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Acupuncture May Be Helpful for Chronic Pain

An NCCAM-funded Meta-Analysis

“A recent NCCAM-funded study, employing individual patient data meta-analyses and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, provides the most rigorous evidence to date that acupuncture may be helpful for chronic pain. In addition, results from the study provide robust evidence that the effects of acupuncture on pain are attributable to two components. The larger component includes factors such as the patient’s belief that treatment will be effective, as well as placebo and other context effects. A smaller acupuncture-specific component involves such issues as the locations of specific needling points or depth of needling.”

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Evaluating Acupuncture's Effectiveness

“This is a result of the difficulty in creating an appropriate controlled, double-blind testing situation. Acupuncture is an invasive treatment, so it’s hard to design an effective placebo control group for a study the way standard double blinding practices are used in trials for new drugs. Acupuncture is also a process, not a pill. A process has a lot of variables, including the influence of the acupuncturist, which is a major factor. Blinding both the acupuncturist and the patient as to the treatment being given is a challenge.” Read More on Huffington Post

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