The Acupuncture Evidence Project
"It is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture is because of the placebo effect, or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain."
“A total of 136 systematic reviews, including 27 Cochrane systematic reviews were included in this review, along with three network meta-analyses, nine reviews of reviews and 20 other reviews. Meta-analyses were conducted for 62 of the non-Cochrane systematic reviews. This review includes pooled data from more than 1,000 randomised controlled trials.
“Of the 122 conditions identified, strong evidence supported the effectiveness of acupuncture for 8 conditions, moderate evidence supported the use of acupuncture for a further 38 conditions, weak positive/unclear evidence supported the use of acupuncture for 71 conditions, and little or no evidence was found for the effectiveness of acupuncture for five conditions (meaning that further research is needed to clarify the effectiveness of acupuncture in these last two categories).”
"Research into acupuncture has grown exponentially in the past 20 years... at twice the rate of research into conventional biomedicine. Over this period, there have been over 13,000 studies conducted in 60 countries, including hundreds of meta-analyses summarizing the results of thousands of human and animal studies. A wide-variety of clinical areas have been studied, including pain, cancer, pregnancy, stroke, mood disorders, sleep disorders and inflammation, to name a few."
“For acute pain, a systematic review of 13 trials found that acupuncture was more effective than both sham needling and injection with painkillers.
“A meta-analysis of 17,922 patients from randomized trials concluded, “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option. Significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo.” A follow up study with this data looking at long-term pain relief, found that the benefits of acupuncture persisted 12 months after treatment ended.“