259 Many Acupuncturists Attribute Pain Relief To The Release Of Endorphins When Needles Penetrate, But No Longer Support The Idea That Acupuncture Can Affect A Disease.

Since.ost.ain.s.elt.n.he.uperficial.ayers.f.he skin, a quick inserFion of the needle is recommended. 50 Often the needles are stimulated by hand in order to cause a dull, localized, aching sensation that is called de qi, as well as “needle grasp,” a tugging feeling felt by the acupuncturist and generated by a mechanical interaction between the needle and skin. 2 Acupuncture can be painful. 51 The skill level of the acupuncturist may influence how painful the needle insertion is, and a sufficiently skilled practitioner may be able to insert the needles without causing any pain. 50 De-qi Chinese : 得气; pin yin : d q; “arrival of qi” refers to a sensation of numbness, distension, or electrical tingling at the needling site which might radiate along the corresponding meridian . If de-qi can not be generated, then inaccurate location of the acupoint, improper depth of needle insertion, inadequate manual manipulation, or a very weak constitution of the patient can be considered, all of which are thought to decrease the likelihood of successful treatment. Diagrams of the flow of spiritual energy, for example, conflicted with the West's own anatomical diagrams. The study also includes warnings against practising acupuncture on infants, as well as on children who are over-fatigued, very weak, or have overeaten. 240 When used on children, acupuncture is considered safe when administered by well-trained, licensed practitioners using sterile needles; however, a 2011 review found there was limited research to draw definite conclusions about the overall safety of paediatric acupuncture. 3 The same review found 279 adverse events, 25 of them serious. 3 The adverse events were mostly mild in nature e.g. bruising or bleeding. 3 The prevalence of mild adverse events ranged from 10.1% to 13.5%, an estimated 168 incidences among 1,422 patients. 3 On rare occasions adverse events were serious e.g. cardiac rupture or hemoptysis ; much might have been a result of substandard practice. 3 The incidence of serious adverse events was 5 per one million, which included children and adults. 3 When used during pregnancy, the majority of adverse events caused by acupuncture were mild and transient, with few serious adverse events. 241 The most frequent mild adverse event was needling or unspecified pain, followed by bleeding. 241 Although two deaths one stillbirth and one neonatal death were reported, there was a lack of acupuncture-associated maternal mortality. 241 Limiting the evidence as certain, probable or possible in the causality evaluation, the estimated incidence of adverse events following acupuncture in pregnant women was 131 per 10,000. 241 Although acupuncture is not contraindicated in pregnant women, some specific acupuncture points are particularly sensitive to needle insertion; these spots, as well as the abdominal region, should be avoided during pregnancy. 2 Four adverse events associated with moxibustion were bruising, burns and cellulitis, spinal epidural abscess, and large superficial basal cell carcinoma. 16 Ten adverse events were associated with cupping. 16 The minor ones were keloid scarring, burns, and bullae ; 16 the serious ones were acquired haemophilia A, stroke following cupping on the back and neck, factitious panniculitis, reversible cardiac hypertrophy, and iron deficiency anaemia . 16 A 2013 meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as a complement to standard care, but not as a substitute for standard care except in cases where co morbid depression presented. 19 The same meta-analysis found there was no difference between sham and non-sham acupuncture. 19 A 2011 systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain. 20 A 2010 systematic review found that the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture could not be concluded. 94 A 2012 review found that acupuncture seems to be cost-effective for some pain conditions. 242 Risk of forgoing conventional medical care As with other alternative medicines, unethical or naive practitioners may induce patients to exhaust financial resources by pursuing ineffective treatment. 5 243 Profession ethical codes set by accrediting organizations such as the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine require practitioners to make “timely referrals to other health care professionals as may be appropriate.” 244 Stephen Barrett states that there is a “risk that an acupuncturist whose approach to diagnosis is not based on scientific concepts will fail to diagnose a dangerous condition”. 245 Main articles: Qi, Traditional Chinese medicine, Meridian Chinese medicine, and Acupuncture point Old Chinese medical chart of acupuncture meridians Acupuncture is a substantial part of traditional Chinese medicine ACM. 4 Early acupuncture beliefs relied on concepts that are common in ACM, such as a life force energy called qi. 246 Qi was believed to flow from the body's primary organs zang-fu organs to the “superficial” body tissues of the skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and joints, citation needed through channels called meridians. 247 Acupuncture points where needles are inserted are mainly but not always found at locations along the meridians. 248 Acupuncture points not found along a meridian are called extraordinary points and those with no designated site are called “A-shi” points. 