Contemporary Medical Acupuncture can be effective as a solitary treatment, or as an adjunct to other therapeutic interventions. It is a precise peripheral nerve stimulation technique, in which fine solid needles are inserted into anatomically defined neurofunctional sites, and stimulated manually or with electricity for the therapeutic purpose of modulating the abnormal activity of the nervous system. Interventions aim to facilitate modulation of neurological activity at every level identified as having been disturbed. The ultimate goal is to promote self-regulation of the nervous system.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of:
– Sports-related injuries and other movement disorders.
– Musculoskeletal pain problems: neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, joint pain.
– Chronic pain: headaches, sciatica, osteoarthritis, neuritis, and facial pain.
– Digestive disorders: irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, and gastritis.
– Menstrual and reproductive problems: dysmenorrhea, perimenopausal symptoms, and infertility.
– Urinary tract disorders: prostatitis and bladder dysfunction.
– Respiratory problems: sinusitis, asthma, sore throat, and recurrent respiratory tract infections.
– Stress-related problems: addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What benefits are there for receiving medical acupuncture?
Medical acupuncture benefits the whole body while at the same time solving specific and acute problems. The benefits of acupuncture are practically limitless, but some of the more common reasons someone receives acupuncture are:
- Pain relief
- Muscle relaxation
- Endorphin release and pain modulation
- Decreased swelling
- Autonomic nervous system activity altered (vasomotor tone, cardiac rhythm, peristalsis)
- Neuroendocrine and immune response augmentation
- General relaxation
- Scar tissue breakdown
- Improved sleep
- A feeling of psychophysical well being
- Nausea relief during chemotherapy
What can Acupuncture treat?
Controlled trials offer current evidence that acupuncture can treat many conditions. The World Health Organization has established acupuncture is an effective treatment for:
- Repetitive strains (e.g. carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis)
- Acute sprains/strains
- Degenerative disc/joint disease
- Pain from nerve entrapments (e.g. sciatica)
- Postoperative pain
- Chronic pain
- Essential hypertension
- Allergic rhinitis
- Nausea and vomiting