Introduction

It was June 1979 when World Health Organisation conducted a symposium on acupuncture in Bejing, China. Doctors who participated in this symposium created a list of 43 diseases that might benefit from acupuncture. This list however was not based on well design clinical trials with appropriate control. The need for performing such studies was mentioned.

Almost twenty years later, in 1997, National Institutes of Health published Consensus Statement, summarizing the state of knowledge drawn from clinical trial concerning acupuncture efficacy. The Authors concluded that there were “promising results showing efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain” In other conditions, mostly various kinds of pain, acupuncture “might be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative”

One year before publication of statement mentioned  above, the meeting of scientists, called WHO Consultation on Acupuncture, was organized in beautiful Italian town of Cervia. That meeting resulted in creation of official report on the effectiveness of acupuncture based on data from controlled clinical trials. The report was finally published in 2003. The results of 255 trials published before the end of 1998 or beginning of 1999 were included.  

 

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

 

 

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

  • Biliary colic

  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

  • Dysentery, acute bacillary

  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary

  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)

  • Headache

  • Hypertension, essential

  • Hypotension, primary

  • Induction of labour

  • Knee pain

  • Leukopenia

  • Low back pain

  • Malposition of fetus, correction of

  • Morning sickness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Neck pain

  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

  • Periarthritis of shoulder

  • Postoperative pain

  • Renal colic

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Sciatica

  • Sprain

  • Stroke

  • Tennis elbow

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