The Risks And Benefits Of Acupuncture And Chinese Herbal Medicine

Continuing to gain popularity among the American public acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the treatment of choice for diseases in which mainstream medical treatments have had little success curing. Treatments related to Traditional Chinese medicine are founded on the mystical notion that chi, a cosmic energy, moves throughout the human body and when the movement is obstructed the result is illness and pain.

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (mainly herbs) reintroduces the normal chi flow of the body that leads to the curing of sickness by enabling the body to self-heal. Acupuncture strives to restore normal chi flow via the insertion of needles on the outside of the ear, into specific points on the skin or both. Even though acupuncture and TCM are traditionally thought of as very safe, with none of the side effects of drugs and surgery, a few medical experts have recently objected to the long held idea that both procedures are risk free.

When talking about risks, acupuncture indeed has a few associated risks. They include:

• Skin diseases
• Nerve damage
• Unclean needles resulting in infection (hepatitis B)
• Localized bleeding
• Hematoma
• Punctured lung
• Fainting
• Convulsions

However, as with any other treatment modality, acupuncture is practically free of risk if it’s administered by a licensed qualified practitioner/doctor.

Chinese medicine and acupuncture follow standards that have not been approved fully by the FDA. Of course, many are aware that the FDA has shown a bias against natural modes of therapy and so this fact should come as no surprise. Here in the US, acupuncture needles should only be used once and then disposed of. Unfortunately, a lot of “traditional” doctors think that the process of certification for a licensed or certified acupuncturist has now become a farce and that the entire profession is more interested in making money by exploiting the desperation of people in whom standard accepted medical procedures did not work.

Because of this, acupuncture has been declared an unproven mode of therapy whose approach to healing is unproven and backward by the National Council against Health Fraud. They added that the identified health benefits are nothing more than due to the patient’s own expectations and because of the placebo effect.

Unlike acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, on the other hand, has been surprisingly heaped with praises by a number of researchers. According to some studies, herbal therapies very seldom bring up any adverse effects. They actually are obviously a whole lot safer than most of the pharmaceutical medications sold in the market today. Traditional and modern herbal remedies are now sold commercially for people of any age and physical condition.

These Chinese herbal remedies are now being utilized to address a wide variety of health problems. They include gynecological, digestive, immunity, and psychological problems; pain; alcoholism; smoking; addictive disorders; respiratory conditions; childhood illnesses; and allergic conditions.