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The Society for Acupuncture Research is dedicated to improving the quality and increasing the awareness of research in acupuncture, herbal therapy and other modalities of Oriental Medicine. If you share our values and want to be an active part of SAR’s mission, we invite you to become a member and join the global dialogue that ultimately impacts the clinical scope and practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.  Monthly payment options are now available for individual professional members.

Research Highlight

Acupuncture for Pediatric Conditions: A Narrative Review

Milley Ryan J., Davis Robert, Kong Jiang-Ti, and Schnyer Rosa N.. Medical Acupuncture. December 2015, 27(6): 420-431. doi:10.1089/acu.2015.1154.


Background: The use of acupuncture for common pediatric conditions continues to grow. Three previous overviews have summarized the research literature.

Objective: The aim of this article is to provide an updated narrative review of the literature on the use of acupuncture within the pediatric population.

Methods: A systematic search was performed to identify clinical trials and reviews published through July 2015. Trials were excluded if they were not: (1) acupuncture-specific; (2) limited to pediatric patients; (3) published in English. The literature was assessed and synthesized into a narrative review and commentary.

Results: Seventy-one publications were identified (59 clinical trials and 12 reviews) that represented 20 conditions. Since the prior overviews, 36 new publications (33 clinical trials) were identified and represented nine countries; the top three were China, Norway, and the United States. The top five areas of research at that timepoint were autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, colic, pain, and nausea and vomiting.

Conclusions: Clinical trials in pediatric acupuncture (n  = 59) represent a small subset of acupuncture research. Data are promising for conditions such as pain and amblyopia; however, conclusions cannot be made due to limited number of trials and heterogeneity of treatment approaches. Specifically, caution is warranted, as acupuncture needling of a single acupoint in clinical research may not be equivalent to acupuncture treatment in clinical practice. Further research on the use of acupuncture for pediatric conditions is warranted. The current authors posit that the early phase research model, with pragmatic treatment approaches, should be employed to all areas of study. The conditions with promising evidence may represent key areas of focus for future research.


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2017 Conference       SAVE THE DATE!
SAR’S 2017 International Research Conference: April 27-29, 2017 (San Francisco, CA, USA)  Co-sponsored by the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University

Advancing the Precision Medicine Initiative through Acupuncture Research

Click here to download the Call for Abstracts

Late-breaking abstracts are being accepted through December 1, 2016.


Unanticipated Insights into Biomedicine
from the Study of Acupuncture

SAR's third White Paper on Acupuncture Research

Manual and Electrical Needle Stimulation in Acupuncture Research: Pitfalls and Challenges of Heterogeneity

SAR's second White Paper on Acupuncture Research

Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward

SAR's first White Paper on Acupuncture Research

Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Establishing an Evidence Base

Edited by Hugh MacPherson, Richard Hammerschlag, George Lewith, and Rosa Schnyer

Evidence Based Assessments

SAR's Evidence Based Assessments (EBAs) are designed to help you understand the strengths and limitations of the existing body of research, while providing succinct bullet point summary statements. 

The current library of condition-specific EBAs includes:  Asthma; Neck Pain; Dysmenorrhea; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Rhinitis/Sinusitis; Bell's Palsy; Lower Back Pain; and, Headache.  (Access to the EBA library is a key benefit of SAR membership.)  Also included in the library are 1-page handouts that summarize the research related to each condition.  These handouts are designed for practitioners to give to patients or for other information purposes.  Click the image above to view a sample of page selections from a full assessment. 

For access to the full EBA Library, you can either join SAR today where it is included as a benefit of membership, or you can purchase a stand-alone subscription product.  Click the "Join SAR Today" link above to learn more about both membership and available EBA subscription levels and pricing.

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