The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) provides accurate & unbiased general information for a variety of conditions. Their fact sheets provide summaries of research & how acupuncture may be beneficial.
Evidence Based Acupuncture is a non-profit organisation that produces resources to improve public health. It has shown that research into acupuncture as a medical treatment has grown exponentially in the past 20 years, increasing 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 summarising the results of thousands of human & animal studies. A wide-variety of clinical areas have been studied, including pain, cancer, pregnancy, stroke, mood disorders, sleep disorders & inflammation, to name a few.
In recent years high-quality clinical trials investigating acupuncture have been conducted, particularly for chronic pain conditions. Therefore, there is evidence available, & the systematic reviews can draw firm conclusions. A systematic review of high-quality trials, involving over 20,000 adults with osteoarthritis, chronic headache or musculoskeletal pain (back, neck or shoulder) concluded:
Acupuncture was more effective than control for all pain conditions (pragmatic trials)
Acupuncture is not a placebo for treatment of chronic pain
The effects persisted over time (15% reduction at one year)
Acupuncture is currently included in the following NICE guidelines:
You should always consult your GP if you have any concerns.