Is Acupuncture Really a Threat to the Established Medical Model?

Reading some of the scathing criticisms of acupuncture and it is affects in relieving pain and other debilitating conditions would have some believe the established medical order is out to smear acupuncturists as frauds and scam artists. It would be understandable if acupuncturists went around bad-mouthing modern medicine and surgery but most acupuncturists stress that their practice is an adjunct therapy and should not be used in place of traditional medical treatments. Yet every week a new story appears that refers to acupuncture as a sham and that there is no evidence to support it works as a pain relieving therapy.

Regardless of whether you believe in the healing power of acupuncture, it is interesting that some doctors feel the need to belittle the practice to such a degree. Some float the theory that no matter how small a fringe community acupuncturists are, some doctors still view the practice as a threat to theirs and make a consistent effort to undermine the practice of inserting fine needles into specific points on the human body to relieve pain, stress, anxiety and other ailments. While not all doctors are dismissive of acupuncture, in fact some even suggest their patients may want to try it in conjunction with other remedies including surgery and medications, enough are vehemently opposed to even discussing the practice to ask if there may be an underlying reason for their stance.

Alternative medicine or holistic healing is nothing new. In fact it pre-dates modern medicine by centuries and though millions of research dollars have been spent trying to quantify and qualify the practice in scientific terms it has yet to produce any definitive results. However, this doesn’t mean acupuncture doesn’t work only that scientists can’t explain why it would or how it could work. Yet every year thousands of patients undergo acupuncture treatment and claim to feel better after their treatment. Acupuncture is practiced all over the world and is still very much a part of Chinese culture, where it first originated thousands of years ago.

If an acupuncturist is claiming that fine needles are all you need to eliminate cancer, cure an infectious disease of relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety then it would be understandable for ethical doctors to step up and counter these false claims. However, very few acupuncturists ever make these claims and most are up front about their practice being an adjunct therapy and that patients should never rule out modern medicine. Trying to frighten people into thinking acupuncture is a folklore witch doctor voodoo spell is simply a scare tactic that more often stokes curiosity instead of fear. The day when acupuncture replaces doctors and hospitals is certainly not around the corner.

However, patients have the right to try holistic and alternative therapies if they choose and as long as the acupuncturist is practicing with sterile needles and performing the procedure properly there is little risk of harm and the chance that this mystery therapy just may work.