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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is There Evidence That Acupuncture Works?

Written by Tena Moore

Some people think that acupuncture is a new-age healing method, not based on logical and proven medical and clinical evidence, but they may be wrong. New studies are emerging that seek to understand the relationship between acupuncture and health. As far as evidence is concerned, it may still be split down the middle 50/50 when it comes to proving that acupuncture can have a positive effect on health. Some studies and clinical trials have shown no effect, and some have shown significant positive effects.

Studies on Acupuncture

At least 30 trials have been highlighted in various print and online publications that show acupuncture is not effective for headaches.

That being said, at least 3 large studies found that using this traditional Chinese healing method reduces headaches significantly.

One large study involving 400 patients found that 12 sessions of acupuncture reduced headache for an entire year. A two-year study found that it was affective for headache by a 34 percent reduction, but other studies have found that ‘sham’ acupuncture or sticking needles in random points on the body that do not follow the meridian system, is just as effective.

So, to answer the question of whether there is evidence that acupuncture works: Yes. And no.

Choose a Medically Trained Acupuncturist

Surveys have shown that medically trained acupuncturists are more effective and have fewer cases of complications such as fainting, infection, increased pain, or punctured lung. These complications are not common, but can happen, although just as many or more complications are linked to conventional medicine and invasive surgeries.

All in all, many medical professionals believe that acupuncture is a safe procedure when administered by a medical professional. Medical centers that take a more holistic approach can now be found in some locations. These centers offer traditional and conventional options in one place, and allow for immediate communication between traditional doctor and conventional doctor, for a more integrated approach to health and healing.

The best way to decide if acupuncture is effective is to try it out for a current health issue, such as headaches and pain, or to stop smoking or overeating. Since there are not many reported negative side effects to trying the Chinese healing method, trying it out for one’s self may help clear the confusion as to its benefit, or lack thereof.

Make sure to ask around for local acupuncturist recommendations from friends and family, and speak with your doctor about your decision. An acupuncturist may prescribe herbs that can interact with certain medications. It is best to take a list of medications to share with your acupuncturist, and offer full disclosure between all medical professionals.

Other Posts

Acupuncture Not Just a Placebo
Homeopathy and Acupuncture
Acupuncture and acupressure are treatment modalities of Traditional Chinese medicine
What is high cholesterol?
What is cholesterol?
Lowering Cholesterol With Food and Statins
Omega 3s raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
Keeping the Heart Healthy - exercise and nutrition
What Do Vegan Kids Eat?
CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil offer substantial cardiovascular protection to the body
Green Tea May Protect the Brain From Problems Stemming From Sleep Apnea

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