World Health Organisation and Acupuncture

by Rachael Forrest

In its review of acupuncture, the World Health Organization said 80 percent of 129 countries surveyed now recognize the use of acupuncture. Worldwide, it is generally safe, and in the U.S., relatively few complications have been reported by patients treated by licensed practitioners. 

WHO also indicates acupuncture as an effective treatment for more than 50 medical problems and conditions, including addiction, arthritis, depression, dysentery, fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraine, pain, pneumonia, sciatica, stress, tooth pain, and vomiting. The greatest champion of the needling practice, China accommodates acupuncture in addition to conventional medicine at every level of its health-care services, with public and private insurance covering both. 

In the UK, 21% of people asked still think that acupuncture needles are are large as those used by GPs for vaccinations or blood taking, when in fact they're hair-fine and 0.5 inches long.  An acupuncture needle is so fine that the patient usually feels nothing when they are inserted - our patients often say "was that it?" when they're told all the needles are in.  Then they close their eyes and relax!