Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Is acupuncture a complementary treatment or does it treat ailments by itself?

If someone wants to go in for an acupuncture treatment, will it be in conjunction with other treatments, or is it sometimes used as a treatment by itself?

40 Answers

Acupuncture treats a wide array of diseases. The World Health Organization has made a statement about the many diseases acupuncture can help. You can "google" the information.
Interestingly acupuncture is also a good complementary treatment for complex diseases. It can mitigate the side affects of chemotherapy such and nausea and insomnia for example.
Chinese Medicine is an entire medical system unto itself. It can address many conditions on its own and it also works well with other modalities. Treatment combinations are as individual as people are.
Each case is different. It may be taken care of by acupuncture alone, or combined with herbal therapy, or combined with Western traditional medicine.
Most of the time, I am treating something for a patient with just acupuncture/Chinese medicine. That is not to say that there aren't tons of exceptions. For instance, one time, I had a diabetic patient who had a wound from surgery on his foot that he came to me to work with. I immediately referred him to a western wound care specialist doctor. Some things western medicine excels at fixing, especially on an emergency basis. The one area there seems to be a conflict is with the overmedicating nature of some doctors. In my experience, too many medications = toxic patient. And toxicity impedes or, at best, slows acupuncture's effectiveness. And I am not legally allowed to tell a patient that they should stop taking something a doctor has given them. I am allowed to educate them about the damage the substance they are taking is causing and to refer them to a physician who doesn't have the same drug-pushing philosophy as some other physicians. And those physicians are becoming more and more common in my experience, thankfully.
In many ways, acupuncture can act as a standalone treatment for a wide variety of ailments. However, it is labeled as a complementary medical therapy as it can work in conjunction with other therapies as well. However, I always inform my patients that it would be ideal to only get this therapy and no other therapy (such as a massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc.) on the same day. You need to let the body process and heal after treatment.
Hi, Acupuncture is a stand alone modality as well as working well alongside other modalities. :) Hope this helps.
Acupuncture consider as complimentary/ alternative medicine in America. But you should understand that this medicine is 5000 years old. I do not believe it just complementary. I believe acupuncture could help with a lot of problems. And it also work well together with western medicine
As a traditional Chinese medical doctor, I would like to find out what causes the ailments and the relationship between ailments, then do the complementary treatment. Also I do the treatment in conjunction with the ailments even they are not related.
Acupuncture treatment can be itself as well as conjunct with other treatment, depend on what condition/symptoms patient want to get help with. Patient under chemotherapy can receive acupuncture at the same time for reducing the side effect from chemotherapy, like vomit, nausea, or loss appetite.
Acupuncture developed in China 2500 years ago as part of a whole system of medicine, based on a unique understanding of health and diseases. It is able to help restore balance to the body and address a variety of symptoms. It's natural, safe and drug-free.
Acupuncture has been one of the best treatment method for any kind of disease by itself for several thousand years in Asia countries.
Acupuncture by itself can have powerful results. However, it is usually complemented by Chinese herbs or other treatments (cupping, IR lamps, etc.) for more effective results!
Acupuncture can be a stand-alone treatment for several ailments, particularly with pain management issues.
Acupuncture can be used as a treatment by itself, but it is many times used in conjunction with other Oriental Medicine tools such as herbal medicine or cupping. Even if just acupuncture is used for treatment, you still have the benefit of the Oriental Medicine diagnosis, which is completely different from a Western medicine diagnosis. Using an Oriental Medicine diagnosis we can treat the disease even if Western Medicine hasn’t figured out what it is. With Oriental Medicine I not only treat the disease and symptoms, but also treat the root cause of the disease so that your body heals and gets stronger (not just masking the symptoms). Please feel free to call at the number below if you have any other questions.

Dr. Sandy Schwartz
(512) 341-9900
Acupuncture is used alone to treat many ailments. Acupuncture is being used in many Asian nations as well as in Europe and in the US as primary medical care.
Acupuncturists are recognized as primary physicians in many states in the US.
We like to call the Asian Medicine (including and not only limited to acupuncture, cupping, moxabustion, herbs, acupressure) as "Wholistic" (treating the whole body and mind) not complementary.

Scott Sang In LeeChun Am Acupuncture천암 한의원 
Good day,

It depends on many things, but one can consider acupuncture the central treatment or an adjunct.

