Home Acupuncture: An Evidence Based Treatment Option at UofL

Acupuncture: An Evidence Based Treatment Option at UofL


University of Louisville Trager Institute’s Republic Bank Optimal Aging Clinic is now offering acupuncture as part of its integrative healthcare services. 

 Why acupuncture? What’s the evidence for acupuncture? Is it safe? 

 Let’s break this down!

 Our Mission

The Trager Institute’s primary prerogative is to innovate the field of healing and medicine, with special attention to our older adults. A specific goal is to offer non-pharmaceutical interventions and supplemental therapies during the deprescribing process in response to the opioid epidemic. 

Our mission is to create a hub where conventional care meets innovative and compassionate care. We care deeply for our patients and want what is best for every individual who comes to us. In fact, it is this core mission that inspired us to incorporate acupuncture and other adjunctive healthcare modalities at the institute. Our community can rely on our medical and academic professionals to make appropriate decisions regarding the types of care we offer.  

Training & Safety

Both of our practitioners received undergraduate education from prestigious universities and went on to complete post-graduate education at accredited universities at the M.S. and Doctoral level (See Bios). They completed over 3,000hrs of post graduate didactic education as well as 1,000hr clinical residencies. Their curriculum included foundational principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as robust education in biomedicine such as: Anatomy, Physiology, General/Systemic Pathology, Public Health, Medical Terminology, Pharmacology, Physical Exam, Differential Diagnosis, and Applied Internal Medicine. In terms of safety, our practitioners received comprehensive safety training pertaining to clean needle technique, OSHA, and increased safety training in the time of COVID-19. Upon completion of their education, they went through rigorous board examinations to receive licensure. They have both been in practice for almost a decade providing lasting health and balance to their communities.

Evidence Based Acupuncture 

As of 2020, there is a multitude of research surrounding the field of acupuncture, and the body of research constantly evolving. As with any subject, there are a variety of discussions and conclusions regarding the efficacy of acupuncture; however, the general consensus is that acupuncture is a safe and effective therapy for multiple conditions when performed by a licensed practitioner. 

Many major institutions now embrace and recommend acupuncture for a variety of conditions. Such institutions include the American Medical Association, British Medical Association, Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Department of Veterans Affairs, and National Institute of Health. In China, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are fully integrated into most major hospital and healthcare systems and is thoroughly regulated. 

Here is a short summary of the evidence for acupuncture as it stands in 2020:

The NIH Stance:  https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture-in-depth  

"There have been extensive studies conducted on acupuncture, especially for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and headache. However, researchers are only beginning to understand whether acupuncture can be helpful for various health conditions. Research suggests that acupuncture can help manage certain pain conditions, but evidence about its value for other health issues is uncertain. Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. Improperly performed acupuncture can cause serious side effects.”  


 We are proud to be one of the first clinics in the country to offer this kind of integrative and patient-centered care. We look forward to seeing integrative care models become the gold standard of care in our modern society. 

For more information, please visit our website at: www.tragerinstitute.org/acupuncture and feel free to reach out to us for further inquiry. 


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