How Is Acupuncture Used in Health Care?

How Is Acupuncture Used in Health Care? | HealthSoul

Acupuncture is an ancient medicinal practice that has spread worldwide. Western experts deemed it alternative medicine, yet it has proven to be a top contender for healing several ailments. It’s finally making its way into the mainstream as a verifiable, legitimate health care practice. Let’s dive into the pins and needles — literally and metaphorically — about how acupuncture is used in health care in 2024 and beyond.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated from Chinese medicine, and it uses needles for healing. Practitioners insert them into precise points throughout the body to target specific ailments, though they mostly relate to pain. It’s been known to treat everything from toothaches to menstrual cramping. Doctors have even tested acupuncture in more severe circumstances, like assisting chemotherapy.

It eventually caught the attention of the modern wellness landscape. In addition to relieving pain, these needles promise relaxation and stress management. Many advocates add acupuncture to their regular wellness routines, claiming a long list of benefits, such as:

  • Expediting surgery recovery
  • Boosting immunity
  • Eliminating stress
  • Aiding digestion
  • Improving breathing

How do acupuncturists know where to put the needles so it doesn’t hurt patients? Eastern practitioners reference bodily meridians, which are a map of the body’s energetic flow — known as qi. Think of each meridian line as a main road directing the body’s necessities to the right place. When diseases or pain blocks them, they need relief. That’s where the needles come in. Blood flows again, and joint tension disappears.

Many lines sit atop nerves and muscles acupuncturists want to activate. This is how Eastern ideologies melded with Western medicine. Now, many acupuncturists use a blend of strategies in their treatments. Repeated treatments are common, depending on the intensity of the issue.

How Is Acupuncture Used in Health Care Now?

Acupuncture use has come a long way in the last several decades. More people are experimenting with it as an alternative or supplement to other treatment plans. These needles were previously only associated with remedying pain, but now its scope has expanded. Health awareness is rising in a post-pandemic world, meaning the medical industry must do everything it can to find as many treatment paths as possible.

Medical offices worldwide are trying acupuncture for countless use cases outside of pain management, some including but not limited to:

  • Addiction
  • Long COVID
  • Inflammation control
  • Migraines
  • Disordered eating
  • Brain fog
  • Cancer treatment aftercare
  • General mindfulness
  • Hormonal regulation
  • Mental health conditions

Let’s analyze a few of these categories more closely.

Reproductive Health

Exploration in reproductive health is diverse, covering everything from menopausal hot flash management to improving IVF chances. Tests demonstrated positive psychological advantages, even if physical benefits were less conclusive. This proves existing claims that belief in a recovery plan is crucial for its effectiveness.


Research on migraines is even more fascinating. Though this ties to chronic pain, medical experts want to see how acupuncture helps the pain and the mental health side effects associated with living with these kinds of conditions. Many people have symptoms of anxiety or depression because of migraines, making them less motivated to seek care. However, a study proved acupuncture was effective at treating the root cause and side effects.

Mental Health and Medical Anxiety

These are essential contributions because of how they streamline treatment schedules for individuals with various concerns, reducing burdens on health care infrastructure. Suddenly, a patient could go from seeing three doctors with multiple concerns and prescriptions to seeing one with a more straightforward solution.

The beauty of solutions like acupuncture is to assist in the pharmaceutical crises harming treatment access to countless patients worldwide. Strict pain management regulations and long waitlists make many wait too long before obtaining relief. Acupuncture could alleviate these struggles by adding more options to the medical pool. Many want to avoid surgery or prescriptions with long-lasting negative side effects. This makes suggestions like acupuncture rather enticing.

Why Has Health Care Avoided Acupuncture Until Now?

What is acupuncture’s history in medicine? It is a highly researched treatment method, though even top health care authorities claim not to know exactly how it works. Myths run rampant, claiming acupuncture is everything from magic to financial scams.

These claims invalidate valuable efforts to crystallize acupuncture in health care. Medical professionals in the last 50 to 100 years were preferential to pharmaceuticals and other methods they claimed were more consistent or better studied in more robust clinical trials.

Yet, a study of 6,376 participants with chronic pain said the acupuncture provided a year or more of relief. This is one of many. Other successful studies showed positive impacts on people with depression, seasonal allergies and smoking habits. Some health care researchers are curious if some of this might be a placebo effect. Others compare the so-called advantages of acupuncture to fields like chiropractic assistance and massage therapy — for better and for worse.

Regulating agencies can’t seem to agree on if they think acupuncture is effective. The inconsistency has manifested with inadequate oversight and varying licensing requirements from region to region. Though U.S. authorities, like the FDA, regulate single-use needles, some of the most prominent complications from bad acupuncture are related to improper needle use and care.

This could spread infections or injure tissues and organs, leading to distrust in medical systems. The hesitancy is a major reason many Western health insurance companies do not cover acupuncture, making it a luxury form of care for many in the Western world. The financial barrier may be a crucial factor in why acupuncture has less data.

Taking a Stab

Medical professionals must do everything in their power to verify the effectiveness of every potential health care secret. Acupuncture’s tenure should make it a fairly high priority. With it catching on with more people, research numbers might fill out. This would bring more clarity to the field and maybe unlock why acupuncture is or isn’t effective in the medical industry. Until then, the health care sector is dipping its toes into countless buckets and seeing where the needles stick with the greatest impact.