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December 2019

Am J Chin Med. 1993 ; 21(2): 103-11.

Effects of sham and real auricular needling: implications for trials of acupuncture for cocaine addiction.

Margolin A, Chang P, Avants SK, Kosten TR.

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519.

We conducted a single-blind study (n = 48) comparing subjective evaluations of needles inserted into sham and real auricular acupuncture points. Both ears were needled concurrently, one in sham sites and the other in active points used in the treatment of cocaine addiction. Subjects then completed a questionnaire rating the intensity of five sensations in each ear, and also attempted to identify which ear received sham and which ear received real acupuncture. Results showed that real points were more painful than sham; there were no other overall differences. Subjects' ability to identify which ear received sham and which ear received real acupuncture did not rise above the level of chance.


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