuncture in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only drug injections. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture to the standard drug treatment regimen improves limb motor function and daily life activity capabilities. They add that acupuncture decreases volume of focal brain lesions and inflammatory mediators in the blood. [1] Let’s take a look at the results.

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Acupuncture alleviates schizophrenia. Harbin First Specialized Hospital (China) researchers determined that acupuncture enhances the effects of the antipsychotic medication clozapine in the relief of refractory schizophrenia. [1] The study compared clozapine combined with acupuncture with clozapine monotherapy. The total effective rate in the acupuncture integrative medicine group was 94.3% compared with 73.3% in the drug monotherapy group. Patients in the acupuncture group experienced fewer adverse effects with a rate of 8.6% compared with 36.7% in the drug monotherapy group. The researchers conclude that acupuncture combined with clozapine is safe, reliable, and worthy of recommendation.


Researchers find acupuncture more effective than the selective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor donepezil hydrochloride for the treatment of cognitive impairment. Researchers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine determined that a particular method of acupuncture, Xing Nao Kai Qiao (Waking the Brain and Opening the Orifices), is more effective than standard medications in treating vascular cognitive impairment. Results were measured at 4 and 8 weeks after treatment. Patients receiving Xing Nao Kai Qiao acupuncture reported a 74.51% (4 weeks after treatment) and 91.11% (8 weeks after treatment) total treatment effective rate, whereas those in the control group reported 54.05% and 72.72% rates respectively. [1]

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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).

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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.

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]