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What does the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend acupuncture for?



What does WHO recommend acupuncture for? For a whole host of western diseases!


Chinese medicine is prehistoric and has literally been used to treat every condition under the sun people have had. The theoretical and clinical aspects of the medicine have been chewed over and handed down generation after generation; Chinese medicine is the world’s oldest literate medicine with over 2000 years of written history and development.

However Chinese medicine has always treated according to the patterns of disharmonies that make up traditional pathophysiology. These clusters of signs and symptoms which tell practitioners such as myself what systems and functions of the body need support or direction and therefore what treatment is needed, do not always easily align with modern disease classifications. So it’s awesome that western science has set about gathering data on what diseases are well treated by acupuncture.


The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture for these diseases, symptoms or conditions, because acupuncture has been ‘proved – through controlled trials – to be an effective treatment’:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

  • Biliary colic

  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

  • Dysentery, acute bacillary

  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary

  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)

  • Headache

  • Hypertension, essential

  • Hypotension, primary

  • Induction of labour

  • Knee pain

  • Leukopenia

  • Low back pain

  • Malposition of fetus, correction of

  • Morning sickness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Neck pain

  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

  • Periarthritis of shoulder

  • Postoperative pain

  • Renal colic

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Sciatica

  • Sprain

  • Stroke

  • Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture because its therapeutic effect has been shown, although further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

  • Acne vulgaris

  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification

  • Bell’s palsy

  • Bronchial asthma

  • Cancer pain

  • Cardiac neurosis

  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation

  • Cholelithiasis

  • Competition stress syndrome

  • Craniocerebral injury, closed

  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent

  • Earache

  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalised or local disease)

  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

  • Female infertility

  • Facial spasm

  • Female urethral syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis

  • Gastrokinetic disturbance

  • Gouty arthritis

  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status

  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpes virus 3)

  • Hyperlipaemia

  • Hypo-ovarianism

  • Insomnia

  • Labour pain

  • Lactation, deficiency

  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic

  • Mйniиre disease

  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic

  • Neurodermatitis

  • Obesity

  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Pain due to endoscopic examination

  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

  • Postextubation in children

  • Postoperative convalescence

  • Premenstrual syndrome

  • Prostatitis, chronic

  • Pruritus

  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

  • Raynaud syndrome, primary

  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

  • Retention of urine, traumatic

  • Schizophrenia

  • Sialism, drug-induced

  • Sjцgren syndrome

  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

  • Spine pain, acute

  • Stiff neck

  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

  • Tietze syndrome

  • Tobacco dependence

  • Tourette syndrome

  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic

  • Urolithiasis

  • Vascular dementia

  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which only individual controlled trials report some therapeutic effects. The World Health Organisation recommends acupuncture for these when treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

  • Chloasma

  • Choroidopathy, central serous

  • Colour blindness

  • Deafness

  • Hypophrenia

  • Irritable colon syndrome

  • Neuropathic bladder due to spinal cord injury

  • Pulmonary heart disease, chronic

  • Small airway obstruction


Pivotal Point Oriental Medicine located in Faribault Minnesota

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