The Efficacy of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Share Button

Acupuncture for wellness


accupoints croppedAs of January 1, 2014, according to the Essential Care and Benefits Bill (passed by the state of California in April 2012) portion of the Affordable Care Act, every insurance (except Medicare, Medi-Cal and Tricare) company must cover acupuncture services for the treatment of pain and nausea, regardless if the acupuncture is dispensed by an M.D. or by a licensed acupuncturist. Even at this late date of November 20, 2013, many state agencies are unclear about the logistics of the process. Yet, acupuncture is to date a covered benefit for several insurance companies and many are enjoying the benefits of this medicine dispensed by acupuncturists, who are primary care physicians in the state of California. The purpose of this article is to inform those of us that are not familiar with the healing benefits of this medicine.

Above all, the objective and the value of any medicine is the resolution of the patient’s imbalance with the least amount of harm to the patient. The bottom line needs to be returning the patient back to normal and/or healthier than before the illness occurred with little to no side effects. Chinese medicine delivers both the primary goal of effectiveness of natural medicine as well as a comparatively low cost to accomplish the results. In most cases, with Chinese medicine the ailment has been relieved, education and experience in the arena of preventative medicine has been achieved, and the relaxation of the mind, body, and spirit has been initiated. Acupuncture also produces homeostasis and relaxation in the body which is integral to the healing process. This ancient energy medicine sets in motion a life long standard and intention of wellbeing and longevity.

Acupuncture is an advanced, refined method, not an alternative or complementary
form of medicine. In most of the thousands and thousands of treatments at
Vibrational Healing Arts and acupuncture clinics all over the world, acupuncture
(with Chinese medical herbs as needed) has been a stand alone medicine. Using,
for example, 36 gauge sterilized stainless steel needles placed strategically, a
multitude of conditions including back pain from herniated discs can be successfully
treated in six to twelve treatments. Numerous illnesses from anxiety to alopecia,
pain to PMS, and insomnia to interstitial cystitis encompass the range of
acupuncture success stories.  A vital part of the Chinese medicine practitioner’s
or any physician’s responsibility, is to determine whether or not the patient requires
a different or an additional style of medicine to complete the healing process. For
example, the patient may be advised to go immediately to the emergency room, to
get adjustments from a chiropractor, or receive sessions with a psychotherapist.

At the initial intake, consultation, examination and acupuncture treatment, there is a course of action established with qualitative and quantitative markers to assess pain levels, range of motion, levels of inflammation, frequency of recurrence of the condition, etc. Lifestyle and nutritional modifications and guidelines are agreed upon to meet each patient’s individual needs. Generally, two acupuncture treatments are recommended per week at the beginning. As the patient improves based on the markers, treatments decrease to once per week, every other week, and then on an as needed basis. At Vibrational Healing Arts, the success rate is a conservative 75%. Some conditions that have not been completely reversed with acupuncture in this office have included post-surgical complications, severe inflammatory conditions that require cortisone injections, back pain in elderly obese patients on several medications, broken bones, and severe ligament tears. No single medicine successfully treats every condition. The key is to discern what medicine is the most appropriate for the individual patient.

Chinese herbal medicine, often used as an adjunct to acupuncture, is designed to target a range of disorders from the common cold to infertility. The collection of herbs that comprise the Chinese herbal pharmacy are specific in their botanical nature and function. When prescribed by a properly trained herbalist, the side effects are minimal to nonexistent. Minimal side effects may include slightly increased urination or bowel movements (not diarrhea). A low percentage of patients that experience  mild nausea while taking herbs are instructed to reduce the initial dosages and take the herbs with food. A few of the conditions treatable with herbs are colds, flu, cough, asthma, immune related imbalances, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, Crohn’s, hair loss, shingles, dermatitis, PMS, migraines, Meniere’s, hypertension, anxiety, low energy, anemia, hot flashes, night sweats, pain, sprains, female and male infertility and insomnia.

Acupuncture has been recorded in history as the primary medicine in several countries for over three thousand years. Because the mechanics of this energy medicine are not yet fully understood, acupuncture has often been dismissed. Gravity and the applications of the three laws of motion existed long before Isaac Newton discovered them. In addition, Newton’s laws of motion are not applicable to quantum mechanics particle/wave dualities. Under scrutiny of the scientific method; particles behave as waves, waves as particles, and as neither and both. A new paradigm of viewing and operating in the quantum world is slowly being accepted. We may find the answers to how acupuncture works in the realm of quantum theories. In fact, physicists who are also acupuncturists find agreement with these ideas. In the interim, acupuncture continues to prove its effectiveness.


Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for many common conditions and injuries including muscular and skeletal conditions and injuries, headaches, some respiratory and heart conditions, sleep disorders, stress, and many others. Try acupuncture as a natural, safe, time-tested treatment. Contact the Author, or browse our Merchant Directory to find a local Acupuncturist in your area.


Author: Jackie Bensinger, L.Ac. of San Diego, CA