Acupuncture is recognized as a valuable and readily available resource for health care throughout the world. However, the use of acupuncture is based mainly on traditional and personal experience. Although acupuncture has been tested by thousands of years of clinical practice, appropriate scientific studies would now be useful for the rational use and further development of acupuncture. The need for further clinical research does not challenge the widespread acceptance of acupuncture.
Two resolutions concerning traditional medicine adopted by the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific encouraged Member States to undertake research on evaluating the safety and efficacy of traditional medicine (acupuncture and herbal medicine), based on the concepts of both modem and traditional medicine.
Research on evaluating the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture should be given more emphasis than investigating the mechanism of its therapeutic effect, as the former is directly concerned with the promotion and delivery of acupuncture in health care services.