Does Acupuncture Have a Place in Western Medicine?

Does Acupuncture Have a Place in Western Medicine

As I’ve mentioned several times in my blog and in my videos before, acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and withstood the test of time, but the traditional medicine community turns a blind eye towards the eastern approach to acupuncture. In this article written by BeckerSorthopedicAndSpine.com, author Abby Callard quotes me along with Christian Nix, an acupuncturist in Chicago, about the utility of acupuncture. Christian Nix explains how many aren’t educated in philosophy and practice of acupuncture and its place in the medical industry. I always recommend acupuncture to my patients due to its effectiveness, its low cost, and practicality. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Moshe Lewis, MD, SpineCare Medical Group, Daly City, Calif., and Pain Management and Rehabilitation, Redwood City, Calif., is an interventional pain management physician who employs acupuncture to help his chronic pain patients. He agrees that acupuncture has a place complementing interventional pain management procedures.

“Everything that we do in medicine is based on experience, data and clinical presentation,” he says. “I don’t want to say that acupuncture is going to work for everyone. However, on the flip side, I think that it has an important place in medicine and can be an effective treatment for several conditions.”

Acupuncture can be helpful with acute conditions such as epicondylitis, and it can also treat chronic conditions such as repetitive stress syndrome well, Dr. Moshe says. “Anyone who sits at a computer long enough is likely to encounter symptoms of repetitive stress syndrome or tendinitis,” he says.

This disorder generally presents with pain in the wrists and hands, and can cause achy muscles and even myofacial pain. Dr. Moshe says acupuncture works better with muscle disorders than bone disorders because the treatment can help to relax the muscles. Bones, discs and cartilage disorders are much harder to treat definitively. For example, an 80-year-old woman who has arthritis and is no longer walking straight will not be likely to improve her posture with acupuncture. It might alleviate the pain, but it won’t actually treat the problem, Dr. Moshe says. Therefore, acupuncture should always be customized for the appropriate patient and diagnosis where it is likely to be of benefit.

However, it’s the low cost of the treatment that has some insurance companies realizing the benefits of acupuncture, Dr. Moshe says. The cost is low, and patients want it. Insurance companies are beginning to cover it for some providers.

Read this article on BeckerSorthopedicAndSpine.com.

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