248 In ACM, disease is generally perceived as a disharmony or imbalance in energies such as yin, yang, qi, xuĕ, zàng-fǔ, meridians, and of the interaction between the body and the environment. 249 Therapy is based on which “pattern of disharmony” can be identified. 250 251 For example, some diseases are believed to be caused by meridians being invaded with an excess of wind, cold, and damp. 252 In order to determine which pattern is at hand, practitioners examine things like the colon and shape of the tongue, the relative strength of pulse-points, the smell of the breath, the quality of breathing, or the sound of the voice. 253 254 ACM and its concept of disease does not strongly differentiate between the cause acupuncture and anxiety and effect of symptoms. 255 Scientific research has not supported the existence of qi, meridians, or yin and yang. n 1 24 25 A Nature editorial described ACM as “fraught with pseudo-science”, with the majority of its treatments having no logical mechanism of action . 256 Quackwatch states that “ACM theory and practice are not based upon the body of knowledge related to health, disease, and health care that has been widely accepted by the scientific community. Hand acupuncture, developed in Korea, canters around assumed reflex zones of the hand. Even if they could agree, the ACM theories are so nebulous that no amount of scientific study will enable ACM to offer rational care.” 5 Some modern practitioners support the use of acupuncture to treat pain, but have abandoned the use of qi, meridians, yin, yang and other energies based in mysticism, as explanatory frameworks. 8 25 26 The use of qi as an explanatory framework has been decreasing in China, even as it becomes more prominent during discussions of acupuncture in the US. 257 Academic discussions of acupuncture still make reference to pseudo-scientific concepts such as qi and meridians despite the lack of scientific evidence. 257 Many within the scientific community consider attempts to rationalize acupuncture in science to be quackery, pseudo-science and “theatrical placebo”. 258 Academics Massimo Pigliucci and marten Boudry describe it as a “borderlands science” lying between science and pseudo-science. 259 Many acupuncturists attribute pain relief to the release of endorphins when needles penetrate, but no longer support the idea that acupuncture can affect a disease. 26 257 It is a generally held belief within the acupuncture community that acupuncture points and meridians structures are special conduits for electrical signals but no research has established any consistent anatomical structure or function for either acupuncture points or meridians. n 1 24 Human tests to determine whether electrical continuity was significantly different near meridians than other places in the body have been inconclusive. 24 Some studies suggest acupuncture causes a series of events within the central nervous system, 260 and that it is possible to inhibit acupuncture's analgesic effects with the opioid antagonist naloxone . 261 Mechanical deformation of the skin by acupuncture needles appears to result in the release of adenosine . 2 The anti-nociceptive effect of acupuncture may be mediated by the adenosine A1 receptor . 262 A 2014 Nature Reviews Cancer review article found that since the key mouse studies that suggested acupuncture relieves pain via the local release of adenosine, which then triggered close-by A1 receptors “caused more tissue damage and inflammation relative to the size of the animal in mice than in humans, such studies unnecessarily muddled a finding that local inflammation can result in the local release of adenosine with analgesic effect.” 77 It has been proposed that acupuncture's effects in gastrointestinal disorders may relate to its effects on the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, which have been said to be the “Western medicine” equivalent of “yin and yang”. 263 Another mechanism whereby acupuncture may be effective for gastrointestinal dysfunction involves the promotion of gastric peristalsis in subjects with low initial gastric motility, and suppressing peristalsis in subjects with active initial motility. 264 Acupuncture has also been found to exert anti-inflammatory effects, which may be mediated by the activation of the vague nerve and deactivation of inflammatory macrophages . 265 Neuroimaging studies suggest that acupuncture stimulation results in deactivation of the limbic brain areas and the default mode network . 266 Acupuncture chart from the Ming dynasty c. 1368–1644 Acupuncture, along with moxibustion, is one of the oldest practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 29 Most historians believe the practice began in China, though there are some conflicting narratives on when it originated. 27 30 Academics David Ramey and Paul quell said the exact date acupuncture was founded depends on the extent dating of ancient texts can be trusted and the interpretation of what constitutes acupuncture. 267 According to an article in Rheumatology, the first documentation of an “organized system of diagnosis and treatment” for acupuncture was in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine Huangdi Beijing from about 100 BC. 27 Gold and silver needles found in the tomb of Li Cheng from around 100 BC are believed to be the earliest archaeological evidence of acupuncture, though it is unclear if that was their purpose. 