How Acupuncture Works:


“Acupuncture (PDQ®)–Patient Version.” National Cancer Institute.

Haker, E., Egekvist, H., & Bjerring, P. (2000, February 17). Effect of sensory stimulation (acupuncture) on sympathetic and parasympathetic activities in healthy subjects. Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System.

Hempel S, et al. Evidence Map of Acupuncture. VAESP Project #05-226, 2014:

Hui, K. K., Liu, J., Makris, N., Gollub, R. L., Chen, A. J., Moore, C. I., … Kwong, K. K. (2000). Acupuncture modulates the limbic system and subcortical gray structures of the human brain: evidence from fMRI studies in normal subjects. Human brain mapping. 

Langevin HM, et al. Connective tissue fibroblast response to acupuncture: dose-dependent effect of bidirectional needle rotation. J Alt Compl Med, 2007;13(3):355-360.

Lee, S., Chae, Y., Kim, S. N., Kim, S. Y., Park, J. Y., Kwark, Y. R., Kang, O. S., Lee, H., Yin, C. S., & Park, H. J. (2010). Short term effects by acupuncture to SP3 on the autonomic blood flow control. Neurological research32 Suppl 1, 37–42. 

Lund I, Lundeberg T. Mechanisms of acupuncture. Acu Related Ther, 2016;4(4):26-30.

MacPherson H, et al. Unanticipated insights into biomedicine from the study of acupuncture. J Alt Compl Med, 2016;22(2):101-107.

McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review(Revised edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd., 2017:

Qaseem A, et al. Noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Internal Med, 2017;166(7):514-530.

Takayama, S., Watanabe, M., Kusuyama, H., Nagase, S., Seki, T., Nakazawa, T., & Yaegashi, N. (2012). Evaluation of the effects of acupuncture on blood flow in humans with ultrasound color Doppler imaging. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM.

Sandberg, M., Lundeberg, T., Lindberg, L. G., & Gerdle, B. (2003). Effects of acupuncture on skin and muscle blood flow in healthy subjects. European journal of applied physiology90(1-2), 114–119. 

Tsuru, H., & Kawakita, K. (2009, March). Acupuncture on the blood flow of various organs measured simultaneously by colored microspheres in rats. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM.

Uchida C, et al. Effects of acupuncture sensations on transient heart rate reduction and autonomic nervous system function during acupuncture stimulation. Med Acu, 2019;31(3):176-184.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Program: Acupuncture. National Institutes of Health.

Wang, S.-J., Zhang, J.-J., & Qie, L.-L. (2014, March 11). Acupuncture Relieves the Excessive Excitation of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Cortex Axis Function and Correlates with the Regulatory Mechanism of GR, CRH, and ACTHR. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Zijlstra, F. J., van den Berg-de Lange, I., Huygen, F. J., & Klein, J. (2003). Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators of inflammation12(2), 59–69. 



Acupuncture in Cancer Care:


Alimi, D., Rubino, C., Pichard-Léandri, E., Fermand-Brulé, S., Dubreuil-Lemaire, M. L., & Hill, C. (2003). Analgesic effect of auricular acupuncture for cancer pain: a randomized, blinded, controlled trial. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology21(22), 4120–4126.

Crew, K. D., Capodice, J. L., Greenlee, H., Brafman, L., Fuentes, D., Awad, D., Yann Tsai, W., & Hershman, D. L. (2010). Randomized, blinded, sham-controlled trial of acupuncture for the management of aromatase inhibitor-associated joint symptoms in women with early-stage breast cancer. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology28(7), 1154–1160.

Dundee, J. W., Ghaly, R. G., Fitzpatrick, K. T., Abram, W. P., & Lynch, G. A. (1989). Acupuncture prophylaxis of cancer chemotherapy-induced sickness. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine82(5), 268–271.

Cohen, A. J., Menter, A., & Hale, L. (2005). Acupuncture: role in comprehensive cancer care–a primer for the oncologist and review of the literature. Integrative cancer therapies4(2), 131–143. 

Lu, Weidong, et al. “The Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care.” Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2008,

Wong, R., & Sagar, S. (2006). Acupuncture treatment for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy–a case series. Acupuncture in medicine : journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society24(2), 87–91.

Walker, E. M., Rodriguez, A. I., Kohn, B., Ball, R. M., Pegg, J., Pocock, J. R., Nunez, R., Peterson, E., Jakary, S., & Levine, R. A. (2010). Acupuncture versus venlafaxine for the management of vasomotor symptoms in patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology28(4), 634–640.

Walker, G., de Valois, B., Davies, R., Young, T., & Maher, J. (2007). Ear acupuncture for hot flushes–the perceptions of women with breast cancer. Complementary therapies in clinical practice13(4), 250–257. 

