Posts Tagged ‘Acupuncture’

Great news! This month our article”Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management–White Paper 2017″ 1 (Arthur Yin Fan is the first author, and Dr.David Miller is the correspondence author, our colleague Sarah Faggert also a co-author-there are 14 authors across the United States) has been selected as one of ten articles for the November 2017 Elsevier Atlas Awards Nominations.

As is stated on the Elsevier Atlas Awards homepage: “Each month the Atlas Advisory Board are sent a selection of 10 articles to choose their winning Atlas article. The articles are shortlisted by Elsevier from across journal portfolios based on their potential social impact. We are delighted to present the entire monthly shortlist and congratulate the authors of the nominated articles.” While the voting is still in progress, we are still very excited to even be nominated. This marks the first time that an acupuncture article has been nominated for the Elsevier Atlas Award.You may click on the following link to take you the Elsevier Atlas Nominations page: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/atlas/nominations.

We will let you know should our article win!

Each month the Atlas Advisory Board are sent a selection of 10 articles to choose their winning Atlas article.
1. Fan AY, Miller DW, Bolash B, Bauer M, McDonald J, Faggert S, He H, Li YM, Matecki A, Camardella L, Koppelman MH, Stone JA, Meade L, Pang J. Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management—White Paper 2017. J Integr Med. 2017; 15(6): 411–425.

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Acupuncture is good for changing American Opioids Epidemic, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug3e0FzSRAI

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Although traditional Chinese medicine as a whole is struggling in the United States, acupuncture itself is in a much better situation.

The ancient Chinese practice involving the insertion of fine needles into the skin was generally thought to be brought to America in the early 1970s, thanks to then-President Richard Nixon’s ice-breaking visit to China.

About 45 years later, over 46 U.S. states have legalized acupuncture, and the number of licensed acupuncturists in the country has grown to around 45,000.


Now, local acupuncturists expressed hope that the ancient art of healing could play a bigger role in solving the ongoing U.S. opioid epidemic, which claims 91 American lives every single day.

“Acupuncture is an effective, safe, and cost-effective treatment for numerous types of acute and chronic pain,” wrote a white paper released this week by several organizations that promote the practice in the United States.

“Acupuncture should be recommended as a first line treatment for pain before opiates are prescribed, and may reduce opioid use.”

The white paper came about a week after the U.S. National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), asking its insurance company members to review their payment and coverage policies in order to promote alternatives to opioids, such as acupuncture.

Cathryn Donaldson, director of communications and public affairs for the AHIP, a trade association representing 1,300 health insurers, told Xinhua that they have responded to the NAAG letter, which was signed by 37 state and territorial attorneys general.

“Plans are exploring and improving access to non-pharmacologic pain treatments that have been proven effective in reducing pain,” Donaldson said in an email.

“Depending on the individual patient, therapies like acupuncture, mind-body interventions (yoga), psychological interventions (cognitive therapy), and exercise can be an effective first line of treatment for many before moving on to pharmaceuticals when necessary,” she said.


Although millions of Americans use acupuncture each year, the practice was considered primarily to be a complementary health approach.

As a result, many American acupuncturists were excited by the NAAG letter, which was virally spread and heatedly discussed in the social media. One of them, Fan Ying, whose clinic is based in the state of Virginia, called it “a big deal” for the industry.

“The spring of acupuncture might have come,” said Fan, one of the authors of the white paper.

“The U.S. opioid crisis will allow non-pharmacologic therapies, including acupuncture, chiropractic care and medical massage, to have a place in the U.S. healthcare system,” he said, but cautioned that “we can’t say there will be no spring chill in the future.”

Li Yongming, a licensed acupuncturist in the state of New Jersey, called the U.S. fight against opioid abuse and addiction “a new opium war.”

“Acupuncture is the most effective in all kinds of non-pharmacologic therapies for pain relief and management,” Li said.

“So the opioid crisis provides the best opportunity in decades for our industry to develop and even become more of a mainstream healthcare option. This may represent a new era of acupuncture.”

Tian Haihe, president of the non-profit American TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) Association, noted that the NAAG letter is only a proposal, but it may indeed mean a turning point and that the next question could be how to grasp it.

“We must demonstrate to patients that we can help relieve their pain, so they will have no reason or excuse to use painkillers and thus avoid being addicted,” Tian said.

“Even if the NAAG proposal is adopted, we should know that many private clinics that offer acupuncture treatments are still out of the insurance system, a problem we should worry about and think how to solve.”

“If acupuncture is covered by health insurance eventually, it’s way too good, but it should be a long process,” Tian said. “We can’t just wait. We need to provide scientific evidence to prove that acupuncture is safe and effective.”


So, how does American academia think about the practice of acupuncture?

“Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. Improperly performed acupuncture can cause serious side effects,” the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) wrote in an article posted on its website.

“Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headache,” the NCCIH said.

What’s more important, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a draft proposal in May recommending that doctors learn about acupuncture and other non-pharmacologic therapies for pain management.

Actually, a 2015 study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, found that of more than 6,000 chronic pain patients who responded to a questionnaire, 32 percent reported acupuncture use, 47 percent reported chiropractic use and 21 percent reported using both.

The peer-reviewed work, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, included members of Kaiser Permanente health plan only.

“There is a growing body of scientific evidence which supports the use of acupuncture for pain management. Often the medications we use don’t work well, or have too many side effects. Thus both doctors and patients are eager for alternatives,” Charles Elder of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, the paper’s first author, told Xinhua.

“It would make sense that the role of acupuncture should continue to grow in the context of managing chronic pain within our health care system,” he said, citing as an example the state of Oregon where complementary medicine approaches including acupuncture are required to be covered for back pain patients of Medicaid — a joint state-federal health care program.