267 According to Dr. Sometimes needles were used while they were still hot, creating a cauterizing effect at the injection site. 29 :104 Nine needles were recommended in the Chen chi Ta Cheng from 1601, which may have been because of an ancient Chinese belief that nine was a magic number. 29 :102-103 Other belief systems were based on the idea that the human body operated on a rhythm and acupuncture had to be applied at the right point in the rhythm to be effective. 29 :140-141 In some cases a lack of balance between Yin and Yang were believed to be the cause of disease. 29 :140-141 In the 1st century AD, many of the first books about acupuncture were published and recognized acupuncturist experts began to emerge. amid   18460551 . The World Health Organization recommends that before being licensed or certified, an acupuncturist receive 200 hours of specialized training if they are a physician and 2,500 hours for non-physicians; many governments have adopted similar standards. 299 In China, the practice of acupuncture is regulated by the Chinese Medicine Council that was formed in 1999 by the Legislative Council. It is difficult but not impossible to design rigorous research trials for acupuncture. 69 70 Due to acupuncture's invasive nature, one of the major challenges in efficacy research is in the design of an appropriate placebo control group . 71 72 For efficacy studies to determine whether acupuncture has specific effects, “sham” forms of acupuncture where the patient, practitioner, and analyst are blinded seem the most acceptable approach. 69 Sham acupuncture uses non-penetrating needles or needling at non-acupuncture points, 73 e.g. inserting needles on meridians not related to the specific condition being studied, or in places not associated with meridians. 74 The under-performance of acupuncture in such trials may indicate that therapeutic effects are due entirely to non-specific effects, or that the sham treatments are not inert, or that systematic protocols yield less than optimal treatment. 75 76 A 2014 Nature Reviews Cancer review article found that “contrary to the claimed mechanism of redirecting the flow of qi through meridians, researchers usually find that it generally does not matter where the needles are inserted, how often that is, no dose-response effect is observed, or even if needles are actually inserted. Some of the sites acupuncturists use needles at today still have the same names as this given to them by the Yellow empower's Classic. 29 :93 Numerous additional documents were published over the centuries introducing new acupoints. 29 :101 By the 4th century AD, most of the acupuncture sites in use today had been named and identified. 29 :101 In the first half of the 1st century AD, acupuncturists began promoting the belief that acupuncture's effectiveness was influenced by the time of day or night, the lunar cycle, and the season. 29 :140-141 The Science of the Yin-Yang Cycles yen chi Hsüeh was a set of beliefs that curing diseases relied on the alignment of both heavenly then and earthly ti forces that were attuned to cycles like that of the sun and moon. 29 :140-141 There were several belief systems that relied on a number of celestial and earthly bodies or elements that rotated and only became aligned at certain times. 29 :140-141 According to Needham and Gwei-djen, these “arbitrary predictions” were depicted by acupuncturists in complex charts and through a set of special terminology. 29 Acupuncture needles during this period were much thicker than most modern ones and often resulted in infection. Thinner needles may be flexible and require tubes for insertion.

In.999, the NatioCal enter for Complementary and Alternative Medicine was created within the NIH. Although acupuncture declined in China during this time period, it was also growing in popularity in other countries. 30 Acupuncture chart from Shisi Ming fahui Expression of the Fourteen Meridians written by Hun thou Al. 1340s, Ming dynasty . Moxibustion could be direct the cone was placed directly on the skin and allowed to burn the skin, producing a blister and eventually a scar, or indirect either a cone of moxa was placed on a slice of garlic, ginger or other vegetable, or a cylinder of moxa was held above the skin, close enough to either warm or burn it. 54 Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. 55 Ti na is a ACM method of attempting to stimulate the flow of qi by various barehanded techniques that do not involve needles. 56 Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture in which acupuncture needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses this has been described as “essentially transdermal electrical nerve stimulation TENS masquerading as acupuncture”. 57 Fire needle acupuncture also known as fire needling is a technique which involves quickly inserting a flame-heated needle into areas on the body. 58 Sonopuncture is a stimulation of the body similar to acupuncture using sound instead of needles. 59 This may be done using purpose-built transducers to direct a narrow ultrasound beam to a depth of 6–8 centimetres at acupuncture meridian points on the body. 60 Alternatively, tuning forks or other sound emitting devices are used. 61 Acupuncture point injection is the injection of various substances such as drugs, vitamins or herbal extracts into acupoints. 62 Auriculotherapy, commonly known as ear acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, or auriculoacupuncture, is considered to date back to ancient China.

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