According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which gi vital energy runs. There is no histological, anatomical or scientific proof that these meridians or acupuncture points exist. Acupuncture remains controversial among Western medical doctors and scientists.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more.

How does Acupuncture Work?

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of yin and yang of the life force known as gi or chi. Qi is said to flow through meridians (pathways) in the human body. Through 350 acupuncture points in the body, these meridians and energy flows may be accessed. Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces. If needles are inserted into these points with appropriate combinations it is said that the energy flow can be brought back into proper balance.

Acupuncture points are seen by Western practitioners as places where nerves, muscles and connective tissue can be stimulated. Acupuncture practitioners say that the stimulation increases blood flow while at the same time triggering the activity of our own body’s natural painkillers.

Benefits and Risks

The possible benefits of acupuncture are:

  • When performed correctly it is safe.
  • There are very few side effects.
  • It is a very effective combination treatment.
  • It is effective in controlling some types of pain.
  • It may be considered for patients who do not respond to pain medications.
  • It is a useful alternative for patients who do not want to take pain medications.

The possible risks of acupuncture are:

  • It is dangerous if the patient has a bleeding disorder.
  • It the dangerous if the patient is taking blood thinners.
  • There may be bleeding, bruising and soreness at the insertion sites.
  • The needle may break and damage an internal organ (very rare).
  • Unsterilised needles may infect the patient.
  • When inserted deeply into the chest or upper back there is a risk of collapsed lung (very rare).

Extracted from – 17 February 2017

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *