Acupuncture Health Care System Essay
Studies conducted on animals, and human have shown that acupuncture can result in multiple biological responses. The response can occur to the point of application or at a distance connected by sensory neurons within central nervous system. Noticeable evidence supports the claim that opioid peptides released during the procedure that activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary organ, bringing about an expansive range of systemic impacts. Adjustment in the emission of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and changes in the regulation of blood stream, both midway and incidentally, have been recorded. Is acupuncture helpful?
Acupuncture is widely used in the United States today this has resulted in multiple studies of its potentials usefulness. However, the significant percentage of these studies has provided ambiguous results due to size, design, and many more factors. However positive results have also emerged such as treatment of a headache, low back pain, nausea, and vomiting.Acupuncture Health Care System Essay. It helps in the treatment of postoperative dental pain, stroke rehabilitation, asthma, addiction, myofascial pain and menstrual cramps where they may be a useful and acceptable alternative. Acupuncture treatments have just been introduced into public few years, ago, but the issue of training and licensing is yet to be clarified. However, most countries are using this as a conventional medicine, and they have been encouraging further studies of its clinical values.
There have been reported some common serious lung injuries that have been accidental resulting to pneumothorax. Viral hepatitis that is a serious liver infection has also been common with acupuncture treatments. Lack of proper training or poor hygiene has led to these side effects.
Despite the fact that much remains unknown regarding the acupuncture, it is encouraging we can see some important acupuncture related biological development. However, further research will be needed to help us understand more of the practice.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical procedure which cures illness and medical conditions through the insertion of needles at certain acupoints of the body.Acupuncture Health Care System Essay. Though modern western medicine cannot yet medically explain how acupuncture works, research results show that acupuncture has the ability to control neuroendocrine functions which account for its effectiveness. Traditional theory of acupuncture expounds that the needle insertion therapy sends Qi which means life force or vital energy to flow into meridians where Qi is lacking and away from those abounding in Qi (Meridian Medical Group, 2013). Acupuncture is used for treating a wide-ranging list of medical problems such as respiratory disorders, eye infections, ear, nose and throat problems and muscular and neurological disorders. There are different types of acupuncture where apart from different kinds of needles, different techniques and mechanisms are used such as moxibustion, low energy laser beams and magnetic patches. TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine is the most widely practiced acupuncture in the world but there exists some other forms of acupuncture as well such as microacupuncture, auticulotherapy, staplepuncture and acupressure.Acupuncture Health Care System Essay. In USA, TCM is widely prevalent with thousands of dentists, acupuncturists, physicians and medical practitioners using it for a variety of medical reasons. According to the survey result of NHIS in 2007, about 3.1 million US adults and 150,000 children underwent acupuncture treatment the previous year (NIH). The treatment of acupuncture has grown so popular in USA that the US Armed Forces has also started using acupuncture in the treatment of its personnel. But despite the popularity, there are controversies galore over the effectiveness of acupuncture. While acupuncturists claim that acupuncture is a few thousand centuries old science ensuring safe way to treat a wide range of diseases and helps quite smoking, skeptics believe that it is a harmful pseudoscience administering treatment with placebo effect, showing inconsistency in results of cessation of smoking with no concrete evidence of its ancient heritage.
Acupuncturists advertise the therapy as completely safe and harmless. Phil Veneziano, a leading acupuncturist in USA states that acupuncturists “provide a safe, side effect-free method of recovery” from an n number of diseases including constipation, hypertension, urinary difficulties, insomnia and post-operative nausea and pain (MacKenzie, 2012). But there are proofs that acupuncture, though largely safe, sometimes cause harm to patients. National Patient Safety Agency conducted an investigation on the adverse side effects of acupuncture therapy and they gathered relevant data from all NHS hospitals and clinics where acupuncture therapy is administered by qualified therapists and doctors. The investigation brought out 325 reports of adverse events caused by acupuncture. In about 100 cases, patients suffered due to the callousness of the therapists who left needles inside the patients for hours than needed and in some cases some needles were removed through surgery. About 162 people felt dizzy and fainted when the needles were inserted. Five people experienced pneumothorax or collapsed lung due to the needle “puncturing the pleural membranes around the lung” (MacKenzie, 2012). Though only one patient was critical out of five, but the therapy is definitely not out of risk as proclaimed by acupuncturists. In case of a patient having trouble in breathing after acupuncture, the acupuncturist without suspecting that it could be lung collapse can send the patient home and this could turn fatal if both the lungs of the patient collapse. There are 86 deaths related to lung collapse after acupuncture reported to be found between 1965 and 2009. Acupuncture is further reported to cause infection which sometimes could be quite serious. A 40 years old Norwegian woman reportedly undertook acupuncture treatment for relief from fibromyalgia in 1995 and died two hours later, the autopsy report revealing her left ventricle punctured by the needle (Salzberg, 2011). But most of the acupuncturists dismiss the fact that acupuncture could be lethal. Edzard Ernst, a leading expert on the evaluation of alternative medicine says that acupuncturists “are in denial. They don’t realize there’s a potential problem, and that is the problem” (MacKenzie, 2012). Acupuncture Health Care System Essay.
