Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating fine filiform needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes. The word acupuncture comes from the Latin acus, “needle”, and pungere, “to prick”. In Standard Mandarin, 針砭 (zhēn biān) (a related word, 針灸 (zhēn jiǔ), refers to acupuncture together with moxibustion).

According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are situated on meridians along which qi, the vital energy, flows. According to the NIH consensus statement on acupuncture, these traditional Chinese medical concepts “are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture.”

Acupuncture is generally painless however some disorders require stronger needle stimulation for effective results. This is most often the case with orthopedic and musculo-skeletal disorders in which “motor points” are stimulated to reset and restore proper firing of muscular tissue. This is a very effective and modern acupuncture technique which often achieves quick results.

Acupuncture Efficacy According to the National Institute of Health:

“There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to expand its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and clinical value.”

According to the World Health Organization:

In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a review and analysis of controlled clinical trials on acupuncture. They listed the following as “Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled trials – to be an effective treatment”

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Additionally, the WHO listed several dozen additional conditions “for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed”.

According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture:

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (2004) states: “In the United States, acupuncture has its greatest success and acceptance in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.”[33]. They say that acupuncture may be considered as a complementary therapy for the conditions in the list below, noting: “Most of these indications are supported by textbooks or at least 1 journal article. However, definitive conclusions based on research findings are rare because the state of acupuncture research is poor but improving.”

  • Abdominal distention/flatulence
  • Acute and chronic pain control
  • Allergic sinusitis
  • Anesthesia for high-risk patients or patients with previous adverse responses to anesthetics
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety, fright, panic
  • Arthritis/arthrosis
  • Atypical chest pain (negative workup)
  • Bursitis, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Certain functional gastrointestinal disorders (nausea and vomiting, esophageal spasm, hyperacidity, irritable bowel) *
  • Cervical and lumbar spine syndromes
  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • Cough with contraindications for narcotics
  • Drug detoxification
  • Dysmenorrhea, pelvic pain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Headache (migraine and tension-type), vertigo (Meniere disease), tinnitus
  • Idiopathic palpitations, sinus tachycardia
  • In fractures, assisting in pain control, edema, and enhancing healing process
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, tics, contractures
  • Neuralgias (trigeminal, herpes zoster, postherpetic pain, other)
  • Paresthesias
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Phantom pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Post-traumatic and post-operative ileus
  • Selected dermatoses (urticaria, pruritus, eczema, psoriasis)
  • Sequelae of stroke syndrome (aphasia, hemiplegia)
  • Seventh nerve palsy
  • Severe hyperthermia
  • Sprains and contusions
  • Temporo-mandibular joint derangement, bruxism
  • Urinary incontinence, retention (neurogenic, spastic, adverse drug effect)
  • Weight Loss