Marsha Haller, MD________________________Medical Acupuncture

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I have created this website to be a resource for medical providers and laypeople who wish to learn more about acupuncture and related techniques.  It is an under appreciated fact that there is better evidence in favor of acupuncture than for any other medical procedure in use today. (I speak here of procedures, not pharmaceuticals.) 

My aim is to provide an introduction to the large and rapidly expanding body of research on the clinical uses of acupuncture and other non-conventional treatment options and some of the basic science underlying their use.  I hope you will find this site useful, and I invite you to share your comments as well as feedback on how it might better suit your needs.

-Marsha Haller, MD
I have finally joined the millenium and created a Facebook page for my medical acupuncture practice and a blog page in this website to share thoughts and interesting tidbits that come my way.    Do check it out and pass it on!

 ACUPUNCTURE BRIEFS: summaries of recent articles 
Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial

I am a huge fan of the Alexander Technique, a gentle, but effective system that teaches posture and body awareness.  I take lessons myself and recommend it often to my patients, so I was thrilled to see this study from England that was published November 3, 2015, and in the Annals of Internal Medicine no less! 

Patients with chronic neck pain who received either acupuncture or an equivalent amount of Alexander lessons in addition to their usual care (medication and physical therapy) did better than those who received only the usual care.  In fact, 12 months after their treatments, the Alexander and acupuncture recipients still had significantly less pain and a greater sense of "self-efficacy", or ability to manage their own condition.  How cost effective is that?  

In my own practice I have found the combination of acupuncture and Alexander to be particularly effective in preventing re-injury due to poor posture. I'd love to see a study combining these two techniques.  to read the abstract

 Acupuncture and moxabustion found effective for lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).

A 2014 systematic review of 19 randomized controlled trials from around the world that compared acupuncture to conventional treatment (corticosteroid injection or NSAID medication) or to "sham acupuncture" (fake acupuncture used as a control for the sake of experimental protocol) concluded that " Acupuncture may be effective in the relief of lateral elbow pain for up to six months."  This is particularly significant when you consider that to date, there is actually no evidence of long term efficacy for steroid injection or NSAID medication in the treatment of this condition, nor evidence showing efficacy of physical therapy for lateral epicondylitis, even though these are all commonly utilized (and reimbursed) therapies! Read the abstract or full article

Meta-analysis shows current evidence supports the use of acupuncture as an alternative for traditional analgesics in the treatment of osteoarthritis 

In another recent review of the literature analyzed the results 12 randomized controlled trials (1763 participants in all) comparing acupuncture with no treatment, usual care and sham acupuncture. The found that osteoarthritis patients treated with acupuncture had less pain, and improved functional mobility and quality of life.  This kind of "meta-analysis" is important because individual trials on acupuncture and alternative treatments tend to be small in size for a variety of reasons, which makes them easier to dismiss. When the results of multiple studies on the same condition are considered as a whole, the conclusions carry more weight.  Read the full article on osteoarthritis

Your comments and questions

  Marsha Haller MD,  Medical Acupuncture
3031 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 241
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-2037
(510) 549-2690 FAX
The material contained on this website is meant to be used as general information and should not be taken as individual medical advice on treatment for a specific patient or problem.