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22 Apr 2024, Edition - 3205, Monday

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Acupuncture – fad or genuine alternative medicine?

U Bharath


Among the alternative medicine stream, acupuncture has caught the imagination of many, if the mushrooming number of acupuncture clinics in the city is any indication. It is said that millions of people have turned to this treatment that originated in China, thanks to its efficacy. But doubts do linger about the outcome of acupuncture among many.

R S Abhishek Verma, an acupuncturist at the Indian Acupuncture Healing Centre near Gandhi Park, says, “According to a 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) titled ‘Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials,’ acupuncture can help cure a host of medical conditions including anxiety disorder, depression, insomnia, arthritis, bronchial asthma, acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis, cataract, constipation, diarrhoea, cardiovascular conditions and essential hypertension.

“In fact, there are over a hundred medical conditions for which acupuncture could be a remedy.”

“There are 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by 20 pathways (12 main, eight secondary) called meridians. These meridians conduct energy or ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chi’) between the surface of the body and internal organs. Acupuncture is very effective in mitigating pain regardless of its source. There are no negative side-effects and, as opposed to pain medication, acupuncture treats the root cause. Our goal is always to make the pain go away permanently, not just temporarily,” said K R Krishnamurthy, another acupuncturist.

“Of late millions of Americans have turned to acupuncture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions.

Acupuncture stimulations trigger the release of beneficial hormones and, theoretically, can serve as a mood stabiliser. Findings published in Neural Regeneration Research demonstrate that acupuncture repairs injured lower and upper limb motor nerves,” a seasoned acupuncturist from R S Puram.

“The Tamil Nadu Government is yet to recognise our profession as an alternative medical stream, as there are less than 25,000 acupuncturists in the State. But people have recognised us and we continue to get good patronage,” says an acupuncturist practicing in the city.

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