Chiropractic physicians are health care professionals that provide conservative treatment options for their patients. Most often, they will perform joint manipulation and a variety of other modalities such as traction, massage therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and diathermy. While these are the most common treatment options, some chiropractic physicians also offer their patients acupuncture. A chiropractic physician is required to become certified in acupuncture before they can offer the service and consider themselves an acupuncture chiropractor. The acupuncture course work that is designed to provide a professional with certification can vary from state to state and from school to school. Many times an acupuncture certification requires that a student or post graduate successfully complete 100 hours of study. Once these course hours are completed, the student or professional will become eligible to sit for the national board examination for acupuncture. Once they have successfully passed the national board exam, a chiropractic physician is allowed to offer acupuncture to their patients as needed or when requested.
Oldest Forms of Health Care
Today, acupuncture is recognized internationally by the World Health Organization (WHO) and within the United States by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Acupuncture is also recognized by most state boards and many physicians, including medical doctors, chiropractic physicians, osteopathic doctors and veterinarians, offer this conservative treatment option to their patients. Acupuncture is considered one of the oldest forms of health care in the world. The acupuncture process involves a practitioner inserting very thin needles under the skin at specific locations throughout the body. These points are chosen because they are spots on the body that are believed to be areas where energy flow passes through. Eastern medicine calls this energy flow qi (pronounced chee) and this philosophy offers that qi flows through the body along meridian pathways. Many Western medicine professionals believe that these specific points throughout the body are actually points that may stimulate certain nerves, connective tissue and muscles. Regardless of the philosophy, evidence shows that this stimulation can improve blood flow and provide pain relief. Patients may seek acupuncture treatment for relief from back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, osteoarthritis, labor pains and headaches. There is relatively little risk for receiving acupuncture, the only side effects may be soreness at the needling point, minor bleeding after the needles are removed and possibly minor bruising. Some patients are not good candidates for acupuncture and these patients include pregnant women, people with pacemakers and someone with a blood disorder.
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