We would like to share with you our personal view, beliefs and approach about the research that is presented on these pages.
We both value the research of modern science and the many developments that have been discovered.
We also value the depth of wisdom and knowledge of traditional and classical five element acupuncture, which integrates the many aspects of body and mind.
We acknowledge the information gained from research, and we endevaour to use it where appropriate when meeting the needs of an individual who is suffering in health.
We hope later to share more information on the five elements of acupuncture.
This site was last updated on
18th March 2020
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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this site is accurate. It is not the intention to mislead or misinform anyone.
Our human responses to an intervention. (Whether it be pills, capsules, injections)
The effect of Practitioner interaction (Visual) and Words (Auditory).
In a study, a group of patients were given the intravenous pain killing drugs by a doctor who told them what was happening and in the other half of the group they received their drugs also via intravenous drip with an identical administration rate but this was controlled by a computer and these patients had no contact with a doctor. The patients who received their drugs with the doctor present got up to 50% more pain relief than those who received it via computer control. So the significant factor demonstrated here is that human interaction, image and words plays a part in improving pain relief.
A trial where doctors openly told half the patients with long term irritable bowel syndrome that they would receive capsules containing no active ingredients compared to the other half of patients who received nothing at all, found that those patients taking placebos did significantly better than those who received no treatment.
Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
‘Objective To investigate whether placebo effects can experimentally be separated into the response to three components—assessment and observation, a therapeutic ritual (placebo treatment), and a supportive patient-
The first group received no treatment, the second group received sham acupuncture from a practitioner who didn’t engage in verbal interaction and the third group received the sham acupuncture from a practitioner who used an intervention model based on research concerning an optimal patient-
Conclusion. Factors contributing to the placebo effect can be progressively combined in a manner resembling a graded dose escalation of component parts. Non-
Ideally this trial would be repeated but this time including real acupuncture as the third group.
It is impossible to carry out placebo trials on acupuncture. There is no such thing as an inert needle.
Most people know that we have nerves going to virtually every part of our body so when we place an acupuncture needle in a person we will induce some kind of stimulus. One study confirms this that it is impossible to produce an inactive placebo (sham) needle. MacPherson H. et al (2014) Influence of Control Group on Effect Size in Trials of Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: A Secondary Analysis of an Individual Patient Data Meta-
Clinically. In view of this the next best research approach is to compare acupuncture to best standard treatment and as research is directed in this direction we are beginning to see some very positive results on the benefit of acupuncture compared to other treatments, eg. osteoarthritis of the knee.
What do we know? We do know that needling real acupuncture points produce very specific changes within the brain (via looking at functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)) that are very different from the observed effects of sham acupuncture needling.
However all this research into trying to evaluate acupuncture is making researchers discover many invaluable things that are very positive for any practitioner who carries out some form of intervention for a patient, whether it be surgery, prescribing, counselling, etc. The ex Professor of Complementary Medicine, Edzard Ernst states ‘We should always maximise the placebo effect in conjunction with effective treatments,’ Marchant, Jo. Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body (p. 35). Canongate Books. Kindle Edition.
We know that acupuncture is very beneficial in helping pain from osteoarthritis of the knee. However it has also been shown that adding a very gentle manipulation to enhance expectation, significantly improves pain and treatment effects of acupuncture. Kong J.,Wang Z., et al. (2018) Enhancing treatment of osteoarthritis knee pain by boosting expectancy: A functional neuroimaging study. NeuroImage: Clinical Volume 18, 2018, Pages 325-
Below are listed some of these discoveries, others will be added in due course.