These acupuncture facts are answers to common questions about acupuncture from patients.
How can acupuncture help me?
In China acupuncture is used in preventive healthcare as a way to avoid illness and keep the body in balance; it is also used in the treatment of disease, in conjunction with Western Medicine. For example, in China, about 85% of patients with acute appendicitis do not require surgery, as acupuncture and herbal treatments are enough usually to resolve the condition.
We have provided many other facts, scientific studies about acupuncture, and information about side effects and benefits on the pages about individual symptoms and diseases, so please check out the Navigation Bar to the left of the page.
I’m afraid of needles!
Facts: Acupuncture needles are really more like pins. They are thin (about as wide as a strand of hair), solid, and extremely flexible.
Though the needles penetrate the skin, there is rarely any bleeding or bruising. Patients seldom experience pain, though they may feel tingling, heaviness, or an aching sensation.
By contrast, the hypodermic needles used by Doctors are heavier and thicker, hollow and sometimes serrated. They break the skin and cause bleeding. Ten to twelve acupuncture needles can fit into the standard hypodermic needle used to draw blood.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
In a national survey of acupuncture patients the following acupuncture facts regarding benefits were revealed:
- 90% reported “disappearance” or “improvement” of symptoms after treatment.
- 91% said they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their acupuncture practitioner.
- The most popular words chosen to describe the patient’s relationship with his or her practitioner were “guide,” “partner,” and “friend.”
In the United States, acupuncture is slowly gaining acceptance by the medical establishment. In 1979 the World Health Organization recognized the use of acupuncture in the treatment of the following medical conditions:
- Poor vision
- Muscle pain/weakness
- Back and neck pain
- Muscle cramping
- Postoperative pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Abdominal Pain
- Common cold
- Menopausal symptoms
- Chronic fatigue
- Stress reduction
- High blood pressure
- Athletic performance
What about the cost of treatment?
In a national survey of acupuncture patients the following acupuncture facts regarding cost were revealed:
- 70% said they avoided surgery.
- 84% said they saw their MD’s less often.
- 58% said they saw their psychotherapists less often.
- 78% said they used fewer prescription drugs.
- Patients say acupuncture costs about 60% as much as MD care.
How are acupuncturists trained?
There are now approximately 18,000 acupuncture practitioners in the U.S.
- Acupuncture practitioners are licensed at the state level. In Maryland, the state Board of Acupuncture licenses and regulates acupuncturists.
- Standards to practice safely and effectively have been established by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists.
- There are more than 40 schools of acupuncture in the U.S., they are accredited by the national Accreditation Commission for Schools and Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NACSCAOM).
- Most practitioners have a Master’s degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine. Although there are several doctoral programs now, the entry level degree is still a Master’s degree.