Spring Newsletter - May 2012

SAR Announcements


SAR’s 2013 International Research Conference (April 18-21, 2013, Ann Arbor, MI)

SAR will host our international research conference in Ann Arbor MI on April 18-21 in 2013.  Important research findings from the three years since our previous 2010 conference in Chapel Hill will be presented and discussed. Thematically the 2013 conference will emphasize the role of acupuncture in 21st century health care and the importance of translational applications within this field of research. To-date, the primary co-sponsors of the conference will be the University of Michigan Department of Anesthesiology and the University of Michigan Program in Integrative Medicine. Our conference includes three keynote lectures, which directly address current topics in acupuncture research. In addition, a special panel discussion will address the conference theme, the impact of acupuncture research on 21st century health care. Additional symposia will (1) highlight the findings of SAR’s latest White Paper on clinical and basic research comparisons of electrical and manual acupuncture (see below), and (2) explore context and patient-practitioner effects in acupuncture research. Original presentations in three main areas: clinical trials, basic science, and research methodology will be solicited from members of the national and international acupuncture research communities. Click here for a PDF version of the Call for Abstracts (abstract submission deadline is September 10, 2012).  To foster interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration, the conference will also include interactive workshops focusing on comparative effectiveness research and objective outcomes in clinical trials.

For conference sponsorship information, contact Richard Harris at reharris@med.umich.edu


SAR’s January 2012 Think Tank and Subsequent White Paper

In an effort to synthesize and harness the momentum from our 2010 conference, the SAR Board of Directors also met on January 19-22, 2012 at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA to draft a White Paper focusing on the comparative use of electrical and manual acupuncture within the continuum of basic science mechanisms, clinical research, and practitioner usage. This effort built on our previous White Paper conference, which culminated in the publication “Paradoxes in acupuncture research: strategies for moving forward,” published in 2011 (Langevin et al, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011). During our 2012 Think Tank/White Paper conference, the SAR Board engaged in a critical review of the basic and clinical research evidence to-date on manual and electrical acupuncture, from which the following perspective was identified: Despite substantial growth in the field of acupuncture research in the last decade, significant challenges remain in drawing overall conclusions from the available data. One important factor contributing to this lack of clarity is the indiscriminate use of the term “acupuncture” which does not differentiate between diverse interventions and techniques. In particular, potential differences between the two most common modes of needle stimulation, manual and electrical, are poorly understood and largely unaddressed.” The SAR Board systematically evaluated the published literature on manual and electrical acupuncture and explored a bi-directional translation of research findings between these two specific forms of acupuncture therapy. The findings and recommendations of this White Paper will be presented by the SAR Board in a symposium at the third International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health (IRCIMH) in Portland Oregon, May 15-18 2012 and will be submitted for publication to a biomedical journal. 


SAR’s Evidence Based Assessment Library Updates

New assessments have been added to SAR’s growing library of Evidence Based Assessments (EBAs), which can all be accessed as a benefit of SAR membership (or purchased separately for $600 each).  The current library includes reports on the following conditions: (1) asthma; (2) cervical pain; (3) carpal tunnel syndrome; (4) dysmenorrhea; (5) rhinitis/sinusitis; (6) lower back pain; (7) headache; and, (8) shoulder pain.

These condition-specific reports are designed to: (1) Keep you informed: each assessment includes a solid base of research about what has been demonstrated to work (or not work), along with specific comments about the research studies (what types of studies were included, and whether or not a solid base of evidence even exists); (2) Save you time by doing the leg-work for you (compiling and summarizing relevant research) so that you have the tools and resources you need at your fingertips; and, (3) Save you money: our reports are gleaned from dozens of journals. You’d spend thousands subscribing to each journal yourself.

SAR members can access the library of Evidence Based Assessments from the member area of SAR’s website.  Non-members can learn more and join SAR here for access to the EBA Library and more:  http://www.acupunctureresearch.org/membership


Research Highlights

Effects of acupuncture and exercise on insulin sensitivity, adipose tissue characteristics, and markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial.

