Acupuncture in Medicine

Acupuncture in Medicine is a bi-monthly peer-reviewed medical journal covering aspects of acupuncture and related techniques. The journal was established in 1982 by the British Medical Acupuncture Society, but was published by the BMJ Group on behalf of the Society from 2008-2018 and SAGE Publishing from 2019. The current editor-in-chief is David Carr.

In an opinion piece for Forbes on journals about pseudoscience published by reputable publishers, Steven Salzberg listed this journal, alongside Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (published by Elsevier) and Chinese Medicine (published by BioMed Central), as examples of "fake medical journals";[1] his critique was repeated in an article written for Monthly Index of Medical Specialities exploring whether acupuncture was a medical sham or genuine treatment.[2] When the BMJ Group started to publish the journal in 2008, David Colquhoun criticized the group for endorsing acupuncture "at a time when it is emerging that the evidence for any specific effect is very thin indeed."[3] While he gave credit to BMJ Group and Acupuncture in Medicine for not espousing "the mumbo-jumbo about 'meridians' and 'Qi'", he also noted that "like all journals devoted to alternative medicine [Acupuncture in Medicine] suffers from a fatal conflict of interest. If this journal were ever to conclude that acupuncture is a placebo, it would destroy the journal and the livelihoods of many of the people who write for it."

Acupuncture in Medicine
Edited byDavid Carr
Publication details
Publication history
SAGE Publishing (United Kingdom)
Standard abbreviations
Acupunct. Med.
ISSN0964-5284 (print)
1759-9873 (web)
OCLC no.21477249

Abstracting and indexing

The journal is abstracted and indexed in CINAHL,[4] Current Contents/Clinical Medicine,[5] Embase,[6] Index Medicus/MEDLINE/PubMed,[7] Science Citation Index Expanded,[5] and Scopus.[8] According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2017 impact factor of 2.275, ranking 7th of out 27 in the category "Integrative & Complementary Medicine".[9]


  1. ^ Salzberg, Steven (2017-01-03). "Fake Medical Journals Are Spreading, And They Are Filled With Bad Science". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  2. ^ MIMS. "Is acupuncture a medical sham or a genuine treatment?". MIMS News. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  3. ^ Colquhoun, David (11 November 2008). "BMJ Group promotes acupuncture: pure greed". DC's Improbable Science. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  4. ^ "CINAHL Complete Database Coverage List". CINAHL. EBSCO Information Services. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  5. ^ a b "Master Journal List". Intellectual Property & Science. Clarivate Analytics. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  6. ^ "Embase Coverage". Embase. Elsevier. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  7. ^ "Acupuncture in Medicine". NLM Catalog. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  8. ^ "Content overview". Scopus. Elsevier. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  9. ^ "Acupuncture in Medicine". 2015 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Science ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2016.

