By Dr Tamer
Acupuncture is considered one of the oldest healing therapies in the
world. It has been practiced for thousands of years across the world.
Its beginning was in China thousands of years ago. Acupuncture is one of
the main therapies of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to a
Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture held at the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997: "Acupuncture is being "widely"
practiced by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and
other practitioners for relief or prevention of pain and for various
other health conditions".
Acupuncture is a very popular method of
healing. In acupuncture, some points on the skin surface are stimulated
to treat or prevent diseases. The main theory of acupuncture which
explains its efficacy is the presence of vital energy called "chi",
which moves in the body through twelve channels called "meridians".
Stimulation of points on the surface of these channels is done in
numerous ways such as needles, press, heat, electric pulses or cups.
the Unites States of America, James Reston published his story about
his journey to China, in which he described his feelings about
acupuncture analgesia after surgery in 1971. After that date,
acupuncture research and trials increased. Now, there are many published
trials supporting the efficacy of acupuncture in various diseases and
its trials are still increasing. World Health Organization supports
acupuncture research and practice, and now there are thousands of
acupuncturists in the United States of America.
Acupuncture as a procedure is generally safe. In the United States of America, the frequency of acupuncture
side effects is one per million, which is a very low frequency.
Examples of conditions recommended for acupuncture by the World Health
Organization (W.H.O.) are: Acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, common cold,
bronchial asthma, toothache, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain,
rheumatoid arthritis, constipation, diarrhea, headache, migraine,
trigeminal neuralgia, facial paralysis and nocturnal enuresis. A
landmark study (2004) funded by the National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), both components of the
National Institutes of Health, has shown that acupuncture provides pain
relief and improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee
and serves as an effective complement to standard care.
acupuncture is the most used form of acupuncture. Most patients feel no
or very minimal pain sensation during needle acupuncture treatment.
Patients may need a number of visits. Ten visits are considered one
course of treatment and some patients may need more than one course.
you need to find a qualified acupuncturist to visit. You can find a
qualified acupuncturist by advice from your physician or by contacting
national acupuncture organizations, which you can find at public
libraries or on the world wide web.
1-Acupuncture [NCCAM Health Information](http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/)
2-MedlinePlus: Acupuncture (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acupuncture.html)
3-National Institutes of Health-Consensus Development Conference Statement (http://consensus.nih.gov/1997/1997Acupuncture107html.htm)
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