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Acupuncture is famous for the treatment of chronic pain.  In the clinic we know acupuncture is effective for pain and recently research is supporting that acupuncture is effective for pain. Recently, a very large analysis of research trials, called a meta-analysis, was published focusing on acupuncture for pain. The study shows that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of pain. This was across many pain conditions including back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headaches, and shoulder pain. Andrew Vickers PhD, the head author, and his team painstakingly reviewed virtually all of the acupuncture research trials which have focused on pain. They had strict criteria for the quality of the studies to be included in their analysis. In the end, the

Chronic pain is mysterious.  It can come and go.  It can get worse, or get better.  Often without explanation. Chronic pain is serious.  It interferes with work, school, and relationships.  Chronic pain is the most common issue that comes into my acupuncture clinic. Pain can effect almost any place in the body: headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, and any other location. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Acupuncture is a complex therapy and works in a combination of ways to reduce pain and inflammation. Acupuncture works to reduce pain and inflammation through regulating neural pain pathways, stimulating the release of natural pain relieves in the body, such as opioids, as well as regulating pain relieving opioid receptors. Many

The National Institutes of Health just published a very good short article on acupuncture, acupuncture research, what we know and what we don’t. It features a number of  excellent acupuncture researchers discussing the positive work and challenges in acupuncture research. One of my favorite researchers is Karen Sherman, who researches discusses the challenges of a placebo acupuncture needle and questions if it is possible to create a reliable placebo for acupuncture.   Richard Harris also discusses the placebo needling and how placebo studies may reveal some mechanisms of acupuncture.  His studies have looked at the physiology of acupuncture and placebo acupuncture in fibromyalgia patients.   The clinical studies show that both acupuncture and placebo acupuncture work, but he shows that have very