Acceptance of Acupuncture Reported

An article published in the Boston Globe announced that "acupuncture has won medical acceptance."

The article reports that 8.2 million Americans have used or are currently using acupuncture and that several insurance providers cover acupuncture therapy.

According to the Boston Globe, acupuncture has gained broader acceptance in the American medical community because of recent research findings, which prove that the ancient Chinese theories are accurate, and perhaps even compatible with Western scientific theories.

For example, "At the University of California at Irvine, researchers have shown that when a needle is placed in a point on the side of the foot that Chinese theorists associate with vision, sure enough, the visual cortex in the brain 'lights up' on functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, though the cause and effect are not totally clear."

While acupuncture is used to treat many ailments, one of its more generally accepted uses is to manage pain. Because of the mounting evidence in support of the ancient Chinese theories, the Globe article reports that "this [evidence] is potentially good news for the millions of Americans now scrambling for pain relief in the wake of conflicting government recommendations on painkillers Vioxx and Celebrex."

If the American medical community, which can be skeptical of complementary or alternative medicine insists that doctors practice only evidence-based medicine, then some may claim that acupuncture is quickly living up to this standard. After all, acupuncture has been practiced for over 4,000 years.

Sources:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/03/22/acupuncture_has_won_medical_acceptance/

By Laura Stevens