Manhattan Acupuncture is particularly effective for pain relief and for post surgery and chemotherapy associated nausea and vomiting. In addition, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes: addiction (such as alcoholism), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, fibromyalgia, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sinusitis, spastic colon (often called irritable bowel syndrome), stroke rehabilitation, tendonitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems such as incontinence. You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and other conventional treatments, but it is important for your primary care physician to be aware of and monitor how your acupuncture treatment may be affecting your conventional therapies.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture also lists a wide range of conditions for which acupuncture is appropriate. In addition to those listed above, they recommend acupuncture for sports injuries, sprains, strains, whiplash, neck pain, sciatica, nerve pain due to compression, overuse syndromes similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain resulting from spinal cord injuries, allergies, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sore throat (called pharyngitis), high blood pressure, gastro esophageal reflux (felt as heartburn or indigestion), ulcers, chronic and recurrent bladder and kidney infections, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, endometriosis, memory problems, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, sensory disturbances, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.
In general, acupuncture is safe and well tolerated. One large study found only 43 minor adverse events associated with 34,407 acupuncture treatments. No serious adverse effects were reported. Some health care providers may avoid treatment during pregnancy. Others may be very competent in treating patients who are pregnant. There are certain points that are contraindicated during pregnancy; however other points are thought to benefit pregnancy. Make sure your acupuncture practitioner is competent in addressing the question of risks and benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy before receiving treatment. You should inform your acupuncturist about any treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have. According to some theories, acupuncture is not recommended during menstruation.
Be sure your acupuncturist uses only disposable needles. If your acupuncturist prescribes herbs and would like you to take them as part of your treatment, talk to your doctor. Herbs are potent substances that can be harmful if you suffer from certain conditions. They can also interact with drugs you may be taking and cause side effects. It is best to avoid strenuous physical activity, heavy meals, alcohol intake, or sexual activity for up to 8 hours after a treatment.
Most states require acupuncturists to be licensed and confer a title (LAc). The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture can provide a list of licensed physicians in your area who are also trained to perform acupuncture. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine certifies acupuncturists (Dipl Ac) and practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine (Dipl CH) upon passing qualifying exam.Other medical practitioners may perform acupuncture as well. In particular many naturopathic physicians and Oriental Medical Doctors (OMDs) practice acupuncture along with medical doctors and nurse practitioners.