One may ask what is Acupuncture? Let’s go over this topic that you may have a better understanding. Acupuncture is the practice where fine filiform needles are inserted and directed into particular points of the body in order to relieve pain or for medical purposes. Traditional Chinese medicine has developed special acupuncture points which are positioned on meridians through which qi or the vital energy of the body flows. However, there are no histological or analogical evidence to support the assumptions about acupuncture points or meridians.
The practice of acupuncture in China can be traced back to 3000 B.C. as stone acupuncture needles were found in excavations in Mongolia. Although acupuncture is presumed to have originated in China, various forms of it, including Japanese, Tibetan, Korean and Vietnamese acupuncture is practiced all over the world. The modern interest in acupuncture became popular in the United States during 1970s, supposedly after James Reston who underwent emergency appendix surgery in China wrote an article to The New York Times. During the surgery, acupuncture treatment was used on Mr. Reston to reduce discomfort. Therefore, due to the rising interest in acupuncture The National Acupuncture Association (NAA) was formed to promote the practice of acupuncture by conducting seminars and presentations. In addition, in 1972, the UCLA Acupuncture Pain Clinic was initiated by the NAA.
Acupuncture has undergone extensive scientific researches and studies although it still remains a controversial issue among physicians and researchers. Some studies have displayed results that suggest that acupuncture is an effective method to treat certain conditions although many claim that these results could be explained through the placebo effect. The placebo effect can be explained by having a patient who was tricked into believing that actual medical treatment is being carried out and consequently, aiding the healing process by motivating the patient. However, a report published by the World Health Organization states that after certain supervised clinical trials, it was concluded that acupuncture has proven to be effective for 28 conditions such as, depression, headache, and strokes. Furthermore, it also claims that evidence also exists to suggest that dozens of other conditions may be treated effectively through acupuncture.
Furthermore, several medical associations such as the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have published reports regarding the effect of acupuncture. The general perception about acupuncture is that it is safe, only if performed by trained individuals using sterilized needles. However, further research in the subject is encouraged by physicians as well as researchers.
Acupuncture still remains to be a rather mystical form of medical treatment with a fair share of skeptics. However, it might prove to be just the treatment for many untreatable medical conditions.