Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

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What is Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine, which includes the practice of acupuncture, Chinese herbology and Asian bodywork therapy, is a comprehensive health care system encompassing a variety of traditional health care therapies that have been used for more than 3,000 years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. Cupping therapy has been popular with the Rio summer games and is a well known addition to acupuncture. 

My chiropractor or doctor does acupuncture, how are you different?

There are many different providers who can perform different acupuncture techniques. This comes with very different levels of training ranging from weekend courses to multi-year degrees. Acupuncturists and Oriental medicine providers certified by the  National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are the most rigorously trained and prepared practitioners of acupuncture. Check out this comparison of degrees published by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM).

What can acupuncture treat?

In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO (WHO) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

  • low back pain
  • neck pain
  • sciatica
  • tennis elbow
  • knee pain
  • periarthritis of the shoulder
  • sprains
  • facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • headache
  • dental pain
  • tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • induction of labor
  • correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
  • morning sickness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • postoperative pain
  • stroke
  • essential hypertension
  • primary hypotension
  • renal colic
  • leucopenia
  • adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
  • allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
  • biliary colic
  • depression
  • acute bacillary dysentery
  • primary dysmenorrhea
  • acute epigastralgia
  • peptic ulcer
  • acute and chronic gastritis

Acupuncture may also be effective in a variety of other conditions which have less clinical trials. More information can be found on the WHO report (page 23)