Penned by Jason Hackler, this piece appears on the Natural Life Therapy Clinic website, which is full of interesting links, articles, recipes and the like.
Here's Mr. Hackler's take on "The Myth of Acupuncture":
The Myth of Acupuncture
Monday, 17 December 2007
Jason R. Hackler, Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.
The perception that acupuncture is only useful for chronic pain management or as an analgesic is not accurate. Acupuncture has been cited by the World Health Organization to treat more than forty-three conditions, some of which include: allergies, asthma, bronchitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, colds and flu, digestive disorders, depression, gynecological disorders, headache, heart problems, infertility, insomnia, joint/muscle pain, pre-menstrual syndrome, sciatica, sports injuries, tendonitis, and stress. In clinical practice many other urogenital, respiratory, and circulatory dysfunctions can be successfully treated with acupuncture and other modalities of Oriental Medicine.
Another misconception is the association of pain with acupuncture. Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection. The needle used for injections is hollow, much larger in diameter than acupuncture needles, and contains medication which is forced into the tissue, all of which can cause pain. Acupuncture needles are solid and very fine, about the diameter of a human hair. A skilled practitioner of Oriental Medicine performs acupuncture without pain. A patient may experience a tingling or numbing sensation around the needle or an electrical sensation traveling toward or away from the needle. In addition, if someone is afraid of needles, or if an infant or child is being treated, a professional acupuncturist will use other modalities of Oriental Medicine, such as moxibustion (heat therapy), Shonishin (children’s treatment) and handwork therapy.
How does one search out a skilled practitioner? Oriental Medicine is a complex medicine that has been practiced for at least 3,000 years. Today, there are professional training schools, offering programs with 2,000 to 4,000 hours of training in the field. There are many schools of thought and various traditions in the field of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. However, as a general guideline, a consumer should seek out a practitioner who is state licensed, meaning they have met eligibility requirements established by the state to practice acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Licensure in Missouri went into effect in June 2002 and the state licensing board of Missouri requires that a practitioner be National Board Certified in Acupuncture, indicating that they have successfully completed a national exam given by the National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Once a practitioner is National Board Certified (Dipl.Ac.), he or she is issued a state license to practice acupuncture. The title designated in Missouri is Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac. or Lic.Ac.). If you have further questions about acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, or licensure, please call us at Natural Life Therapy Clinic (314-991-6035).