Jul 1, 2014, 4:46 PM
News Code: 2719998
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Acupuncture in modern medicine as auxiliary treatment

Tehran, July 1, IRNA -- Acupuncture, which is renowned as Zhen Jiu in Chinese language, is the most important branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

It has been applied for relieving pains and diseases for centuries.

The natural energy named as Qi in Chinese language flows inside and outside the body and inside special energy channel called meridian. Meridians are energy channels which distribute chi and connect all parts of the body to one another.

The acupuncturists insert hair-thin needles on special spots en route to meridians to balance the flow of Qi and help body to repair itself.

Today, even modern medicine accepts the effects of acupuncture.

According to Reza Heshmat, president of Iran’s Acupuncture Association, acupuncture is applied as an auxiliary treatment alongside chemical drugs and modern medicine.

Heshmat graduated from Shahid Beheshti University as a general practitioner (GP) before going on to study TCM and Acupuncture at University of Lyon in France for four years.

He initiated and has been running Iran’s Acupuncture Association for six years.

Iran Daily interviewed Heshmat. Excerpts follow:

IRAN DAILY: Please explain about acupuncture and its application in modern medicine.

HESHMAT: TCM includes treatment methods formulated over thousands of years in China.

It includes various sections including plant treatment, massage treatment, respiratory treatment, etc. Acupuncture is part of this amalgam.

In fact, acupuncture is the only field of TCM which has been recognized by global organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). International universities and scientific centers also offer short- and long-term courses in this field.

Acupuncture is applied independently or as an auxiliary treatment in healing many diseases.

Why is acupuncture not known in Iran and other parts of the world despite its long history?

This branch of medicine has been through many ups and downs during various eras. The history of acupuncture in Iran dates back to the 13th Century with the Mongol invasion. The Mongols brought with them the acupuncture that they had learned from the Chinese.

Iranian Scientist Rashideddin Fazlollah Hamedani, who had been appointed as vizier to the Mongol Court, translated several works on acupuncture from Chinese to Persian.

Since the Iranians abhorred Mongol attitude, they dispossessed and discarded everything pertaining to the Mongols—even acupuncture.

With the rise in Iran-Europe interactions, Western medicine gained access to Iran.

Acupuncture was also banned in China due to the wrath of the rulers toward acupuncturists. All treatises on acupuncture were set on fire. Chinese rulers decided to replace acupuncture with Western medicine.

However, after World War II and the onset of revolution and reforms in China, TCM was revived in China in the 1950s.

Also, a Chinese group set up acupuncture treatment centers in Tehran and Karaj in 1973.Physicians were sent to Europe to undergo acupuncture courses at their own expenses and with governmental assistance.

Therefore, acupuncture was again revived in Iran.

Has this kind of treatment been accepted scientifically? How does today’s medicine prove its effectiveness?

Currently, WHO, which is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations, is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, and articulating evidence-based policy options. It has given the go ahead to acupuncture following studies in this field.

Also, medical books on neurology and surgery have pointed to acupuncture and recommends its application in the treatment of diseases since it does not have any side effects.

In fact, acupuncture has been completely approved scientifically. However, the acupuncturists should send their research works to global research centers frequently to have them classified as acupuncture contents and consign them to medical texts.