Acupuncture – Alternative Medicine Hits the Mainstream

Posted on 01 April 2012

Acupuncture – Alternative Medicine Hits the Mainstream

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture “sticking thin needles throughout specific points in the body in order to regulate a healthier energy (called chi) flow” is more popular than ever. It is even used on horses.

But acupuncture is no longer the dark horse in alternative medicine, and acupuncture can alleviate all sorts of pain for animals or humans.

The World Health Organization published a list of 28 conditions or symptoms for which acupuncture is an “effective treatment.” Based on controlled clinical trials through 1998, the list includes everything from low back pain to morning sickness.

Recent studies show acupuncture also increases infertility treatment IVF (in vitro fertilization) and pregnancy success rates. The acupuncture allows for higher levels of specific protein molecules known as Th2 cytokines, which increases fertility (while helping prevent miscarriages) and enhances IVF.

It even helps with menstrual cycle cramps.

Acupuncture is very safe when performed by an experienced practitioner. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacturing of acupuncture needles. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA, in light of the millions of people treated each year.”

Many insurance companies now offer policies that cover acupuncture.

To find a qualified practitioner, look for “L.Ac.” (the standard abbreviation for licensed acupuncturist) after their name. The licensing exam tests a practitioner’s ability to assess the patient, form a diagnosis and provide acupuncture treatment. The process starts with an exam with questions about a patient’s pain and overall function followed by an evaluation of possible points to place the needles.

Acupuncture treatments last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and may require multiple visits over several hours.

Like any medicine, acupuncture is not one size fits all. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says “people experience acupuncture differently.”

However, acupuncture is an effective internal medicine. Whether it improves sleep or aids those fighting drug addiction, it could be seen as “complimentary” rather than “alternative” health care with its widespread and wide-ranged use.

Hill Park Medicine Center has an Acupuncture Clinic in Petaluma and recently opened Hill Park West, an Acupuncture Clinic in Sebastopol.


Hill Park Integrative Medical Center
435 Petaluma Avenue, Suite 150
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Phone: 707-861-7300 Fax: 707-823-8568

office@hpimc.com

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