What Can Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published the following list of conditions for which treatment by acupuncture has been proven through clinical trials to be effective:
In addition, the same World Health Organization (WHO) report lists more than 60 other conditions that have responded well to acupuncture treatments, including, for example:
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What Is Cupping?
Cupping therapy is a traditional Chinese medical treatment often used by acupuncturists, but does not involve needles. Instead, after applying medicated or herbal oil to the patient’s skin, the acupuncturist heats the inside of glass cups using a flame. Then the flame is removed and the cups are placed almost simultaneously on painful areas of the body. This creates suction that increases blood circulation at the points of placement. The cups may be left in place for several minutes to concentrate on specific points, or they may be moved gently across the skin to massage and loosen up painful muscles. Among other benefits, cupping can help to relieve muscle pain, reduce inflammation, release toxins from the body, reduce stress or anxiety, treat digestive disorders, and clear congestion from the lungs. Most patients find cupping very relaxing and feel the benefits immediately. Although cupping sometimes leaves red marks on the skin after treatment, these will disappear within a few days. Cupping may be combined with acupuncture during the same treatment, or it can be used alone.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of medical treatment developed in China over thousands of years. It involves the insertion of very thin, sterilized needles by a highly-trained acupuncturist into specific points on the body in order to adjust and open up the blockage of the body’s flow of energy (Qi) and blood. Acupuncture treatment also stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms, releases natural painkillers, reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain, relaxes muscles, and reduces stress. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of diseases and health conditions.
Does Acupuncture Really Work?
A report published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) points out that acupuncture has been used in China for at least 2,500 years. The use of acupuncture spread quickly to Korea, Japan, and other parts of Asia, and is widely used as a component of primary health care in many countries around the world. Although acupuncture was not commonly used in the United States until about the 1970s, the NIH report states that since then, "acupuncture has been used by millions of American patients and performed by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners for relief or prevention of pain and for a variety of health conditions…. The data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions."
Where Can I Learn More about the Benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been used with great success for thousands of years and continues to be one of the primary forms of medical treatment for billions of people in the world. Here are some links to only a few of the many organizations, web sites, journals, and articles available online that can help you learn more about the benefits of acupuncture:
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