Acupuncture has been used as a traditional healing practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years.
It has since become popularised in the Western world, and is recognised as a less invasive method of managing pain and improving overall wellbeing.
However, its efficacy and legitimacy as a medical treatment have remained the subject of debate in the UK and other Western countries for many years.
In this article, we’ll be exploring key aspects of the practice to address the benefits of acupuncture, what acupuncture does, and answer the question, is acupuncture real medicine?
Is acupuncture considered a science?
To understand whether or not acupuncture is a science, we must look back at its history.
Acupuncture is rooted in ancient Chinese philosophy and is based on the idea that the vital life energy Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) flows through the body along pathways named meridians.
TCM suggest that by inserting thin needles into specific acupoints along these meridians, practitioners can balance the flow of Qi to promote wellbeing.
Despite its rich and long past, western medicine demands more scientific evidence and validation, which has led critics to argue that acupuncture lacks scientific grounding.
However, those within the world of acupuncture argue that recent advancements and studies provide a solid basis for understanding the benefits of acupuncture.
In a 2017 clinical study, it was concluded acupuncture was an effective for the treatment of chronic pain.
Numerous studies conducted in the past decade have supported this conclusion.
Is acupuncture medically proven?
Over the years, the medical community in the UK and globally has evolved its stance on acupuncture.
In 1979, the World Health Organisation (WHO) first recognised acupuncture as a viable treatment for 43 conditions, including migraines and chronic pain. Since then, it has continued to recommend and support the practice.
Moreover, the NHS has also acknowledged acupuncture’s effectiveness for certain conditions and it is now used in many GP practices, as well as in most pain clinics and hospices.
Currently, the strongest support in the medical community is for acupuncture’s capacity to alleviate chronic pain.
Is acupuncture a placebo or real?
One of the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture is whether its benefits are real or a placebo effect.
Over the years, many acupuncture studies and trials have tested groups with real acupuncture and sham acupuncture to determine whether or not there can be a placebo effect.
These trials have seen mixed results, with some suggesting that acupuncture benefits extend way beyond a placebo effect and that the insertion of the needle does, in fact, trigger a physiological response.
Are acupressure points scientifically proven?
Acupressure is a commonly used technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body.
Although research into acupressure is not as extensive as acupuncture, some studies suggest it can be beneficial, particularly when used in conjunction with acupuncture.
For example, acupressure has demonstrated itself to help reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve sleep.
One 2011 systematic review of 43 studies of acupressure’s effectiveness treating symptoms found that in 35 of the studies, it was concluded that acupressure was effective at treating specific symptoms, including nausea, pain and insomnia.
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We hope that this article has helped you to better understand what acupuncture is and what the benefits of acupuncture are, but if you have any questions or are interested in learning how you could benefit from sessions, feel free to explore our website or get in touch with us today on 0800 051 76 88.