“Does acupuncture work?”
I get asked this a lot, especially at parties or social gatherings. It’s always right after the “What do you do?” question. I used to be pretty amazed that someone would ask me – I mean, do they expect me to turn around and say “No. It’s all made up. I just stick in random needles and then take money. I am merely a poorly dressed con artist.”
Nowadays, I’m used to it, and sometimes it can lead to some interesting conversations (especially if it’s a bit late at the party and things are getting –ahem– philosophical.)
Fair enough. If you want to make a claim about what you do, you need to show evidence for it. To be fair, there’s been some pretty bad evidence put forward for acupuncture and it’s effectiveness.
That’s why it’s great that The Acupuncture Evidence Project has been published. It’s a review of literature over the last bunch of years concerning the effectiveness of acupuncture.
The research showed evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 117 conditions, over a range of evidence strengths. It showed that acupuncture is safe, and it showed that the quality of evidence about acupuncture is improving, and that’s important.
The Acupuncture Evidence Project can be viewed here:
There’s a plain English summary, which is a much easier read, but if you’re the type of person who loves the details then feel free to get stuck into the full thing.
So, does acupuncture work? You betcha!
McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review
(Revised edition).Brisbane:Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd;2017.http://www.acupuncture.org.au