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Does acupuncture work ?

This is one of the three most common questions that nearly all potential patients ask . The other two being does it hurt ? and what does it cost?

In reality acupuncture would never have survived as a treatment modality for at least 5000 years if it was ineffective. And at a more local level our modest clinic would not have been existence for 13 years if a reasonable percentage of our patients didn’t get better.

But acupuncture isn’t magic. Like most other clinical interventions it works for some people and some conditions some of the time.

So our approach is probability based. At the initial consultation we will try to give you an honest assessment of the likelihood of acupuncture helping you.

We have listed below some links to studies looking at the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. More importantly we have provided data on our own clinical success rates.

SF Acupuncture Clinical Outcomes.

Between 2018 and 2022 we surveyed all patients who had attended for a minimum of 5 sessions ( 6 for fertility patients) to rate their treatment outcome as 1) highly effective 2) partially effective or 3) not effective.

Condition

Highly Effective (%)

Partially Effective (%)

Not effective ( %)

Neck/ Shoulder Pain

57

33

10

Lower Back/Sciatic Pain

44

30

26

Knee Pain

11

31

58

Finger or Toe Pain

50

12

38

Migraines

89

4

7

Non Migrainous Headaches

65

10

25

Fertility

61

4

35

Menopausal Symptoms

38

40

22

Digestive Problems

71

6

23

Acid Reflux

88

0

12

Insomnia

24

10

66

Anxiety

18

55

27

 

 

Links to studies and research on the effectivesness of acupuncture

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There is now a vast amount of academic research into the effectiveness of acupuncture for different conditions and patient groups. This is not a comprehensive guide to that research just a bit of signposting to some of the more valuable content. If you are aware of other research that you think we should include please let us know through clinic@solutions-focused-acupuncture.co.uk

 

Acupuncture and pain management

Meta analysis of 3 Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) with a total patient group of 12,000 showing acupuncture to be effective in the managment of chronic pain.

Acupuncture effective for neuropathic pain.

A large scale review of RCTs confirms acupuncture is ” a reasonable option for the mnagement of chronic pain”

Acupuncture and migraines

BBC reporter Jane Elliott found acupuncture highly effective in curing her long term migraines.

Study of 147 patients concludes that acupuncture is a useful tool in tackling long term migraines

Acupuncture slightly more effective than pharmacological interventions for migraine. Based on RCT study with 148 patients.

Acupuncture and fertility.

Analysing evidence for acupuncture and fertilty is complicated. Studies are typically divide between using solely acupuncture and using acupuncture alongside IVF. In practice there is a significant overlap between these two groups.

The studies also focus heavily on treating just female patients or occasionally just male patients. Our clinical focus is on treating both partners at the same time and consequently is not well covered in the studies.

We have however listed what we believe to be the best evidence.

Acupuncture improved IVF outcomes amongst women with previous failed IVF treatments.

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