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About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating needles into "acupuncture points" on the body. According to acupunctural teachings this will restore health & well being. It is thought by many to be particularly good at treating pain. The definition and characterization of these points is controversial. Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese medicine. Many types of acupuncture; Japanese, Korean, and classical Chinese acupuncture are practiced and taught throughout the world.

Whether acupuncture is effective or not is an ongoing subject in scientific research. Scientists have conducted reviews of existing clinical trials according to the protocols of evidence-based medicine; some have found efficacy for headache, low back pain and nausea, but for most conditions have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not acupuncture is effective.

The World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association and various government reports have also commented on acupuncture. There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners, and that further research is warranted.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires manufacturers of acupuncture needles to label them for single use only (7th listed item). Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA when one considers the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. Still, complications have resulted from inadequate sterilization of needles and from improper delivery of treatments. When not delivered properly, acupuncture can cause serious adverse effects, including infections and punctured organs.

LAc is an acronym for Licensed Acupuncturist. Click here for Vancouver Acupuncturists.

The Acupuncture Handbook: How Acupuncture Works and How It Can Help You


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