Can Acupuncture Help? – HealthyWomen

Can Acupuncture Help? – HealthyWomen

After Julia Métraux was left with persistent ache after a automotive accident, a ache specialist instructed she attempt acupuncture to ease her signs. Though she’d by no means thought of acupuncture as a medical therapy earlier than, Julia determined to attempt it and noticed an acupuncturist weekly for 2 months. Julia was relieved when her full-body ache eased and solely remained in areas straight affected by whiplash from the accident.


While acupuncture could solely be not too long ago coming into the mainstream, the follow itself is an historical a part of conventional Chinese medication, believed to have originated in China in 100 B.C.E, making its method to Europe hundreds of years later within the 1500s. It was first acknowledged in western medication in 1912 when Dr. William Osler, one of many founders of Johns Hopkins Hospital, wrote in regards to the follow in his broadly used medical e-book, “The Principles and Practice of Medicine.

Acupuncture includes the insertion of skinny needles into particular areas of the physique that correlate with the ailment of the affected person, and the affected person then lies nonetheless for 10 to half-hour earlier than the needles are eliminated. In most instances, the method is comparatively painless and can be utilized to ease signs associated to a variety of circumstances, together with persistent ache, fibromyalgia, migraine, again and neck ache, and pregnancy-related points equivalent to nausea. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as a therapy for circumstances equivalent to gastrointestinal, neurological and orthopedic issues. Some studies show acupuncture could even assist relieve despair, nervousness and stress.

When Julia’s ache specialist first instructed acupuncture for her persistent ache, she was cautiously optimistic. The acupuncturist she noticed was a medical physician skilled in acupuncture, although many varieties of healthcare suppliers (HCPs), together with doctor assistants, bodily therapists, nurse practitioners, naturopaths and chiropractors, can all be licensed in acupuncture.

Julia discovered the method of acupuncture fully painless and though she had not thought of acupuncture earlier than the referral, she discovered the classes to be useful in managing her ache. After experiencing success the primary time, Julia returned to the follow a number of years later to assist with sore muscle tissues and ache from a bout of vasculitis.

For Yemeng Chen, Ph.D., the president of the New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s no shock that acupuncture helped ease Julia’s persistent ache. “Acupuncture is a natural, safe and cost-effective therapy for people’s health and wellness,” he stated. “It’s minimally invasive [and is] based on the reflex method and no chemicals are used — only stimulation to have the body adjust naturally to improve internal organ functions and ease pain.”

Does acupuncture actually work?

Acupuncture needles in the ear

Opinions amongst HCPs are divided as as to whether acupuncture works, as are the studies analyzing its efficacy. In one research, sufferers skilled reasonably decrease ache ranges after receiving precise acupuncture, however so did management sufferers who got placebo acupuncture treatments. In a number of research, acupuncture appeared to be most effective for chronic pain, equivalent to migraine assaults or again ache. As acupuncture has gained recognition within the United States and extra studies have shown promised about acupuncture’s efficacy for managing ache and different medical points, main insurance coverage firms like Aetna and Blue Shield have began paying for acupuncture treatments for chosen maladies. For instance, when Julia was handled for persistent ache from her automotive accident, her insurance coverage firm paid for the remedies, however she needed to pay out of pocket when she returned for her vasculitis therapy.

Although sufferers could also be afraid of acupuncture therapy due to the needles concerned, Chen stresses that the needles are comparatively skinny and most of the people really feel little to no ache upon insertion. “Patients may feel soreness or tenderness after acupuncture treatment, but it goes away quickly,” Chen stated.

Side results from the process can embody slight web site ache or bruising if sufferers are liable to it. If you do expertise these negative effects, they often resolve inside a number of days post-treatment, and acupuncture usually has a low risk of harm so long as you’re being handled by a board-certified practitioner who makes use of clear needles and also you don’t have a bleeding dysfunction or pacemaker and are usually not pregnant. If you’re pondering of attempting acupuncture to handle a health concern, be sure you do your analysis and select a practitioner who’s board-certified and particularly skilled within the follow.

Although some individuals could really feel hesitant so as to add acupuncture to their health therapy plans, Chen stated he needs sufferers knew that it’s an efficient different to conventional medication. The individuals who profit most from acupuncture, Dr. Chen stated, are those that battle with ache, like Julia. Now, wanting again, she’s glad she gave acupuncture an opportunity.

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