Oncology Acupuncture: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Techniques, Research and Regulation


Oncology acupuncture has become an increasingly utilized integrative therapy for cancer patients in recent years. However, practices, regulations, and research vary significantly between China, where acupuncture originated, the United States and European countries. Key differences in techniques are highlighted, such as China’s use of acupuncture for gastric and colon cancers vs. breast cancer in the West, and China’s extensive use of electroacupuncture compared to manual acupuncture in the US and Europe. Chinese research tends to focus on acupuncture’s mechanistic actions on the body, while research in the West emphasizes clinical outcomes. High quality clinical research is generated in US. Strict regulations on acupuncture practice exist in the U.S. and Europe, but are less defined in China. This cross-cultural comparison of oncology acupuncture ultimately aims to promote integration and optimization of techniques from different regions to improve patient care globally.



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