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More Medical Facilities Now Offer Acupuncture

Posted by admin in Acupuncture

According to a survey conducted by Health Forum, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Samueli Institute, a non-profit research organization, more of today’s hospitals are offering alternative medicine services such as acupuncture – a 37% increase from 2007.

The hospitals taking part in the survey said their reason for adding these services has been patient demand. Nearly 6,000 hospitals participated.

While numbers as to the specific increase in acupuncture services is unknown, the survey indicates that more patients are becoming educated about alternative therapies and are requesting these modalities from hospitals and other medical facilities.

Acupuncture Studies

Studies have shown for years that acupuncture is effective for a number of medical issues, especially chronic lower back pain that is the result of inflammation, spinal disc deterioration, a herniated disc, or damage to spinal nerve roots.

A study at England’s Sheffield University in 2006 showed that most patients received long-term benefits from a short course of acupuncture treatment. Even ten treatments reduced pain for two years after the treatments had ended.

In a study in Sweden, some patients were given “sham acupuncture” treatment in which the needles were placed outside of the meridian points. These patients did not have the same results as those who received actual acupuncture treatment on the specified meridian points.

Even many of those patients who did not achieve the success they had hoped with acupuncture were able to reduce their intake of pain medications as a result of the treatments. Horses with back pain have also experienced improvement as a result of acupuncture, according to a 1987 study.

What is Acupuncture?

Historians believe that acupuncture began in China about 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that there are 20 meridians in the body in which energy – called “Qi” (pronounced as “chi”) – flows through.  When this energy flow is blocked, the organs and systems of the body suffer.

There are certain points along the meridians that, when stimulated by needles or pressure (in the case of acupressure massage), release the blockage and allow for a balancing of Qi in the body. Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that seeks to treat the whole body from the root of the problem rather than just eliminate symptoms.

The needles used in acupuncture are very fine and thin, and most people report little to no pain because they are barely inserted into the skin. Each needle is sterilized and used just once.

While no one fully understands how acupuncture works, studies seem to indicate that there is a scientific basis for its effectiveness in treating certain medical problems.

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