World Health Organization on Acupuncture

R.H. BANNERMAN, M.D

World Health Organization

Avenue Appia

1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland

Abstract: A World Health Organization interregional seminar on acupuncture, moxabustion and acupuncture anesthesia was held in Beijing (Peking) in June 1979, attended by participants from twelve countries. Its purpose was to discuss ways in which priorities and standards could be determined in the acupuncture areas of clinical work, research, training, and technology transfer. Scientific investigation must be closely correlated with demonstrations of acupuncture’s clinical efficacy. Apart from acupuncture analgesia used in major surgical procedures, acupuncture also has been applied as a diagnostic aid and in conjunction with fluoroscopy in gastrointestinal diseases. Acupuncture is clearly not a panacea for all ills but the sheer weight of evidence demands that acupuncture must be taken seriously as a clinical procedure of considerable value.
During the past decade, there has been a growing convergence between the most advanced research knowledge from physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, and knowledge obtained by research in the field of acupuncture; that is to say, a convergence of modern international science with traditional Chinese medicine. For example, in more than 600 cases of coronary heart disease, the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving the symptoms was over 80 percent. In 645 cases of acute bacillary dysentery, 90 percent of the patients were cured within ten days as judged by clinical symptoms and signs and the results of stool culture. The technique is also comparatively effective in controlling fever, inflammation and pain.

From the viewpoint of modern medicine, the principle action of acupuncture (and of moxibustion) is to regulate the function of the human body and to increase its resistance by enhancing the immune system and the antiphlogistic, analgesic, antispastic, antishock and antiparalytic abilities of the body.

Table 1.

The World Health Organization Interregional Seminar drew up the following provisional list of diseases that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment. The list is based on clinical experience, and not necessarily on controlled clinical research: furthermore, the inclusion of specific diseases are not meant to indicate the extent of acupuncture’s efficacy in treating them.

***The associated success stories are not an implied guarantee.

INFECTIONS EYES-EARS-NOSE-THROAT
colds and flues deafness
bronchitis ringing in the ear
hepatitis menier’s
earaches
INTERNAL poor eyesight
hypoglycemia dizziness
asthma sinus infection
high blood pressure sore throat
ulcers hay fever
colitis
indigestion DERMATOLOGICAL
hemorrhoids eczema
diarrhea acne
constipation herpes
diabetes
MUSCULO-SKELETAL and NEUROLOGICAL GENITO-URINARY and REPRODUCTIVE
arthritis impotence
neuralgia infertility
sciatica pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
frozen shoulder pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
tennis elbow vaginitis
back pain irregular period or cramps
bursitis morning sickness
tendonitis
stiff neck
Bell’s palsy MENTAL-EMOTIONAL
trigeminal neuralgia anxiety
headache depression
stroke stress
cerebral palsy insomnia
polio
meneir’s disease
sprains

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