What Is Acupuncture Useful For?

By: Adrian Cruce

Acupuncture has been used in China for over 2,500 years now. It is a strong part of the entire health care system. Everything is based on the belief that energy flow patterns (referred to as QI) in the body are currently essential for proper health. It is believe that energy flow is what leads to disease. Through acupuncture, in theory, the flow imbalances as corrected and diseases are treated.

While there is a lot of debate that surrounds acupuncture, there is evidence that it is useful for some conditions. This treatment option was not popular in USA to treat pathophysiological conditions until 1972 when Richard M. Nixon, at the time the US President, visited China. Ever since then a lot of interest is connected with acupuncture practices.

The big problem is that people tend to believe everything that they read. As you can easily imagine, acupuncture is not useful for many conditions. Let’s read on to see what it can actually be helpful for.


Use Acupuncture For

Acupuncture is widely popular in USA and Europe. It is sometimes chosen as a therapeutic intervention method in various situations. Various studies were conducted in order to properly assess potential usefulness. Various studies offered results that were equivocal due to sample size, design or other factors. We also have various problems in using appropriate control methods since we have placebo to consider and there are acupuncture groups that are just scams.

Studies showed various interesting and promising results with some particular situations. It was shown to help in dealing with chemotherapy vomiting and nausea, together with support for post-operative support and dental pain management. Various situations have been proved to be beneficially impacted by the use of acupuncture. This includes:

  • menstrual cramps
  • fibromyalgia
  • osteoarthritis
  • myofascial pain
  • headache
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • addiction
  • tennis elbow
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • asthma
  • low back pain
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With all conditions mentioned, acupuncture was useful when seen as adjunct treatment or even as acceptable alternative.

The basic research that was done is now starting to elucidate how acupuncture works and the mechanisms behind it. This includes opioids release and the release of peptides in the human central nervous system. There were also neuroendocrine function changes and periphery changes noticed. We still have to go through a lot of research but we do start to see plausible mechanisms that can have encouraging therapeutic effects.

Should You Consider Acupuncture?

Whenever faced with the conditions that were mentioned above, it is a really good idea to consider acupuncture. However, it is important that you do not deny the help that the doctor offers. There are many cases in which people use acupuncture as the sole treatment option considered when referring to some conditions. This is never a good idea.

Make sure that you are careful who you choose to trust when referring to who will perform acupuncture. We do not have clear guidelines when referring to licenses, training and reimbursements. With this in mind, there are so many that try to take advantage of people that are sometimes in a desperate situations. We still need more proof.