Sunday, May 24, 2009

Acupuncture; Does It Work?

Acupuncture is derived from Latin words "acus", meaning, needle and "punctura", meaning, penetration. Acupuncture was originated in China approximately 2000 years ago and is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world.

The traditional theory of Acupuncture involves qi, yin and yang, and the Five Elements.

There are number of physiologic models that have been proposed to explain the effects of acupuncture.

Proposed conditions with possible efficacy include:
  • Chronic Pain
  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Chemotherapy induced nausea
  • Acute pain including dental pain
  • Headache
  • Hypertension

Although there are difficulties in studying acupuncture, the best randomized trials suggest that acupuncture and sham acupuncture have similar efficacy. Given this, much or all of the effect of acupuncture may be related to the placebo effect.

Acupuncture is generally, very safe; as long as appropriate sterile techniques are followed.

In patient with chronic pain, both acupuncture and sham acupuncture appear to have much greater efficacy than when patients are left untreated. So patients with unavailability of safe alternatives with Chronic pain or other conditions may benefit from a trial of acupuncture.

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