Healthpointe Medical Southern California

Healthpointe’s Dr. Priebe Co-Authors Article in Journal of Integrative Medicine


Dr. Ted Priebe

Healthpointe’s Medical Director Dr. Ismael Silva is proud to announce that earlier this year, the Journal of Integrative Medicine published a review co-authored by Healthpointe’s Dr. Priebe, entitled “Can a Science-Based Definition of Acupuncture Improve Clinical Outcomes?” The article was also co-authored by Steven H. Stumpf (California State University at Northridge) and Rod Zalunardo (Chief Operations Officer, Health Core Possibilities), and is the latest of several publications by Dr. Priebe.

The article highlights problems with the current relationship between acupuncture, biomedicine, and traditional medicine. The authors state: “Despite decades of scientific arguments that support a biomedical model, steadfast insistence on the use of traditional terms remains a standard…This compromises and hamstrings practical outcomes in acupuncture research” (Priebe, Stumpf, and Zalunardo 2017, 170).

The review is separated into five main sections: “Placebo Research in Acupuncture,” “Comparative Effectiveness Research in Acupuncture,” “Deqi Studies Split on Biomedical Science Versus Cultural Tradition,” “Linguistics in Acupuncture Research,” and “Acupuncture and Regulation.”

In the first two of these sections, one of the main arguments is that there is a lack of standardization when studying acupuncture both as placebo and for its comparative effectiveness, and that “standardization is necessary when comparing…targeted points, diagnoses, and [models].” The “Deqi” and “Linguistics” sections dig deeper into the tension between “the biomedical and anti-biomedical camps in acupuncture,” and the last of these sections offers the reminder that (except in Worker’s Compensation, where rules are clear) rules for acupuncture can be improved (167-170).

Citing the work and opinions of some of acupuncture’s most influential researchers and offering their own views as prolific acupuncturists and researchers themselves, Priebe, Stumpf, and Zalunardo ultimately present the detrimental lack of standardization and scientific acceptance for acupuncture today. As the authors state in their introduction: “Avoiding prescientific arguments is one approach towards explaining acupuncture mechanism of…effectiveness” (165).

About Dr. Priebe

Dr. Priebe is an appointed member of a number of boards, including the Medical Evidence Evaluation Advisory Committee and Division of Worker’s Compensation Medical Unit State of California. Specializing in the study and treatment of pain, Dr. Priebe focuses on treating neuromuscular injuries and disease. Dr. Priebe has won several awards, including the Health Care Champion Award, and is the author of publications that have appeared in Needling Therapy, Acupuncture and Electroacupuncture, and Journal of Integrative Medicine.

For more information on Dr. Priebe and acupuncture at Healthpointe, call (888) 755-4850.

About Healthpointe

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). We are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with injured workers, personal injuries, athletes, and more. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit


Priebe, Ted, Steven H. Stumpf, and Rod Zalunardo. “Can A Science-Based Definition of Acupuncture Improve Clinical Outcomes?” Journal of Integrative Medicine 15, no. 3 (2017): 165-171.

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