The National Institute of Health has a division of Complementary and Alternative Medicine whose mission is to “define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.”
The greatest number of these scientific studies are regarding acupuncture.
How effective acupuncture is “depends on what we are asking it to do,” said Dr. Brent Bauer, director of the Department of Internal Medicine’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine program at Mayo Clinic, in an email to the the Herald.
Michael Coachman of Larimore, N.D., has been suffering from migraines for nearly 20 years. He sought help from Dr. Michael Waind, a Grand Forks chiropractor who uses acu-stapling to alleviate migraines, based on testimony from friends who tried, and got relief from, the alternative method.
Future doctors and nurses are learning about acupuncture and herbs along with anatomy and physiology at a growing number of medical schools. It’s another example of how alternative medicine has become mainstream. And it’s often done with Uncle Sam’s help.
“Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion. There are other things that can cause joint and soft tissue pain that are not fibromyalgia. ..." said Dr. Thomas Kowalkowski is the medical director at Interventional Pain & Physical Medicine Clinic. Kowalkowski’s rehabilitation center features massage therapy, aquatherapy, a sauna or steam room and acupuncture as well as fitness equipment to manage pain.
Acupuncture involves placing very thin needles at specific points on the body to try to control pain and reduce stress. There are only theories about how, why and even whether it might work. Regardless, the ancient Chinese practice has been gradually catching on as a pain treatment for troops who come home wounded.
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