What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient method of medicine that has been used for thousands of years.  It is a technique in which the practitioner stimulates specific points of the body by inserting thin needles through the skin.

How Much Do We Know About Acupuncture?

There has been both numerous and extensive studies performed on acupuncture.  Some of the most common areas focused on research was efficacy of acupuncture for neck pain, back pain, headaches, knee pain, and osteoarthritis.

What Has Research Shown About Acupuncture?

Research has shown that acupuncture can help to manage certain types of conditions, while with others, results are negligible at best.  However, since acupuncture has also been shown to be safe when performed by an experienced professional, it is certainly a viable option to try for ailments.

The areas where acupuncture have shown to be the most promising is with pain issues such as chronic neck pain, back pain, knee pain, and osteoarthritis.  It has also shown to be effective in reducing the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.

Ongoing research is continuing and focusing on various methods of treatment.  Some of those include things such as treating menopause symptoms, alleviation of the symptoms of chemotherapy, and determine the level of efficacy of acupuncture compared to other traditional forms of therapy for those same conditions.  Thus far, acupuncture has shown itself to be promising for a myriad of conditions, and as research continues, the validity of this method of treatments solidifies its place in the medical field.

What Else Should I Know About Acupuncture?

  • While acupuncture is relatively safe, make sure you are working with someone who is experienced. They should also have some form of license, certification, or registration, depending on the state they are practicing acupuncture in.  While a certification alone does not guarantee quality treatment, it is certainly an indicator that the practitioner meets the standards set for that state.  It is also always good to do some web research on an individual prior to working with them.
  • Some physicians and dentists also practice acupuncture. There are also various national acupuncture organizations that provide referrals to credible acupuncturists.
  • When talking to a practitioner, ask them about their experience in the field along with their credentials.
  • Ask them what they estimate the number of treatments you will require will be. Also ask them of the cost of the overall treatment for your condition.
  • Find out if your insurance company covers the cost of acupuncture. With the increasing popularity of acupuncture, more and more companies are offering coverage for treatment.
  • Be sure to inform your practitioner of all your symptoms, other health issues, medications, and anything else you may feel be relevant to your health and well-being. The more the practitioner knows about you, the more they will be able to effectively treat your specific condition.
  • Acupuncture should not be used as an alternative to your healthcare provider. It should be used in conjunction with them.  Your healthcare provider may be able to provide vital information to the practitioner and may even be able to refer you to someone that they know is credible in the field.