HISTORY OF ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system that can be traced back for at least 2,500 year, acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body. In the United States, where practitioners incorporate healing traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries, acupuncture is considered part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
The practice of acupuncture to treat identifiable pathophysiological conditions in American medicine was rare until the visit of President Nixon to China in 1972.
Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest in the United States and Europe in the application of the technique of acupuncture to Western medicine. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of CAM use by Americans, an estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults and 150,000 children had used acupuncture in the previous year for relief or prevention of pain and for a variety of health conditions.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Many people equate acupuncture with pain relief, but it does much more. Today, modern research studies show that acupuncture works through a variety of mechanisms, including increase of blood and lymph circulation, release of endorphins, and regulation of both the immune and nervous systems.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has been found to be effective in treating:
- pain problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, and tennis elbow
- emotional problems such as addictions, anxiety, chronic fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance, and stress relief
- gastrointestinal problems such as colitis, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
- gynecological problems such as infertility, menopausal syndrome, morning sickness, and PMS
- respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, rhinitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis
- dermatological conditions such as chloasma, herpes zoster, scar tissue, anti-pruritic, neuro-dermatitis, acne vulgaris
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners and requires that needles be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. Needles can cause slight bruising which may last a few days. Relatively few complications from acupuncture have ever been reported, which is impressive in light of the millions of people treated each year, the number of acupuncture needles used and when you consider that that Traditional Chinese Medicine is over 2500 years old.
ARE ACUPUNCTURISTS MEDICAL DOCTORS?
No, Acupuncture Physicians are not licensed as medical doctors and are not a substitute or replacement as a patients Primary. Patients who do not have a primary will be referred to one. However, Acupuncture Physicians are considered primary care providers in Florida and many other states. We are nationally board certified after following a stringent 4 year training program including internship and are trained to evaluate patients using professionally recognized standards and medically-based criteria (physical exams; consultation between other providers, conventional medical diagnoses; and ordering x-rays and laboratory tests). Regulatory bodies ensure that Acupuncture physicians meet a minimum requirement for on going continued education. I do not practice medicine and do not diagnose or treat diseases or medical conditions. I focus my practice on promoting health and optimal function.