Research Spotlight

The databases often return hundreds of medical studies for a single wellness approach. This section summarizes a sampling of five studies – providing just a taste of the available research. These Spotlights were not selected because they are the most favorable or the most recent, but to provide you an introduction to the more extensive research you’ll uncover searching the four databases found in the “Research” section of this site.

  • Acupuncture, Yoga, Massage & Tai Chi Show Promise for Pain Management
    A 2016 review of clinical trials (1966-2016), conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, shows that a variety of complementary approaches, including acupuncture, yoga, massage, tai chi and meditation – and selected natural product supplements – hold promise for managing various types of pain. Acupuncture and yoga showed strongest evidence for back pain; acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee; massage therapy for neck pain—with adequate doses; and relaxation techniques for severe headaches/migraine. 
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  • Acupuncture During Surgery Reduces Pain Post-Operatively
    A Stanford University School of Medicine (2015) randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that the use of acupuncture during surgery significantly reduced pain and improved restoration of a normal diet after operations on children. The researchers concluded that intraoperative acupuncture is feasible, well tolerated, and results in improved pain control and earlier return of diet postoperatively. 
    Access this Acupuncture study on Acupuncture
  • Acupuncture Can Help Treat Inflammatory Diseases
    A Rutgers University Medical School study (2014, performed on mice) indicated that electro-acupuncture shows interesting promise for treating inflammatory diseases like sepsis (the major cause of death in hospitals), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and Crohn’s disease. 
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  • Tension Headache Relief with Acupuncture
    An updated Cochrane review (2009, 11 trials, 2,317 participants) concludes that acupuncture could be a valuable non-pharmacological tool in patients with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches. 
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  • Limited Evidence for Improved IVF Success Rates
    In an overview of the research, some, but limited evidence, suggests acupuncture improves the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF). 
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  • Meta-Study Reveals Limited Correlation of Acupuncture and Long-Term Smoking Cessation
    A Cochrane review (2014, 38 randomized controlled trials) concluded there was not enough consistent evidence that active acupuncture increased the number of people who could successfully quit smoking. However, some acupuncture techniques may be better than doing nothing, in the short term. 
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