Question: Does acupuncture have any medical benefit?

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Question: Does acupuncture have any medical benefit?

Sept 2023 issue of Today's Christian Living

One of the readers of Today’s Christian Living, a bi-monthly magazine for which I write a “Ask Dr. Walt” column, asked, “Does acupuncture have any medical benefit?”

Answer: Acupuncture is a medical procedure in which specific body areas are stimulated by piercing with fine needles, to which can be applied electric currents or heat.

The practice is said to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago as a component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Most states regulate the practice of acupuncture, for which a variety of degrees and certifications are available. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) works with most states to validate the competency of acupuncture practitioners prior to licensure.

The procedure is likely safe for adults and possibly safe in children and pregnant women when preformed properly with sterile needles.

The Natural Medicines experts rate acupuncture as “Possibly Effective” for a wide variety of conditions including:

  • back and neck pain,
  • chemotherapy-induced or postoperative nausea and vomiting,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • labor pain,
  • migraine and tension headache, and
  • osteoarthritis.

Most research shows acupuncture is NOT effective for:

  • asthma,
  • infertility, or
  • smoking cessation.

However, the list of conditions for which there is “Insufficient Evidence” to rate acupuncture is as long as your arm and includes such disorders as:

  • Alzheimer’s or dementia,
  • anxiety or depression,
  • carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • chronic fatigue syndrome,
  • diabetes,
  • hearing loss,
  • irritable bowel syndrome,
  • menopausal hot flashes,
  • menstrual cramps or pain,
  • neuropathy,
  • Parkinson disease,
  • PTSD,
  • sciatica,
  • sleep apnea, or
  • weight loss.

You can read the entire September 2023 “Ask Dr. Walt” column here.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2023. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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