What is Medical Acupuncture?

Is it different from ordinary acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning and practicing it. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine who has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Such a doctor can use one or the other approach, or a combination of both as the need arises, to treat an illness.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medial treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

Digestive disorders

  • gastritis
  • hyperacidity
  • spastic colon
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
Respiratory disorders

  • sinusitis
  • sore throat
  • bronchitis
  • asthma
  • recurrent chest infections

Neurological and muscular disorders

  • headaches
  • facial tics
  • neck pain
  • rib neuritis
  • frozen shoulder
  • tennis elbow
  • various forms of tendinitis
  • low back pain
  • sciatica
  • osteoarthritis

What is the scope of Medical Acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence

three areas of health care:

  1. Promotion of health and well-being
  2. Prevention of illness  
  3. Treatment of various medical conditions

Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?

Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Each health policy must be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. More and more insurance companies are recognizing the value of providing coverage for medical acupuncture services. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policy.