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

17th October 2017

Copyright O 2017 Allrights reserved


Back pain

(See also Spinal Stenosis)

(2017) Immediate Changes in Resting and Contracted Thickness of Transversus Abdominis (TrA) After Dry Needling (DN) of Lumbar Multifidus (LM) in Healthy Participants: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial

'Conclusion: This study suggests that application of DN to LM was accompanied by a decreased resting thickness and an increased contraction thickness of the TrA in asymptomatic participants.' This is an interesting observation of an effect from acupuncture probably working not only locally on LM but also segmentally improving the functioning of an abdominal muscle which may explain how it helps in treating back pain in that the anterior abdominal muscles are important for supporting the back.

Puentedura, Emilio J. et al. (2017) Immediate Changes in Resting and Contracted Thickness of Transversus Abdominis After Dry Needling of Lumbar Multifidus in Healthy Participants: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 40 , Issue 8 , 615 - 623

(2016) Assessing knowledge about acupuncture: A survey of people with back pain in the UK.

'Conclusions. The study identified key gaps in knowledge about acupuncture among patients. In particular, many participants were unaware that acupuncture is available from the UK National Health Service and that acupuncturists are not subject to statutory regulation in the UK.'

Maddy Greville-Harris, John Hughes, George Lewith, Christina Liossi, Peter White,  Cynthia A. Graham,  &  Felicity L. Bishop,  (2016) Assessing knowledge about acupuncture: A survey of people with back pain in the UK. Complementary Therapies in Medicine Volume 29, December 2016, Pages 164–168

(2007) Acupuncture helps low back pain. German Acupuncture trials for Chronic Low Back Pain.

One of the biggest ever trials of acupuncture in low back pain, with over 1000 patients including a sham acupuncture control comparison showed that true acupuncture and sham acupuncture performed twice as well as normal intensive conventional back care.

Haake M, Müller H-H, Schade-Brittinger C, et al. (2007) German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC) for chronic low back pain: randomized, multicenter, blinded, parallel-group trial with 3 groups. Arch Intern Med 2007;167:1892–8. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.17.1892

NICE Guidlines. In 2009 in the UK NICE issued guidelines for the 'Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain' May 2009 Click here for the published article, page 8 has a specific section which relates to acupuncture, however recently 30.11.2016. NICE reverses its original opinion. DESPITE, NICE finding that acupuncture statistically significantly outperforms sham, providing proof that the effect is not simply as a result of bias or chance. The size of the difference for pain fell just short of the required level for recommendation. However, no account was taken that the sham acupuncture used in the clinical trials was a physiologically active control, thereby reducing the differential effect. Notwithstanding this, acupuncture still performed better against sham than all of the non-invasive treatments recommended by NICE, with the exception of NSAIDS (which themselves only just made the cut). How then did 1. exercise, 2. manual and 3. psychological therapies come to be included? All three failed against sham. The exercise sham data was subsequently removed from the review (prior to the final guideline) clearing the way for usual care comparisons. The other two were not even well supported by usual care data, so their recommendations are particularly suspect. Even on a usual care basis acupuncture shows a greater effect than these three.

Placebo effects are present in all interventions, especially those delivered by a therapist. If such interventions are to be evaluated against placebo then this should be the case for all of them across the board. However the primary comparison, the clinically relevant one should be with usual care: again, this should be the same for all therapies. Both acupuncture and exercise were found to be effective compared to usual care, and also cost-effective, but because they were being assessed on different criteria, exercise is recommended and acupuncture is NOT!!!!!!! Evidence-based medicine should be applied evenly across all interventions for a particular condition. I believe the recommendations are not in the interests of patients, who should be provided with fair and unbiased information on which to base their decisions about health care.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this site is accurate. It is not the intention to mislead or misinform anyone.

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