The authors of this study note that in contrast to psychological interventions the usefulness of acupuncture as an adjuvant therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has not yet been demonstrated. The objective of this study is to directly compare the efficacy of auricular electroacupuncture (EA) with autogenic training (AT). A clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement (p < 0.05) could be observed in all outcome parameters and both groups. In contrast to the AT group, the onset of these effects in the EA group could already be observed after the 2nd treatment week. In the 4th treatment week the EA group reported significantly less pain than the AT group (p = 0.040). After the end of treatment (7th week) the EA group assessed their outcome as significantly more improved than the AT group (p = 0.035). Link to full abstract at PubMed.
Bernateck M, Becker M, Schwake C, Hoy L, Passie T, Parlesak A, Fischer MJ, Fink M, Karst M. Adjuvant auricular electroacupuncture and autogenic training in rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized controlled trial. Auricular acupuncture and autogenic training in rheumatoid arthritis. Forsch Komplementmed. 2008 Aug;15(4):187-93. doi: 10.1159/000141929. Epub 2008 Jul 29. PMID: 18787327.
Editors note from the Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine (CIAM):
If psychological issues are an underlying component of the condition, as they are with many conditions (and as this research suggests is the case with autogenic training in the relationship to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis), psychological issues will be reflected on the ear — and so, to stimulate these points will have an immediate and direct effect on the blockages in the nervous system related to that condition. Among many other things (from prioritization of points to application of therapeutic frequencies), students of the Canadian Institute of Auricular Medicine learn to identify active points, an aspect of auricular acupuncture that supports improved outcomes.[1-2]