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There is abundant scientific evidence to support the clinical use of acupuncture for a wide variety of biomedical conditions. Clinical comparison trials are emerging as we new gold standard in acupuncture research. Scientists understand the mechanisms of acupuncture at a level on par with other biological science and medical disciplines 

Zen Stack of Four Stones on Stony Beach

Acupuncture for Pain Management, Mental Health, and Substance Use

On April 30, 2024, I had the opportunity to present on acupuncture for pain, mental health, and substance use at the OPAT (Opioids, Pain, and Other Drugs) conference in Sunriver, Oregon. 

Click here for my OPAT presentation (developed in my role as OAA Research Committee Chair). The content in this presentation was based on written material developed for the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA's) Oregon Pain Management Commission (OPMC) "Know About Pain" video module. See below.

Acupuncture for Pain Management, Mental Health, and Substance Use

Click here for the written content (developed for the Oregon Health Authority's Oregon Pain Management Commission video "Know About Pain" in my role as OAA Research Chair). The presentation above was based on this content. The OPMC is adding a 5-minute segment on acupuncture for pain in the new video module, scheduled to be finished by January 2025. 

Comments to CDC Regarding Update to Opioid Prescription Guidelines: Management of Acute and Chronic Pain

In 2022 the CDC accepted public comment regarding their new Opioid Prescription Guidelines. Here are the comments submitted by the Oregon Acupuncturists Association (OAA) Research Committee, written by me in my role as Research Committee Chair.

If you're interested in locating research related to the efficacy of acupuncture for a specific condition, consider the following resources:

Society for Acupuncture Research


Cochrane Library


Remembering Dr. Hugh MacPherson 

Written by: Magdalena Ganss

Obtained on February 7, 2021, from the OCOM Library E-Newsletter 

Dr. Hugh MacPherson (also known as Professor MacPherson) was, by all accounts, a well-loved man of many talents and had a very rounded personality. It has been said that Professor MacPherson always had time for everything, which was most likely due to his passion for learning and giving. After earning his PhD in mathematics in 1979, Dr. MacPherson went on to study Chinese medicine and became a licensed practitioner in 1983. Following his licensure, Dr. MacPherson dedicated a great deal of time to acupuncture research through the lens of science, an effort which brought the field of acupuncture vastly closer to becoming a widely accepted form of complementary medicine in the western world.

One of Professor MacPherson’s greatest contributions was the development and publication of STRICTA (STandards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture), which has become the cornerstone of standards for scientific acupuncture studies. This effort was achieved alongside OCOM’s own Dean Emeritus of Research, Dr. Richard Hammerschlag, who kindly shared some memories of Professor MacPherson:

“Hugh was a great friend and colleague, with whom I was fortunate to collaborate with on several projects. Hugh visited OCOM and presented one of the first groups of Research Grand Rounds that were a successful part of OCOM's NIH-funded research education grant. Hugh's talk, on his experience of developing a research program to assess acupuncture effectiveness for low-back pain, was well-received, not only because he was adept at explaining the language of research, but because he was also a practicing acupuncturist, who owned and ran a clinic in his home city of York, UK, and a leader of an acupuncture college in the north of England, which he had co-founded.”

Among Professor MacPherson’s diverse hobbies were cycling, beekeeping, and wind-surfing—a sport he particularly enjoyed practicing in the Hood River when he came to Portland for lectures. Professor MacPherson was passionate about his work and continued working until his retirement in July of 2020, only one month before he passed away from pancreatic cancer. The entire OCOM community and beyond is immensely grateful for all of Dr. MacPherson’s contributions to Chinese medicine. 

Hugh McPherson Deceased Acupuncture Researcher

When I am working on a problem,
I never think about beauty,
but when I have finished, 
if the solution is not beautiful,
I know it is wrong.
-Buckminster Fuller

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