To ensure the reproducibility of a clinical study on acupuncture, related terminology and technology should be clearly presented and exact protocols should be established.
• Standard acupuncture nomenclature. The standard acupuncture nomenclature developed by the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific and recommended by a WHO scientific group that met in Geneva in 1989 should be used during the study.
• Length and diameter of needle(s) should be given in mm.
• Considering the lack of international standards for the location of acupuncture points, the way to locate point(s) clinically should be described and used by all investigators involved in the study. The use of anatomical marks on the body for locating point(s) should be encouraged.
• Needling techniques of inserting, retaining, stimulating and withdrawing, should be standardized and stated in the protocol. All efforts for limiting the individual influence of investigators on the performance of the needling technique should be considered.
• The use of auxiliary acupuncture equipment such as lasers or electrical stimulators should be clearly described.
• Other factors related to the patient’s condition may also need to be reported such as biorhythm, breathing and position.