Kind regards,
Acupuncture is definitely a "whole medicine," thus it does treat ailments by itself. However, it can also be used in conjunction with other medical modalities.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine<> in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine<> (TCM). The method used in TCM is likely the most widespread in the United States. It is most often used for pain relief, though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions. Acupuncture is generally used only in combination with other forms of treatment.

For more information, please call 518-882-8595. Dr. Gao, Hui(Grace) L.Ac. T.C.M.D.
The answer to your question is the same answer as if you asked about chiropractic, physical therapy, pharmaceutical therapy, or any method: It depends on the problem. Yes, there are times that acupuncture is the only therapy needed. Other times, cupping and acupuncture, other times, herbal medicine, acupuncture. Some problems need acupuncture, biopuncture, PT, etc. Also, acupuncture is one branch in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and when you see a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, you will most likely receive acupuncture along side some of the other therapies such as cupping, herbal medicine, nutrition, and point injection therapy.
it depends upon which condition you are talking about.
What a great question! It all depends on what conditions are being treated. The beauty of acupuncture is that it can be used by itself for many conditions, but it is safe to use in conjunction with other treatments and medicine without interfering with the other treatments. It can actually compliment the other treatments and bring greater quality of life to the patient. A great example of this is someone using pharmaceutical medications and experiencing side effects can use acupuncture to treat their condition along with the side effects of the medication without interfering with the therapeutic effect of the medication.
It is a very interesting question and we should categorize the answer. A patient who is being treated for cancer will experience some side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. Acupuncture is a complement to the therapy and it reduces the side effects such as nausea or skin sensitivity. A patient who is being treated for pain might be taking some prescribed medications: Acupuncture will help the patient reduce the dosage or completely stop the prescription under the supervision of the ordering physician. Then, this patient might only use acupuncture to maintain his or her body condition. Patients who are usually familiar with acupuncture will choose this modality to treat most of their ailments, however, acupuncturists are limited by their scope of practice and they will have to refer out if the condition requires an emergency medical intervention.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM
I think the best answer here is: it depends. For a good many health issues, acupuncture can be a stand-alone treatment. For some things, like cancer, acupuncture is better as a complementary or integrative treatment along with other interventions.

In general, acupuncture pairs well with lots of other treatment options. We're not using drugs, and acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow (we're not injecting any substances), so there isn't much to be concerned about with potential drug interactions. Other therapeutic approaches like physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic work extremely well with acupuncture.

If you'd like to discuss your particular situation, whether a stand-alone or integrated approach might be best for you, please give me a call: 719-297-7121

Best regards,

Jeff Rippey, L.Ac.

Thank you for reaching out. It completely depends on what the treatment is for. But generally, acupuncture along with herbal medication can treat a variety of illnesses, from thyroid problems to infertility and pain-related issues.

I hope I was able to answer your question. If you have any more, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Mulberry Leaf Acupuncture.

Warm regards,

Aleksandra Dianova, L.Ac.
It doesn't need to be combined with other treatments. There will be a case that two or three treatment could give synergistic effect. Usually, acupuncture and herbal medicine can be combined to boost up the healing process. You can ask more details when you're having an acupuncture treatment.

Jun Kim, LAc.
Acupuncture works beautifully as a complementary treatment while patients receive care from other medical professionals such as their physical therapist, fertility doctor and numerous others. As a stand alone medical treatment, acupuncture is very effective for treating the root cause of disease as well as its symptoms.
Good day,

Thanks for your question. Acupuncture is a stand alone treatment. It can be used to treat any imbalance in the body from shortening the duration of a cold or flu to treating infertility.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the oldest, continually practiced, and professionally administered health care system in the world. It is a documented medical system spanning over 2,500 years based on comprehensive philosophies, rational theories, clinically tested and empirically verified by over 100 generations of highly educated practitioners.

Chinese Medicine is a total system of internal medicine which is comprised of a diagnostic procedure based on signs, symptoms and treatment styles including acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, diet and meditation. It’s foundation is based on the principles of balance; the interdependent relationship of Yin and Yang. Through this balance, health is achieved and maintained.

I hope this helps.

