Not in this study, according to researchers in Japan.
First, the details.
- 56 healthy volunteers were assigned to receive acupuncture using a penetrating and non-penetrating needle.
- The needle remained in place for 20 minutes.
- A no treatment (control) was used for comparison.
- Each person received painful 1-minute electrical stimulation in the forearm.
- The response to the needling was measured before treatment and at various times after needle insertion and removal.
- Neither the volunteers nor acupuncturist knew the type of needle used — double blind.
- A numeric rating scale (0-150) was used to compare the response to acupuncture, with the baseline pain intensity (100) before the needle was applied.
- Each volunteer received all treatments separated by 24 hours — crossover design
And, the results.
- There was no significant difference in analgesia between the penetrating and non-penetrating needles.
- There was no significant correlation between analgesic effect and de qi — dull pain associated with needle application, which is considered essential for achieving successful acupuncture analgesia.
- Significant analgesia was observed during needle application and immediately after needle removal for both the penetrating and non-penetrating needle trials vs the no-acupuncture control.
The bottom line?
Simply stated, the authors concluded, â€œNeedle penetration did not confer a specific analgesic advantage over non-penetrating (placebo) needle application.â€
This isnâ€™t the first time weâ€™ve heard this story.
12/20/09 20:28 JR