Acupuncture for Pain:


Chou, P. C., & Chu, H. Y. (2018). Clinical Efficacy of Acupuncture on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Associated Mechanisms: A Systemic Review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2018, 8596918. 

Kwon, Y. D., Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2006). Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Rheumatology (Oxford, England)45(11), 1331–1337.

Zhao L, Chen J, Li Y, et al. The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine ProphylaxisA Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(4):508–515. 

Lathia, A. T., Jung, S. M., & Chen, L. X. (2009). Efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment for chronic shoulder pain. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)15(6), 613–618. 

Molsberger A. (2012). The role of acupuncture in the treatment of migraine. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne184(4), 391–392. 

White, A., Foster, N. E., Cummings, M., & Barlas, P. (2007). Acupuncture treatment for chronic knee pain: a systematic review. Rheumatology (Oxford, England)46(3), 384–390. 

Vickers, A. J., Vertosick, E. A., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., Sherman, K. J., Irnich, D., Witt, C. M., Linde, K., & Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. The journal of pain19(5), 455–474. 

Zhang, X. C., Chen, H., Xu, W. T., Song, Y. Y., Gu, Y. H., & Ni, G. X. (2019). Acupuncture therapy for fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of pain research12, 527–542. 

Acupuncture and Women’s Health:


Armour, M., Dahlen, H. G., Zhu, X., Farquhar, C., & Smith, C. A. The role of treatment timing and mode of stimulation in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea with acupuncture: An exploratory randomised controlled trial

Avis, N. E., Coeytaux, R. R., Isom, S., Prevette, K., & Morgan, T. (2016). Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) study: a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.)23(6), 626–637. 

Azizi, H., Feng Liu, Y., Du, L., Hua Wang, C., Bahrami-Taghanaki, H., Ollah Esmaily, H., Azizi, H., & Ou Xue, X. (2011). Menopause-related symptoms: traditional Chinese medicine vs hormone therapy. Alternative therapies in health and medicine17(4), 48–53.

Balk, J., Catov, J., Horn, B., Gecsi, K., & Wakim, A. (2009, December 24). The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: A pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

Cai, G. W., Li, J., Xu, X. J., Xue, Y. Z., Li, G., Wu, M., & Li, P. F. (2014). [Clinical research on warm acupuncture therapy for pain in postmenopausal osteoporosis] Zhongguo zhen jiu = Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion34(1), 25–27.

Cochrane, S., Smith, C. A., Possamai-Inesedy, A., & Bensoussan, A. (2016, May 3). Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Guo, J., Wang, L., & Li, D. [Exploring the effects of Chinese medicine in improving uterine endometrial blood flow for increasing the successful rate of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer]. Zhong xi yi jie he xue bao = Journal of Chinese integrative medicine.

Ko, J. H., & Kim, S. N. (2018). A Literature Review of Women’s Sex Hormone Changes by Acupuncture Treatment: Analysis of Human and Animal Studies. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2018, 3752723.

Neri, I., Airola, G., Contu, G., Allais, G., Facchinetti, F., & Benedetto, C. (2004). Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study. The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians15(4), 247–252. 

Pan, H., College of Preventive Health and Rehabilitation, Jin, R., Li, M., Liu, Z., Orthopaedics, D. of, … CAO, J.-peng. The Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 

Acupuncture and Postpartum:


Liu F, Zhan TY, Xu YQ, Lu XF, Zhou YM, Huang XX, Zhuo YY, Yang ZX. (2023).Practitioners’ perspectives on acupuncture treatment for postpartum depression: A qualitative study. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282661.

MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health. (2016, May 2). Acupuncture for postpartum depression. MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health – Perinatal & Reproductive Psychiatry at Mass General Hospital.

MacPherson, H., Richmond, S., Bland, M., Brealey, S., Gabe, R., Hopton, A., … & Watt, I. (2013). Acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS medicine, 10(9), e1001518.

Pierdant G, Westphal K, Lange A, Usichenko TI. (2022). Stimulation of Lactation Using Acupuncture: A Case Study. J Hum Lact. doi:10.1177/08903344221078802

Bao QN, Zhou YF, Yin ZH, et al. (2023). Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for postpartum hypogalactia: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068224

Fan ZL, Yang MF, Yin RP, Song LQ. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. (2020) Exploration on the acupoint selection rule for the treatment of postpartum hypogalactia with acupuncture and moxibustion based on the set visualization analysis system. Europe PMC. doi:10.13703/j.0255-2930.20190814-0001

Zhu Y, Liu Y, Quan X. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. (2018). Application of acupoint massage in postpartum hypogalactia in puerpera. Europe PMC. doi:10.13703/j.0255-2930.2018.01.007