About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is cost-effective, clinically effective and widely used in a variety of health care settings.

Acupuncture Defined

Acupuncture means the insertion of fine metal needles through the skin at specific points on or near the surface of the body with or without the palpation of specific points on the body and with or without the application of electric current or heat to the needles or skin, or both. The practice of acupuncture is based on traditional oriental theories and serves to normalize physiological function, treat certain diseases and dysfunctions of the body, prevent or modify the perception of pain and promote health and well-being.

Cost-Effectiveness Of Acupuncture

Because it has been rated at the highest level of effectiveness in the treatment of many diseases The British and German health care systems now pay of acupuncture based on studies of clinical effectiveness and cost savings.

According to a study in Washington State, costs actually decreased for acupuncture and complementary medicine users due to a reduction in more expensive conventional care.

Savings Per Patient With Acupuncture Treatment

  • Post Stroke Rehabilitation $26,000
  • Johansson, K. et al (1994) Neurology 43:2189-2192
  • Migraine $35,480
  • “Reduction in Work Days Missed Due to Migraine” – Liguori, A. et al (2000)
  • Angina Pectoris $32,000
  • Reduction of hospitalization by 90% and a 70% reduction in surgery –Altern, J. Complement Med 5:405-413
  • Severe Osteoarthritis $9,000
  • Compared to arthoplasty surgery, “Acupuncture in the Treatment of Severe Osteoarthritis: a long term study”
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) $4246

Clinical Efficacy

Acupuncture is clinically effective and widely used in a variety of health care settings. In 000_00021997 the NIH approved acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for several conditions including pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome and paralysis from stroke.

  • Over 500 positive clinical trials measuring the efficacy of acupuncture have been conducted in the past three decades.
  • In these studies, inclusion of acupuncture did not significantly escalate health care costs, perhaps decreasing costs if preventive care, whose results are hard to factor in, were included.
  • There are 50 systematic reviews of acupuncture in the Cochrane databases. Overall, the trend has been favorable, advocating the use of acupuncture in a clinical setting as an adjunct treatment with conventional therapies, where suitable (Witt et al. 2006).
  • Positive studies include acupuncture treatment for low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis of the knee and hip, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, TMJ, headaches, infertility, pain and nausea in cancer patients.

Acupuncture Treatments Are Safe And Result In Very Few Side Effects

The CDC reports that “Deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels in the past decade” and recommends Health Insurers “Increase coverage for other treatments to reduce pain”.

  • One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.
  • Acupuncture is a safe and has been practiced and refined for more than 2500 years. Acupuncture uses ultra-thin needles to balance and increase energy and stimulate the nervous system to release brain chemicals for relaxation and well being.
  • Studies in Europe and Japan showed that less than 0.2% of all individuals treated with acupuncture experienced adverse effects.

Acupuncture Training

Licensed Acupuncturists train extensively in Eastern systems of physiology and treatment of pathology with a sound background in Western science. Learning the traditional Oriental systems of diagnoses and treatment require specialized guidance and practice in the clinical setting as well as understanding the underlying theory.

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