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Acupuncture: Alternative or Complementary Medicine?

Over the last ten years of practice, I have noticed that acupuncture has gained acceptance in the medical community.  But there is still much confusion of whether acupuncture is alternative or complementary medicine?

So which term is correct?  The short answer is both, for the most part acupuncture is complementary medicine, working with your doctor and specialists with a goal of “wellness”.

I work in conjunction with doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals towards the end goal of benefiting the patient.  I founded Natural Approach Healthcare in 2007 with the foundation that acupuncture helps the body do what it is made to do, which is heal itself.  Acupuncture promotes a healing environment within the body.

Where Western Medicine ends is really where Eastern Medicine begins.

Many doctors are now referring their patients to acupuncture when current therapeutic methods are not working, are expensive, or are dangerous.  The benefits of a therapy must outweigh the risks associated with it.

Good things happen when East meets West.  Eastern and Western Medicines have the same goals:  to ease pain and improve function.  Outcomes are better when you combine both approaches.

For example, if you are dealing with chronic pain, Western Medicine can stop the pain quickly with medication or interventional therapy.  However, Eastern Medicine can provide a longer-lasting solution to the root cause of the pain.

So, when is acupuncture an alternative?  Only when Western Medicine has exhausted all avenues and have no explanation why there is still “pain”, or other conditions.  Then acupuncture becomes an alternative, but patients would still benefit by a follow-up visit with their doctors so their progress can be monitored.

Remember, healthcare is a team effort and you are captain of the team.  You get to pick the members of your healthcare team.  So, who is your team?

To schedule an appointment, please contact Kris Johnston, MSOM, LAc, RN, CH at (631)675-9000.