WELCOME TO MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE
This website is meant to be used
both by lay people and physicians and other health care professionals seeking to increase their knowledge about acupuncture
and related techniques. My hope is that may serve as a resource to patients and medical providers interested in exploring
non-western or non-conventional treatment options .
I have created this website with the aim of providing practical
information about acupuncture as well as access to the ever expanding body of basic science and clinical research in acupuncture.
I hope you will find this site useful, and I invite you to provide
me with feedback on how it might better suit your needs.
-Marsha Haller, MD
PS: I just came back
from the 2015 Conference of the Society for Acupuncture Research in Boston. SAR's 2015 conference was designed
to be an innovative event where emphasis on the theme, “Reaching across Disciplines to Broaden the Acupuncture Research
Network,” culminated in a day of programming hosted with two other organizations: the Society for Integrative Oncology
(SIO) and the Fascia Research Society (FRS).What an inspiration to hear about the incredible research being done on biological
mechanisms of acupuncture using advanced neuroimaging techniques as well as research on clinical applications!!!
ACUPUNCTURE BRIEFS: summaries of recent articles
2014 and 2015 have seen the publication of several important articles on acupuncture and acupuncture
related techniques. Here are a few choise items hot off the press:
Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic
Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial
I am a huge
fan of the Alexander Technique, a gentle, but effective system that teaches posture and body awareness. I take lessons
myself and recommend it often to my patients, so I was thrilled to see this study from England that was published November
3, 2015, and in the Annals of Internal Medicine no less!
chronic neck pain who received either acupuncture or an equivalent amount of Alexander lessons in addition to their
usual care (medication and physical therapy) did better than those who received only the usual care. In
fact, 12 months after their treatments, the Alexander and acupuncture recipients still had significantly less
pain and a greater sense of "self-efficacy", or ability to manage their own condition. How cost
effective is that?
In my own practice I have
found the combination of acupuncture and Alexander to be particularly effective in preventing re-injury due to poor posture.
I'd love to see a study combining these two techniques. to read the abstract
Acupuncture and moxabustion found effective for lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).
A 2014 systematic review of 19 randomized controlled trials from
around the world that compared acupuncture to conventional treatment (corticosteroid injection or NSAID medication) or
to "sham acupuncture" (fake acupuncture used as a control for the sake of experimental protocol) concluded that
" Acupuncture may be effective in the relief of lateral elbow pain for up to six months."
This is particularly significant when you consider that to date, there is actually no evidence of long term efficacy
for steroid injection or NSAID medication in the treatment of this condition, nor evidence showing efficacy of physical
therapy for lateral epicondylitis, even though these are all commonly utilized (and reimbursed) therapies! Read the abstract or full article
Meta-analysis shows current evidence supports the use
of acupuncture as an alternative for traditional analgesics in the treatment of osteoarthritis
In another recent review of
the literature analyzed the results 12 randomized controlled trials (1763 participants in all) comparing acupuncture
with no treatment, usual care and sham acupuncture. The found that osteoarthritis patients treated with acupuncture
had less pain, and improved functional mobility and quality of life. This kind of "meta-analysis" is
important because individual trials on acupuncture and alternative treatments tend to be small in size for a variety of reasons,
which makes them easier to dismiss. When the results of multiple studies on the same condition are considered as a whole,
the conclusions carry more weight. Read the full article on osteoarthritis
Your comments and questions
Marsha Haller MD, Medical Acupuncture
3031 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 241
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-2690 FAX
The material contained
on this website is meant to be used as general information and should not be taken as individual medical advice
on treatment for a specific patient or problem.