Acupuncture & Western Medicine: Working Together for Your Health

by | Mar 6, 2020 | Acupuncture and Western Medicine

Reading through this blog, you could be forgiven for thinking that acupuncture is a ‘cure all’! While it is proven to be effective for a vast range of conditions, there are certain problems acupuncture can’t help with, and we must turn to Western medicine instead.

The Strengths of Western Medicine

Thanks to the pioneering developments of Western medicine we now live longer and stand a better chance of recovery from serious illnesses and injuries. Premature babies have an increased chance of survival thanks to advances in neonatal care, and many of the so-called childhood illnesses that contributed to high rates of infant mortality are no longer such a dramatic threat.

We can benefit from organ transplants, heart monitors, insulin injections, MRI scans, defibrillators, life-saving antibiotics; all because of Western medicine.

People can recover from cancer, heart attack, stroke, broken limbs, and car accidents. Diabetics and epileptics can successfully manage their conditions and live full and productive lives. And yet there are some things Western medicine doesn’t do so well…

Chronic disease

The one area in which Western medicine, and in this country the NHS, struggle to manage is chronic disease. Chronic pain, female hormonal issues like menopause and pre-menstrual syndrome; obesity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Type II diabetes, depression – long term conditions

that require an holistic approach and are not easily or successfully resolved through drugs alone.

This is where Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture can really make a difference.

Chronic conditions carry deep underlying causes that need to be addressed for the symptoms to disappear.

Let’s take chronic fatigue syndrome as an example. This condition is frequently the result of years of stress combined with a history of viral infections and poor diet. The patient’s internal resources have run dry and they are no longer able to regulate their energy levels. They feel permanently exhausted and experience pain, disturbed sleep, low mood, and low immunity.

There are no simple pills for this issue! Instead, we can use Acupuncture to support the flow of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), reduce pain sensitivity, support sleep patterns, and raise energy levels.

Alongside needling I would also provide diet and lifestyle support and encourage the patient to find ways of managing their ongoing stress.

Through Acupuncture and simple lifestyle changes we can bring about powerful improvements with no nasty side-effects – unlike most drug treatments!

Acupuncture and Western Medicine Together

The World Health Organization provides a list of diseases and conditions that Acupuncture has been proven through controlled clinical trials to be an effective treatment for. These conditions include:

  • Depression · Pain in the face, neck, shoulder, knee, and lower back
  • Dysmenorrhea (period pain)
  • Headache
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hayfever)
  • High and low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Inducing labour and labour pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis elbow

The list also includes conditions for which we would usually think to turn to Western Medicine for help with, but that Acupuncture can help too, and can work alongside medications for:

  • Stroke
  • Leukopenia
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Cancer pain and side-effects of chemo and radiotherapy
  • Renal colic
  • Herpes Zoster
  • Pain during labour
  • Gastric pain from gastritis or peptic ulcers

The message here is to remember the holistic and complementary nature of Acupuncture. Both systems of medicine have their strengths, and both have areas for which they are not best suited. And they can work together beautifully.

Do you have a serious health condition that is difficult to manage?

Would you like to use Acupuncture alongside your medications?

Find out whether Acupuncture is suitable for YOUR health. Call me on 07788 633292 or email info@yorktraditionalacupuncture.co.uk

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