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Benefits and possible risks of Acupuncture

The benefits of acupuncture can improve energy flow (which is called QI) and blood circulation in the whole body and the local region of needling, it helps to treat over 100 conditions as per the WHO recommendation.

The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for these diseases, symptoms or conditions, because acupuncture has been proven through controlled trials to be an effective treatment:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrheal, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastro spasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture because its therapeutic effect has been shown, although further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalised or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpes virus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscope examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which only individual controlled trials report some therapeutic effects. The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for these when treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

  • Chloasma
  • Choroidopathy, central serous
  • Colour blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hypophrenia
  • Irritable colon syndrome
  • Neuropathic bladder due to spinal cord injury
  • Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
  • Small airway obstruction

Our DHA-licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner is highly trained and specialized in clinical acupuncture, which includes history taking, examination and diagnosis to determine the correct treatment protocol for each individual patient. Each patient is carefully assessed to ensure that the benefits far outweigh any risks of treatment.

The patient is advised to bring in all medical records past and present so that the practitioner is completely aware of a patient’s health issues and treatment is initiated accordingly to ensure the optimal patient care.

Possible risks of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe when done by a trained professional.

Acupuncture may not be safe for people who are taking blood thinners (anticoagulants) or who have bleeding disorders.

Electroacupuncture should be avoided by anyone with a cardiac pacemaker, infusion pump, or other electrical device.

Almost no side effects occurs if done by a very trained acupuncturist, but still some side effects of acupuncture include bleeding, soreness, or bruising at the site of needle insertion.

Some patients may feel sleepy after acupuncture treatment and this actually means that the treatment started working.

Other risks of acupuncture include dizziness, fainting, local internal bleeding, in very rare cases convulsions.

The best way to reduce your risk of complications is to choose a competent, certified practitioner.

Call your acupuncture practitioner if you experience pain, soreness, bleeding, signs of infection at the site of needle insertion, or any other side effects. If you have any dizziness, fainting, or other unusual reaction, also notify your family medicine doctor.