Experiences with Acupuncture

http://www.sl-acupuncture.co.uk/?p=39Interview with Dr. Helmut Rüdinger, Vice-president of the German Medical Council for Acupuncture:

What are the advantages of acupuncture over conventional medicine in the treatment of pain?

Dr. Rüdinger: The direct relief from pain and inflammation has a positive effect on the psyche: Acupuncture calms and relaxes. Thereby many patients gain objectivity to their illness. This is particularly important for those with chronic pain. Obviously this saves on pain and muscle-relaxing medicines as well as psychopharmacological drugs. And another advantage: many acupuncture doctors have learnt to think past the purely scientific and see the patient as a whole

There is still insufficient research on Acupuncture. Why is that?

Dr. Rüdinger: That acupuncture works is not disputed by acupuncture doctors or the successfully treated patients. Although there are many studies, the results are not satisfactory because the studies until a short while ago were carried out without controlling the professional quality of the acupuncturist. Only recently has this quality been taken into consideration – for instance in the DAK pilot project – whereby only well-trained doctors can take part. Naturally they achieve better results. And then till now acupuncture had no lobby with money for more extensive research.

For which illnesses has acupuncture proved to be particularly beneficial?

Dr. Rüdinger: First of all there are the three diagnoses mentioned in the DAK Pilot Project, chronic pain in the head and the lumbar vertebrae as well as osteoarthritis. On top of these there is a list of other illnesses and complaints I like to treat with acupuncture.

Well documented scientifically, acupuncture for nausea and vomiting is especially important in pregnancy. There is a good chance that pregnant women can stop smoking. Many pregnant smokers want to give up cigarettes, but they know that nicotine plasters and similar medication can damage the unborn child. As acupuncture is no substitute for the decision to give up smoking, it is essential that the patient is able to refrain from smoking at least 24 hours before the acupuncture. Under these conditions I recommend that the DAK pays an extra subsidy.

Source: DAK Magazine Fit, 3/2003

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