Although the treatment is one of the most oldest worldwide, the US just got to recognize acupuncture after New York Times journalist, James Reston, wrote a feature on how his post-surgery pain was eased by doctors in China in 1971 using the procedure
Then the US FDA reclassified acupuncture needles as medical devices in 1997, from the earlier classification as experimental.
The FDA notes that people in this country each year spend more than $ 500 million for treatment. The agency’s main restrictions with the needles are that they be non-toxic and sterilized and that they be used only once and discarded immediately after.
Now the National Institute of Health endorsed acupuncture so dentists, doctors and other health practitioners can do acupuncture.
The 2002 National Health Interview Survey highlighted, which indicated that the number of American adults turning to the treatment surged from 2.1 million in 2001 to about 8.2 million the following year.
The interest in acupuncture also received a boost from the impatience individuals had with the failure of conventional medicine.
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The recent withdrawal of the Vioxx painkiller has raised apprehension over pain relievers available in the market. This, combined with statements from the NIH that side effects from are significantly lower, has made more individuals try acupuncture.
Several studies have also shown how acupuncture has helped patients with osteoarthritis, post-chemotherapy nausea and even depression.
Despite all the apparent positive feedback, those considering acupuncture should still consult regular doctors for advice on their conditions first. If they decide to pursue the treatment, they must make sure that the acupuncturist they see is certified by organizations such as the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists.
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