Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic
Six American associations have published an important white paper on acupuncture’s role in solving the opioid epidemic. The findings are equally relevant to Canada and its opioid crisis. No surprise to those of you using acupuncture in your practice, the research shows acupuncture as a powerful treatment modality for the effective management of pain. The research also points to acupuncture’s ease and cost-effectiveness as a treatment option.
Recommendations for Skin Preparation
Acupuncture Canada has reaffirmed that it recommends Stanhexidine for skin preparation. Faculty undertook a literature review about skin preparation for injections, needling, surgical procedures, etc. They found gaps and conflicting evidence regarding products used for skin preparation. Evidence does not exist to show that skin preparation with 70% alcohol is completely effective either.
The issues we were most concerned about were in patients who may be immunocompromised or where the point is intra-articular. In these cases, proper clean technique is very important. Chlorhexidine, which is the main ingredient in Stanhexidine, is routinely used as a surgical skin preparation. Acupuncture Canada justifies its choice of Stanhexidine for our teaching purposes for these reasons. We stress that clean technique also consists of clean hands, single-use sterile disposable needles and not contaminating the needle shaft. Our recommendation does not replace any regulatory body policies.
Acupuncture Canada will continue to review the literature and adjust its recommendations as required should new evidence become available. The full text of the recommendation is here.
Other links of interest:
- Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research
- CAMline: http://www.camline.ca
- Holistic Health Research Foundation of Canada: http://www.holistichealthresearch.ca
- Medline Plus-Acupuncture: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acupuncture.html
- National Institutes of Health: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acupuncture.html
- CAM at the NIH: http://nccih.nih.gov
- CAM on PubMed: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nccam/camonpubmed.html
- CAM in Undergraduate Medical Education: http://www.caminume.ca/index.html
- The Cochrane Library: www.theCochraneLibrary.com, http://www.cochrane.org
- PubMed: pubmed.gov
- Medline Plus: http://www.mayoclinic.com/
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Specialist Library NHS, UK:
- WHO re acupuncture: http://www.who.int/topics/acupuncture/en/
- International Society for Complementary Medicine Research http://www.iscmr.org
- The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Pain Management has produced a publication on the scientific evidence for treatments aimed at treating acute pain. It is available at:
- Centre for Effective Practice, University of Toronto: http://www.effectivepractice.org/
- AcuBriefs-search for references on acupuncture: http://www.acubriefs.com/search.htm
- Bandolier, an independent journal about evidence-based healthcare, written by Oxford scientists: