March 15, 2015
Evaluating the Two Opposing Views on Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a 'pseudoscience' and a treatment in alternative medicine in which sterilized needles penetrate the skin. It was developed in China more than 2,000 years ago and according to traditional Chinese medicine, "there are special 'meridian points' on the body connected to the internal organs and that 'vital energy' (qi) flows along the meridian lines" (Acupuncture). Stimulating these points with needles is said to help people feel better. Acupuncture is still considered complex because it's not scientifically proven that it is effective. Also it only came to the US in the early 1970's so there is not enough research to show it helps health issues. According to a 2007 NHIS survey, only 6.5% of Americans have used acupuncture (Brennen). However, in the US, government organizations support acupuncture and it is even covered by health insurance. Although it is a pseudoscience and may not be that common, because of the positions of the US government, many people believe in acupuncture. The official position of the NIH is "acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain." (Acupuncture: What You). Based on the NIH's official position, physicians may recommend acupuncture as a secondary treatment option. The WHO shows a list of diseases and conditions that "can be treated with acupuncture" (Acupuncture: Review and 23). Both organizations qualify their positions with words such as "may" and "can" and so opponents take this to mean acupuncture does not work. The National Council Against Health Fraud, a private non-profit, says acupuncture "has not been proven effective by modern standards" (NCAHF Position Paper). The medical journal Pain published an article saying there is "little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain."...
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