Traditional & modern
It's useful to remember that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine were part of a complete system of medicine. Acupuncture and herbal medicine were solely relied upon when any condition, disease or injury did not naturally ensue. Today, these treatments have gained global interest from the public and researchers alike. In Australia acupuncture is being researched in hospital emergency rooms, implemented as adjunctive therapy in cancer hospitals as well as being offered in private practice.
In my clinic I see a lot of pain and injury cases from sporting and motor vehicle accidents, as well as repetitive strain injuries and arthritis. I see a lot of gastrointestinal disorders including IBS, stress-related disorders such as headaches, insomnia and anxiety, and women's health issues such as menstrual cycle irregularities, vaginal infections including candida and bacterial vaginosis, menopausal symptoms, and couples seeking to optimise their fertility.
In the 1970s when China started opening up its borders to foreign visitors, New York Times journalist James Reston wrote an article on the treatment that he received after surgery for acute appendicitis in China, incorporating acupuncture and moxibustion. Since that time acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine have piqued the curiosity of scientists, and there have been thousands of scientific investigations on acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine conducted with ever-increasing sophistication.
Some of the most investigated conditions include:
- Tension headaches & migraines1-3
- Back pain4-6
- Osteoarthritis pain5,7
- Pregnancy-related pain or pelvic pain3,8
- Prostatis pain and chronic pelvic pain syndrome9,10
- Linde K et al, (2016). Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (6) Cd001218.
- Da Silva AN (2015). Acupuncture for migraine prevention. Headache 55(3):470-3.
- Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Pain Medicine 2015.
- Lam M et al. (2013). Effectiveness of acupuncture for nonspecific chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine 38(24): 2124-38.
- The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network guideline for the management of Chronic Pain.
- Lee JH (2013). Acupuncture for acute low back pain: a systematic review. Clin J Pain 29(2):172-85.
- Corbett MS et al. (2013). Acupuncture and other physical treatments for the relief of pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee: network meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 21(9):1290-8.
- Close C, et al. (2014). A systematic review investigating the effectiveness of complimentary and alternative medicine: CAM for the management of low back and/or pelvic pain (LBPP) in pregnancy. J Adv Nurs 70(8)1702-16.
- Chang SC et al. (2016). The efficacy of acupuncture for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurourol Urodyn.
- Qin Z et al. (2016). Systematic Review of Acupuncture for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Medicine (Baltimore) 95(11):e3095.
- Taw MB et al. (2015). Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis. Curr Opin Otolatyngol Head Neck Sur 23(3) 216-20.
- Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Foundation clinical practice guidelines for allergic rhinitis (2015).