Over its 2500 years of development, a wealth of experience has accumulated in the practice of acupuncture, attesting to the wide range of diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with this approach. Unlike many other traditional methods of treatment, which tend to be specific to their national or cultural context, acupuncture has been used throughout the world, particularly since the 1970s. In recognition of the increasing worldwide interest in the subject, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a symposium on acupuncture in June 1979 in Beijing, China. Physicians practicing acupuncture in different countries were invited to identify the conditions that might benefit from this therapy. The participants drew up a list of 43 suitable diseases. However, this list of indications was not based on formal clinical trials conducted in a rigorous scientific manner, and its credibility has been questioned. Download the full article (pdf).
By the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. As part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture aims to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of specific points on the body. In the Unit
ed States, where practitioners incorporate healing traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries, acupuncture is considered part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Download the full article (PDF).
By Lisa Loos
A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it
(pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. The incredible benefits of massage are doubly powerful if taken in regular “doses.” Professionals at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami explain the more massage you get, the greater benefits you reap. Here’s why:
By Tiffany Andersen
BPA or Bisphenol-A is a chemical found in plastics, most notably baby bottles, the lining of baby formula cans and other common canned foods. There is much debate about the safety of BPA, especially on infants and children, since it has been shown in trace amounts to disrupt the endocrine system and trigger a wide variety of disorders, including chromosomal and reproductive abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.
Five states have mandatory acupuncture benefits, California being one of them and it is the only state to specify that acupuncture be provided unlimited for pain management. The vast majority of California's 38 million residents will have a basic level of acupuncture coverage starting in 2014. In all likelihood, this base acupuncture coverage will be equivalent to the coverage currently provided under the Kaiser Small Group HMO plan, which provides for up to 20 covered acupuncture visits per year (this is about the average number of visits per year that's been being covered prior to 2014).
Although we don't totally see this as a green light for coverage (they will still put us through rigorous medical authorization reviews more regularly and/or with high deductibles, gaining access to coverage can be more difficult for some to utilize benefits versus others) this hopefully will still be a huge step in the right direction for the acupuncture profession. Additionally, there can be no discrimination that allows acupuncture by an MD only (a previous exception we sometimes experienced) -if acupuncture is a covered benefit, it must be paid to a licensed acupuncturist. (section 2706 and 2707 of the ACA).
What does this mean for you? ANY and ALL plans in the State of California must now cover acupuncture. The ONLY possible exception are plans that were "grandfathered" in:
Wellness is more than the absence of pain
"I have been a patient at Pacific Center of Health for several years. The level of care I receive has been excellent. I was having a great deal of difficulty with asthma and the side effects of medications. After getting a series of treatments, my asthma condition cleared up completely. It has been about five years since that occurred and I am happy to report that I am still asthma free! I try to have acupuncture treatments about every six weeks to maintain the good health that I now have. I also enjoy the treatments a great deal, it puts me into a state of incredibly deep relaxation and I walk out of the session feeling revitalized." ~ Anne F.