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Research Archive

Welcome to our Chinese medicine and acupuncture research news pages. We add to the content of these pages continuously as more research news comes in. Browse through the complete archive below or use the category links on the right.

Please note that the most twenty recent research archive items are free to view but access to the thousands of items in the archive require a journal subscription.

Expectancy or aversion to acupuncture can complicate evaluation of the efficacy of acupuncture in clinical trials. Korean researchers have investigated whether experimentally manipulating the perception of acupuncture could elicit different responses

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Chinese researchers have demonstrated a brain network associated with the amygdala at rest (part of the default mode network) that encompasses brain structures implicated in pain sensation and modulation. Using fMRI, they have also found that this

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A review from Taiwan gives an overview of the mechanisms by which acupuncture’s analgesic effects are mediated. The authors outline the various mechanisms that appear to be involved in acupuncture analgesia (AA), from early studies investigating

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Korean researchers have reviewed the data regarding possible mechanisms of action of acupuncture in the treatment of drug addiction. They suggest that acupuncture's role in suppressing the reinforcing effects of abused drugs takes place by modulating

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A Korean study exploring brain activation using (fMRI) has compared verum acupuncture to placebo needles. Two fMRI scans were taken, one for verum acupuncture and one for non-penetrating placebo needling at Xingjian LIV-2, on the left foot, in 10 hea

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A double blind randomised controlled study comparing the effects of real and placebo acupuncture on pregnancy rates after assisted reproduction has found placebo acupuncture to be associated with a significantly higher pregnancy rate. In the trial, c

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Acupuncture can improve absorption of baicalin, one of the active components of Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae). Chinese scientists divided twenty rats randomly into two groups. Group A was treated with a combination of oral administration of Scutella

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In Japan, researchers have compared blood volume and oxygenation in regions of the trapezius muscle local to and distant from a site of acupuncture stimulation. By using ear-infrared spectrometer probes, they observed that muscle oxygenation and bloo

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Chinese scientists have investigated how mechanical acupuncture signals received at acupoints are transformed into biological signals. In a study carried out on rats, the role of collagen fibers at acupoints during acupuncture analgesia was investiga

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German investigators have studied the effects of stimulation at the ear-specific acupuncture point Xiaxi GB-43 on the brain’s primary auditory cortex, using fMRI. Twenty healthy volunteers participated in a crossover study, which compared needli

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A Chinese team has  used fMRI to investigate the functional connectivity of brain networks involved in acupuncture. fMRI scans were performed before, during and after acupuncture manipulation at Zusanli ST-36 (previously implicated in a neural p

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American researchers have examined the pain reducing effect of verum manual acupuncture (ACU), compared with that of placebo needling, using a combination of fMRI and PET imaging. Twelve acupuncture-naïve healthy subjects were randomised into a r

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Charlotte Patterson and colleague have attempted to characterise the diverse nature of patients’ experiences of acupuncture treatment for chronic health problems. They performed a secondary analysis of five longitudinal interview studies using a

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Qualitative analysis of the experiences of patients who underwent placebo treatment as part of the above Harvard IBS trial reveals the complexity of the phenomenon and the effect of taking part in such a study. Almost all subjects reported improvemen

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The quality of patient-practitioner interaction may be important in eliciting a strong placebo response to acupuncture. Harvard researchers performed an analysis of videotape and psychometric data from a clinical trial of patients with irritable bowe

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Patient anxiety could have an important influence on the physiological response to acupuncture and modify physiological outcomes in acupuncture research. Australian researchers studied the influence of acupuncture on the balance between sympatheti

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German researchers have pooled the results of several large trials of acupuncture to evaluate its safety. A total of 229,230 patients received an average of ten acupuncture treatments. Altogether 19,726 patients (8.6%) reported experiencing at least

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Acupuncture can reduce blood lactic acid and enhance recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise, according to Taiwanese scientists. Thirty male university basketball players were randomly assigned to three groups: acupuncture, sham and no treatment.

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An Australian author has presented a new model for acupuncture anaesthesia. According to his hypothesis, C fibre tactile afferent axons bifurcate at acupuncture points and then diverge, running along acupuncture meridians, to subsequently communicate

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German scientists have used infrared thermography to distinguish between the effect of needling Hegu L.I.-4 and sham acupuncture (needling at a non-acupoint). Thermographic imaging was performed on 50 healthy volunteers randomly assigned to four proc

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Electrostimulation of auricular acupuncture points can increase the activity of the vagus nerve, according to the results of a Swiss experiment. Fourteen healthy men participated in four examinations: a no-intervention control, a placebo control and

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The results of a Korean study provide neurobiological evidence for acupoint specificity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain was performed in 12 normal healthy subjects during electro-acupuncture stimulation (EA) of Yanglingquan

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A team from the USA has found that the duration of electro-acupuncture treatment can affect its analgesic effect. Healthy volunteers were randomised to receive 0, 20, 30 or 40 minutes of electro-acupuncture stimulation (alternating 2/100 Hz at 5mA).

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Korean researchers have found evidence that patients randomly assigned to treatment groups in acupuncture trials receive fewer health benefits from treatment than those who were non-randomly assigned. They carried out a systematic review of six parti

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More evidence for the neural specificity of particular acupuncture points comes from a Chinese study that used fMRI to investigate the effects of acupuncture at Neiguan P-6. fMRI was performed on the brains of 36 healthy subjects while they received

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