Acupuncturists claim that although it is not a panacea for all, it can cure a wide range of ailments including osteoarthritis, headaches, spastic colon, menstrual cramps, back or neck pain, muscle pain, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, chronic gastritis, acute conjunctivitis, cataracts, pain after tooth extraction and acute sinusitis. But skeptics believe that acupuncture is utter sham and the entire pain relief is more of a placebo effect. According to Professor Edzard Ernst, “acupuncture is effective for some but not all conditions” (Natural Healthcare, 2011). Skeptics argue that there is very little evidence to prove that acupuncture is effective. They believe that the pain relief effects only last for a short time and don’t have any permanent effect. But researchers analyzing 29 clinical trials that date back to the 1990s have found out that the pain relief effect of acupuncture is real and it cannot be entirely attributed to placebo effect. The study involving 18,000 patients suffering from chronic pain from arthritis, headaches, neck or back pain showcased that 50% of them who went through both genuine and sham acupuncture saw effectiveness in terms of alleviation of pain (Gardner, 2012). However, skeptics are still unwilling to change their views. Dr. Andrew L. Avins who is an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco says that the new study though may reinforce evidence for acupuncture cannot prove that the patients are not responding out of placebo effect, “Acupuncture does appear to have some very small benefit above and beyond placebo acupuncture or sham acupunctureBut the effects really are pretty small, and the majority of the effect is a placebo effect” (Gardner, 2012).
Acupuncturists claim that acupuncture can help someone quit smoking. They proclaim that acupuncture has successfully treated chain smokers turning them into ex-smokers. According to them, the technique stimulates the secretion of endorphins and some other brain chemicals curbing cravings, irritability, jitters and restlessness.Acupuncture Health Care System Essay. Acupuncturists insert hair thin needles into various points of the body and ears to help quit smoking. But skeptics believe that acupuncture cannot help in cessation of smoking on long term basis. There are several studies proving that acupuncture and other similar interventions like electrostimulation and acupressure might show results for short term but are not effective overall with about three quarters of smokers relapsing frequently (O’Connor, 2007). Moreover the success rate of acupuncture in helping cessation of smoking doesn’t show consistent result. A study conducted in 2008 on 285 smokers showed that 55% recipients of the therapy quit smoking within 6 months as opposed to 4% who were not administered the treatment. On other hand, another study conducted in 2007 in Taiwan showed lower success rate of only 9% of those quitting smoking within 6 months after receiving the therapy compared to 6% who quit without treatment (Norton, 2012).
Acupuncturists claim that acupuncture is an old Chinese medical technique having originated in China 3000 years ago and then spread to Japan, Asia and the Korean peninsula. But skeptics opine that there is no evidence that it originated in China. Chinese scholar Paul Unschuld after studying several documents doubts that the idea of acupuncture might have germinated with the Greek Hippocrates of Cos, spreading to China later. Further that the therapy is 3000 years old is not corroborated by any ancient text available. The ancient most Chinese medical manuscript written in the 3rd century BC doesn’t have any mention of acupuncture. The first reference of needling is traced back to as earliest as 90 BC but its use mainly was for the purpose of bloodletting and cutting open abscesses. Anything related to acupuncture of modern day is not mentioned there. The archaeological evidence of needles belonging to that era shows that the needles were large but in acupuncture hair thin needles are used and the manufacturing technology for such thin needles didn’t exit even 400 years ago(Hall, 2008). Therefore, skeptics conclude that the whole history of acupuncture being an old science is a myth. Acupuncture Health Care System Essay.
Acupuncturists and the proponents of acupuncture proclaim that acupuncture is an alternative form of science which with its practice of inserting thin needles in various acupoints stimulates specific nerve verves, neuroendocrine transmitters, certain cells and the nervous system to create physiological effects on the body, resulting in the desired result of relief of pain. But skeptics believe that “acupuncture is a pre-scientific superstition” (Salzberg, 2011). It was developed at a time when very little was known about biology, disease pathology or human physiology. The healing practices used in those days were more of a philosophy based medicine without any connection with science. Philosophy-based medicinal practices issued from some fixed perceptions about health and disease and the treatment procedures were based on those perceptions. The assumptions and the medicinal practices were not based on any scientific observation and evidence as followed in a scientific process. Therefore, skeptics believe that acupuncture doesn’t have any scientific basic and cannot be called a science.
In conclusion, though acupuncture has become increasingly popular in the US and rest of the world for treating an n number of diseases, there are raging controversies over its effectiveness. In dismissal of all the claims made by acupuncturists in defense of acupuncture that it is an age old science used in the treatment of plentitude of diseases and smoking cessation in a safe way, skeptics have expressed doubt by calling its effectiveness a placebo effect and the treatment of acupuncture a harmful pseudoscience with no ancient root. Though there is no concrete scientific explanation for acupuncture, there is no denying the fact that acupuncture has shown some positive results which may not have been permanent but show enough potential to create a new field of medical practice if nurtured and researched carefully. It is suffice to say that the conventional medical science would not take a metaphysical treatment in a positive way as it might pose a threat to their medicine. Acupuncture Health Care System Essay. After all, if acupuncture would have been so harmful and ineffective, then the number of patients resorting to acupuncture for treatment would not have increased by leaps and bounds every year around the world.
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