Acupuncture is a component of China’s health care system, dating back at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential to good health. Disruption of this flow causes disease. Acupuncture can, it has been theorized, correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points near the skin. That is why the benefits of acupuncture are currently highly sought after to treat various ailments.
The practice of acupuncture for identifiable pathophysiological treatment (disease) conditions in American medicine was rare until President Richard M. Nixon’s visit to China. Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest in the United States and Europe in the application of the technique of acupuncture for Western medicine.
Are there rules for acupuncture needles?
After reviewing the existing body of knowledge, global health organizations eliminate acupuncture needles from the category of experimental medical devices. The FDA now regulates acupuncture needles, as it does in other devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes, under good manufacturing practices and single-use sterility standards.
The benefits of acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention are widely practiced in the United States. There have been many studies on their potential utility. However, many of these studies provide equivocal results due to design, sample size, and other factors. The issue is further complicated by the inherent difficulties in using appropriate controls, such as placebo groups and sham acupuncture.
Benefits of Acupuncture
However, promising results have emerged, for example, the efficacy of the benefits of acupuncture in post-operative and chemo for adult nausea and vomiting and dental postoperative pain. There are other situations like addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, where acupuncture can be useful as Complementary treatment or an acceptable alternative or included in a comprehensive management program.
The results of basic research have begun to elucidate the mechanisms of action of acupuncture, including the release of opioids and other peptides in the central nervous system and periphery and changes in neuroendocrine function. Although much remains to be done, the emergence of plausible mechanisms for the therapeutic effects of acupuncture is encouraging.