Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture News and Research


Eye Acupuncture

Acupuncture and herbs improve eyesight for patients with diabetic retinopathy. In a controlled clinical trial, Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine ophthalmology department researchers determined that herbal medicine monotherapy benefits vision. The addition of acupuncture to the treatment protocol significantly improved patient outcomes. 

abdominal acupuncture

Acupuncture restores brain connectivity and benefits patients with major depression disorder (MDD). Utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers at the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine hospital document that acupuncture significantly increases the connectivity of the corticostriatum to other brain regions, an important brain circuit connection involved in rewards and motivation. In the same investigation, eight weeks of acupuncture treatments significantly decreased depression scores. Based on MRI results and clinical data, Guangzhou University researchers conclude that acupuncture regulates corticostriatal reward and motivation circuitry and improves patient outcomes for patients with depression. [1] 

osteoclast osteoblast

Acupuncture outperforms calcium supplementation for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, Hubei province) conclude that acupuncture is effective for the alleviation of pain and the regulation of osteoporosis-related cytokines in postmenopausal osteoporosis patients. The study was approved and funded by Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation. The results were published in Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. [1] 

live webinar

Acupuncture has been proven effective for the treatment of specific ailments, including musculoskeletal pain, addiction, and heart disease. In upcoming live webinars, research revealing the efficacy of classic acupuncture point prescriptions confirmed with modern research is presented. Topics focus on the treatment of specific disorders (e.g., hypertension, arrhythmias, migraines, knee pain, cocaine addiction, COPD, carpal tunnel syndrome) and their treatment protocols. In addition, the webinars provide licensed acupuncturists with NCCAOM PDA and state CEU credit.

Hegu (LI4)

Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of Bell’s palsy, a type of facial paralysis. Researchers at the Anhui Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine conducted an fMRI study analyzing the effects of acupuncture for the treatment of Bell’s palsy. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that acupuncture increases functional connectivity within the sensorimotor cortex and promotes brain reorganization in Bell’s palsy patients. [1] The researchers note that acupuncture directly restores neurosynaptic function and improves positive patient outcomes. 

LI11 Quchi

Acupuncture promotes the healing of bone fractures. Two independent investigations confirm that the addition of acupuncture to usual care protocols increases positive patient outcomes rates. Researchers find acupuncture effective for assisting in the restoration of mobility and reductions in both pain and inflammation. 

rheumatoid arthritis

Acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for the the alleviation of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers conclude that acupuncture alone or in combination with additional treatment modalities alleviates rheumatoid arthritis, restores bodily functions, and improves quality of life. [1] In a meta-analysis, the researchers note that acupuncture exerts its effective actions through several biological mechanisms. The acupuncture research indicates that acupuncture produces anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and immune system regulatory actions. 

BL13 Feishu

Acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), an inflammatory lung disease. First Clinical Medicine College of Hubei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial comparing acupuncture with the drug Seretide for improvements in lung function, clinical symptoms, and quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Acupuncture produced results rivalling that of Seretide (a steroid plus beta-2-agonist inhaler). Spirometer measurements document that the lungs improve significantly from the drug and from acupuncture. Acupuncture monotherapy produced significant improvements in forced expiratory volume (FEV1), FEV1 to forced vital capacity ratio (FEV1/FVC), and peak expiratory flow (PEF). [1] 

BL15 Xinshu

Researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD). Using Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans, researchers from the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Peking University Shenzhen Hospital document that acupuncture produces a 70.1% blood perfusion improvement in ischemic myocardium CHD patients, while sublingual administration of nitroglycerine produces a 77.4% improvement. [1] The SPECT scans indicate that acupuncture produces clinically significant results. 


