HealthNews Dozen: 12 Most Common Conditions Treated by Acupuncture

Health News

By: Jennifer Newell
Published: Monday, 22 June 2009

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of healing, originating in ancient Chinese culture as a way to touch upon vital points in the body to energize and heal. The process has been embraced by most cultures in the modern world and is commonly used as a form of healing by specialists from all walks of the medical and health profession.

The process is rather simple, as thin needles with tiny, round ends are inserted into various points of the body and massaged in a particular way, sometimes by twirling or gently thrusting, in order to invigorate or change the life energy —or chi —of the body. Believers in the practice attest to its ability to heal diseases and medical conditions—even emotional or psychological disorders—by manipulating the chi to the body’s natural order, which essentially heals the entire body as well as the problem area(s).

People seek acupuncture specialists for a variety of reasons, from simple relaxation to assistance with serious diseases. The top 12 list above is in no particular order but comprises a rather comprehensive list of the issues sought to be resolved by acupuncturists.

Childhood illnesses are likely the least often reported, as many people refrain from agreeing to acupuncture for their children, but some do report that conditions like colds, ear aches, skin ailments, teething, and nose and throat problems can be resolved with the needles or through acupressure and allow parents to stay away from prescriptions.

Mental and emotional disorders, along with sexual problems, are not as commonly thought of as reachable through acupuncture, but many specialists treat conditions such as addictions, depression, insomnia, phobias, impotence, and even sterility through the process. It has also been found to be a reputable method to stop tobacco and other cravings and addictions.

Issues that pertain to menstruation, pregnancy difficulties, and labor can be resolved by working the appropriate pressure points, and diseases like hepatitis, flu, measles, and mumps are also known to have their symptoms reduced through acupuncture. In addition, all diseases of the head area having to do with ears, eyes, nose, throat, and mouth—everything from deafness to nosebleeds—can be addressed.

Many people seek acupuncturists for problems with the thyroid, arthritis, various aches and pains, pulled muscles, blood pressure, and thrombosis, but even more serious conditions are sometimes treatable through acupuncture, such as angina, kidney stones, asthma, ulcers, and liver disease.

A trained acupuncture professional will put a potential patient through the process of the “four examinations,” which consist of observing the patient’s emotional and physical demeanor, listening and smelling the person’s body, questioning health history and environment to best determine the course of action, and palpation to determine the body’s temperature and sensitivity to pain. That will allow the specialist to prescribe the right amount of acupuncture mixed with herbal remedies, exercise, diet, and other massage techniques.

More people are turning to acupuncture than traditional medicines because of the ease of treatment, the relaxing and natural makeup of it, and its medical safety. While it is strongly urged that patients seek licensed and trained professionals, rarely are there reports of injuries or sour outcomes from treatments. Most often, patients feel an ease in their pain and a sense of relaxation after each session and begin recommending the process to others.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.