As more Americans are taking their health care into their own hands, they are turning to acupuncture as a natural way to heal without the side effects of many drugs prescribed by Western medicine.
Acupuncture is capable of inducing deep relaxation, and has been found to be extremely useful for people who have either not responded to conventional forms of treatment or wish to augment Western treatments. During a typical acupuncture treatment, patients wear a gown and are treated on a massage table.
Acupuncture has been widely used for pain relief and is growing in use not only to treat and cure, but also to maintain good health. It has been proven effective in both children and adults, treating disorders such as asthma, arthritis, palsy, impotence, sciatica, chronic or acute back and neck pain, headaches, ulcers, diabetes, colitis, gastrointestinal problems, genito-urinary conditions and the common cold. Acupuncture has been found to be an extremely useful modality for prevention of illness as well as for treatment of disease.
The first record of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Huang di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine), was compiled over 2500 years ago in China. Acupuncture emerged as an important component of Oriental Medicine more than 2000 years ago. Today acupuncture has reached most parts of the globe and over the past two decades it has grown in popularity in the United States. In 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimated that Americans made 9 to 12 million visits per year to acupuncture practitioners. Acupuncture is a safe medical procedure, well known for its efficacy and lack of side effects when administered by a qualified practitioner. Acupuncture has been used to treat and cure a wide variety of health problems, the most common of which include asthma, arthritis, palsy, impotence, sciatica, chronic or acute back and neck pain, headaches, ulcers, diabetes, colitis, gastrointestinal problems, genito-urinary conditions, and the common cold.
Acupuncture has gained greater acceptance among both the medical community and the public. Interest in acupuncture has brought about support from medical establishments such as the National Institute for Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration. In 1998 the NIH sponsored a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture. The conference findings recognized that scientific studies validated acupuncture as effective in the treatment of many medical conditions and further research should be done. The NIH Office of Alternative Medicine has designated a 20 million dollar budget for research in 1999. Medical practitioners are becoming more familiar with acupuncture, and some are seeking to incorporate acupuncture into their practices. Recent developments in the field of complementary alternative medicine have revealed that many HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) are considering offering this ancient Chinese healing art to their members in the future.