Jul 2, 2014, 5:46 PM
News Code: 2720106
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Acupuncture in modern medicine as auxiliary treatment

Tehran, July 2, 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.

Second part of Iran Daily's interview (the first part was published in the Wednesday edition) with Heshmat is as follows:

What are the treatment procedures of acupuncture?

At present, WHO has stated that TCM can be used as an auxiliary treatment. It may be recommended as independent later.

According to suggestions, a TCM physician or therapist should diagnose the disease via modern medicine and by conducting laboratory tests and examining medical documents including radiology, CT scan, and blood test. Then, he or she should start treatment and prescribe medicines.

If the patient experiences side effects of medicines, TCM physician should apply acupuncture to reduce the prescription of medicines. If the patient recovers from the disease, the physician can stop prescription of medications.

I accept patients with letters from specialists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, dermatologists, etc. These patients have not been cured by medicines or cannot undergo surgery due to old age. Therefore, acupuncture can be useful for them.

If a patient refers to me as an acupuncture physician, I ask him/her to conduct necessary laboratory tests. Then, I prescribe medicine on the basis of his/her laboratory test and apply acupuncture for accelerating the treatment process if necessary.

Why is acupuncture not applied as main treatment in spite of being effective?

Today, we are witness to acupuncture which has been revived since 1950 and integrated into the curricula of universities and scientific centers worldwide since 1979. It means that in spite of its antiquity, acupuncture is still at the beginning of the road.

In addition, acupuncture should join or replace medical fields and methods gradually.

We have not yet reached the point to replace modern medicine and drugs with acupuncture.

What is the basis of this type of treatment?

It is based on needles which are inserted on special spots of the body. There are 631 different spots in every part of body. The needles should be inserted into these spots, but at first the disease must be diagnosed so as to place needles on places pertaining to that disorder.

On average, between 10 and 15 needles should be inserted into the patient’s body. Acupuncture needles stimulate the sensory neurons in the surface of the skin which send messages to the brain. In reaction to these messages, brain will adjust the hormones and have an influence on arteries. So, acupuncture helps restore hormonal balance.

In fact, brain leads the body. The body neither needs drug nor acupuncture nor surgery nor other treatment. It knows how to repair itself. When a part of the body is injured, it heals quickly without any stitch.

So, our brain knows how to protect the body. However, in cases that the body cannot solely encounter the disease, drugs and acupuncture help the body in this defense.

What diseases are treated by acupuncture?

Acupuncture is effective in treating pains such as backache, neck pain, and knee pain.

It also helps heal diseases such as migraine and tension headaches. Acupuncture is also good for treating infertility and sexual weakness due to hormonal changes.

We also have ear acupuncture which can treat pains and diseases such as backache, neck pain, migraine, digestive, respiratory, and skin problems, as well as gynecological diseases. It is also effective in treatment of infertilities resulted by hormonal imbalances.

The short-term ear acupuncture courses have been held in some medical universities in cooperation with Health Ministry.