What does Acupuncture treat?

In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an official report listing  symptoms, conditions and diseases that have been shown in controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture.

Following is the list of conditions shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Headache
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Leukopenia
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sciatica
Sprain
Stroke
Tennis elbow

The report also contains three other very important lists of conditions:

• Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of Acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.

• Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which Acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult.

• Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which Acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment.

This report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, is available on the WHO website for download as a printable PDF file (see link at end of this page). It could help patients deal with insurance carriers who deny coverage for Acupuncture treatments for the situations contained in the report, especially
those proven effective in controlled trials. WHO’s authority concerning health-related matters internationally cannot be challenged.

SOURCE: Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, World Health Organization, 2003, http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html