Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual healthcare costs.
Major Chronic Disease
Major Chronic Diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disease, injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and septicemia and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.
Since each chronic disease is a far-from-equilibrium state, to cure a chronic disease would mean through a series of acupuncture treatments, by an accumulation of the stimulation effect of each treatment, to shift the body energetically back to one of the near-to-equilibrium states of health.
A longitudinal qualitative study, using a constant comparative method, informed by grounded theory. Eight professional acupuncturists in seven different settings publicized the study to their patients. We interviewed a maximum variation sample of 23 people with chronic illness, who were having acupuncture for the first time.
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The World Health Organization commissioned a review of the evidence basis for acupuncture treatment from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2006, and offers the following conclusions:
Table 1: World Health Organization indications “for which acupuncture has been proved through clinical trials to be an effective treatment:”
- Respiratory:allergic rhinitis
- Gastrointestinal: biliary colic, dysentery, epigastralgia (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm), morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting
- Pain: facial pain, headache, knee pain, low back pain, neck pain, dental and temporomandibular pain, periarthritis of the shoulder, postoperative pain, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, sprain, tennis elbow
- Gynecological/renal:colic, primary dysmenorrhoea, induction of labor, correction of malposition of fetus
- Cardiovascular:hypertension, hypotension, stroke Psychiatric: depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- General:adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, leukopenia
Table 2. WHO list of indications for which “a therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown, but further evidence is needed:”
- Respiratory: asthma, post-extubation in children, whooping cough
- Ear, nose, and throat, eye and mouth:eye pain, epistaxis (nose bleeds), herpes zoster, Meniere’s disease, sore throat, Sjogren syndrome
- Gastrointestinal:cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, gastrokinetic disturbance,
hepatitis B carrier status, ulcerative colitis
- Neurolo-psychiatric:anxiety, Bell’s palsy, depression, facial spasm, neuralgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, dementia, schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome
- Pain: abdominal pain, cancer pain, earache, fibromyalgia, gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis, radicular pain, spinal pain, pain due to endoscopic examination, stiff neck, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, Tietze syndrome
- Skin: acne vulgaris, neurodermatitis, pruritus
- Gynecological/renal:female infertility, female urethral syndrome, hypoovarianism, labor pain, overactive bladder, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, urinary tract infections
- Male sexual dysfunction:prostatitis, , bladder infections, recurrent lower urinary tract infection, urolithiasis, retention of urine
- Cardiovascular:cardiac neurosis, hyperlipaemia, pain in thromboangiitis, Raynaud’s syndrome
- General:alcohol dependence, competition stress syndrome, craniocerebral injury, diabetes (non-insulin dependent), haemorrhagic fever, obesity, insomnia, lactation deficiency, opium, cocaine and heroin, dependence, post-operative convalescence, tobacco dependence,
The California Acupuncture Board of the Department of Consumer Affairs offers the following advice regarding “conditions treated with acupuncture:”
How effective the treatment is, depends on the severity and nature of the condition being treated. Acupuncturists are trained to identify conditions that may require referral to a specialist, so it is important for you to provide detailed information about your condition so that important medical problems are not overlooked.