Yet, even within conventional medicine, acupuncture is also used to treat conditions such as nausea, (for instance post-operative nausea), and recently acupuncture was in the news because it is being used effectively – again by conventional medical people – to treat fatigue in breast cancer patients. It is also well know that acupuncture is used in the treatment of drug addiction. Recent research in fact suggests acupuncture is a useful treatment in conditions as diverse as post-stroke rehabilitation, weight loss, depression and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The World Health Organisation has an extensive list of conditions that acupuncture is helpful for, and by no means are they all to do with pain. So even before we start thinking about traditional acupuncture, it should be plain to anyone, certainly to any physio, that acupuncture is not just about pain relief.
Beyond that, to dismiss acupuncture as only being about pain relief is to ignore or dismiss a major component of a form of medicine which has been developed and refined over thousands of years, in China and throughout the far East. Why dismiss such a legacy out of hand? Perhaps some people think that conventional medicine has all the answers, and other forms of medicine are just out-dated and irrelevant, but clearly conventional medicine does not have all the answers, and why should it? Is it not possible that the ancient (and modern) Chinese knew a thing or two that we don’t – and not just about pain and its treatment?