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Is Acupuncture Really Effective? Essay

1437 words - 6 pages

Acupuncture is the science of healing with needles through energy channels; it has a rich history and is now used around the world. The real question is, is acupuncture effective? How can we simply prove that sticking needles into a person’s body is actually taking away their pain or disease? How do we go from believing completely in Western Medicine to believing in Eastern Medicine? Although acupuncture is an Eastern form of healing, it has gained much credibility and respect in the West.
The origin of acupuncture is uncertain. Some believe that it had brought wellness to people as early as 1600 BC, during the Shang Dynasty (Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences). The story is told, a soldier in China had complained of severe pain in his shoulder, from which no doctor could relieve. One day during battle as the soldier was hit by an arrow; miraculously his pain had gone away. He visited the local doctor to explain his recent news. As news was spread of the soldier’s good fortune, another patient with the same ailment had come to see the doctor. He requested that an arrow be placed at the same place as the soldier’s. As word got around in the village more wounded came to see this doctor.
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Some were very skeptical as they did not believe jabbing an arrow into one’s self had any healing powers (Introduction to Acupuncture).
Acupuncture has since evolved into a mainstream form of medicine practice. In the 1970’s, its popularity reached a high point in the United States. According to statistics, in 1993 12 million Americans had been treated by acupuncturists. Money spent is estimated at $500 million annually. By 1995, 10,000 Acupuncturists were practicing in the United States. This number jumped up to 20,000 by the year 2000 (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders).
Normally when you visit the doctor with an ailment, you are given a prescription. In acupuncture there is no such thing as “prescription”. You are given a treatment by having an acupuncturist place needles in certain meridian points over your entire body. It is believed that there are twelve principle meridians within the body, containing almost 400 acupuncture points (Acupuncture Becoming More Mainstream In Western Medicine). Meridians are energy pathways in which the Chinese believe the most Qi is located. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang. Yin represents cool and cold energies. Yang,
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the polar opposite, represents warm and hot energies. The needles which are used to provide treatment are very tiny and are one time use only. Each needle comes in a sterile package ready for use. Acupuncture is believed to create energy balances and to remove negative blockages from the body. These negative blockages are what create diseases.
There are over 34 ailments for which acupuncture is considered a complementary therapy. These ailments range from anxiety...

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