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Is Acupuncture Therapeutic or Not?

Is Acupuncture Therapeutic or Not?


    

Is Acupuncture Therapeutic or Not?

by Elaine R. Ferguson, MD

Many in modern medicine believe that acupuncture's benefits, if there are any are entirely related to the Placebo effect-the minds effect on the body. Belief that a treatment is effective makes it effective. The truth of the matter is that, the placebo effect impacts every treatment-including drugs and surgery. It is our belief in the benefit of the treatment and our anticipation of improvement, regardless of the presence of a therapeutic therapy that causes the measurable physiological improvements.

British researchers conducted a review of numerous acupuncture studies.

They analyzed acupuncture studies published between 2003 and 2008, involving chronic pain (the most frequently occurring forms-back, knee and head).

Acupuncture was statistically better than sham or fake acupuncture for chronic back and knee pain, as well as headaches. Over 6 to 12 months, it was more effective for tension headaches and knee paine, but was not consistent for back pain (one inconclusive, one positive).

The growing research findings involving recent research indicate that acupuncture's effect is not representative of the Placebo effect in treating the most common pain conditions. The researchers posed the question-is it now time to change research priorities and redirect the focus to asking more questions with greater clinical impact about whether the overall benefit of this treatment is cost-effective?

Wby is it so difficult for modern medicine to accept its 5,000 year history? Isn't that in and of itself strongly suggestive of its effectiveness? Also, almost 40 years ago, when then President Richard Nixon made his historic trip to China, introducing the US to Chinese Medicine in general and acupuncture in particular.

Acupuncture is used in the industrialized world to treat a wide variety of illnesses. While many people find relief, it is usually frowned upon by the medical establishment. Despite this reservation its used and is apparently effective in relieving numerous symptoms, particulary pain.

About the Author:
Learn more about Chinese Medicine. Stop by Elaine R. Ferguson, MD's site where you can find out all about acupuncture and what it can do for you.


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