Acupuncture – General Practice

Acupuncture has been widely utilised in China for centuries to assist in the support and management of a wide range of health-related conditions. In fact, it can be traced back over 2000 years to Ancient China. Remarkably, it is still has relevance and application within our health care systems today.


Acupuncture has the potential to support the body’s natural healing processes. It works on restoring  the body back to equilibrium (homeostasis) and promoting ongoing health and wellness. The focus of treatment is on the individual, not their disease. All the symptoms are viewed in relation to each other and as part of a disease pattern rather than in isolation. It can be effectively combined with other treatments and be useful to patients for whom medications are not suitable.


Acupuncture Evidence Project


From a Western Medical perspective there has always been much intrigue as to how acupuncture works. This has resulted in research being accumulated to substantiate it’s efficacy and claims. From the hundreds of conditions researched , consensus is that it may in fact be beneficial for many.


The Acupuncture Evidence Project (Mc Donald et al) was recently conducted to investigate the efficacy and value of acupuncture to our health systems. This study evaluated existing  research, focussing on systematic reviews and meta-analyses.  A total of 122 conditions were reviewed and the therapeutic effects of acupuncture of varying levels were observed for 117 of those conditions. Indeed, evidence of acupuncture’s positive effects was observed for 8 conditions. Evidence of potential positive effects was identified for 38 conditions whilst 71 conditions were deemed as having unclear / insufficient evidence.


Conditions where a positive effect was observed:


– Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)

– Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) (with anti-emetics)

– Chronic low back pain

– Headache (tension-type and chronic)

– Knee osteoarthritis

– Migraine prophylaxis

– Postoperative nausea & vomiting

– Postoperative pain


Conditions where there was evidence of potential positive effect:


– Acute low back pain

– Acute stroke

– Ambulatory anaesthesia

– Anxiety

– Aromatase-inhibitor-induced arthralgia

– Asthma in adults

– Back or pelvic pain during pregnancy

– Cancer pain

– Cancer-related fatigue

– Constipation

– Craniotomy anaesthesia

– Depression (with antidepressants)

– Dry eye

– Hypertension (with medication)

– Insomnia

– Irritable bowel syndrome

– Labour pain

– Lateral elbow pain

– Menopausal hot flushes

– Modulating sensory perception thresholds

– Neck pain (NAD, not WAD)

– Obesity

– Peri menopausal & postmenopausal insomnia

– Plantar heel pain

– Post-stroke insomnia

– Post-stroke shoulder pain

– Post-stroke spasticity

– Post-traumatic stress disorder

– Prostatitis pain/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

– Recovery after colorectal cancer resection

– Restless leg syndrome

– Schizophrenia (with antipsychotics)

– Sciatica

– Shoulder impingement syndrome (early stage) (with exercise)

– Shoulder pain

– Smoking cessation (up to 3 months)

– Stroke rehabilitation

– Temporomandibular pain



McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). © Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, 2017:



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