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Unformatted text preview: Roundtable Discussion Resolving Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: A Roundtable Discussion Co-Moderators: Peter M. Wayne, Ph.D. 1 and Richard Hammerschlag, Ph.D. 2 Participants: Helene M. Langevin, M.D., 3 Vitaly Napadow, Ph.D., L.Ac., 4 Jongbae J. Park, K.M.D., Ph.D., L.Ac., 5 and Rosa N. Schnyer, D.A.O.M., L.Ac. 6 Peter M. Wayne: Were going to be discussing the work- shop that we held at the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM) in May 2009. The workshop was designed to present the find- ings from a Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) board retreat, which focused on Paradoxes in Acupuncture Re- search: Strategies for Moving Forward. The paradoxes, in turn, had emerged during the 2007 SAR International Con- ference that reviewed the progress in our field in the decade since the 1997 NIH Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture. The conference was a great success, with more than 300 attendees and support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conventional medical schools, schools of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and a variety of other national and international organizations. The conference concluded that the field of acupuncture research had made great progress since 1997. Many rigorous phase II and III randomized controlled trials were completed for acu- puncture treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions, and some very strong basic research was performed with state-of-the-art tools to examine biochemical and physiologic correlates of acupuncture. Important progress was also made with respect to control procedures and other aspects of clinical research design. Summaries of the conference have been published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine . 13 But in putting together this work, we identified two paradoxes. Paradox One is that an increasing number of large clinical trials have reported that true acupuncture does not sig- nificantly outperform sham acupuncture, a finding apparently at odds with traditional theories regarding acupuncture point speci- ficity and needling techniques . Paradox Two is that while many studies with animal and human experimental models have reported physiologic effects that vary as a function of needling parameters, the extent to which these parameters influence therapeutic outcomes in clinical trials is unclear. As the SAR board prepared a White Paper to highlight these paradoxes and discuss research directions to resolve them, the opportunity arose to present our thinking at the NARCCIM conference. Richard Hammerschlag: That gives us a good sense of where were at: How we came to focus on these paradoxes, our work in clarifying them, and the research were pro- posing as necessary to resolve them....
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