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The confusing status of acupuncture

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Acupuncture is a very confusing topic. This medicine is becoming increasingly popular and increasingly misunderstood. There are many reasons for this. The first step to understanding is to look at the confusing realities that surround acupuncture in the United States.

acupuncture treatment
acupuncture treatment D.Bock

acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture and the medical systems that determine its use, are based in trying to help the body function and heal rather than the biomedical approach of trying to “fix” the body.

acupuncture needle
acupuncture needle D.Bock

acupuncture needle

Acupuncture is a medical technique. Just as surgery is based on the use of a scalpel, acupuncture is based on the use of an acupuncture needle.

TCM medicine
TCM medicine D.Bock

TCM medicine

Acupuncture also refers to the medicine that determines the proper use of the acupuncture technique. Just as a surgeon is a doctor who does surgery, an Acupuncturist is trained in acupuncture medical systems to be able to treat patients with acupuncture.

Is it medicine or not?
Is it medicine or not? D.Bock

Is it medicine or not?

Acupuncture has a long history of effective clinical outcomes and medical research. Acupuncture is still referred to as quack medicine by many.

VA considers acupuncture good medicine
VA considers acupuncture good medicine D.Bock

VA considers acupuncture good medicine

Acupuncture is covered by the Veterans affairs medical system, but is not covered under other governmental medical programs like medicare and medicaid.

Health and wellness
Health and wellness D.Bock

Health and wellness

Acupuncture is covered under many health savings accounts, flex spending and wellness programs, but often not covered by many health insurance policies that oversee these programs.

Helath insurance
Helath insurance D.Bock

Helath insurance

Acupuncture is required to be covered by insurance plans in some states. In other states the practice is sometimes unregulated and/or illegal.

medical treatment?
medical treatment? D.Bock

medical treatment?

Acupuncture was for years pushed aside by the medical establishment, now physicians, chiropractors, nurses and physical therapists are trying to add acupuncture techniques to their scope of practice.

Qualifications and certification
Qualifications and certification D.Bock

Qualifications and certification

Acupuncture laws are state specific and determine the minimum qualifications of an acupuncturist (usually 4 years of clinical training and national board certification). Other allied health professionals are often allowed to use acupuncture techniques with little training and without national board certification.

This does not make sense.
This does not make sense. D.Bock

This does not make sense.

Acupuncture is covered in some health insurance policies under only specific conditions. Often treatment has to be for pain and the acupuncture provider must be an under trained medical acupuncturist. Insurance often will not cover a fully trained nationally board certified acupuncturist for the same treatment.

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