Acupuncture

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Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique from China that involves placing very thin needles through your skin at specific points on your body. In the Chinese medicine framework, acupuncture promotes wellbeing by re-balancing the free flow of energy, called qi, in the body. This section provides more details about acupuncture, including information about how it works, as well as its risks and benefits.

The page Common Conditions Treated by Acupuncture also lists symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through studies to be treated effectively by acupuncture.

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Acupuncture FaceAcupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and a technique used to promote wellbeing and treat illness. In the Chinese medicine framework, health is believed to result from the free flow of energy, called qi, in the body. Qi is believed to flow along twelve defined pathways, called meridians, which are connected to specific organs. If qi is blocked in any way, illness may result.

Acupuncture works to re-balance the flow of qi throughout your body by placing very thin needles through your skin at specific points on your body. The University of California San Francisco Medical Center maintains that there are as many as 365 acupuncture points along the meridian pathways where needles can be inserted to restore a balance of energy.

In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body's natural painkillers and increases blood flow.

Acupuncture can be helpful in maintaining good health and in treating patients with a wide range of health problems. It may be used alone or in combination with other complementary or conventional medicine treatments. For a list of symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown to be treated effectively by acupuncture, see Common Conditions Treated by Acupuncture.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine , relatively few complications have been reported from the use of acupuncture, in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. However, acupuncture can cause potentially serious side effects if not delivered properly by a qualified practitioner, such as infections and punctured organs.

 
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AcupunctureAcupuncture can be helpful in maintaining good health and in treating patients with a wide range of health problems. Acupuncture may be used alone or in combination with other complementary or conventional medicine treatments.

In an official report, ‘Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials’, the World Health Organization has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

Dysentery, acute bacillary

Dysmenorrhoea, primary

Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)

Headache

Hypertension, essential

Hypotension, primary

Induction of labour

Knee pain

Leukopenia

Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, correction of

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

Periarthritis of shoulder

Postoperative pain

Renal colic

Rheumatoid arthritis

Sciatica

Sprain

Stroke

Tennis elbow

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