Andrew Pacholyk, MS L.Ac
Good day to you and thank you for your question. Acupuncture is both complementary and can be use solely. It depends of the condition, the stage of the condition and of course the individual.
It depends on your symptoms. For example, you have wrist pain, acupuncture works well. If you come for infertility, you’d better have herbal tea with acupuncture.
Acupuncture can be used as a stand alone medicine for very many conditions. Sometimes the patient prefers to also be working with medicine, but it’s really a case by case basis.
Of course it depends on the condition. Often patients have exhausted all other forms of treatment. Yes, acupuncture is very often used exclusively for a condition.
The short answer is: both! Many people use acupuncture as their main treatment method for health. Others utilize it in conjunction with other treatments. For example, people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer often find acupuncture helpful in managing the side effects of those modalities.
I use acupuncture alone for many of my patients, some use me only, some use me in conjunction with other systems of health. In addition to the acupuncture needles, there are times when I use additional modalities i.e. Cupping (suction), Guasha (scraping), moxa (heat), Tuina (massage), herbs or other treatment tools at my disposal.

There are times when dietary consultations are important, there are times when exercise consultations are important. Quite often there are discussions on a persons lifestyle/habits, emotional wellbeing, social life, family life and all other aspects of their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing are affected. This is particularly true in my clinic. I try to see all of the components of a persons life to help them achieve wellness in all aspects of daily life, not just when things go wrong.

In addition to the treatments being done here, there is also the question of "what other medical practitioners are involved?" So, in conjunction with the acupuncture, et al, the patient may also be on western medicines, may need to be monitored for blood levels, glucose levels, may need surgeries, etc. I do not discourage patients from getting other work on them. It often helps to have them monitored by western medicine because the need for medications may reduce and we want to make sure the patient is safe at all levels. The western tests can also give objective findings to show that our treatments are helping.

My services can greatly enhance the treatments provided by western medicine and vice versa. I think it is always important to utilize all the tools that medical fields offer us and I believe in the patient's autonomy to choose what directions they want to go in.

The short answer, though, is YES, acupuncture can be a stand-alone treatment, but it is part of the Chinese medical field and so is only one of the tools available, others can and will be used if necessary. It can be accompanied by other medical fields and as cases vary, which is better can also vary. Emergency medicine should be left to the emergency rooms, once out of the emergency stage our services are quite effective.
HI there, I am happy to answer your question. It is not just Complementary Treatment, but also be Treatment.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine treat root of all causes, not just symptom. Understanding Western and Oriental Medicines is very important. I have Western medicine background, and now I am a Licensed Acupuncturist. I can say one more thing, Oriental medicine and acupuncture take time to see results, but not western medicine. Ex: when you have a headache, many people take Advill, Aspirin, etc., however, Oriental Medicine's approach is different. There are many reasons why you're getting a headache.
I am not sure what do you mean other treatments here.

Acupuncture itself is a complementary treatment. Sometimes due to patient's body need, we also add other treatment, such as herbal supplements.

Acupuncture works good with Yoga, chiropractic and massage therapies.

Hope I answer your questions
Have a great day
IF you have more questions, please let me know

Huan Wen Jonathan Fang
Acupuncture can be conjunction with other treatments or used alone depending on the illness.
It is used as both.
This is a very broad question to answer, you may want to be a little more specific.
Acupuncture is mostly used as a treatment by itself, but it can also be a complementary treatment.

Acupuncturist treats patients by giving stimulations to their body and trigger their body to adjust, so it usually doesn't cause too much conflict with other treatments.

Orange Acupuncture
Acupuncture is both. For example: if you have insomnia, and your TCM doctor diagnose you correctly, the insomnia can be treated without using other treatment. There are more than 7 different Pattern Diagnostics in TCM, that could be the cause of insomnia. Via Acupuncture and maybe also herbal formulas, insomnia can be successfully treated. Let's take another example, like Sciatica. I prefer to not treat in conjunction with other therapies, If you combine multiple therapies it is nearly impossible to distinguish which therapy was effective. However, if I do not see any result within approximately 5 treatments, I will refer this patient back to their primary care physician. If this same patient is referred to me by a Chiropractor, I will continue to work in conjunction with the Chiropractor.
Acupuncture treatment and other treatments can be done together. Rather, the treatment effect can be enhanced. However, it is better to inform the acupuncture clinic and other therapists of the above facts.