This is just a brief article to go over evidence showing that acupuncture is more effective than placebo, or “sham acupuncture.”
There have been several studies examining the effectiveness of acupuncture compared to sham or fake acupuncture, which involves using needles in non-acupuncture points or using blunt needles that do not penetrate the skin. Here are a few examples:
- A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Autoimmunity in 2018 analyzed 18 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1,400 participants with autoimmune diseases. The authors found that acupuncture was significantly more effective than sham acupuncture for reducing pain, fatigue, and disease activity. (1)
- A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2005 looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia, a condition often associated with autoimmune diseases. The study found that true acupuncture was significantly more effective than sham acupuncture for reducing pain and improving overall health. (2)
- A randomized controlled trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2017 looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating chronic pain in patients with osteoarthritis, a condition often associated with autoimmune diseases. The study found that true acupuncture was significantly more effective than sham acupuncture for reducing pain and improving physical function. (3)
- While the exact mechanism of acupuncture is still not fully understood, these studies suggest that acupuncture may be more effective than placebo or fake acupuncture for reducing pain, fatigue, and disease activity in people with autoimmune diseases. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating autoimmune diseases and to identify which patients may benefit the most from this therapy. (4)
Overall, acupuncture appears to treat autoimmune diseases better than just the placebo acupuncture. Studies show that true acupuncture can help reduce pain, fatigue, and disease activity in conditions like fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. I have personally spoken with people who found this to be very helpful for them.
As a general disclaimer, it’s important to note that while natural alternatives may be effective for some individuals, they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. It is generally recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new therapy.
I hope this research has been helpful for you in some way. You may review the full studies from the sources below.
1. Kavoussi, Ben M., and Shahin Hakimian. “Complementary and alternative medicine in autoimmune disease.” Journal of Autoimmunity, vol. 83, 2018, pp. 58-80.
2. Harris, Richard E., et al. “Treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 16 weeks’ duration.” Journal of Rheumatology, vol. 32, no. 3, 2005, pp. 506-511.
3. Mccarthy, David. L., et al. “Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis.” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 167, no. 8, 2017, pp. 481-491.
4. “Acupuncture.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23 June 2020, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture.