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Acupuncture

Time:2014-02-02 12:03Author:admin Click:

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that treats patients by insertion and manipulation of needles in the body. Its proponents variously claim that it relieves pain, treats infertility, treats disease, prevents disease, promotes general health, or can be used for therapeutic purposes. Acupuncture typically incorporates traditional Chinese medicine as an integral part of its practice and theory. However, many practitioners consider 'Traditional Chinese Medicine' (TCM) to narrowly refer to modern mainland Chinese practice. Acupuncture in Japan and Korea, and to a certain extent Taiwan, diverged from mainland China in theory and practice. In European countries such as the UK almost half the practitioners follow these non-TCM practices.[3] The most notable difference is that these other approaches often are primarily acupuncture, and do not incorporate Chinese herbal medicine. The term “acupuncture” is sometimes used to refer to insertion of needles at points other than traditional ones, or to applying an electric current to needles in acupuncture points.

Ideas of what constitutes health and healing differ from concepts used in modern scientific, evidence based medicine. Traditional acupuncture was developed prior to the understanding of human anatomy and cell theory upon which modern biology is based, and there is no anatomical or scientific evidence for the existence of qi or meridians; concepts central to acupuncture theory.

The evidence for acupuncture's effectiveness for anything but the relief of some types of pain and nausea has not been established. Systematic reviews have concluded that acupuncture is no more effective than nonpenetrating stimulation of one point to reduce some types of nausea.  Evidence for the treatment of other conditions is equivocal. Although evidence exists for a very small and short-lived effect on some types of pain, several review articles discussing the effectiveness of acupuncture have concluded it is possible to explain this as a placebo effect.

 

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