Fertil Steril. 2011 Dec 7

Stener-Victorin E, Baghaei F, Holm G, Janson PO, Olivecrona G, Lönn M, Mannerås-Holm L. PMID: 22154367

Acupuncture with manual and electrical stimulation and physical exercise has been shown to improve hyperandrogenism and menstrual bleeding pattern in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
This is secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial investigating possible effects of low-frequency electro-acupuncture (EA) and physical exercise on markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis, insulin sensitivity, and adipose tissue characteristics in women with PCOS. Low-frequency EA, but not exercise at the dose/intensity studied, counteracted a possible prothrombotic state in women with PCOS, as reflected by a decrease in plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) activity.

Acupuncture compared with oral antihistamine for type I hypersensitivity itch and skin response in adults with atopic dermatitis - a patient- and examiner-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.

Allergy. 2012 Feb 8.

Pfab F, Kirchner MT, Huss-Marp J, Schuster T, Schalock PC, Fuqin J, Athanasiadis GI, Behrendt H, Ring J, Darsow U, Napadow V.

Several previous studies have found acupuncture to be effective for itch. This multi-arm crossover study in patients with atopic dermatitis directly compared acupuncture (applied either preventively or abortively) with anti-histamine for the relief of itch. Both acupuncture and anti-histamine reduced itch more than their respective placebos.
Abortive acupuncture was found to be superior, while preventive acupuncture was found to be equivalent to anti-histamine. However, anti-histamines produced cognitive side-effects (diminished attention scores), while acupuncture did not.

Upcoming Events

2012 North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine (May 15-18, 2012, Portland, Oregon)

The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine announced its 2012 North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine (May 15-18, 2012, Portland, Oregon). The conference theme is: "Strengthening Research in Integrative Healthcare around the World," and the conference promotes itself as "the most comprehensive scientific conference in complementary and integrative medicine." For further detail, visit http://imconsortium-congress2012.org


International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine (ICNM) (July 7-9, 2013, Paris, France)

ICNM is designed to be a premier gathering in 2013 for the most influential and inspiring multi-disciplinary Naturopathic Physicians, Therapists, Professors and Health Care Professionals from around the world, dedicated to improving patient care and defining the future of alternative healthcare. The Scientific Committee is elaborating a large and mature program with internationally distinguished faculty members, researchers and specialists in line with our commitment to innovation, expertise and excellence in complementary medicine.  The United-States will be the Honoring Country at the ICNM 2013.  For further information about the ICNM Congress, visit www.icnmcongress.com.



The 3rd annual meeting for Global University Network of Traditional Medicine

The 3rd annual meeting for Global University Network of Traditional Medicine (GUNTM) was held on December 17th to the 19th in China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. The GUNTM is a multilateral, non-political academic network first proposed by Kyung Hee University College of Oriental Medicine in 2009. It is comprised of 7 leading universities in Traditional East Asian Medicine, to promote and develop not only areas of education, research, clinical practices, but also to further information exchange among universities.

Members of this network include Kyung Hee University (S. Korea), Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (China), Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine (China), China Medical University (Taiwan), Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong), Meiji University of Integrative Medicine (Japan), and RMIT University (Australia).

In this 3rd annual meeting with each and every representative in full attendance, the first day was spent reporting the latest news in the areas of education, research, and clinical practice, followed by a discussion on setting up a protocol for multi-national acupuncture research. On the second day, an international symposium on Traditional Medicine EBM was held widening the scope of knowledge and intercommunication. Three such successful annual meetings of the GUNTM has strengthened cooperative relations, leading to extensive and specific sharing of plans and ideas on obtaining desired results on education, research and clinical practice. At present, the Network is focusing on expanding student exchange programs and international research.  For more information about GUNTM and to link to Network members, visit http://guntm.org/.


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