Fall Newsletter - December 2010

SAR’s White Paper: "Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward"

In keeping with SAR’s mission to promote, advance and disseminate scientific inquiry into Oriental medicine systems, we have published our White Paper, highlighting current issues and setting forth proposals for the next decade of acupuncture research.  On September 22-23, 2008, SAR held a Board workshop at Georgetown University to culminate 3 months of preparations in developing this White Paper. The workshop was hosted and facilitated by a nationally recognized leader in CAM education and research, Aviad (Adi) Haramati, PhD, Professor and Director of Education in the Departments of Physiology & Biophysics and Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. 

Collaboratively written by the SAR Board of Directors, the paper identifies gaps in knowledge underlying the paradoxes and proposes strategies for their resolution through translational research. We recommend that acupuncture treatments should be studied (1) "top down" as multi-component "whole-system" interventions and (2) “bottom up as mechanistic studies that focus on understanding how individual treatment components interact and translate into clinical and physiological outcomes. Such a strategy, incorporating considerations of efficacy, effectiveness and qualitative measures, will strengthen the evidence base for such complex interventions as acupuncture.

Generous donations from the professional and educational acupuncture community and matching grant from the National Acupuncture Foundation made the development of the White Paper possible. We are deeply grateful for everyone’s support, and we are confident that this paper will provide a very important next step in acupuncture research.  The White Paper can be downloaded here:  http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/180805.html


Research Highlights
(1) Randomized Controlled Trials of Acupuncture, 1997-2007: An Assessment of Reporting Quality with a CONSORT and STRICTA Based Instrument. Evid Base Comp Alternat Med. doi:10.1155/2011/183910  Hammerschlag R, Milley R, Colbert A, et al.

(2) Pain. 2010 Oct;151(1):146-54. Epub 2010 Jul 23.
German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) - a pragmatic, controlled, patient-blinded, multi-centre trial in an outpatient care environment. Molsberger AF, Schneider T, Gotthardt H, Drabik A. Ruhr-University Bochum, Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 44780 Bochum, Germany.  albrechtmolsberger@mac.com

The German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) comprised 424 outpatients with chronic shoulder pain (CSP) > or =6 weeks and an average pain score of VAS > or =50 mm, who were randomly assigned to receive Chinese acupuncture (verum), sham acupuncture (sham) or conventional conservative orthopaedic treatment (COT). The patients were blinded to the type of acupuncture and treated by 31 office-based orthopaedists trained in acupuncture; all received 15 treatments over 6 weeks. The 50% responder rate for pain was measured on a VAS 3 months after the end of treatment (primary endpoint) and directly after the end of the treatment (secondary endpoint). RESULTS: In the ITT (n=424) analysis, percentages of responders for the primary endpoint were verum 65% (95% CI 56-74%) (n=100), sham 24% (95% CI 9-39%) (n=32), and COT 37% (95% CI 24-50%) (n=50); secondary endpoint: verum 68% (95% CI 58-77%) (n=92), sham 40% (95% CI 27-53%) (n 53), and COT 28% (95% CI 14-42%) (n=38). The results are significant for verum over sham and verum over COT (p<0.01) for both the primary and secondary endpoints. The PPP analysis of the primary (n=308) and secondary endpoints (n=360) yields similar responder results for verum over sham and verum over COT (p<0.01). Descriptive statistics showed greater improvement of shoulder mobility (abduction and arm-above-head test) for the verum group versus the control group immediately after treatment and after 3 months. The trial indicates that Chinese acupuncture is an effective alternative to conventional orthopaedic treatment for CSP.


Recent Event Highlights
Symposium of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (SAMS); Busan, South Korea (10/2-10/3)
Three SAR board members spoke at the annual Symposium of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (SAMS) meeting in Busan South Korea from October 1st-3rd.   The theme of the meeting was, “The 21st century future medicine: Harmonization of traditional medicine and science,” with many of the talks focusing on the neurophysiology of acupuncture.  SAR board member Hugh MacPherson gave two presentations, “Neuroimaging the effects in the brain of acupuncture needling using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG)”  and, “Acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome: results from a pragmatic randomised controlled trial.”  While SAR board members Vitaly Napadow and Richard Harris gave talks entitled, “Human Neuroimaging for Non-Invasive Evaluation of Potential Brain Mechanisms Underlying Acupuncture Therapy” and, “Functional Neurochemistry of Acupuncture in Chronic Pain” respectively.  This event was international and included speakers from Korea, USA, Australia, Israel, Germany, and Sweden.  Please see the below link for additional information about this conference. http://samsams.org/contents/Greetings.html

World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) annual conference; San Francisco (11/6-11/7)
SAR co-sponsored the World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) annual conference, “WFAS 2010 International Acupuncture Conference in USA” held in San Francisco at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel on November 6-7, 2010.

SAR board member and past-co-president, Dr. Lixing Lao, served as Chair of the Academic Committee of the conference and hosted the opening ceremony.  In his keynote address, Dr. Lao highlighted major advances in basic and clinical research in acupuncture and introduced issues raised in the recently published SAR position paper, “Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward” (Langevin et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Epub 2010 Oct 11). Current SAR co-president Dr. Richard Harris also presented a keynote lecture, “Functional Neurochemistry of Acupuncture in Chronic Pain”, reviewing his provocative findings that verum and sham acupuncture induce clinical analgesia by mechanisms that have distinctly different brain pathways. Other SAR board members, Ryan Milley and Richard Hammerschlag, were also presenters at the WFAS conference.  Ryan reviewed in greater depth the SAR position paper on Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research, while Richard’s talk was “Traditional Chinese Medicine for Temporomandibular Dysfunction:  A Whole Systems Research Trial”.  Other keynote presenters included Dr. Richard Nahin (NCCAM, NIH), “The Use of Acupuncture and Asian Medicine in the USA”, and Claudia Witt (Berlin, Germany), “What do the Large Acupuncture Trials Tell Us?”.

