Complete List Of Conditions
In the purest sense, acupuncture does not “treat” any disease or condition. An acupuncturist treats the entire person, attempting to address imbalances allowing the body to heal itself and return to and maintain its natural state of health. Therefore, in theory, acupuncture can “treat” any disease or condition. We do need to keep in mind that there is a difference between treating and curing. While it is possible to use acupuncture to alleviate symptoms to the point that they are no longer noticeable, there are other instances when symptoms will be alleviated to varying degrees and other instances when another type of medical intervention may be called for.
Most research in to the efficacy of acupuncture is in its infancy, however, in an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown to be treated effectively by acupuncture through controlled trials:
- Low Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Tennis Elbow
- Knee Pain
- Periarthritis of the Shoulder
- Facial Pain (Including Craniomandibular Disorders)
- Dental Pain
- Tempromandibular (TMJ) Dysfunction
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Induction of Labor
- Correction of Malposition of Fetus Breech Presentation
- Morning Sickness
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Postoperative Pain
- Essential Hypertension
- Primary Hypertension
- Renal Colic
- Adverse Reactions to Radiation or Chemotherapy
- Allergic Rhinitis, Including Hay Fever
- Biliary Colic
- Depression Including Depressive Neurosis and Depression Following Stroke
- Acute Bacillary Dysentery
- Primary Dysmenorrhea
- Acute Epigastralgia
- Peptic Ulcer
- Acute and Chronic Gastritis
The foregoing list is absolute concerning acupuncture’s effectiveness as demonstrated by clinical trials; however the report continues with three more categories:
- Diseases, symptoms and conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown, but further proof is needed (68 specific conditions). These conditions are effectively treated as in the first category; it’s just that more trials are necessary to establish the proof scientifically.
- Diseases, symptoms and conditions reporting some therapeutic effects for which acupuncture is worth trying (nine conditions).
- Diseases, symptoms and conditions in which acupuncture may be tried, provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment (eight conditions).
This gives us close to a hundred conditions for which acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness or therapeutic effects have been shown. Given that modern clinical trials only started in the last fifty years or so and that acupuncture has been practiced for 5,000 years, it is very likely that this list will only continue to grow.