Acupuncture Is Proving Effective – research round up

Caucasian woman receiving acupuncture
women getting acupuncture
Suzanne B. Robotti
Suzanne B. Robotti Executive Director
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Acupuncture is establishing an ever-larger base of well-done medical research showing a lot of benefits. Here we present two very recent studies and three more that we previously reported on from 2018-2019. And here’s a video from MedShadow TV talking about a personal experience with this procedure: Acupuncture & Traditional Medicine Working Together 

Cancer Pain 

Acupuncture outperformed “sham” acupuncture to address cancer pain in this review of  17 randomized clinical trials and meta-analysis of 14 trials in the current English-language and Chinese-language literature. The researchers determined that there is a “moderate” amount of evidence and/or acupressure is “significantly associated” with reducing pain intensity and patients using fewer opioids.

It was noted that “…the National Comprehensive Cancer Network [previously] published 11 recommendations for supportive care, and five of 11 include use of acupuncture for relief of cancer pain in adults as well as other cancer-associated symptoms. Authors of the conference report also cited a need for educational programs to train community acupuncturists for services in the oncology setting and to provide more education for primary care providers and oncologists about evidence supporting acupuncture for symptom management in patients with cancer.” From MedPage Today 

Clinical Evidence for Association of Acupuncture and Acupressure With Improved Cancer Pain – JAMA Oncology, Dec 19, 2019 

Dry mouth

Radiation can cause dry mouth (xerostoma) which sounds minor but has significant effect on the ability to swallow and on dental hygiene. A person with xerostoma must drink water with every bite in order to swallow and move the food down the esophagus. Water is very filling, making it a challenge to eat enough (get enough calories and nutrition) at a time when keeping weight on is important. Lack of saliva leads to bad breath but worse, dental problems. 

Alternative procedure was tested against fake or sham acupuncture with good results.

Effect of True and Sham Acupuncture on Radiation-Induced Xerostomia Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer JAMA Complementary and Alternative Medicine Dec 6, 2019


Chronic stable angina is when you routinely experience pain, discomfort or pressure in your chest when your body is working hard and your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen. Resting makes it feel better. In a recent study a group of 404 people with chronic stable angina was divided into four groups, one including sham (fake) acupuncture, another group with no acupuncture and two groups with acupuncture but in different places — one a deliberately useless place, the other in the traditionally correct places. 

All four groups received regular medicine for angina also. The study showed the group with appropriate acupuncture had a better outcome than any of the other three groups.  From MedShadow 

Clinical Trial in China on Acupuncture as Added Treatment for Chronic Stable Angina  – JAMA, July 29, 2019


This procedure may provide a viable alternative to hormone replacement therapy for women suffering from menopause symptoms. A study enrolled 90 menopausal women who were randomly assigned to get acupuncture for six weeks or no acupuncture. For those in the former group, each session was weekly and lasted for 15 minutes. After six weeks, 80% of the women in the acupuncture group said they felt their symptoms had improved. Compared to women who didn’t get acupuncture, those who did had significantly fewer day and night sweats, sleep problems, emotional symptoms and skin and hair problems. From MedShadow 

 BMJ Open. – Feb 19, 2019

Breast Cancer Drug Side Effect Relief 

Acupuncture is effective in relieving joint pain, a common side effect seen in a class of drugs used to treat breast cancer, according to a new study. Musculoskeletal symptoms are the most common adverse effects of aromatase inhibitors and can be so severe that they cause some women to stop using the treatment altogether. From MedShadow 

Effect of Acupuncture vs Sham Acupuncture or Waitlist Control on Joint Pain Related to Aromatase Inhibitors Among Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer – A Randomized Clinical Trial – Jama July 10, 2018