The conference attracted over 500 participants from 30 countries in Europe, Asian, South America, Australia and North America. Among nearly 200 abstracts/papers accepted, over 160 presentations of research findings and clinical experience filled the two day conference. In the closing ceremony, the conference organizer announced that the 2011 WFAS annual conference will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Upcoming Events
Hong Kong International Acupuncture Conference
January 14 - 16, 2011, sponsored by the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, will be held at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.  For more information, visit: https://www.hkamonline.hk/conf/index.php/hkia/hkia11

International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research (ICCMR) 6th International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research
May 7-9, 2011, Chengdu, China: International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research (ICCMR) 6th International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research: Evidence-Based Decision Making for Traditional and Integrative Medicine.  The International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research (ICCMR) is organized annually by the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR). ISCMR is an international scientific organization of researchers, practitioners and policy makers that fosters Complementary and Integrative Medicine research and provides a platform for knowledge and information exchange to enhance international communication and collaboration.  For more information about the event, visit: http://eng.2011iscmr.org  (Deadline for Abstract Submission is December 31, 2010.)

"Whole Medicine: Teaming Up for Our Patients"
May 13-15, 2011, Baltimore, MD, USA: This conference is co-sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine, The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) and the American Oriental Medicine Institute (AOMI).  Both speaker and research participation will be reviewed through the following abstract review system: http://aaaomonline.org/abstracts.  Link here to view the Call for Abstracts (PDF).  Deadline for submission of abstracts is December 15, 2010.  For more information, visit: www.aaaomonline.org.

North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM)
May 15-18, 2012, Portland, Oregon, USA:  NARCCIM will showcase original scientific CAM research through keynote and plenary sessions, oral and poster presentations, and innovative scientific sessions.  Areas of CAM research presented and discussed at this conference will include research in basic science, clinical research, methodological research, health services research, and education research.  For more information, visit: www.imconsortium-conference.org.


Postdoctoral Fellowship: Training in Research in Integrative Medicine
The UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is now recruiting for a postdoctoral fellowship position to begin in July 2011.  The application deadline is February 1, 2011.  Training in Research in Integrative Medicine (TRIM) is a post-doctoral program funded by a T-32 Training Grant from The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH/NCCAM).  The UCSF Osher Center seeks to diversify student and faculty populations.  Information about The TRIM program and the application process is available on the Osher Center web page at: http://www.osher.ucsf.edu/research/TRIM.html 


Support SAR Today and Receive These Exciting Benefits:
If you have not yet joined SAR, join today to access useful tools and resources.  A Society for Acupuncture Research membership is one of the best investments you can make for your professional development.  Consider the value.
With a SAR Professional Membership you’ll:

  • Be part of the cutting edge acupuncture research community by attending  all SAR events at a discounted registration rate;
  • Stay up-to-date with must-have downloadable copies of SAR conference proceedings, including abstracts of posters, as well as access to select presentations from the 2010 international conference;
  • Stay informed about industry-specific conferences, event listings, and Calls for Abstracts by receiving special email announcements sent only to SAR members;
  • Gain access to members-only website content, which includes special resources and references, acupuncture research-related job listings and internships (as available),  and stay informed with time sensitive news and announcements related to the field;
  • Receive significantly discounted subscription rates (>50%) to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine;  and,
  • Enjoy member discounts on our entire new library of Evidence Based Summaries (EBS), currently in production and based on the same reports created for use by insurance companies.  This is a critical tool for use in substantiating insurance claims, in curriculum development, to generate innovative hypotheses, and educating physicians and patients.  As a SAR member, you’ll receive first notice and a discounted price on each and every Evidence Based Summary (the first 3 Evidence Based Summaries are scheduled for distribution in January 2011). The value of this one benefit alone will far exceed your membership dues.

Organizational members enjoy additional benefits.  Learn more about membership levels and joining SAR here:  SAR Membership

Act now! JOIN before December 30th and your first EBS is free! *  Here’s the link to join online: Join SAR

* Join by December 30, 2010 and receive a certificate redeemable for one free Evidence Based Summary of your choice, as they become available (summaries currently in production include Chronic Neck Pain; Asthma, and Dysmenorrhea; with future topics to include Bell's Palsy; Hand & Wrist Pain (Carpal Tunnel); and Sinusitis/Rhinitis).

Submit Your Job Listings and Internships
If you want your acupuncture research-related job listings and internships to reach a group of high-quality candidates, submit your listings to SAR.  We’ll include listings in the member area of SAR’s website and in upcoming newsletters – all at no cost.  Please include the following information when submitting listings:

  • Job or Internship Title
  • Description
  • Location (city, state or region, country)
  • How to apply
  • Public Contact (name, phone, email) – for inclusion in the listing (optional if an email address or web link is  already included in the “how to apply” section)
  • Administrative Contact (name, phone, email) – for questions about your listing (this contact would not be included in your listing)
    Job and internship listings will remain on the SAR website for 60 days unless otherwise requested, and will be included in the current SAR newsletter if a quarterly issue is being sent within 60 days of receiving your listing.  Send listing information and any questions to ltriplett@acupunctureresearch.org.

Information and links were accurate at the time the newsletter was published.
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