According to World Health Organization
Acupuncture has been proven, through controlled trials, to be an effective treatment for the following diseases and health condiditons:
- Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
- Allergic rhinitis; including hay fever
- Biliary colic–Gallbladder attack or gallstones, pain due to gallstones temporarily blocking bile duct
- Depression; including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke
- Dysentery, bacillary dysentery, the most common and violent form of dysentery
- Dysmenorrhoea–pain during and around menses
- Epigastralgia, acute peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastro-spasms
- Facial pain; including cranio-mandibular disorders
- Headache–all types
- Hypertension–high blood pressure
- Hypotension–low blood pressure
- Induction of labor
- Knee pain
- Leukopenia–a reduction in the number of white cells in the blood, typical of various diseases
- Low back pain
- Malposition of fetus, and the correction of it. Malposition of fetus is the abnormal positions of the vertex of the fetal head relative to the maternal pelvis.
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Pain in dentistry; including dental pain and temporal mandibular dysfunction
- Periarthritis of shoulder
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic; is a type of abdominal pain commonly caused by kidney stones
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:
- Abdominal pain from acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasms
- Acne vulgaris, the most common form of the most common skin disease
- Alcohol dependence and detoxification
- Bell’s palsy is a type of facial paralysis that results in an inability to control the facial muscles on the affected side.
- Bronchial asthma
- Cancer pain
- Cardiac neurosis
- Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
- Competition stress syndrome
- Cranio-cerebral injury, closed–including concussion, contusion, hematoma, trauma
- Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
- Epidemic hemorrhagic fever–a severe viral infection marked by fever and bleeding
- Eye pain due to injections into the tissue surrounding the eye
- Female infertility
- Facial spasm
- Female urethral syndrome, an infection of the urethra, with frequent painful urination
- Fibromyalgia and fasciitis; inflammation of the muscles and facia
- Gastrokinetic disturbance–an issue with the motility of the gastrointestinal tract
- Gouty arthritis– sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe
- Hepatitis B virus carrier status
- Herpes zoster; herpes virus 3
- Hyperlipaemia; elevated levels of lipids in the blood plasma
- Hypo-ovarianism–Inadequate ovarian function, reduced secretion of ovarian hormones
- Labour pain
- Lactation, deficiency
- Male sexual dysfunction–ED Erectile Dysfunction
- Ménière disease
- Neuralgia, post-herpetic
- Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
- Pain due to endoscopic examination
- Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
- Post-extubation in children
- Post-operative convalescence
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Prostatitis, chronic inflammation of the prostate
- Pruritus–severe itching of the skin caused by various ailments
- Radicular pain syndrome–pain that radiates along nerve due to inflammation or other irritation of the nerve root (radiculopathy) at its connection to the spinal column
- Raynaud syndrome–a disorder causing numbness and coldness in fingers and toes
- Recurrent lower urinary tract infection
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy–pain, swelling, and motor dysfunction of an extremity. This condition is often the result of trauma or surgery.
- Retention of urine, traumatic–the inability to voluntarily void urine
- Schizophrenia–a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation
- Sialism, drug-induced; an excess secretion of saliva.
- Sjögren syndrome; a long-term autoimmune disease affecting the moisture-producing glands; symptoms include dry mouth and dry eyes
- Sore throat; including tonsillitis
- Spine pain, acute
- Stiff neck
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Tietze syndrome–an inflammatory condition characterized by chest pain and swelling of the cartilage around the ribs and the breast bone.
- Tobacco dependence
- Tourette syndrome–a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations and often the compulsive utterance of obscenities
- Ulcerative colitis, chronic
- Urolithiasis–the process of forming stones in the kidney, bladder, and/or urethra
- Vascular dementia–problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused impaired blood flow and damage to the brain
- Whooping cough (pertussis)
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:
- Chloasma; extensive brown patches of irregular shape; the mask of pregnancy, associated use of oral contraceptives
- Choroidopathy, Central serous retinopathy (CSR), an eye disease which causes visual impairment
- Color blindness
- Hypophrenia–A feeling of sadness seemingly without a cause
- Irritable colon syndrome
- Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
- Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
- Small airway obstruction
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:
- Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Convulsions in infants
- Coronary heart disease (angina pectoralis)
- Diarrhea in infants and young children
- Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
How Does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well-being. As a result of its efficacy, it is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Acupuncturists have used this noninvasive treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well. Also, as anyone who has received acupuncture will tell you, it is a painless, gentle, effective and safe way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What is Qi?
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
How does Qi move?
Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are fourteen main meridians inside the body. The diagram to the left shows the meridian pathways in the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs and glands.
Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.
How is Qi disrupted?
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.
Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.
What does an acupuncture Physician Do?
An Acupuncture Physician facilitates natural healing by unblocking the flow of Qi in the body to stimulate self-healing. During the initial exam, the acupuncture physician will listen, ask questions and conduct physical exams including pulse and tongue diagnosis. With this information the acupuncturist will detect specific blockages and imbalances of Qi in the organs and body systems that contribute to a person’s health problems.
Once the imbalances and blockages of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points along meridian pathways on the body. This safe and painless insertion of fine, sterile needles helps Qi freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. Qi circulation lessens and eliminates pain, restores balance and harmony, assists the body’s ability to heal itself and ultimately restores optimal health.