External links


Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is a pseudoscience because the theories and practices of TCM are not based on scientific knowledge. There is a diverse range of acupuncture variants originating in different philosophies, and techniques vary depending on the country in which it is performed. The method of acupuncture codified under Mao Zedong and used in TCM is probably the most widespread in the United States. It is most often used to attempt pain relief, though it is also recommended by acupuncturists for a wide range of other conditions. Acupuncture is generally used only in combination with other forms of treatment.The conclusions of numerous trials and systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent, which suggests that it is not effective. An overview of Cochrane reviews found that acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions. A systematic review conducted by medical scientists at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth found little evidence of acupuncture's effectiveness in treating pain. Overall, the evidence suggests that short-term treatment with acupuncture does not produce long-term benefits. Some research results suggest that acupuncture can alleviate some forms of pain, though the majority of research suggests that acupuncture's apparent effects are not caused by the treatment itself. A systematic review concluded that the analgesic effect of acupuncture seemed to lack clinical relevance and could not be clearly distinguished from bias. One meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as an adjunct to standard care, while a separate systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain.Acupuncture is generally safe when done by appropriately trained practitioners using clean needle technique and single-use needles. When properly delivered, it has a low rate of mostly minor adverse effects. Accidents and infections do occur, though, and are associated with neglect on the part of the practitioner, particularly in the application of sterile techniques. A review conducted in 2013 stated that reports of infection transmission increased significantly in the preceding decade. The most frequently reported adverse events were pneumothorax and infections. Since serious adverse events continue to be reported, it is recommended that acupuncturists be trained sufficiently to reduce the risk.Scientific investigation has not found any histological or physiological evidence for traditional Chinese concepts such as qi, meridians, and acupuncture points, and many modern practitioners no longer support the existence of life force energy (qi) flowing through meridians, which was a major part of early belief systems. Acupuncture is believed to have originated around 100 BC in China, around the time The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) was published, though some experts suggest it could have been practiced earlier. Over time, conflicting claims and belief systems emerged about the effect of lunar, celestial and earthly cycles, yin and yang energies, and a body's "rhythm" on the effectiveness of treatment. Acupuncture fluctuated in popularity in China due to changes in the country's political leadership and the preferential use of rationalism or Western medicine. Acupuncture spread first to Korea in the 6th century AD, then to Japan through medical missionaries, and then to Europe, beginning with France. In the 20th century, as it spread to the United States and Western countries, spiritual elements of acupuncture that conflict with Western beliefs were sometimes abandoned in favor of simply tapping needles into acupuncture points.

Brachioradial pruritus

Brachioradial pruritus (sometimes abbreviated BRP) is an intense itching sensation of the arm usually between the wrist and elbow of either or both arms. The itch can be so intense that sufferers will scratch their own skin to a bleeding condition.

The condition is becoming increasingly common, presenting in patients who are usually fair skinned and middle aged and indulge in golf, tennis, outdoor table tennis, sailing, or other leisure outdoor activities in sunny climates.The cause is not known, although there are a few lines of thought on what causes it. No cure has been found, but good control with near 100% relief can be achieved. The intense itch/scratch cycle can be broken by applying a topical skin coolant gel like Biofreeze (or a substance containing menthol, camphor or other topical coolant) to affected itchy areas, and then consistently applying 100+SPF sunscreen to affected skin of arms, shoulders, neck, etc., whenever they are expected to be exposed to the sun. When combined, these treatments can bring almost full relief.

Many different medications and types of topical creams have been experimented with, but none seem to make any difference, except for the above. The application of ice packs to the affected area can also diminish the itch short-term.

Ear stapling

Ear stapling is a form of acupuncture that involves inserting a thin staple through a portion of the pinna—the visible part of the ear. Ear stapling has been suggested as an alternative weight-loss treatment, and there is recent evidence to support its efficacy but none from reputable scientific journals.

Felix Mann

Felix Mann (10 April 1931 – 2 October 2014) was a German-born acupuncturist. He devised the system known as Scientific Acupuncture and was the founder and past-president of the Medical Acupuncture Society (1959–1980). He was also the first president of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (1980), and the author of the first comprehensive English language acupuncture textbook Acupuncture: The Ancient Chinese Art of Healing first published in 1962. In 1995, he received The German Pain Prize. Mann, who was based in England, also lectured internationally on medical acupuncture. Mann distanced himself from traditional beliefs in the existence of acupuncture points and meridians.

Knee pain

Knee pain is pain in or around the knee.

The knee joint consists of an articulation between four bones: the femur, tibia, fibula and patella. There are four compartments to the knee. These are the medial and lateral tibiofemoral compartments, the patellofemoral compartment and the superior tibiofibular joint. The components of each of these compartments can suffer from repetitive strain, injury or disease.

Running long distance can cause pain to the knee joint, as it is high-impact exercise.

Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture

YSNA (Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture) is an acupuncture system developed in Japan by acupuncturist Toshikatsu Yamamoto.

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