Generally, there are no acupuncture reseach study happening, even within large cities like Denver or New York metropolitan area. Why is this the case?
First, the past 2 to 3 decades’ worth of acupuncture research have yielded “inconclusive evidence” because of the FAULTY use of “sham” acupuncture (or imprecise, fake, incorrect acupuncture) as control group! This error in comparing acupuncture to “sham” acupuncture have resulted in data being so similar to each other, that is, the treatment group’s number looks similar to the control group number, that the percentage of improvement becomes … negligible. That’s like comparing Aspirin to Bayers.
And the worst insult to acupuncture research comes when the term “placebo effect” is coined by the “experts” to account for why acupunture worked at all.
Another main problem is access to FUNDINGS for Acupuncturists. Although there is a division within the National Institute of Health that is devoted to funding acupuncture or Complementary Alternative Medicine research, fundings have been limited to those with MD or Osteopathy degree, or those with prior experience in conducting research. Acupuncturists with L.Ac or Masters degree from albeit accredited acupuncture schools are not targeted nor encouraged to particpate in applying for grants unless they are part of a University setting or other well known/funded institutions.
In other words, of the 5000 license Acupuncturists in California (which has the largest population and oldest acupuncture schools), only a handful of them are lucky enough to be conducting research. At any given time, there could be up to 2 acupuncture studies going on within the United States: http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/term=%28NCCAM%29+%5BSPONSOR%5D+%28recru…
Grant proposal submission needs to be open to all Acupuncturists, and not just MDs or DOs. Who knows, useful information may be gathered by these new Acupuncturists.
The solution to acupuncture research is to throw out all sham acupuncture research from the meta analysis; stop using bad apple to compare to good apple. Start comparing acupuncture to other modalities — the newest trend is to use Comparative Research Study (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_research) , create epimediological acupuncture studies, allow Acupuncturists access to funding so that they can conduct research locally, use the latest technology for acupuncture research (http://www.acupunctureproducts.com/acupuncture_article_007.html), and give hospital patients access to the study recruitment.