Acupuncture Research and the Pursuit of Equal Partner Status: Plausibility, Safety and Effectiveness Examined

Unprecedented interest in acupuncture research is catapulting the acupuncture profession into critical potential for both opportunity and danger.In the era of Evidence-Based Medicine,accepted standards of clinical practice are directly linked to research-generated evidence.But the gold standards of modern biomedical research are ill-conceived tools for acupuncture research.This situation is examined through the three pillars of medical research –plausibility,safety and efficacy.Applying these modern biomedical research approaches to classical acupuncture may well extinguish or at least,severely modify the clinical art of classical acupuncture.Research themes reflective of the real world of clinical acupuncture are presented.This paper argues that survival of the full clinical art of classical acupuncture is only possible if gold standards of evidence appropriate to acupuncture research are defined.

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