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Cure for Pain, Stress, Hot Flashes and More

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Cure for Pain, Stress, Hot Flashes and More


Acupuncture is gaining new traction–and respect–in hospitals and doctors’ offices as evidence of its curative power piles up. Here, why it works–and what conditions it’s best for.

By Laurie Tarkan

Virginia Ginsburg, 35, of Santa Monica, CA, didn’t put much stock in acupuncture. So when she woke up one morning in September 2009 with pain in her back and leg so excruciating that she could barely walk, she begged her husband to take her to the emergency room. She was diagnosed with sciatica, given a shot of morphine and some pain pills, and sent limping home. But after a few days, when the pain hadn’t abated, she remembered how acupuncture had eased her morning sickness when she was pregnant. “I was skeptical that it could help with a more serious condition, but I didn’t know where else to turn,” she says. So she called the acupuncturist again.

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The results astonished her. After just one treatment, the agony began to subside. She went to two or three sessions a week and, after 10 weeks, she was completely pain free.

Stories like Ginsburg’s have become increasingly common over the past few years. Marilyn Burack, 52, of Livingston, NJ, says she was cured of vertigo in two sessions of acupuncture after 6 months of medications had failed her. Rhalee Hughes, 38, of New York City, found that just one treatment could stop a flare-up of the pinched nerve in her neck. And similar accounts are told by many of the more than 3 million Americans who have turned to the 2,500-year-old Asian technique to relieve osteoarthritis, back pain, migraines, nausea, hot flashes, anxiety, addiction, insomnia, and infertility.

Western doctors are taking notice.

“More people in the medical community are embracing acupuncture because they see it works–often in cases where conventional medicine hasn’t been as effective,” says Geovanni Espinosa, ND, the director of the Integrative Urology Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. An estimated 1,500 US physicians are now trained in acupuncture. And some hospitals even have acupuncturists on staff, who tote their needle kits into cancer and orthopedic wards.

What’s behind this wave of acceptance is more than treatment trendiness. As reports of acupuncture’s potency accumulate, researchers have discovered more evidence about how the technique functions–and the conditions for which it’s most effective.

Acupuncture can boost immune function and reduce swelling, studies show

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Depression, General Health, Headaches, Health, Menopause, Mental Wellness, Natural Remedies, Stress, , , , , , ,

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+ add your own
10:05AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Yes, I have used acupuncture for years and respond really well to it, better than any pharmaceutical drug. Sometimes I am really tired after a treatment and have to sleep a couple of hours, guess my body is rebooting at that time. Excellent therapy and so helpful.
thanks for the article

8:08PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011


4:45AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

It's a beautiful science.

9:45PM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Am seeing my dr today and will ask him about this to treat my migraine headaches and neck pain...And thank you for the info :)

9:25PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011


4:58PM PDT on Jun 2, 2011


9:38AM PDT on Jun 1, 2011

Does anyone know if it works whether the receiver believes in it or not? My mother has cancer and I would love to have her get acupuncture, but I doubt she would go for it. If she agreed but didn't believe it would work, would that just end up being a waste of time and money because her closed-off mind would negate the benefits of the treatment? I know this won't help the cancer, but I want to help her get stronger and feel better so that she can enjoy a better quality of life.

6:13PM PDT on May 31, 2011


10:36AM PDT on May 31, 2011

I would love to get a copy of the recent review that named more than 20 scientifically established benefits of acupuncture, from increasing the effects of painkilling endorphins to boosting immune function to releasing anti-inflammatories (which reduce swelling and help healing). Do you know where I can find it?

9:03AM PDT on May 31, 2011

Thank you for helping to spread the word! Pathways to Wellness, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit in Boston that has been at the cutting edge of combining acupuncture with existing medical practices for clients with HIV/AIDS, military veterans and others with chronic and life threatening disease for over 20 yrs. We have relationships with Mass General Hosp., Spaulding Rehab, Tufts Med. Ctr, Cambridge Hospital and various community health ctrs around Boston. Our current challenge is to get acupuncture covered by more insurance carriers so that it is accessible to those without the ability to pay out of pocket. If you ever need a source for this type of article, feel free to contact us ( -Demie

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