Innovative Autoimmune Study

Acupuncture study for Lupus (SLE) Preview

Very little research exists on the treatment of autoimmune diseases with acupuncture.  This study seeks to change that, investigating the effect of acupuncture on Lupus-related pain.  Please donate today, so that this important research can be fully implemented.

Current (Stage 2):

  • IRB proposals for the ethical protection and safety of people
  • Case study testing the treatment protocol

Recently Completed (Stage 1):

  • Hangzhou, China, Fall 2014, proposal passed panel of experts and doctors in the field of Chinese medicine at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University on Oct 29, 2014.  Even in China, most of the literature investigates the impact of Chinese herbal medicine on SLE, rather than the effect of acupuncture.  This study is unique.


After a little over a decade in public health research, I have spent the last seven years in intensive study of Chinese Medicine, including both acupuncture and herbal medicine.  Personally, I had developed a painful and debilitating autoimmune condition affecting my spine, and Chinese medicine began to help when all other modalities failed.  Now, I want to use my skills and research experience to give something back.

Fall 2014 was my fourth visit to study in China, my second visit specializing in autoimmune conditions.  The randomized controlled trial research design will include no less than 60 patients, divided into two groups: study and control groups. Each patient will receive 30 treatments. Even the patients in the control group will be offered treatment after the analysis is complete. Large in scope, this project will require hiring outside acupuncturists to perform the acupuncture.  Analysis will be kept separate from treatment and therapeutic interaction.  Study participants will receive free acupuncture services.

This important project requires funding. Acupuncture research is notoriously underfunded in this country, and there is little research done on severe chronic conditions for which there is no Western medical cure. People suffer from autoimmune conditions in debilitating ways. I am reaching out to you, for your help in this important endeavor.  If many people donate even a little, the aggregate result will go a long way toward providing relief from something that takes over people‚Äôs lives.

Please help by donating to the Innovations to Wellness Autoimmune Study. All donations can be made out to Innovations to Wellness. Your donation will be used to provide acupuncture to randomly selected autoimmune patients, to complete the Internal Review Board processes for working with major metropolitan hospital patients, and for necessary research materials (i.e. needles, alcohol, hazardous waste disposal, treatment space, etc). I will post research updates on my Innovations to Wellness Facebook page. You can be part of this important research endeavor that will be implemented in stages over the next 1-2 years.

The study will unfold in stages.
Stage 1: Proposal Stage: Proposal defense at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China-completed.

Stage 2: Institutional Review Board (IRB) Proposals (essential to be able to study human subjects & recruit study participants from leading autoimmune hospitals), collaboration with main autoimmune centers.  Case study testing treatment protocol.

Stage 3: Grant writing to raise the rest of the study costs.
Stage 4: Study recruitment. 

More stages to come, but the proposal stage is now.

The total goal for the entire research project is $350,000.  

No donation is too small!!!  A small amount from a lot of people can achieve great things!

If you wish to make a check donation, please make the check out to Innovations to Wellness and mail to 1501 Madison St. #304, Oakland, CA 94612.

Barbara McCarthy $25.00
Kristy Kure
Not much, but I know you'll appreciate it. Love you!
Barbara McCarthy $55.05
Jan Keeler $50.00
Connie Chuck, Thrive Wellness
Dearest Crystal, I'm so excited for you and your research. I can never tell you too much what a beautiful, intelligent, amazing woman you are. You are definitely the person for this research and I know you will continue to achieve great things for our field. We are so fortunate to have you on our side! Have a great time in China, take care of yourself, and safe travel. I hope your research w
Linda Keeler $450.00
Sherrin Loyd
xoxoxo-Thanks for the great healing work you are doing.
Connie Lock-Bouvier
Good luck and a much needed study.
Kathryn Ryan
Good luck with this, Crystal! And keep us posted.
Best of luck with the study!
Anonymous from Norfolk, Nebraska $15.00
Barbara Tittle
I am a friend of Deborah Marx from Quaker Meeting. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and would potentially be interested in being included in the study.
Charlene Leung, L.Ac.
I would love to see a copy of the study after completed. Thanks, Charlene Leung, L.Ac.
Deborah Marks $1,000.00
Deborah Luster $250.00
Barrie Hartman
For all the help you've given me, it's the least I can do to "pay it forward"
Jill Lessing $20.00
Barbara McCarthy
I believe in you. There are so many causes that pop up in my inbox, but I want to support you.
You go, Girl! with love from Kamala and Nivi
Innovative Autoimmune Study
This is important work. I'm very proud of you.
Adam Barr
Go girl! You are unstoppable!
Love you! Small donation but gotta start somewhere! Good luck.

March 24, 2015 3:10 PM

The case study, to test the treatment protocol, is well underway.  We are three weeks into a 15-week case study, and seeing great results regarding joint pain.  This is important work before beginning the larger RCT.  Making sure the treatment protocol is efficacious, working out any possible adverse reactions, and creating the research plan for the RCT are important parts of the process.  

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