Accupuncture: An Introduction
Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
- Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years.
- Scientists are studying the efficacy of acupuncture for a wide range of conditions.
- Relatively few complications have been reported from the use of acupuncture.
- Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
What To Expect From Acupuncture Visits
During your first office visit, the practitioner may ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior. The practitioner will want to obtain a complete picture of your treatment needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition. Inform the acupuncturist about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have.
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Some people feel energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Treatment may take place over a period of several weeks or more.
Status Of Acupuncture Research
There have been many studies on acupuncture’s potential health benefits for a wide range of conditions. Summarizing earlier research, the 1997 NIH Consensus Statement on Acupuncture found that, overall, results were hard to interpret because of problems with the size and design of the studies.
In the years since the Consensus Statement was issued, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has funded extensive research to advance scientific understanding of acupuncture. Some recent NCCAM-supported studies have looked at:
- Whether acupuncture works for specific health conditions such as chronic low-back pain, headache, and osteoarthritis of the knee
- How acupuncture might work, such as what happens in the brain during acupuncture treatment
- Ways to better identify and understand the potential neurological properties of meridians and acupuncture points
- Methods and instruments for improving the quality of acupuncture research.
We are currently taking phone numbers for those interested in this treatment modality. Please contact us:
|Mailing address:||Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center
4860 Y St., Suite 2700
Sacramento, CA 95817