ICMART Scientific Committee

By Dr. Helena Pinto-Ferreira, MD, Portugal, May 15 2012
Past Chair of Scientific committee

The growth and acceptance of acupuncture practiced by medical doctors (Medical Acupuncture) has taken place as a result of its perceived efficacy in many conditions and as a result of considerable recent research.

Much high quality evidence now exists to support its clinical use for a wide range of problems based on randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews. Basic scientific research has determined many of the neurophysiological and neuropharmacological mechanisms by which acupuncture works. Nevertheless, more work must be done, taking into consideration the characteristics of this therapeutic area.

It is time to create a scientific/research committee within ICMART to help develop the understanding of acupuncture. This committee could foster scientific activities itself and in cooperation with other associations.

The activity of this committee will increase the credibility of ICMART. Its aim would be to become in time, the peak body in medical acupuncture, and as such would provide advice and cooperate with other medical associations, government departments and universities regarding high quality acupuncture practice and healthcare.


Experts coming from diverse parts of the world and from several fields related with acupuncture health care should be invited to join this committee:

  • Basic research
  • Clinical research
  • Systematic reviews
  • Health economics and statistics
  • Socio-anthropological studies
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • Human sciences
  • Education


Main activity

1. To help in establishing guidelines for high quality research in acupuncture to ICMART and any of its member associations,
Ex. Research should mirror the highest possible standards to determine and be able to compare the effects of acupuncture to those of best conventional care (comparative effectiveness).

2. Analysis and comments on scientific articles
Ex: publications at the ICMART site

3. Advice to the associations on matters related to scientific research in medical acupuncture

4. Guidance on scientific, economics, ethical or legal issues to the board

5. Scientific guidance to the ICMART congress

6. Scientific advice on the content of the basic training in medical acupuncture

  • Should consider the link between science and education may or may not be relevant: both education about scientific research and getting scientific findings into acupuncture education.
  • The members of this chapter should be from different parts of the world, to represent different areas of research and become a nucleus of ICMART presence.


The members of this committee should be from different parts of the world, to represent different areas of research and become a nucleus of ICMART presence.

At least one member of the ICMART board should coordinate the ongoing work of this chapter, or be in close connection with the possible coordinator, if it is outside the board.


To pursue this work the following approach is proposed

  1. To finalise the aims and objectives of the committee
  2. To create a nucleus of people involved in several areas
  3. To profit the conclusions and people involved in other projects.
  4. To use the ICMART congress as an opportunity for meetings of the group
  5. Create a session at ICMART congresses to present ongoing work, new research areas and methods


Points to be considered in the near future:
I. To be aware of what is happening around the world related with regulations on clinical trials related with acupuncture/TCM fields
II. Stimulate Institutions/groups to work on proposals about research for the European Commission programs.
III. Stimulate Institutions/groups to make proposals about research programs for other official institutions (NCCAM, others)
IV. To build reliable information for the ICMART website

Requirements of Studies

under construction

Relevant Publications

under construction

International Network

under construction

News of the Scientific Committee

under construction

Current Members of the Committee

Chair: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dominik Irnich, MD, Germany

Dr. Tomas Dawid, MD, Uruguay
Dr. Chun-Lee Oie-Tan, MD, The Netherlands
Dr. Paola Poli, MD, Brazil
Dr. Konstantina Theodoratou, MD, Greece
Dr. Maricia Yamamura, MD, Brazil