Acupuncture Versus Western Medicine


 Acupuncture Versus Western Medicine

There are many instances where people feel acupuncture has helped them, however there are also those who would insist that the effectiveness of acupuncture is nothing more than a placebo. So what's the verdict?

In this blog post, we're going to explore everything there is to know about acupuncture: how it works; what it can do for you; and whether or not it's worth giving a shot if you're dealing with any sort of ailment. We'll talk about different kinds of pain relief, see if there are any negative side effects, and share some interesting research findings on this topic.

Before we get into it, we should mention that much of what we'll be discussing rests on the opinions of different researchers. And this is a problem since there have been many thousands of studies analyzing different kinds of therapy and healing modalities over the years. Many people have proposed that acupuncture is not effective in treating pain; however, there's also some research showing that it is effective. It's hard to know what to believe, but I suppose one thing is safe to say: There are very few drugs or treatments out there that can bring instant relief to so many people in such a short amount of time.

What is acupuncture?

In case you're unfamiliar with the term, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the skin to relieve pain and other symptoms of illness. This technique has been used for thousands of years by people from China, Japan, and Korea. However, these days it is most widely practiced in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The science behind acupuncture rests on the theory that there are energy channels inside the body that correspond with specific locations on the surface of the skin. (source) I think this is a good place to say right off the bat that 'energy channel' isn't a term I would use in an article like this . I think it's more appropriate to say that there are certain points on the body that have special properties and correspond with one or more internal organs.

These energy channels are called meridians, and they're typically mapped out in charts that show the location of an acupuncture point on a specific meridian. The way it works is very simple: Insert a needle into one of these points, and you'll stimulate the flow of 'qi' or life force energy inside the body. It's like opening up a valve to let a flood of water drain out of your home; once you wake up this stagnant energy, your body will be able to get back to its natural state of balance.

So, how does it work?

We're still not really sure how acupuncture works, but there are certainly many theories that have been proposed over the years. For example, one idea is that the needles are stimulating the nervous system and causing a release of endorphins inside the brain. Another hypothesis suggests that needle insertion triggers an inflammatory response in the local area that results in a reduction in pain. It's also been posited that acupuncture can reduce inflammation by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain. And finally, some researchers believe that acupuncture works because it temporarily increases blood flow to certain areas of the body, like your face or hands for example. (source)

Does it really work?

By now we've established that nobody seems to know for sure exactly how acupuncture works. And this is a big problem. It's one thing to have an idea on how something works, but without any substantial evidence, it's hard to say if the technique is actually effective. But there is some research that suggests that acupuncture can be effective when used to relieve certain kinds of pain, and we'll talk about some of those studies in just a bit. One study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that acupuncture was better than usual care for reducing chronic pain after neck surgery, although the results were not very impressive overall ( source ). Another study in the American Journal of Pain found that acupuncture was more effective than usual care for reducing chronic lower back pain. Again, this study was not very impressive overall ( source ).

On the other hand, there are some studies that suggest that acupuncture can help with postoperative pain relief. In one Swedish study (source), researchers found that patients who underwent surgery and received traditional Chinese medicine were less likely to experience severe pain after surgery than those who received no treatment or conventional therapy. And an article published in the International Anesthesia Research Journal concluded that "acupuncture is safe and effective for postoperative pain relief. (source)

In another study, researchers in Germany had participants either get acupuncture or receive conventional medical care after undergoing surgery for a hernia ( source ). The researchers found that patients who received acupuncture needed less pain medication and reported a lower degree of pain compared to those who got the conventional treatment.

And finally, there's an article published in the journal Pain Practice which discusses how acupuncture may help relieve chronic low back pain: "acupuncture is a safe therapy with minimal adverse effects when used under protocols that have been accepted by many professional bodies" ( source ).

Who is acupuncture good for?

There are certainly many different conditions that respond well to acupuncture. It's been used successfully to treat pain related to the common cold, neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain, and headaches. And it's really effective for treating toothaches and problems with teeth moving into their sockets. Acupuncture can also help in many childbirth scenarios as well as some menstrual disorders. (source)

Using acupuncture to treat pain is a bit controversial because many studies report negative results for this type of therapy. On the other hand, other studies have found that acupuncture may be very effective for certain kinds of pain relief , and there are some good reasons why this treatment would work so well on those conditions. For example, there are some conditions that respond very well to acupuncture because the symptoms are directly related to an issue that's happening inside the body. One such condition is musculoskeletal pain. This ranges from mild soreness to chronic and debilitating back, neck, or joint problems. These types of pain can be caused by a number of different things - inflammation, nerve damage, tight muscles, etc. In these situations it makes a lot of sense that acupuncture would help the pain subside because it's working directly on the root cause of these issues rather than your central nervous system or some other unrelated part of your body.


If you have any questions about acupuncture, or if you're just curious to see what it's all about, there are many different resources out there on the internet that are worth a look. Just make sure to do your research and read through material written by people who know what they're talking about before you commit significant time and money to a treatment modality that has yet to be scientifically proven. And always remember that real healing doesn't come from random, popping up in the morning or night. It only comes when you put your faith into God Almighty alone.

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