Acupuncture, a procedure that invites healing through stimulation of anatomical locations on or in the skin, evolved out of Chinese medicine over 2500 years ago. There are a variety of approaches to diagnosis and treatment in American acupuncture that incorporates medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The most studied mechanism of stimulation of acupuncture points employs penetration of the skin by thin needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation. It is believed that the earliest acupuncture needles were sharp pieces of bone or flint called bian stones. Early acupuncture needles were made from iron, copper, bronze, and even silver or gold. During the Iron and Bronze Ages, metal acupuncture needles began to surface. However, it is not unusual for contemporary acupuncturists to employ gold acupuncture needles to treat certain ailments. The needles employed by acupuncturists today are stainless steel, solid (unlike standard needles used for drawing blood which are hollow) and vary in size or width gauge. Acupuncture needles consist of a stainless steel shaft and a handle made out of copper or steel. There are nine types of needles used in acupuncture; however, only six are commonly used.

Needles are inserted at points from 15 to 90 degrees in relation to the skin’s surface. Once the needle has been inserted there are a variety of techniques that aid in the stimulation and sensation. The technique used by the acupuncturist will depend on the ailment that is being treated. Acupuncture is essentially pain-less, some people may experience a slight pinch as the needle is inserted. Once inserted, the needles remain in place for approximately 20-30 minutes. On March 29, 1996, the Food and Drug Administration bestowed the Class 2 status of “medical tools” to acupuncture needles. Acupuncture needles were previously listed under Class 3, or “experimental devices.” The change of classification means that needles used for acupuncture will be subject to FDA approval to ensure quality control and “single use only” labeling. Most significant, the ruling could make acupuncture treatments eligible for coverage under insurance policies which exclude alternative medicine. The FDA ruling indicates that acupuncture is a safe and effective medical treatment. Because modern acupuncture needles are disposable and used only once, there is no risk of transmitting infections from one person to another.

Today, there are advanced educational programs and continuing education courses in acupuncture for MDs. A variety of practicing physicians may choose to enroll in any number of these acupuncture for MDs training courses to further the scope of available healthcare services or to simply enhance treatment options to patients. Medical healthcare givers and chiropractic doctors who participate in specialized training (in acupuncture for MDs) acquire a solid foundation of medical acupuncture skills. In addition, acupuncture for MDs course is specifically designed to combine both Eastern and Western medicine and healthcare principles to better evaluate and treat patients both conventionally and complementary. Potential candidates will have already earned a doctorate level degree from an accredited medical university or school, and have the opportunity to learn classical Chinese medicine techniques and methods through intensive training. Acupuncture for MDs programs emphasize Neuro-anatomical relationships to pain and the applicable affects of acupuncture. Further studies in acupuncture for MDs courses entail instruction to close the gap between the science of acupuncture and its practical application.

Physicians, chiropractors and other licensed healthcare practitioners who have successfully completed training in acupuncture for MDs program will be able to effectively integrate therapies, diagnosis and other associated acupuncture techniques and theories into clinical practices. Acupuncture for MDs programs can be beneficial to physicians that offer healthcare services in pain management, orthopedic conditions, rehabilitation and physical therapy, and other chronic health disorders and diseases. Depending on the acupuncture school or college in which professionals choose to participate, a number of acupuncture for MDs courses can be taken online as part of an overall continuing education or specialty program. In addition, acupuncture for MDs curricula is course-intensive; often requiring prerequisites of a medical license and degree transcripts from an accredited university or other post-graduate institute. Programs in this field of study frequently exceed over 500 hours of classroom and clinical training. If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding training in acupuncture for MDs, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.

A form of alternative medicine treatment that requires the insertion of fine, thin needles into certain points of the body to stimulate a positive response is called acupuncture. This form of alternative treatment offers various opinions so as the needles that are used with it. They are made of stainless steel and extremely fine and strong are best choice. Regarding the best acupuncture needle, there are various opinions about which between the Japanese and the Chinese acupuncture needles do extremely well. The Japanese needle is fairly thinner and finer compared to Chinese needle. All the rest of the specifications are the same except the said difference. The debate between the Japanese and the Chinese regarding which is the best must have been settled a long time ago. Some people don’t see any point in arguing which type of needle is the best to use in the practice of acupuncture and instead place greater stock in the technique.

Harvard university conducted and review studies using points that Chinese acupuncturists would not use, and then conclude that acupuncture doesn’t work. Scalp style appear to be best for neurological conditions like stroke, MS, and post-concussion syndrome. To study body acupuncture points for stroke demonstrates unfamiliarity with the work that has been done thus far. Is the acupuncture (style, points, and frequency of treatments) studied in most research considered the most effective kind by acupuncture experts? Why study acupuncture points and styles that clinicians themselves don’t think work? Arrogance: “Even though Chinese have been doing acupuncture for thousands of years, they don’t know anything about it.” This isn’t so implausible – mainstream American docs and researchers already ignore European research – why not Chinese, too? If their methodology differs from the drug-model, it’s because they aren’t as advanced as us.

And if we disagree with the results, the methodology is criticized. Otherwise, it’s fine. Psychological studies of the research review process have proven this bias. Conspiracy: “Let’s do the wrong acupuncture on purpose so we have proof that acupuncture doesn’t work.” This would be fool’s work, since there is already incontrovertible evidence that it does. If the studies suck, then why review them? Because a review of multiple studies carries more weight than just one study. It’s easier to convince people with a review. The major issue with research reviews is that if the studies were inadequate in the first place, then the review’s conclusions will be wrong. Until the methodology and study designs are improved, what’s the point? Again, we suggest researchers review the Chinese medicine literature. Rotchford advocates outcome studies rather than drug-style RCT’s. In outcome studies, no placebo is used, but there is no satisfactory placebo for acupuncture research. When acupuncture studies are done well, why aren’t the results always positive? First, the acupuncture approach is different. In the Orient, acupuncture is done daily to twice daily for maximum stimulation of the nervous system. Various experts recommend treating 3 times weekly as a minimum; more would be better. I suggest a study such as done by Johansson’s group, using Xingnao Kaiqiao, and with treatment given at least 5 days a week. Third, we must consider Qi transmission from healer to patient in any therapy, especially in acupuncture. I believe intent is essential; and the intensity of interest and empathy might create a much improved healing.

Acupuncture is an accepted medical option for treating a work related injury. In 2007, the California Department of Industrial Relations made revisions to current workers compensation laws and deemed acupuncture to be a covered medical modality for injured workers. What this means to injured workers is an increase in treatment options and less reliance on pain medications and muscle relaxants. Natural relief from work related injuries is now an option and all of California workers need to be made aware that this amazing medicine is available to them. Dealing with a work injury can not only leave you in pain, but also confused about your treatment options. Often, companies are contracted to send their employees to specific medical facilities when they’re injured. As long as it’s not an injury requiring emergency medical care, the employer sends the employee to someone within their Medical Provider Network (MPN), a group of preassigned health care professionals set up by the employers insurance company. If you are unhappy with the provider you are sent to, you can request another provider from the network.

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