“My guess is that we will see more of this in the future,” Elder said.

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新华社华盛顿11月20日电通讯:针灸在美迎来发展好时机  新华社记者郭一娜 林小春 胡友松






















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The United States is facing a national opioid epidemic and regulatory agencies, patient advocacy groups, chronic care organizations and our medical systems are looking for non-pharmacologic strategies to join in the battle to decrease our country’s opioid dependence. Acupuncture is a powerful, evidence-based, safe, cost-effective and available treatment ready to step into this role. Licensed acupuncturists can be utilized throughout the current systems delivering first-line treatments for pain and can be employed for treatments of those suffering through the debilitative world of opioid addiction.

Join us November 8th as we discuss how acupuncture can be safely, easily and cost-effectively incorporated into hospital and rehabilitation settings across the country to help dramatically decrease health care expenditures while offering patients non-pharmacologic options for treating and preventing opioid addiction and pain.

We will begin with a complimentary session of acupuncture led by a team of experienced licensed acupuncturists. All attendees are invited to participate. There will be a Q&A session following the presentations and lunch will be served.


Dr. David Miller, MD, LAc

Dr. Jun Xu, MD, LAc

Dr. Arthur Yin Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc

Dr. Tracy Soltesz, DAc, LAc

Dr. Kallie Guimond, DOM, LAc

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Today, White Paper version 2.0 was published online first at the Website of Journal of Integrative Medicine


Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management, White Paper 2017

Abstract by Arthur Yin Fan

The title of White Paper is “Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management, White Paper 2017”白皮书的题目是“针灸在解决阿片类药物危机中的作用:针灸作为一线非药物疗法治疗和控制疼痛的证据、花费和医疗服务的可行性”。

There were 6 organizations as the co-publishers-参加发表该白皮书的有6个合作单位:The American Society of Acupuncturists, ASA美国针灸师联合会 、The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety, AAPAS美国执业针灸安全联盟 ,  The Acupuncture Now Foundation, ANF针灸立刻行动基金会,  The American TCM Association, ATCMA全美中医药学会 ,  The American TCM Society, ATCMS)美国中医针灸学会和全美华裔中医药总会 National Federation of TCM Organizations, NFTCMO 。

White paper  was drafted and edited based on a letter, which original authors were(白皮书起草是在一封信的基础上起步的,信的原文作者是): The Joint Acupuncture Opioid Task Force (Chair: Bonnie M. Abel Bolash, MAc, LAc. Member organizations: The Acupuncture Now Foundation (ANF) ,The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) ;组员: Matthew Bauer, LAc ;Bonnie Bolash, LAc ; Lindy Camardella, LAc; Mel Hopper Koppelman, MSc ;John McDonald, PhD, FAACMA ;Lindsay Meade, LAc ;David W Miller, MD, LAc .

The first (revising) author 白皮书修改稿第一作者: Arthur Yin Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc (ATCMA) ;Correspondent author通讯作者: David W Miller, MD, LAc 。Other authors参与白皮书的其他作者: Sarah Faggert, DAc, LAc; Hongjian He, CMD, LAc;Mel Hopper Koppelman, MSc; Yong Ming Li, MD, PhD, LAc ; Amy Matecki, MD, LAc*;David W Miller, MD, LAc; John Pang, MD** , etc . *Division Chief, Dept. of Medicine, Highland Hospital, Alameda Health System; **Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.


The United States is facing a national opioid epidemic, and medical systems are in need of non-pharmacologic strategies that can be employed to decrease the public’s opioid dependence. Acupuncture has emerged as a powerful, evidence based, safe, cost-effective, and available treatment modality suitable to meeting this need. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for the management of numerous types of pain, and mechanisms of action for acupuncture have been described and are understandable from biomedical, physiologic perspectives. Further, acupuncture’s cost-effectiveness could dramatically decrease health care expenditures, both from the standpoint of treating acute pain and through avoiding the development of opioid addiction that requires costly care, destroys quality of life, and can lead to fatal overdose. Numerous federal regulatory agencies have advised or mandated that healthcare systems and providers offer non-pharmacologic treatment options, and acupuncture stands as the most evidence-based, immediately available choice to fulfil these calls. Acupuncture can safely, easily, and cost -effectively be incorporated into hospital settings as diverse as the emergency department, labor and delivery suites, and neonatal intensive care units to treat a variety of pain seen commonly in hospitals.

Acupuncture is already being successfully and meaningfully utilized by the Veterans Administration and various branches of the U.S. Military.




  1. Acupuncture is an effective, safe, and cost-effective treatment for numerous types of acute and chronic pain. Acupuncture should be recommended as a first line treatment for pain before opiates are prescribed, and may reduce opioid use.


1.1 Effectiveness/Efficacy of acupuncture for different types of pain.


1.2 Safety and feasibility of acupuncture for pain management.


1.3 Cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for pain management.


1.4 Can adjunctive acupuncture treatment reduce the use of Opioid-like medications?


  1. Acupuncture’s analgesic mechanisms have been extensively researched and acupuncture can increase the production and release of endogenous opioids in animals and humans.


  1. Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain involving maladaptive neuroplasticity.


  1. Acupuncture is a useful adjunctive therapy in opiate dependency and rehabilitation.


  1. Acupuncture has been recommended as a first line non-pharmacologic therapy by the

FDA, as well as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in coping with the opioid crisis. The Joint Commission has also mandated that hospitals provide non-pharmacologic pain treatment modalities.


  1. Among most non-pharmacologic al managements for pain relief now available, acupuncture therapy is the most effective and specific for opioid abuse and overuse.


  1. Acupuncture is widely available from qualified practitioners nationally.



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