Why Acupunture Stands Out from Other Medical Treatments?

Follow Me on Pinterest Acupuncture as a medical treatment as been around for many thousands of years. The history of chinese acupuncture began in Ancient China. Individuals contemplating the procedure wish to know: how effective is acupuncture? Is acupuncture safe? Since acupuncture has existed in one for or another for many thousands of years, its treatment efficacy for some conditions is rarely in doubt. Physicians and some lay people have used these treatments successfully to treat many injuries and painful conditions. The initial practice of acupuncture consists of needles being inserted into energy meridians around the body. Initially there were long thin bones used. The bones were replaced by long thin needles starting in the Han dynasty. It should not be confused with acupressure which works on the 11 known pressure points on the body for pain relief.

How Acupuncture is Performed

Acupuncture is performed by long thin needles placed under the skin. This needles work by targeting specific areas of the body where pain receptors are stored. In traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture points were set to target QI or energy in the body. There are specific meridians or points on the body that upon stimulation release the Qi. It was performed in the traditional way for many thousands of years in China. The practice then spread to Korea and later Japan. The practice has been relatively unchanged throughout the years. This is part of the reason that is so intriguing and popular with both medical professionals and consumers of these services alike.

Acupuncture in the Modern Era

Acupuncture in the modern era most likely began with the trip by President and Mrs. Nixon to China in 1972. While in China they witnessed a patient receiving major surgery without receiving anesthetic. Needless to say, they were quite intrigued by the process. A reporter traveling with the Nixon’s underwent acupuncture in a procedure after an emergency appendectomy. Since that time it has slowly been incorporated into the repertoire of many Western medical practitioners. Acupuncture is currently taught in several medical schools. It has also been taught frequently in Chiropractic schools. Acupressure is also taught as part of a massage curriculum. The evidence shows that Americans are continually seeking alternative treatments. They spent over 1 billion dollars on these treatments in 1995. A modern acupuncturist typically will begin a treatment by taking the patients pulse and doing an inspection of the tongue. This is garnered by years of how the Chinese practiced acupuncture. The tongue was considered to be a roadmap to the entire body.


Acupuncture has its critics. In 1990, a national council against health fraud pronounced acupuncture as primitive, and stated that the concepts bear no relationship to modern scientific knowledge. Some individuals consider this a con to obtaining the procedure. By and large however, the process has been supported by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, and the American Council of Scientific Affairs.

Does Acupuncture hurt? Is it painful?

In the acupuncture process the long thin needles are inserted into the skin in a superficial way. It is not painful, only involving a slight tingling sensation, nor is there normally any bleeding associated with the process, under ordinary circumstances. This is especially true if the acupuncturist is skilled with the use of the needles. Unlike many traditional Western medical treatments there are no drug used, nor is it deeply invasive. Since there are no side effects from drugs it differs substantially from Western medical techniques. It is increasing in popularity partially due to this difference. In acupuncture the patient’s energy or qi is doing all of the healing work. The patient should only feel a slight tingling during the process. The angle of needle insertion should be perpendicular.

Effectiveness of acupuncture as a Treatment Method

The data suggests that acupuncture as a treatment method is effective in reducing headaches, migraines and back pain. A UK study showed that at least 59 percent of the population believes that acupuncture is effective for pain relief. There is also sufficient data to report that acupuncture is effective with osteoarthritis sufferers as well as a treatment to reduce nausea in chemotherapy patients. It is definitely effective as a pain relieving agent as well as promoting relaxation and wellbeing in patients. The use of acupuncture as a treatment method is still being studied in medical circles, but the evidence supports that acupuncture as a form of treatment is highly effective at least for some conditions, and may be useful for other conditions as well. It is considered to be an effective and low risk treatment modality. A typical acupuncture session is relatively short lasting anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. In the year 2011 the average cost for a session of acupuncture ran from 25 to 80 dollars. The con of the treatment is that it may not work for all conditions, and has some risks.

Safety of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is quite safe when performed by trained medical personnel. The needles that are used should be sterile and used for only one session. They are generally disposable but some states allow them to be reused if they are first sterilized. The use of acupuncture has been endorsed if a bit timidly by the several nations around the world including the National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service located in the UK, and the World Health Organization. The event of adverse effects from the treatment is low. In rare cases the use of acupuncture can cause slight injuries including bruising. In even rarer events serious injury like pneumothorax can result. The issues of injury however are quite rare, and most of the injuries that have happened have been the result of poorly trained or unlicensed individuals performing the procedures.

Acupuncture as a treatment method is still being studied today, although common sense would warrant that a treatment that has been used for thousands of years has specific merit. Those that need pain relief or relief from chronic nausea should be specifically interested in this treatment. It is successful enough in the case studies to interest many individuals in acupuncture as a treatment method. This treatment method will be studied far into the future, but with more and more medical schools and professionals endorsing this method of treatment its future is bright. It is safe to say this enduring treatment method will be around for years to come.

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