Welcome to my second blog in the ’Acupuncture Myth Busters’ series. Today I’d like to respond to one of the most common questions that prospective patients ask: ‘Can Acupuncture cure (your particular health condition)’?
As ever, my answer would be a cautious ‘that depends’. But before we look at that in more detail, let me examine the key word here: ‘cure’.
To me, and to most dictionaries, ‘cure’ means to engage with a health issue causing it to go away entirely and with no expectation it will ever return. Can Acupuncture deliver that? Well frankly, the answer is ‘sometimes’. It all depends on what the condition is and who is experiencing it. For example, a muscular-skeletal issue such as tennis elbow or frozen shoulder might well go away completely and never recur after a short course of acupuncture. In that case it would be valid to regard the patient as cured.
But what about say, chronic asthma, osteoarthritis, or a lifelong tendency to anxiety: can Acupuncture cure those? I think the answer almost always has to be ‘no’ - and nor can any other therapy or medical treatment, because in the majority of those cases those conditions and many more besides are simply not curable. We often just have to live with them. But please don’t despair, help is still at hand.
To show you what I mean, let’s look more closely at osteoarthritis as an example.
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that involves swelling, pain and often physical distortion in the joints almost anywhere in the body. Its name literally means ‘inflammation of the bones and joints’. There are many reasons why it happens, but the most basic one is wear and tear, a natural part of the ageing process. If we are lucky enough to live a long life we will almost inevitably experience some measure of osteoarthritis (although it can even strike in childhood). I’d even call it a human norm. So far so depressing, but what can be done?
Back to Acupuncture. Whilst nobody could seriously offer to ‘cure’ you of your arthritis, I’d be pretty confident that with an appropriate course of regular Acupuncture, the therapy could make a big difference. We’re talking quality of life here. In this case I’d be aiming to reduce pain, clear a lot of the inflammation, improve mobility and maybe even slow the progress of the condition. All of that is usually achievable, although of course factors such as age, severity, occupation, general health, diet and the number of Acupuncture treatments you have will all play their part. The idea is to get you as comfortable as possible by limiting the impact of the condition, and then to try and keep you at that more healthy level by giving regular treatments. It has the same logic as keeping your car serviced, and in most cases it’s very do-able.
The same would go for a great many chronic health conditions. No cure, sadly, but a general improvement in the quality of life and a careful management of symptoms over the long term. That goes for mental/emotional issues as well as physical ones.
Any well experienced Acupuncturist should be able to give you an accurate assessment of what can and cannot be achieved, and how long that might take. So whatever your health condition, my advice is: it costs absolutely nothing to ask and I might well be able to help you. And on that upbeat note, here’s my number and email address for enquiries. I’d love to hear from you: