Acupuncture’s Role in Western Medicine
How Acupuncture and Western Medicine Can Work Together
In the not-so-distant past, acupuncture was widely shrouded in mystery and often with a healthy dose of skepticism. This ancient Chinese Medicine practice involves the insertion of fine needles into a patient’s meridians in order to balance the qi or life energy that flows throughout the body in order to relieve pain and treat common ailments. Because acupuncture doesn’t fit neatly into Western medicine’s criteria of scientific validity, Western-trained physicians have been reluctant to recommend it to their patients.
However, as Eastern medicine and other complementary modalities became more sought-after in other parts of the world, including the U.S., an increasing number of patients have turned to acupuncture treatments without seeking the blessings of their primary care doctors. The results spoke for themselves and today, more than 80 million patients have had acupuncture treatments and this number continues to grow. In addition to solo practices, acupuncture is most commonly offered in chiropractic and osteopathic offices as an adjunct therapy and many insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover the costs of a limited number of treatments.
Here are some of the most common conditions that acupuncture can alleviate:
- Pain management. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers, as well as release of melatonin, which promotes relaxation and elevates positive mood responses. Acupuncture can relieve the chronic pain from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, migraines and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also effectively manages pain from sports injuries, headaches, joint pain and nerve damage.
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders. Sleep apnea, interrupted sleep, insomnia and other problems can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Through stimulating the release of the hormone, melatonin, acupuncture can regulate sleep patterns, which provides much-needed relief to patients. This is a healthier alternative to taking sleep medication which can lead to abuse and dependency.
- Anxiety and depression. Depression and anxiety are crippling disorders that affect nearly 40 million people in the United States and that is only the number of diagnosed cases. Like with pain management, acupuncture triggers release of endorphins that can elevate mood. If you are taking medication for anxiety or depressive disorders, consult with your physician to determine how acupuncture can enhance your treatment plan.
- Stress relief. In these turbulent times, who isn’t stressed out? If left unmanaged, stress can lead to high blood pressure, insomnia and even heart attacks. Acupuncture can unblock the meridians that react to stress, which will restore a state of calmness. The experience of acupuncture itself is very relaxing, which will help reduce stress levels. You will learn to practice mindfulness, which can help you reframe your reactions to stressful situations.
- Digestive disorders. Acupuncture will realign meridians related to digestive functions to improve their efficiencies. Patients with IBS, acid reflux and other GI problems can find relief as their internal systems are restored to optimal functionality. Since many stomach problems are caused by stress, acupuncture treatments have extra benefits through inducing a state of calm and calmness through proper breathing and “letting go.”
AIAM Combines Eastern and Western Medicine
AIAM’s Acupuncture Program can be completed in less than three years — the shortest duration of all acupuncture programs in the country. You will a receive master’s degree and can sit for certification exams and apply for licensure, which will open the door to greater opportunities for career growth and continuing education. Applicants for the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and will have the chance to study abroad at one of China’s preeminent Chinese Medicine hospitals. You will learn among like-minded individuals who are part of the integrated delivery team.
To learn more about the AIAM Acupuncture Program, visit our website and contact us for more information or to schedule an interview. Financial aid is available for qualified students. Why wait? Step out on the path for a future that offers personal rewards and patient care modalities that have withstood the test of time.