For many years the Chinese have been conducting research and trying to decipher acupuncture theory, but they are still not completely convinced that acupuncture is effective. Some believe that the pain felt is due to too much pressure being put on the points, but this is incorrect.
People can also determine their own acupuncture points by following the sensations produced when pressure is applied to the points on the body. There are actually thousands of locations on the body where acupuncture points can be located.
While we don’t know if acupuncture is effective for all the ailments it is prescribed for, we do know that it does work for some illnesses and there is now much evidence that it does indeed relieve some of these symptoms, albeit temporary and for a short period of time. Whether acupuncture is effective for long-term relief, is a topic that has not yet been resolved.
Acupuncture is taught at the most popular medical schools in the United States and is even taught in law schools as an elective. The fact that it is recognized by so many colleges is a testament to its effectiveness. It may very well be the most effective form of treatment available.
In recent years the belief that acupuncture works has been questioned. For example, one researcher reported that placebo acupuncture was as effective as conventional treatments such as interventional radiology and manipulation. Unfortunately, this study is seriously flawed, since most patients who were using real acupuncture treatments had experienced pain, depression, and anxiety due to the sessions.
The study concluded that there is “little or no evidence” that acupuncture is effective treatments for chronic pain. However, acupuncture is only effective for acute or short term pain. If the acupuncturist is using a treatment that is effective for long term pain relief it could cause serious problems.
The critical point about this research is that patients were told that the sham needles were real. Therefore, a serious conflict of interest exists. The effect of this type of therapy should be to keep them informed of the true nature of the treatment, rather than continue to use fake needles. There are other problems as well with this study.
For example, the reason that there is a lack of evidence that acupuncture is effective for long term pain relief is that the studies that did exist were only using short term studies, the effect of which was hidden in the sham needle. Since the effects were noted by those patients receiving treatment, the effects cannot be compared to the effects that were noted by those patients that received real acupuncture. The evidence seems to show that there is no benefit of acupuncture over sham acupuncture, or traditional medications for long term pain relief.
But there is more to the acupuncture theory than that since there are specific treatments for specific conditions. The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance and energy, and when it is used in conjunction with other therapies, it can be highly effective.
When a person first suffers from an illness, he or she may use acupuncture treatment as a last resort when traditional medicine has failed to provide any relief. This is the only type of therapy that has proven effective for the majority of cases, regardless of what the ailment may be.
In the Western countries, the majority of the population still believes in the value of acupuncture. The results of studies like the one mentioned above is very flawed, and simply a waste of time and money for the universities that conduct these types of studies.