Acupuncture has been practiced in Asian medicine for thousands of years. It could be argued that since acupuncture has been around for so long, clearly there is something about it that works. However, critics of the procedure claim that like many types of complementary medicine, acupuncture is not effective.
So, what is the truth about acupuncture and does it really work?
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a complementary medicine used to treat a variety of different ailments. Very fine needles are inserted into the body at specific points along the body’s Meridian ‘life force’ or ‘Qi’ pathways. Acupuncture practitioners believe that pain and illness are caused by blockages to our Qi. Using acupuncture helps to restore the flow of Qi and eliminate symptoms.
Critics of Acupuncture
The medical community is divided on the benefits of acupuncture. Many medical professionals are hugely dismissive of acupuncture. They describe acupuncture as nonsense and say it does more harm than good, a claim backed up by figures suggesting there have been hundreds of cases of patients suffering from collapsed lungs where needles have penetrated the chest.
Research Studies on Acupuncture
However, for all the people who dismiss acupuncture as ‘dangerous mumbo jumbo’, there are many more who firmly believe that the treatment is hugely effective for a variety of different ailments. A recent research study carried out in the U.S., Germany and the UK analyzed the effects of acupuncture on around 18,000 patients. They concluded that traditional acupuncture treatments are more effective than a placebo. This is also backed up by further analysis published in an authoritative medical archive, which says that acupuncture is twice as effective when used to treat pain caused by chronic headaches and arthritis.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture can be used to treat a huge number of symptoms and conditions, which is why it has been such a popular treatment for many thousands of years. Just a few of the most common diseases and conditions acupuncture is recommended as a treatment for include:
- Back pain
- Chronic headaches
- Adverse reactions to cancer treatments
Controlled medical trials have proven all of the above conditions respond well to acupuncture treatments carried out by trained professionals.
Reasons Why Acupuncture is Effective
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- The side effects – Unlike many drugs, acupuncture can improve many other aspects of your life as well as treating the symptoms of your condition. Many patients report an improvement in stress levels, overall mood, and also digestion.
- Personalized healthcare – Acupuncture is designed to treat the individual. Each treatment plan is different and a trained acupuncturist will look at your entire body as a whole, rather than concentrating on only one aspect.
Although acupuncture is known to be very effective in the treatment of many different conditions, it is very important that you only ever have treatments from a fully trained acupuncturist. Treatments need to be carried out safely and in hygienic conditions, so before you visit an acupuncturist, check that they are fully qualified and regulated by an appropriate professional body.
Nancy Baker is an avid blogger and a mother of two. She often writes about CT Acupuncture Center, a renowned acupuncture clinic in Darien, Connecticut. She enjoys traveling and spending her free time with her children.