Recently I was involved in a conversation which had nothing to do with acupuncture. I mentioned something about acupuncture, and this person I was talking to said if I thought acupuncture was legitimate I no longer had any credibility with him. He said, “Acupuncture is a pseudo science and is not legitimate”; thus, he said my opinion on the subject we were discussing had not merit. It was odd, but he seemed so sure of himself. Needless to say the conversation ended. I saw no point in telling him my wife is an acupuncturist, and we own and operate an acupuncture clinic.
I have not come across this sort of thinking in a long time, but it served as reminder to me there are detractors and there is misinformation regarding acupuncture. And because of this misinformation, some folks may have bad information.
The reality is the World Health Organization (WHO), has clinically proven the benefits of acupuncture, and prestigious health care institutions use acupuncture and are conducting further clinical studies.
So, where does this misinformation come from? Most prominently it came from the American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA has a long history of resisting what they call alternative medicine, whether it be Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Naturopathic, to name a few. They use many tactics to discredit medical alternatives, calling them hoaxes, pseudo science, quackery, etc, etc. But why, why the resistance? In a word, money, they have resisted competition, not wanting medically effective and cost effective options available. They tried to create a monopoly on health care and it did not work.
In 1975 the US Supreme Court ruled professionals are not immune from antirust suits, meaning they cannot hold a monopoly. Then, in 1982 the Court ruled the FTC could enforce antitrust suits against medical societies. Finally in 1987 the AMA was found guilty of an illegal conspiracy, ordering a permanent injunction against the AMA, thus breaking up their monopoly on health care. (1)
Despite this powerful resistance acupuncture has grown in participation and in acceptance; because, it is legitimate and it is effective health care. Some interesting facts:
The World Health Organization (WHO): In 1979 acknowledged the benefits of acupuncture, and began a process to clinically prove the benefits. In 2003 a report was published clinically proving the benefits of acupuncture in 255 trials. The list is impressive. (2)
There are approximately 86 Acupuncture or Chinese Medical Schools in the US at this time. Many of those schools are fully accredited and eligible for Federal financial aide. (3)
There are approximately 12,000 practicing acupuncturist in the US (4)
Since the mid 1990’s the FDA and National Health institute recognize acupuncture as a medicine. (5)
Some of the most prestigious medical institutions are integrating acupuncture into treatment programs and conducting further clinical studies
The world famous Mayo Clinic: “Not only are they integrating licensed acupuncturists and acupuncture trained physicians into their staff, the Mayo Clinic is becoming a leader in the field of acupuncture research and they are conducting clinical trials on various acupuncture protocols” (6)
Stanford University uses acupuncture to treat: “chronic pain, musculoskeletal and joint pain, headache, cancer treatment side effects, gastrointestinal conditions, and women's health issues including urinary problems, infertility, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and menopause.”(7)
Johns Hopkins University utilizes acupuncture in their pancreatic cancer research center: stating, “Acupuncture is a gentle therapy. People often find it so relaxing that they fall asleep during therapy with the needles still in! Acupuncture needles are extremely thin (the width of a hair) stainless steel and very flexible. Insertion of these needles is usually painless. The sensation during acupuncture needle insertion varies between individuals and points chosen by the acupuncturist. (8)
Insurance companies are more and more accepting acupuncture, and there are acupuncture specific insurance codes.
There is plenty of proof acupuncture is a legitimate medicine. It is easily defended. We see its benefits everyday in our clinic. We are immensely proud of the services we offer, and strive to help in some way everyone who walks in the door.
An acupuncture session is amazingly powerful.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us.