In a controlled trial the effect of traditional Chinese acupuncture versus placebo acupuncture was evaluated in 16 patients with chronic facial pain (13 atypical facial pain, 2 atypical and I typical trigeminal neuralgia). All patients suffered from daily pain, the intensity of which was recorded by the patients over a period of 16 weeks. Each patient was treated by traditional Chinese acupuncture as well as placebo acupuncture in a cross-over design following randomization. Each period of treatment comprised 10 treatments during two weeks of hospitalization.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture was found to be significantly more pain-relieving than placebo acupuncture according to the pain registration of the patients themselves and to their subjective preferences.