CONDITIONS THAT BENEFIT FROM TREATMENT

 

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“What is it that we want?  To fully experience our aliveness.  To feel in our bodies a streaming, like a river over stones.  To be awake, alert, and responsive in our limbs and sensitive in our fingertips.  To feel as if our inner and outer reality is congruent and that our efforts are rewarded by a sense of satisfaction.  We aspire to have our private lives nestle within the valley of a public world which we can affirm.  We long to feel connected with each other.  We want to be able to embrace and be embraced.  We want to live the life of our bodies and want our bodies to permit us to fully live our lives.  Chinese medicine is a beginning.”
– Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold in Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine

There are seven key benefits of acupuncture:

  • Relieves pain
  • Enhances immune function
  • Regulates and balances hormones
  • Elevates mood
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Eliminates stress
  • Enhances mental clarity

Because it stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, acupuncture is a valuable complement to conventional medical treatment of almost any condition.

Click here for an introduction to acupuncture from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

In 2002, the World Health Organization published a comprehensive review and analysis of controlled clinical trials on acupuncture.  The authors of the review analyzed over 300 studies of acupuncture, and categorized the various conditions that were studied into four groups: (1) diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled clinical trials – to be an effective treatment; (2) diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed; (3) 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; and (4) diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried, provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment.

Diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled clinical trials – to be an effective treatment:

  • Adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic (pain from gallstone attack)
  • Depression
  • Dysentery (disease which causes inflammation of the large intestine, leading to diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever)
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • Epigastric pain (including peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)
  • Hypotension (decreased blood pressure)
  • Induction of labor
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia (reduced number of white blood cells)
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus (breech)
  • Morning sickness (nausea in pregnancy)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Dental pain (including temporomandibular joint dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of the shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic (pain from kidney stones)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • 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
  • Acne
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy (one-sided facial paralysis resulting from damage to the 7th cranial nerve)
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis (chest pain caused by stress)
  • Cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation)
  • Cholelithiasis (gall stones)
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin dependent (adult-onset diabetes)
  • Ear ache
  • Epidemic hemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (nose bleed)
  • Eye pain
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol)
  • Hypo-ovarianism (deficient hormonal activity of the ovaries)
  • Insomnia
  • Labor pain
  • Lactation, deficient (inadequate breast milk production)
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Meniere’s disease (vertigo)
  • Neuralgia, post-herpatic (persistent pain following shingles)
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine, and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (a hormonal disorder that is associated with ovarian cysts, irregular ovulation, infertility, male-pattern hair growth, and obesity)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic (inflammation of the prostate)
  • Pruritis (itchy skin rash)
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome (pain due to irritation of a spinal nerve)
  • Raynaud’s syndrome (cold and discolored fingers or toes due to inadequate circulation)
  • Recurrent lower urinary tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (dysfunction of the nervous system that causes severe pain and progressive disability)
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced (excessive salivation)
  • Sjogren syndrome (autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed)
  • Sore throat
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome (inflammation of the ligaments that connect the sterum and ribs)
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette’s syndrome (disorder that involves tics and involuntary sounds and compulsive rituals or behaviors)
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic (inflammation and ulcers of the large intestine)
  • Urolithiasis (kidney stones)
  • Vascular dementia (dementia due to vascular disease)
  • 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:

  • Cholasma (hyperpigmentation of the skin, sometimes associated with pregnancy)
  • Choroidopathy, central serous (fluid accumulation under the retina caused by leakage from the blood vessel under the retina)
  • Color blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hypophrenia (low IQ)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury (reduced bladder capacity or incomplete bladder emptying)
  • 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:

  • Angina pectoris (chest pain due to cardiovascular disease)
  • Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Coma
  • Convulsions in infants
  • Diarrhea in infants and young children
  • Encephalitis, viral
  • Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar (neurological disorder which causes weakness and spasticity of the muscles of the pharynx, larynx, and tongue)

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