Acupuncture regulates cocaine seeking behavior. University researchers document that acupuncture suppresses addictive behavioral and neurochemical changes caused by cocaine intake. In a controlled laboratory experiment, researchers have documented a specific acupuncture point that blocks deleterious cocaine induced changes. Specifically, application of acupoint HT7 (Shenmen) suppresses cocaine’s stimulation of increases “in locomotor activity and the expression of pCREB and c-Fos in the NAc.” [1] 

human heart

Acupuncture is effective for the prevention of acute myocardial ischemia (AMI), a condition causing damage to the heart from reduced cardiac blood flow and oxygen deprivation. Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conclude that acupuncture applied to acupoints Shenmen (HT7) and Tongli (HT5) protects myocardial cells from ischemic injuries. In a laboratory experiment, the university researchers have proven that acupuncture prevents myocardial ischemia by regulating pro-inflammatory factors and hippocampal neurotransmitters. [1] The researchers note, “Electroacupuncture can protect myocardial cells in AMI rats, which may be associated to its effect in inhibiting the expression of serum creatine kinase (CK), hippocampal norepinephrine (NE), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α).” 

Back Acupoints

Acupuncture news releases received a great deal of attention at HealthCMi this summer. The following are short excerpts taken from the HealthCMi summer top three list. The first in our top three is an article on the topic of acupuncture for the treatment of neck pain due to disc degeneration.


Acupuncture alleviates depression and cravings associated with alcohol dependence. Affiliated Hospital of Henan Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial quantifying changes in alcohol cravings and depression levels using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Two groups were compared. One group received Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emotional reconciliation therapy. Another group received TCM emotional reconciliation therapy plus acupuncture. The results demonstrate that the combination of acupuncture with TCM emotional reconciliation therapy is effective for the alleviation of depression and cravings in patients with alcohol dependency. 


Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine benefits children with autism. Hebei Province researchers conducted a clinical trial and determined that acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments produce significant clinical benefits. The researches conclude that acupuncture improves communication, language, physical movement, and sensory perception. In addition, the children in the study demonstrated improvements in self-care. Based on the data, the researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture and herbal medicine to a standard rehabilitation protocol improves positive patient outcomes. 

Facial Acupoints

Acupuncture combined with topical herbs is effective for the treatment of facial paralysis. Researchers from the Traditional Chinese Medicine department of People’s Hospital (Huairen, Shanxi) tested two acupuncture protocols. Using acupuncture as a monotherapy produced a 76.92% total effective rate. The addition of topical herbal medicine to the acupuncture point prescription increased the total effective rate to 97.44%. [1] The type of facial paralysis examined in the investigation is categorized as Bell’s palsy. 

ST36 ST37

Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers find two different styles of acupuncture effective for the alleviation of knee osteoarthritis. Patients in the clinical trial had significant reductions in pain, stiffness, and joint immobility. The two styles tested were conventional acupuncture and four seas acupuncture. Results were very similar when comparing both groups. Four seas acupuncture produced a 96.7% total effective rate. Conventional acupuncture produced a 93.3% total effective rate. [1] 

LI4 Hegu

Acupuncture alleviates migraine headaches. Many clinical trials compare MRI scans, biological markers, and subjective clinical outcomes in human trials. This investigation varies by using only biological markers to confirm the results in a laboratory investigation. Overall, this multi-arm investigation demonstrates that a limited acupuncture point prescription of local points is enhanced by the addition of distal acupoints. 


Researchers find acupuncture effective for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a local entrapment neuropathy affecting the wrist and hand that causes pain, numbness, and dysfunction. The research team documents acupuncture’s beneficial influence on the morphology of the median nerve and improvement of clinical symptoms.

DU14 Dazhui

Acupuncture alleviates osteoporosis related pain and improves bone mineral density. First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu Medical College researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial. The team measured bone mineral density and serum osteocalcin before and after the study, along with visual analog scale (VAS) measurements of pain levels. Based on the scientific evidence, the researchers conclude that acupuncture reduces pain levels and promotes increased bone density in patients with osteoporosis. [1]

BL18 BL20

Acupuncture helps to heal peptic ulcers and prevents relapses. Researchers conclude that acupuncture increases the total effective rate of drug therapy for the treatment of peptic ulcers. Researchers from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhongnan University (Hunan, China) combined acupuncture with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both drug therapy and acupuncture in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only drug therapy. Furthermore, acupuncture increases the H. pylori-negative conversion rate and decreases the recurrence rate of drug therapy. [1] In a significant finding, acupuncture added to usual care reduces the relapse rate from 41.7% to 15.4%.