In 1997, the National Institutes of Health convened national and international experts from the fields of acupuncture, pain, psychology, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, drug abuse, family practice, internal medicine, health policy, epidemiology, statistics, physiology and biophysics, as well as representatives from the public in a 2 day conference to evaluate the scientific and medical data on the uses, risks and benefits of acupuncture procedures for a variety of conditions. At the end of the conference, an independent consensus panel weighed the scientific evidence available to-date and listed the following conditions for which acupuncture can be clinically useful:

  • Adult post-operative and chemotherapy nausea

  • Adult post-operative dental pain

  • Addiction

  • Stroke

  • Rehabilitation

  • Headache

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Tennis elbow

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Myofascial pain

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Low back pain

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Asthma

The NIH states that further research is likely to uncover additional areas where acupuncture will be useful. Acupuncture can be useful as an adjunct treatment, acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program.

In November 2007, scientists held a 10-year review conference on the state of research findings and this list of conditions will be updated and expanded in 2008-2009.

Visit the NIH website for more information about ongoing research at and at