The origins of acupuncture can be traced back over 2,000 years making it one of the oldest forms of medical intervention in the world. Acupuncture involves the insertion of solid sterile filiform needles into the skin at specific points on the body (acupuncture points) to achieve a therapeutic effect.
Acupuncture can be used to encourage natural healing, improve mood and energy, reduce or relieve pain and improve the function of affected areas in the body. It is relatively safe and effective and is often successfully used as an adjunct or alternative to conventional treatment.
Is there scientific evidence that Acupuncture works?
There are a lot of quality scientific studies being produced to support the effectiveness of acupuncture. One recent publication is “The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review” which collated systematic reviews and meta-analyses from 2013 to 2016 reviewed over 122 conditions. The findings included:
- Strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture in conditions including chronic lower back pain, headache (tension-type and chronic), allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal), knee osteoarthritis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics), migraine prophylaxis, postoperative nausea & vomiting and postoperative pain.
- Moderate evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture in conditions including acute low back pain, acute stroke, neck pain, obesity, anxiety, peri-menopausal and postmenopausal insomnia, asthma in adults, post-traumatic stress disorder, constipation, hypertension (with medication), irritable bowel syndrome and menopausal hot flushes.
Studies are constantly being conducted with more precise mythologies being devised to show the effectiveness of acupuncture using the scientific model.