Though still controversial as an accepted treatment in Western medical science, acupuncture has a demonstrated place in the treatment of a number of physical conditions. Many patients have reported dramatic relief from complaints ranging from depression to tennis elbow and are firm believers in the healing power of acupuncture. These patients are supported in their claims by the World Health Organization that lists "diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment." The National Institute of Medicine (NIH) consensus of recent studies reports that acupuncture is a promising treatment for musculoskeletal conditions with substantially lower adverse effects of other accepted medical procedures.
The American Pain Society and American College of Physicians issued clinical practice guidelines in 2007 that list acupuncture as a therapy that should be considered for patients suffering from low back pain who have not responded successfully to other conventional treatments. Several studies have shown that the combination of conventional treatment with acupuncture is more effective than conventional treatment alone. The NIH reports that patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain, especially in the knee, are offered pain relief and improved function with acupuncture treatments.
One specialized type of acupuncture that has therapeutic benefits for the entire body is auricular acupuncture. Based on the Chinese concept that the auricle, or outer ear contains acupuncture points that correspond to different areas of the body, the stimulation of those points activates the increased functioning of that area of the body. The stimulation increases blood circulation, muscle movement, release of toxins, along with other beneficial effects. It has been shown to relieve musculoskeletal pain such as back pain, arthritis, and muscle tension. Enhanced muscle movement reduces strain and stiffness. Additionally, auricular acupuncture has shown to be a beneficial treatment for anxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia as well as digestive disorders and more.
Auricular acupuncture should only be done by a specialist who has extensive training and thorough knowledge of the almost two hundred acupuncture points located in the outer ear. When done by such a specialist, auricular acupuncture is a safe, effective, and natural treatment without the adverse effects of drugs. When traditional Western medical treatments are ineffective or as a supplement to traditional treatments, acupuncture should always be considered as a viable option for the relief of pain. Millions have found relief from pain with acupuncture with clinical studies and major medical organizations now accepting and even advocating acupuncture as an effective treatment.
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