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:

  1. Pain management. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers, as well as the 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 also effectively manages pain from sports injuries, headaches, joint pain, and nerve damage.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 by 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 receive a 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider getting acupuncture?

Acupuncture is considered for various reasons, primarily for pain relief. It’s also used for stress management, improving overall wellness, and treating various conditions like headaches, chronic pain, and insomnia. Many find it a beneficial complement to conventional medical treatments.

Is acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture typically isn’t painful. The needles are very thin, and while you might feel a slight prick as they are inserted, it’s usually much less discomfort than expected. Some people feel minimal pain, while others may not feel the needles at all.

Can I get acupuncture when pregnant?

Yes, acupuncture can be safely performed during pregnancy. It’s often used to relieve pregnancy-related discomforts like back pain or nausea. However, it’s crucial to inform your acupuncturist about your pregnancy, as certain acupuncture points should be avoided during pregnancy.

How long does acupuncture take?

An acupuncture session typically lasts between 20 to 60 minutes. The length can vary depending on the condition being treated and the individual’s response to the treatment. It’s common to have several sessions spread over weeks or months.

Can I rely on acupuncture as the only treatment?

While acupuncture can be very effective for certain conditions, it’s not advisable to use it as the sole treatment for medical issues, especially for serious or life-threatening conditions. It’s best used in conjunction with other medical treatments. Always consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive treatment plan.