What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of healing that uses needles and/or other stimuli (e.g. pressure, vacuum, electricity, heat) on the body anatomically defined locations or acupoints, to balance the flow of vital energy, Qi (pronounced “chee”). By restoring the balance of Qi in the body, acupuncture not only heals disease and pain, but also promotes the wellness of a healthy person.
According to Classic text, Nan-Ching, 5th century B.C.,”To live is to have Qi in every part of your body, to die is to be a body without Qi. For in order to be healthy the proper balance of Qi must be obtained; nether too much, nor too little.”
According to scientific research, these so-called acupoints correspond to areas on the surface of the body that have been shown to have greater electrical conductance due to the presence of a higher density of gap junctions along cell borders. A greater metabolic rate, temperature, and calcium ion concentration are also observed at these points.
Acupuncture is a natural and holistic treatment that has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective therapy for many conditions and is practiced in many countries around the world today.
Conditions Recommended for Acupuncture by the World Health Organization (WHO)
In the official 2002 report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:
- induction of labor
- correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
- morning sickness
- primary dysmenorrhea
- nausea and vomiting
- depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- low back pain
- neck pain
- tennis elbow
- knee pain
- periarthritis of the shoulder
- facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
- dental pain
- tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
- rheumatoid arthritis
- postoperative pain
- essential hypertension
- primary hypotension
- renal colic
- adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
- allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
- biliary colic
- acute bacillary dysentery
- acute epigastralgia
- peptic ulcer
- acute and chronic gastritis
According to the WHO official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, acupuncture can also be effective in the following situations:
- Diseases, symptoms and conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown, but further proof is required. These conditions are effectively treated as in the above list. More clinical trials are required to for scientific documented proof of effectiveness.
- Diseases, symptoms and conditions reporting some therapeutic effects for which acupuncture is worth trying (nine conditions).
- Diseases, symptoms and conditions in which acupuncture may be tried, provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment (eight conditions).
Link to the WHO report : http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2002/9241545437.pdf