Once regarded as a mystical form of Eastern medicine, acupuncture has grown from its debut in North America more than 30 years ago into one of the most popular modalities utilized in the contemporary health-care marketplace. Originally developed in China, acupuncture has evolved over thousands of years and has formed the cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Many types of health-care providers now utilize acupuncture in clinical practice, including chiropractors, physiotherapists, and medical doctors . A natural corollary of this trend has been a continuing integration of acupuncture into a Western medicine model. Utilizing a blend of ancient methods and modern biomedical concepts, practitioners of many disciplines are regularly incorporating acupuncture treatment not only as a stand-alone therapy, but as an integrated modality in a variety of health-care environments.
Patients all over the world now seek acupuncture treatment in its various forms for a multitude of ailments including pain relief, headaches, arthritis, addiction management, sports injuries and general well-being, to name a few.
Acupuncture’s popularity has been further bolstered by the increasing attention it is being paid in scientific circles. Numerous trials demonstrating its effectiveness have recently been published in major medical journals, with more to come. Other interesting lines of research currently in progress include investigations into the biomechanical effects of acupuncture on connective tissue structure, function, and healing, and its impact on the peripheral and central nervous systems.