Drs Martin & Sue Allbright

'Blending an ancient medical approach of mind and body with modern health'


Acupuncture Research






We would like to share with you our personal view, beliefs and approach about the research that is presented on these pages.

We both value the research of modern science and the many developments that have been discovered.

We also value the depth of wisdom and knowledge of traditional and classical five element acupuncture, which integrates the many aspects of body and mind.

We acknowledge the information gained from research, and we endevaour to use it where appropriate when meeting the needs of an individual who is suffering in health.

We hope later to share more information on the five elements of acupuncture.


Classical Acupuncture

This site was last updated on

12th April 2024

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Stress reduction - Burnout prevention

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The Efffectiveness of Acupuncture Therapy on Stress in a Large Urban College Population.

DISCUSSION. 'There was a 45.8% improvement in the perception of stress in the verum acupuncture group at the conclusion of the treatment phase, similar to the sham acupuncture group which showed a 40.3% difference. While both verum and sham acupuncture patients showed a substantial initial decrease in perceived stress scores, at 12 weeks post treatment verum acupuncture showed a significantly greater treatment effect than sham acupuncture. After 3 months post completion, the mean PSS-14 score only slightly increased and maintained a 40.2% decrease as compared to the pre-treatment score. The sham group’s PSS-14 score went to a 24.1 % decrease from the pre-intervention score.'

Perceived benefit to stress was acheived using acupuncture treatment that was a standardised combination of acupuncture points and not tailored to the individuals. In theory it may be possible that the results for the verum acupuncture may have been even better if the treatment had been individualised. The trial would benefit from being repeated with a much larger number of participants.

Schroeder. S. et al. (2016) The Effectiveness of Acupuncture Therapy on Stress in a large Urban College Population. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies. PII: S2005-2901(16)30122-4 DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2017.01.002 Reference: JAMS 329

Acupuncture at ST36 prevents chronic stress-induced increases in neuropeptide Y

Lead author Dr Ladan Eshkevari said “It has long been thought that acupuncture can reduce stress, but this is the first study to show molecular proof of this benefit.”

‘Chronic stress, as seen in post-traumatic stress disorder, can exacerbate existing diseases. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been proposed to treat chronic stress, although information on its efficacy or mechanism(s) of action is limited. While many factors contribute to the chronic stress response, the sympathetic peptide, neuropeptide Y (NPY), has been shown to be elevated in chronic stress and is hypothesized to contribute to the physiological stress response. ‘‘Additionally, the effect of EA (on acupuncture point XI 36)  was long-lasting, as NPY levels remained suppressed despite early cessation of EA XI 36’

The findings indicate that EA XI 36 is effective in preventing one of the sympathetic pathways stimulated during chronic stress, and thus may be a useful adjunct therapy in stress-related disorders.’

A lot of Chinese medical literature on acupuncture describe beliefs and observations that having regular acupuncture to keep your energies balanced will subsequently increase in your ability to deal with stress. In this recent piece of research, acupuncture has been found to lower levels of a protein (neuropeptide Y), a protein that is released in stress.

Eshkevari L et al. (2011) Acupuncture at ST36 prevents chronic stress-induced increases in neuropeptide Y in rats. Experimental Biology Medicine. (Maywood). 2012 Jan;237(1):18-23. Doi: 10.1258/ebm.2011.011224. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

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(2018) Assessing the Impact of Acupuncture Therapy on Medical Resident Well-being: A Feasibility and Acceptance Studyn

‘Results. Eighty percent of the residents responded to the post-treatment survey. All denied negative impacts of the therapy and 80% reported positive impacts. All responded positively to adding acupuncture to the workflow.

Discussion: Auricular acupuncture therapy was accepted by residents and can be a feasible intervention for reducing burnout in medical residents as measured by the Professional Quality of Life instrument.’

Cândido de Oliveira CC & Scivoletto S. (2016) Impact of acupuncture on stress levels of professionals working with maltreated children Acupunct Med 2017;0:1–2. doi:10.1136/acupmed-2016-011231

(2016) Impact of acupuncture on stress levels of professionals working with maltreated children

Background. Occupational stress is recognised as a major risk to psychosocial wellbeing, which can undermine health. One of the major consequences of chronic stress is the development of the syndrome of burnout. Burnout constitutes a sense of failure and exhaustion, caused by an excessive decrease in energy, which may especially affect professionals who work in direct contact with people. Professionals who work with maltreated children and the socially vulnerable typically show high levels of stress due to the physical and mental overload caused by the excessive demands of their work, in terms of both quantity and emotional strain.

Findings. At baseline, 18 of the 19 subjects (95%) had levels of stress that were potentially harmful to health (Lipp's inventory of stress score ≥7. After acupuncture treatment, a statistically significant reduction in mean stress levels was observed. A total of 34 different classical acupuncture points were used, as well as local points (in cases of acute or chronic pain).

Comment. Our findings suggest that 10 sessions of traditional acupuncture attenuate high levels of stress in professionals working with maltreated children. However, given the lack of an appropriate control group, we cannot exclude the potential contribution of the placebo effect, non-specific needling effects or even the natural history of stress or regression to the mean. This is a preliminary study and its findings will need to be confirmed through future controlled studies.

Guan, Xin, Citkovitz, Claudia et al., (2018) Assessing the Impact of Acupuncture Therapy on Medical Resident Well-being: A Feasibility and Acceptance Study Obstetrics & Gynecology: October 2018 - Volume 132 - Issue - p 36S doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000546601.03917.ae

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