Myths and Facts About Acupuncture

More than 14 million people — 6% of Americans — have started using acupuncture as a part of, or adjunct to, their health care. It’s one of the most rapidly growing alternative medicine practices in the US. Many insurance companies reimburse for acupuncture treatment. 

Patients who have been treated with acupuncture realize it’s a low-risk but potentially high-benefit medical procedure.

Because it’s not quite a mainstream health practice, many people may question whether it’s “real” medicine. Take a moment to make sure you can differentiate the myths from the facts about acupuncture

Myth: Acupuncture has no real effect 

It’s likely that many people believe acupuncture is a folk remedy that doesn’t do anything for your health. Like a placebo, you may think it’s all in your mind. 

In fact, the FDA identified acupuncture needles as medical devices in 1996, providing affirmation of acupuncture as a type of medical practice. As a result of a 2012 comprehensive study, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that rigorous evidence shows that “acupuncture may be helpful with chronic pain.”

Researchers don’t have all the answers about how acupuncture works, but studies indicate that acupuncture reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is associated with autoimmune diseases and other health risks. Eight studies of more than 500 patients with rheumatoid arthritis noted a drop in two markers for inflammation in those being treated with acupuncture. 

Research does show that when your Broadway Chiropractic and Wellness physician places acupuncture needles on target sites on your body to stimulate nerves, your nerves send messages to your brain, and the brain releases endorphins. 

You may have heard of endorphins as a “feel-good” chemical. They stimulate receptors in your brain and cause the same kind of reaction as an oral painkiller — they ease pain, but without drugs. 

Myth: Acupuncture helps only with back pain 

Perhaps you’ve heard that acupuncture may only treat back pain or musculoskeletal pain. As a result of the opioid crisis, the American public and physicians are seeking complementary and alternative treatments to treat many painful conditions without relying mainly on drugs.

In fact, physicians today use acupuncture to aid many types of ailments. NIH studies show that acupuncture alone or as an adjunct to traditional practices helps treat the following conditions:

Myth: Anyone can open a storefront and practice acupuncture

Many people may still believe that acupuncturists lack real expertise. Can a person with no training practice acupuncture?

In fact, to practice acupuncture in the US, individuals must attain a master’s degree in either acupuncture (three years) or in oriental medicine (four years). Acupuncturists must pass one or more of the exams of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to be eligible for a license in 45 states and the District of Columbia. 

Graduation from an accredited acupuncture school is a prerequisite for applying for a license to practice. 

Now that you have the facts about acupuncture, find out more about how the approach can help you! Call Broadway Chiropractic and Wellness, send the team a message here on the website, or use the online appointment request button to schedule your consultation. 

Their holistic approach to wellness helps bring you back to health.

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