Acupuncture is a holistic traditional Chinese healing method that was developed more than 2500 years ago. Complementary or alternative medicines and therapies are growing in popularity across the world. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) survey found that more than 38% of Americans use some form of complementary therapies to cure conditions like chronic pain. A National Institute of Health study also revealed that more and more people are now turning to alternative holistic methods to treat pain and reduce chronic stress. The number of users of acupuncture specifically jumped to 14.01 million in 2007 from 8.19 million in 2002.
What does acupuncture involve?
Tiny needles are inserted into the skin at various points on the body on points that are located on a meridian where vital energy flows, according to Chinese medicine. The needles are inserted at varying depths. Forces called ‘gi” and “chi” or yin and yang balance health and a vital force called “Qi” runs through the meridian. According to tradition there are 350 acupuncture points which can increase the energy of Qi and balance the gi and chi to improve health.
In Australia, acupuncture is reimbursed when a qualified doctor performs the therapy.
Acupuncture as effective as painkillers in emergency
A recent study was conducted in four Melbourne based hospitals in Australia on 500 patients who came to the emergency with back pain, ankle pain or migraine. The patients were randomly assigned to either painkillers alone, or a combination of painkillers with acupuncture or acupuncture by itself.
The researchers assessed the pain levels of these patients after an hour of the treatment and an hourly assessment until the patients were discharged was carried out. The patients were also followed up the next day and after 48 hours for pain assessment.
The study found that acupuncture was as effective when used alone as the painkillers were and 80% of the participants were happy with the treatment they received.
A significant finding was that post 48 hours 82.8 % of patients who underwent only acupuncture said that they would definitely want to repeat the treatment, while 80% of those who received a combined treatment said the same. The percentage of people who said they wanted to repeat the treatment in the painkillers only group was 78.2.
Researchers believe further studies are needed to establish the efficacy of acupuncture in emergency departments, but the initial results are highly promising.
The study was called “equivalence study” and was conducted by RMIT University.
Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.
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