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Acupuncture Evidence-Based Research

Acupuncture - Katherine Kim Acupuncture Arts in Westport, Fairfield, CT

Safe & Effective. Acupuncture may be safe when performed by a licensed acupuncturist to treat a range of ailments.

Acupuncture is the most widely used complementary medicine in 113 of 120 countries (World Health Organization, 2019). Acupuncture is also one of the most researched complementary modalities on PubMed with over 42K articles.

The CDC has declared acupuncture as an evidence-based solution for the opioid crisis to treat chronic pain with a low-risk profile.
Acupuncture is a cost-effective method of treatment for headaches.
According to the National Cancer Institute, it is also used in cancer care.
Acupuncture has been included as a non-pharmacological strategy in guidelines by:


Chan MWC, Wu XY, Wu JCY, et al. Safety of acupuncture: overview of systematic reviews. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1):3369.

Nielsen, A., Dusek, J. A., Taylor-Swanson, L., & Tick, H. (2022). Acupuncture Therapy as an Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategy for Comprehensive Acute Pain Care: The Academic Consortium Pain Task Force White Paper Update. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 23(9), 1582–1612.

Qaseem, A., Wilt, T. J., McLean, R. M., Forciea, M. A., Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians, Denberg, T. D., Barry, M. J., Boyd, C., Chow, R. D., Fitterman, N., Harris, R. P., Humphrey, L. L., & Vijan, S. (2017). Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Annals of internal medicine, 166(7), 514–530. 

Van Hal M, Dydyk AM, Green MS. Acupuncture. [Updated 2023 Jul 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

World Health Organization. (‎2019)‎. WHO global report on traditional and complementary medicine 2019. World Health Organization. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

Witt, C. M., Reinhold, T., Jena, S., Brinkhaus, B., & Willich, S. N. (2008). Cost-effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in patients with headache. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache, 28(4), 334–345.

Zeliadt, S. B., Thomas, E. R., Olson, J., Coggeshall, S., Giannitrapani, K., Ackland, P. E., Reddy, K. P., Federman, D. G., Drake, D. F., Kligler, B., & Taylor, S. L. (2020). Patient Feedback on the Effectiveness of Auricular Acupuncture on Pain in Routine Clinical Care: The Experience of 11,406 Veterans. Medical care, 58 Suppl 2 9S(2 9 Suppl), S101–S107.