Article from Acupuncture Today
October, 2004, Vol. 05, Issue 10
What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat (According to the World Health Organization)?
By John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA)
In contemporary applications of acupuncture in North America, it is becoming increasingly common to hear patients complain that they are being challenged by their insurance carrier with the comment that acupuncture is not effective for a particular situation, and therefore coverage is denied.
Of course, it is obvious that insurance companies are in the business to minimize costs, and escalate productivity and profit. As a result, it is not uncommon or unlikely that our patients will be denied coverage only because the insurance carrier has deemed acupuncture is not an effective or approved treatment.
The World Health Organization (WHO), whose authority concerning health-related matters internationally cannot be challenged, has compiled a list of symptoms, syndromes, disease processes, pathologies, traumas and conditions that have definitely been proven as effectively treated by acupuncture. The WHO has also compiled a list of diseases, symptoms and conditions for which acupuncture has shown definite therapeutic effects, but more proof is needed to establish acupuncture as a mainstream form of treatment. Should a curious patient, insurance company or colleague require proof of acupuncture’s effectiveness, the following list is something you will want to keep on file. Its use will be inevitable.
In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO (WHO) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:
low back pain
periarthritis of the shoulder
facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
induction of labor
correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
nausea and vomiting
adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
acute bacillary dysentery
acute and chronic gastritis