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The Role of Acupuncture Research

— A Personal View

You may already have done extensive research into ways of improving your heath naturally. I would like to share my own thoughts with you. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and welcome your feedback.

First, it is important to understand that there is a difference between basic research and the clinical kind. 
1. Basic research tries to discover how acupuncture works, since this may lead to a greater understanding of a problem or condition and more effective treatment for patients may follow this kind of research.
2. Clinical research can assess if acupuncture works. The method is to use standardised treatment for every patient, ignoring individual special needs and circumstances.


Since the principle underlying all Chinese medicine emphasises treating the body as a whole, with tailored treatment viewed as essential, research based on standardised treatment has drawbacks. 

Many apparently irrelevant factors may cause serious illness. Stress is a key factor and this can become self-perpetuating when recovery repeatedly fails to happen. Medication taken for unrelated purposes can affect general health; catching a simple cold may even affect the heart, cause ME or immnue imbalance. Used as a holistic therapy, acupuncture can address various health issues at the same time, issues that may be disrupting your body’s natural balance and creating a state of illness.

So I advise that you treat research data as guidance only, even when it supports the case for acupuncture. The expertise and wide-ranging medical experience of the practitioner you choose, and your confidence in their approach, is vital. 


Feng Zhi Chao MD PhD


Evidence Based Acupuncture by Dr Chao MD PhD l l London
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