Two studies that the Dopers will not accept, but that I want to bring up at least once in this topic:
A couple of German Health insurances (Krankenkassen) did a big study several years back about using acupuncture instead of pain medication. They choose three degenerative diseases with obvious non-healing treatment - that is, the conventional recommended treatment was only to alleviate the pain, because the degeneration itself could not be healed. One was back pain, one was joints and I forgot the third.
The patients were volutunteers and put into three groups: group 1 got only pain medication (same as before, control). Group 2 got acupuncture and as much pain meds. as they asked for. Group 3 got only acupuncture.
All groups rated how much pain they were in = how effective the treatment was before (= only conventional treatment) and during the test.
Group 2 used less pain meds. than group 1, or before, and like Group 3, a percentage bigger than 50% was sufficiently pain-free with just acupuncture.
Obviously, this was not a double-blind study, and because people volunteered, there was likely a higher amount of people predisposed to believe in (= high placebo effect).
Nevertheless, the advantages of lowering pain meds. and thus reducing side effects (liver / kidney damage…) and lower costs plus the increasing wish of many patients was convincing enough for the health insurances to officially approve acupuncture in certain instances as paid-for treatment.
Second study: done at an East German university. Report was in the lay science magazine Bild der Wissenschaft, I think end of the 90s, early 2000s. The method was different: they wanted to discover if there was any measureable basis to the claim of energy flow or if it was all just placebo. So the doctorate students set up a group of volunteers, blindfolded them and administered a local anesthetic to the hands and lower arm (in order to cut out any reaction due to placebo or just pain). The volunteers were hooked up to EEGs. Randomly selected, some of them were acupunctered at the certain points, while others were not.
They recorded measureable reactions in the brain of those volunteers who were pricked, despite the numbing that prevented pain signals traveling to the brain.
Caveat: acupuncuture in Germany is regulated. The approved acupuncturists have one system, not 5 or 6. They don’t make any outragous claims as to healing cancer or similar, and they always come after you’ve seen a doctor. It’s part of a treatment to help the body’s self-healing system.
IANADoctor, so I can’t estimate your diagnosis and judge if acupuncture would help. I also don’t know how trained your therapist is.