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  • Jarrod Geraghty

The big question, Acupuncture does it work?


When investing in our health outside the traditional setting of a GP or hospital the biggest concern is always DOES IT WORK, and rightly so. With constant rises in the price of living we often find ourselves with less and less money to spend on our health outside the traditional avenues. Complementary medicine or alternative medicine is often seen as a grey area and often open to interpretation and hearsay.


In 2017 The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) saw the need for more rigorous review of the current evidence and commissioned the Acupuncture Evidence Project to conduct a review.


Below is a list of conditions where there is evidence to support the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.


• Chronic low back pain

• Plantar heel pain

• Recovery after colorectal cancer resection

• Restless leg syndrome

• Schizophrenia (with antipsychotics)

• Sciatica

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

• Allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal)

• Shoulder pain

• Migraine prophylaxis

• Neck pain

• Anxiety

• Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics)

• Headache (tension-type and chronic)

• Post-stroke insomnia

• Cancer pain

• Cancer-related fatigue

• Constipation

• Lateral elbow pain

• Menopausal hot flushes

• Acute low back pain Postoperative nausea & vomiting

• Back or pelvic pain during pregnancy

• Depression (with antidepressants)

• Dry eye

• Hypertension (with medication)

• Insomnia

• Irritable bowel syndrome

• Knee osteoarthritis

• Labour pain

• Modulating sensory perception thresholds

• Obesity

• Perimenopausal & postmenopausal insomnia

• Postoperative nausea & vomiting

• Postoperative pain

• Post-stroke shoulder pain

• Post-stroke spasticity

• Post-traumatic stress disorder

• Prostatitis pain/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

• Smoking cessation (up to 3 months)

• Temporomandibular pain


McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. http://www.acupuncture.org.au.

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