Group Acupuncture for Chronic Pain (GAP) Study | Healthy Seminars

Group Acupuncture for Chronic Pain (GAP) Study

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Group Acupuncture for Chronic Pain (GAP) Study

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The live webinar for this lecture is now over and the recording is being converted. The recording will be available as an On Demand Video by March 31st, 2018, and a message will be sent out announcing its availability to those who have registered for the live webinar and on demand recording.

This meeting will discuss the steps in assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy in a group setting for patients with chronic pain with emphasis on creating access for underserved patients in safety net settings.

Dr. Nielsen's research and efforts for having acupuncture recognized as a non pharmacological treatment for pain and the opioid crisis has been in the news. We have included two articles in your handouts which you can print and have copies on hand in your clinic for patients to read. One by Duke Integrative Medicine titled Field-Forwarding Leadership and the second article available for download as part of the hand outs is titled Woodstocker Arya Nielsen help effect shift away from opioids

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the treatment of chronic pain. While here are many practitioners who provide acupuncture in a group setting to reduce price and facilitate access, there has not been much research to establish whether group acupuncture works or works as well as acupuncture given in individual patient/practitioner sessions. This study was designed to assess feasibility and effectiveness of group acupuncture in a primary care setting in New York City for patients suffering chronic pain.


  • Describe background practice and scholarship that situated this feasibility trial
  • Describe what is a pilot feasibility trial and why is it important.
  • What researchers learn from a feasibility trial
  • Describe the trial and the results
  • Detail how those results are used to inform
    • Clinical practice
    • Options for access
    • Further research

Dr. Arya Nielsen is an American acupuncturist taught in the classical lineage of Dr. James Tin Yau So. She graduated in the first class of the first acupuncture college in the United States in 1977 (New England School of Acupuncture). She is a practitioner, teacher, author, and researcher and is considered the Western clinical authority on Gua sha.

Dr Nielsen is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health and directs the Acupuncture Fellowship for Inpatient Care at Mount Sinai. Her research includes both the physiology and therapeutic effect of Gua sha, acupuncture therapies for acute care and the inpatient setting as well as research on the treatment of chronic pain in underserved populations.

Dr. Nielsen is the author of the textbook Gua Sha, A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice, (also in German, French and Italian) now in its second edition. She also filmed Gua Sha: Step-by-Step a teaching DVD. Arya teaches internationally on topics related to East Asian medicine and Integrative medicine she developed and teaches the Gua sha Certification Course with ProD Seminars ( as well as courses on safe and ethical practice standards, evidence for acupuncture and traditional East Asian modalities, and inpatient hospital-based acupuncture therapy.

Dr. Nielsen is the Chair of the Policy Working Group for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, the 70 plus North American member organization of academic medical centers and health systems that support utilization of evidence-based nonpharmacologic therapies as integrative medical care. Arya served on a 2014 Joint Commission Stakeholder Panel on pain that led to their clarification (2015) that nonpharmacologic therapies be included in treatment strategies.

Arya can be contacted by email at or at her website

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