Acupuncture is No Longer an Alternative Medicine
Often seen as a form of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), although it is used in many NHS general practices, as well as the majority of pain clinics and hospices in the UK.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a professional medical method that is part of the complete medical system now referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Although acupuncture was first recorded in writing around 200 BC, it was practiced some thousands of years before that in China.
Acupuncture uses tiny needles placed in the skin at specific points known as ‘acupoints’ to encourage the body to promote natural healing and return the body to a natural balance that is consistent with good health.
There are a number of different kinds of acupuncture, including various insertion points, different sized needles and unique techniques. Modern day technology has enabled us to advance these methods and often enhance the acupuncture healing process. Some acupuncturists use low power lasers, electricity and even magnetic BBs placed on acupoints.
Acupuncture is believed to have originated from China, from whence it is said to have spread to Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Today, acupuncture, in one form or another, is used by several thousand acupuncturists, in a very large number of countries, helping millions of people. Acupuncture has been the subject of active scientific research both in regard to its basis and therapeutic effectiveness since the late 20th century.
Acupuncture is relatively painless and is very comforting. Patients usually confirm they have been unable to feel the insertion of the needles used for acupuncture. During acupuncture therapy people experience deep relaxation and in many cases, a deep sense of peace. Acupuncture is used to diagnose and treat the symptoms of illness, relieve pain, expedite healing, prevent disease, and to improve a person’s overall well-being and health. Apart from treating physical issues, it is also highly effective in treatment for emotional and psychological problems. Due to its proven effectiveness, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as a system of health care that really works.
What are the benefits and risks of acupuncture?
The benefits of acupuncture are:
- When performed correctly it is safe
- There are very few side effects
- It is a very effective combination treatment
- It is effective in controlling some types of pain
- It may be considered for patients who do not respond to pain medications
- It is a useful alternative for patients who do not want to take pain medications.
The risks of acupuncture are:
- It is dangerous if the patient has a bleeding disorder
- It the dangerous if the patient is taking blood thinners
- There may be bleeding, bruising and soreness at the insertion sites
- The needle may break and damage an internal organ (very rare)
- Unsterilized needles may infect the patient
- When inserted deeply into the chest or upper back there is a risk of collapsed lung (very rare).
While acupuncture in the United Kingdom is often been associated with pain relief/control, it has in reality many more applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment or in conjunction with Chinese herbal medicine or Traditional Chinese medicine therapies.
The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in a wide range of medical problems and here are some of the conditions we have treated with success at Bien Jn in Crouch End, London. We are doctors qualified in both Western and Chinese medicine offering professional acupuncture in London.
Conditions Treated With Acupuncture in Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is effective for:
- Weight reduction
- Withdrawal from addictions especially alcohol
- Stress reduction and anxiety
- Hair loss
- Muscular issues
- Chronic fatigue
- Improving immunity (allergies)
- Rejuvenating the face
Upper Respiratory Tract
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute rhinitis
- Common Cold
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Bronchial asthma (most effective in children and in patients without complicating diseases)
Disorders of the Eye
- Acute conjunctivitis
- Central retinitis
- Myopia (in children)
- Cataract (without complications)
Disorders of the Mouth
- Toothache, post-extraction pain
- Acute and chronic pharyngitis
- Spasms of oesophagus and heart muscles
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- Gastric hyperacidity
- Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
- Acute duodenal ulcer (without complications)
- Acute and chronic colitis
- Acute bacillary dysentery
- Paralytic ileus
Neurological and Musculo-skeletal Disorders
- Headache and migraine
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Pareses following a stroke
- Peripheral neuropathies
- Meniere’s disease
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
- Nocturnal enuresis
- Intercostal neuralgia
- Cervicobrachial syndrome
- “Frozen shoulder,” “tennis elbow”
- Low back pain
As with any medical practice acupuncture’s usefulness,
is dependent on the expertise and medical studies of the acupuncturist.
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Many people have experienced the benefits of acupuncture treatment and several thousand scientific studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for specific things like the pain relief, treating rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and reducing nausea after chemotherapy treatment as well as improving fertility.
Other Conditions that Can Improve with Acupuncture
Orthopedic Problems, such as tennis elbow and other tendonitis, frozen shoulder, low back pain, neck pain and many degenerative (arthritic) and post-traumatic (sport and other injuries) joint disorders
Urinary & Genital Problems, such as recurrent cystitis, vaginitis and urethritis, menstrual cramps and PMS, menstrual irregularities, as well as painful intercourse and a lack of sexual desire or enjoyment.
Respiratory and ENT Disorders, such as asthma, bronchitis, recurrent respiratory infections, toothaches, ringing of the ears, functional vertigo.
Neurological Disorders, including most types of headaches, peripheral neuropathies, post-herpetic neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, post-stroke paralysis, torticollis, sciatica, tremors and facial tics.
Allergy Problems, including certain eczemas and seasonal allergies, manifesting as itchy eyes, runny nose and sinus headaches.
Neuro-Psychiatric Problems, such as anxiety, tension, depression and insomnia. Also certain types of hair loss, non-organic infertility problems, psoriasis, interstitial cystitis and stress urinary incontinence.
Digestive Dysfunctions, such as constipation, diahorea, spastic colon, colitis, excessive acidity and gastritis.
Chinese Medicine can be very beneficial for nagging chronic complaints that Western medicine has little to offer for. Both types of medicines complement each other.
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