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October 2022

Am J Chin Med. 1995 ; 23(2): 105-14.

A single-blind investigation of four auricular needle puncture configurations.

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

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

In order to identify an appropriate needle puncture control for clinical trials of acupuncture we conducted a study in which ten cocaine dependent subjects rated local and systemic effects of four auricular needle puncture configurations (a) sites commonly used for addiction; (b) sites proximate to addiction specific sites; (c) sites not specific for cocaine addiction; and (d) sites in the helix. Subjects received one treatment per day on four successive days. The addiction specific sites were rated highest on local effects; proximal sites a common control were rated highest on systemic effects. A majority of patients ranked the addiction specific sites as the most preferred treatment and the helix points as the least preferred. Results suggest that needle insertion into proximate and non-specific sites may be too active for use as controls; helix regions may be more suitable.

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