Thursday, December 1, 2011

What is acupuncture “good for”?

By Mary Oleksowicz, MSTOM, L. Ac

In my last blog series, I addressed the most common question I am asked, “How does acupuncture work ?" The follow-up question that I usually receive is “So, what is acupuncture good for?”

Both the NIH (National Institutes of  Health ) and WHO ( World Health Organization) have issued statements regarding the range of symptoms and conditions that acupuncture has proven effective for. There are over one hundred items listed between both statements. If you think that is a large number, you are right ! 

So how would one decide when is the right time to “see” an acupuncturist? Acupuncture, regardless of the condition, is best used preventatively or at the onset of a condition. However, more frequently people often wait until allopathic methods have not provided the expected results. Placing this factor to the side, acupuncture is most commonly used for:
  •              Musclo-skeletal pain including back aches and arthritis. Treatments for muscle disorders often  involve a “ trigger point “  release action while skeletal pain is regulated through the reduction of inflammation.
  •      Emotional disorders including insomnia and anxiety. These disorders are regulated through stress-relief and endorphin release.
  •             Gastro-intestinal disorders including diarrhea , constipation , “heartburn” and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) , especially if these symptoms are exacerbated by stress.
  •       Low energy and/or immune system dis-harmonies such as allergies or chronic infection.
  •     “Annoyances” – Chronic, seemingly un-related conditions such as ringing in the ears, night sweats, hot flashes, and eye “floaters”.
  •      Menstrual disorders across the life span including cramps, clots,  irregularity, infertility and menopause–related issues.
  •      For people who have been told that clinically, “There is nothing wrong with them” yet feel un-well.
Please note that the success of all treatments are based on several factors including:

  • The “constitutional” health of the client an
  • Patient compliance which means  not only receiving acupuncture regularly but also adopting nutritional and lifestyle changes as recommended.
I hope this article has piqued your interest in using acupuncture for your health concerns . Perhaps you will even add a session to your holiday wish list ! 


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