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
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
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.