Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) have been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of health conditions, including chronic illness, fatigue, and neurological disorder. Recent research has begun to uncover the scientific/biological mechanisms by which traditional medicine effectively benefits many chronic health concerns. Some of the chronic illnesses that have been shown to be effectively treated and improved by the use of acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine include:
- Chronic Pain: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis.
- Migraines and Headaches: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating migraines and tension headaches.
- Insomnia: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating insomnia and improving sleep quality.
- Depression and Anxiety: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating depression and anxiety.
- Neurological Disorders: Acupuncture and CHM can slow down the progression and help with symptomatic relief.
- Fibromyalgia: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with fibromyalgia.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of IBS.
- Asthma: Acupuncture and CHM has been shown to be effective in improving lung function and reducing symptoms of asthma.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a safe and effective form of medicine, and has included acupuncture in its Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023. WHO also acknowledges that CHM is a safe and effective form of medicine with a long history of use, and it’s included in the WHO’s Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US has also recognized the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of various conditions; chronic pain, headaches, asthma, and stroke rehabilitation. It is also understood to help ameliorate the side effects associated with medications taken for chronic illness, including those associated with chemotherapy and radiation. The NIH also recognizes Chinese Herbal Medicine as a form of complementary and alternative medicine, with potential benefits for certain health conditions.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) did a systematic review which identified: “evidence of potentially positive effect for several pain conditions, including chronic pain and headaches, mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD, and wellness indicators such as insomnia.”
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK also recognize acupuncture as a safe and effective form of medicine, and it’s offered as a treatment option for certain conditions such as lower back pain, headaches, and osteoarthritis. NHS states: “It is used in many NHS GP practices, as well as in most pain clinics and hospices in the UK.”
Neurological Disorders and Stroke Recovery
Acupuncture and specifically scalp acupuncture has been shown to be an effective way to both treat the symptoms involved with neurological illnesses as well as assist with stroke recovery. Furthermore, acupuncture has the potential to slow down disease progression with neurological disorders. Chinese Herbal Medicine has also been used in treating neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and ALS.
Chronic Fatigue, EBV & Lyme Disease
Acupuncture and CHM have been used to treat a wide range of chronic medical conditions, including chronic fatigue, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Lyme disease, and other chronic medical conditions. The effectiveness of these traditional therapies has been studied in several clinical trials. A study published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine in 2018 found that acupuncture and CHM were effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The study included 100 CFS patients who received acupuncture and CHM for 12 weeks. Participants were assessed before and after treatment using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). The results of the study showed that acupuncture and CHM were associated with a significant reduction in fatigue and improvement in quality of life.
In conclusion, recent research has begun to uncover the mechanisms by which acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine may be effective in treating chronic illness and fatigue.