S18: Acupuncture, Research And The Challenge Of Heterogeneity:  What Can We Learn From Comparing Manual VS Electrical Acupuncture?

Richard Harris1, Vitaly Napadow2, Rosa Schnyer3, Robert Davis4

1University of Michigan, USA; 2Harvard University, USA; 3University of Texas, USA; 4Clinical Director of Acupuncture Vermont Oriental Medical Clinic and CEO of Stromatec Inc., USA


This session will be conducted by members of the Board of the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR).  SAR is internationally recognized for its preeminent role in the advancement and dissemination of acupuncture research. The breadth of expertise includes basic science studies in animal models and human neuroimaging, pragmatic and sham controlled clinical trial methodology and meta-analyses. This symposium builds upon the previous SAR symposia at the May 2006 CAHCIM conference in Edmonton on Research Methodology and the May 2009 CAHCIM conference In Minneapolis, MN on Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research.   Four sets of comparisons within the body of acupuncture research and practice will be addressed:  1) effects of manual vs. electrical acupuncture in basic animal and human research, 2) efficacy and effectiveness of manual vs. electrical acupuncture within existing randomized clinical trials 3) subgroup comparisons of manual vs. electrical acupuncture within meta-analyses, and 4) prevalence and patterns of use of electrical vs. manual acupuncture in the community.   Individual presentations will be made on each of these topics, followed by a 30 minute panel discussion involving SAR faculty and the audience.  The symposium will appeal to acupuncture practitioners and researchers as well as a broad range of researchers from other disciplines who face similar challenges due to heterogeneity of styles and techniques within their field (e.g. massage, chiropractic, osteopathy, yoga, Tai Chi).