Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including functional bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and colitis. Gastrointestinal diseases refer to diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract, namely the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum, and the accessory organs of digestions, the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Symptoms of GI disorders often include cramping, abdominal pain, inflammation of the lining of the large and/or small intestine, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding and weight loss. Some other disorders are: Food allergies, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, ulcers, colitis..
Respiratory disease is a medical term that encompasses pathological conditions affecting the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible in higher organisms, and includes conditions of the upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, pleura and pleural cavity, and the nerves and muscles of breathing. Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting, such as the common cold, to life-threatening entities like bacterial pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and lung cancer. Acupuncture is often used in treating respiratory disorders. Allergic rhinitis is one of the major indications. In controlled studies, it has been shown that acupuncture is more effective than antihistamine drugs in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Acupuncture’s lack of side-effects is a distinct advantage in treating this condition; however, its protective effect against allergen-provoked rhinitis has not been verified. Some other respiratory disorders are Colds & flu’s, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, emphysema, etc..
The circulatory system is the body’s blood transport system. A circulatory disorder is any disorder or condition that affects the circulatory system. Circulatory disorders can arise from problems with the heart, blood vessels or the blood itself. Disorders of the circulatory system generally result in diminished flow of blood and oxygen supply to the tissues. Problems of the circulatory system are common and can be serious. Various diseases caused due to disorder of the circulatory system:
Urinary retention due to functional disorders, with no organic obstruction, is often treated with acupuncture. For postpartum or postoperative urinary retention, successful micturition usually occurs immediately after one session of needling. It is probably for this reason that controlled studies on this subject have been neglected. However, there has been a report of a randomized controlled trial on traumatic retention of urine, a condition more complicated than postpartum or postoperative retention. In this trial, the efficacy of acupuncture was remarkably superior to that of intramuscular injection of neostigmine bromide. Some other disorders are: Cystitis, stress inconinence, neurogenic bladder, prostatitis, prostatic hypertrophy, etc..
Primary dysmenorrheal, a painful condition, is one of the major indications for acupuncture in the field of gynecological disorders. The beneficial effect of acupuncture on this condition has been repeatedly reported in controlled trials. Acupuncture relieves pain and also regulates the motility of the uterus to facilitate menstrual discharge and further alleviate the pain.
Premenstrual syndrome is characterized by cyclical mood changes and is a common condition in women of fertile age. Acupuncture seems to be helpful to patients with this syndrome. In a controlled study, the majority of the patients receiving acupuncture gained relief from symptoms and no recurrence in the six-month follow-up. Some other disorders are: Menstrual irregularity, endometriosis, PMS, infertility, menopausal syndrome, etc..
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can affect the body’s muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employees’ working environment. MSD’s can also occur in the patients life outside work either through sport – tennis (elbow); music – guitar playing or a hobby – on-line tracing of a family tree. These external work events can be exacerbated by their daily profession. They can also result from fractures sustained in an accident. Typically, MSDs affect the back, neck, shoulders and upper limbs; less often they affect the lower limbs. Some other disorders are: Tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, TMJ, sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc..
In the neurological field, headaches, migraines and neuralgia are the common painful conditions treated with acupuncture. Strokes and their sequelae are another major indication for acupuncture. Early treatment of paresis after stroke has proved highly effective.
Because improvement in the effects of stroke also occurs naturally, there has been some doubt about the contribution of acupuncture. In recent years, however, a number of controlled clinical evaluations have been undertaken in stroke patients. For example, in randomized controlled studies, acupuncture treatment of hemiplegic due to cerebral infarction gave better results than conventional medication and physiotherapy. There were also beneficial effects when acupuncture was used as a complement to rehabilitation.
Depression, sometimes referred to as uni polar depression, is a common mental disorder characterized by sadness, loss of interest in activities and by decreased energy. Depression is differentiated from normal mood changes that are part of life by the extent of its severity, the symptoms and the duration of the disorder. Suicide remains one of the common and often avoidable outcomes of depression. If depressive episodes alternate with exaggerated elation or irritability they are known as bipolar disorder. Depressive disorders and schizophrenia are responsible for 60% of all suicides. The causes of depression vary. Genetic and biological factors also play a part.
In the United States, acupuncture is used frequently for the treatment of chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, headache, athletic injuries, and post traumatic and post surgical pain. It is also used for treating chronic pain associated with immune function dysfunction, such as psoriasis (skin disorders), allergies, and asthma. Some modern application of acupuncture is in the treatment of disorders such as alcoholism, addiction, smoking, and eating disorders. Some other disorders are: Anxiety, insomnia, headaches & migraines, tri-germinal neuralgia, inter-coastal neuralgia, post-stroke paralysis, dizziness & tinnitus, etc..
Acupuncture is also found to be effective for the treatment of mind-body disorders such as anxiety, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, insomnia, menopausal symptoms, and depression. Acupuncture has become popular throughout the world in the past few decades. It is now recognized as a simple, safe, effective and economical form of therapy, besides being free from side effects. It has not only been used as an anesthetic agent, but also in many diseases that are resistant to conventional forms of therapy.