Acupuncture | A Treatment Option for Pain Relief

Published on: 14/08/2020

If you’re not scared of needles, has acupuncture ever crossed your mind? You might ponder whether it’s even worth a try to help you with your medical condition.

Pain management can be hard to handle. Other than the cost of treatment, choosing the safest and most effective therapeutic method can entail a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Due to some undesirable effects of pharmaceutical drugs, there are people who opt for natural health care alternatives with few or no side effects. 

One of these is the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has a long history that spans around 4,000 years. TCM includes acupuncture, herbal remedies, and massage.

Can Acupuncture Be Trusted?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a safe treatment if it is done by a well-trained practitioner. WHO also published a review of clinical trial reports. One category cites diseases or symptoms that can be treated by acupuncture. These conditions include headache, allergic rhinitis, depression, knee pain, and rheumatoid arthritis.

In an article published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, it reported the effect of acupuncture has been tested and verified by large randomized control trials and individual patient data meta-analyses. However, its mechanisms of action remain a mystery which somehow hindered the full acceptance of acupuncture in the medical field.

Despite the extensive research on acupuncture, more research studies are still needed to prove its efficacy. Meanwhile, acupuncture is being taught in many institutions around the world, including the Philippines.

Types of Acupuncture

You’ll be surprised if you don’t know it yet. There are many types of acupuncture. Here are some of them:

1. Body Acupuncture 

This is the most common type of acupuncture, which is most likely what you picture out in mind when you hear the word – needles inserted into certain pressure points of the body. It uses various types of needles too, with different treatment purposes.

2. Acupressure 

Instead of needling, this type of acupuncture utilizes massage and pressure. It has the same principle as body acupuncture, which stimulates acupuncture points in order to treat a patient or restore the balance of their body.

3. Moxibustion

This is a kind of heat therapy that involves small amounts of herbs that are placed on top of acupuncture needles and are then lighted.

Acupuncture spreads to Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia. It has also expanded into the rest of the world. Each culture has developed its own version of acupuncture. In today's era, acupuncture involves imaging and diagnostic technologies. Some modern type examples are electro-acupuncture and laser acupuncture. 

Is Acupuncture Worth It?

The Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), which is created under Republic Act 8423 certifies licensed medical professionals who want to practice acupuncture. PITAHC also sets the standards and guidelines for the accreditation of training programs and facilities in compliance with the Acupuncture Competency Standards for Medical Acupuncturists and the Code of Ethics of Medical Acupuncturists.

Acupuncture is safer now with modern sterilization techniques and disposable needles. There are also options to choose from, depending on what type of acupuncture works for you. Just make sure that you go to a licensed and certified acupuncturist.