Acupuncture is moving from an alternative therapy to a widely accepted and respected modality within the field of medicine. It is now considered an effective way to compliment traditional medicine. I was very inspired to see that recently President Obama when talking about his health care plan stated, “We should do what works. I think it is pretty well documented through scientific studies that acupuncture, for example, can be very helpful in relieving certain things like migraines and other ailments — or are at least as effective as more intrusive interventions.”
Acupuncture has been the basis for the medical care of a quarter of the world’s population since the beginning of history. It was only recently introduced into the United States when the Nixon administration opened relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1971. Since then acupuncture has gained popularity in unprecedented proportions.
Last year, over 15 million people in the United States and 1 billion people worldwide chose acupuncture for their health care needs. A recent federal study indicated that approximately one-third of all Americans will pay for “alternative therapies” such as acupuncture each year.
Among them, many famous celebrities have been successfully treated with acupuncture. Merv Griffin was treated for tennis elbow, Ann Bancroft for bursitis, Zsa Zsa Gabor for shoulder pain, Lorne Green for back pain and Sylvester Stallone for leg pain. Cloris Leachman and many other Hollywood starlights also receive regular acupuncture treatments for facial toning.
Acupuncture treats a wide variety of disorders. The World Health Organization recognizes that over 40 conditions can be treated safely and effectively by acupuncture. These include muscle spasms, peripheral neuropathies, headaches, sciatica, osteoarthritis, and ulcers. Many of these illnesses which are effectively treated by acupuncture are stress related, or what is termed functional disorders. This is when there is no biomechanical or biochemical disease present, yet a problem exists. Approximately 80% of the illnesses seen by a primary care physician are of this nature.
Another important role which acupuncture is beginning to play in our society is in state and federally funded drug detoxification programs. It has been clinically proven to be one of the most effective therapies for drug detoxification as well as smoking cessation.
As health care costs continue to rise, acupuncture has gained enormous popularity as an extremely cost effective approach. Thus, most private insurance, automobile accident insurance and workmen’s compensation elect to cover acupuncture benefits.
The treatment involves the shallow insertion of sterile disposable hair-thin needles into specific points of the body to promote healing. The needles are virtually painless and most people experience a wonderful sense of relaxation during treatment.
Medicare presently does not reimburse for acupuncture but there is a legislative bill presently in Congress (HR 646 Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act), which will allow for acupuncture coverage for Medicare. President Obama has publically supported acupuncture and there is optimism that this bill will pass.
Many Hospitals, Clinics and Physicians are presently incorporating acupuncture into their practices. After a meta-analysis of published acupuncture studies found in an interesting article, titled Acupuncture For Pain in the Journal, American Family Physician (Sept. 2009), the Author concludes that acupuncture is beneficial for many pain related conditions.
Acupuncture Works!! It has been clinically proven be a safe and effective for more than 5,000 years. It is a wonderfully gentle yet powerful means of mobilizing the body’s natural healing process.