Acupuncture as a stand alone therapy has been shown to be effective while eliminating the risk of potential side effects from pharmaceutical medications.
When used with pharmaceutical medications, acupuncture can improve the effectiveness of drugs, help minimize/eliminate drug reactions and in many cases reduce the need for medications.
Adding Chinese herbal medicine to acupuncture can enhance effectiveness, as both focus treatment on a person’s patterns of disharmony.
If, however, your condition is not a major medical problem i.e. pain problem, sleep problem, menstrual problem, cold/flu, skin condition, stress related issue, digestive disorder, respiratory, etc. Then acupuncture alone can help you balance yourself out. (if you are on medications already, you need to let your MD know that you are getting treatments so they can adjust medications as your body changes. For some major medical issues, such as asthma, you should always carry an emergency inhaler or other medication in cases of emergency even if the acupuncture treatments are helping you stabilize.
You need to converse with your practitioner who should be able to guide you to the limits of their scope - beyond that, you should seek outside help.
Of course, your health involves your choice in health, so if you yourself want more or less outside assistance, you can choose to do so. Those listed in the first paragraph, however, should pursue multiple practices.
there are no side effects. We see a lot of pain management cases: Patients usually are prescribed many medications before seeking acupuncture. One of the benefits of acupuncture is to reduce pain medication dosages, with the informed consent of the patient's physician. It is our goal to help the patient to completely stop their prescribed medication and this is a sign of healing.
Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
James F. Jones
Dr. Maryam Mansouri, Lac. OMD.
No. You do not have take medicines for acupuncture to work. Acupuncture is effective by itself.
Scott Sang In Lee
Caitria Thiele, LAc MSOM
For example, if you're having migraines due to anemia, it would be very difficult to stop them without addressing the underlying nutritional deficiency.
While herbs and acupuncture will nearly always help, it’s difficult to make progress when treatments are spaced too far apart or are scheduled randomly. Taking getting treated regularly and taking herbs as prescribed and following prescribed food therapy recommendations will help significantly and are especially important when regular acupuncture sessions cannot be performed.
Standard Acupuncture Treatment Plan –
1. Ideal: 3x per week for 1-4 weeks. In many cases this resolve the issue. For cases of chronic conditions treatment is usually continued and sometimes the visits are spaced out further (depending on how much improvement is seen)
2. Almost ideal: Herbs and acupuncture 2x per week for 2-10 weeks then begin spacing them out to weekly then bi-monthly and so-forth.
3. Acceptable: Herbs and weekly appointments for 4-12+ weeks then begin spacing them out to bi-monthly and so-forth.
4. Guarded: Visits scheduled more than one week apart. Herbs and supplements will be very important.
The simple answer is "no" other medicines are not required for acupuncture to be effective (especially for pain) but if there are underlying issues, other therapies my be necessary or at least helpful.
If you decide to include herbs/supplements, it is important to take them as prescribed. These formulas are powerful and highly-effected when taken properly. The effects can be boosted with food therapy and acupuncture. These formulas have survived several thousand years of medical advancements because they work. I hope this helps to answer your question and encourages you to try acupuncture.
If you decide to try acupuncture, make sure you start with a fully trained acupuncturist (not an MD or Chiropractor that did minimal hours of training to get a license).
By that, if you mean combine with western medication, it depends on the situation. Some western medication can be taken in conjunction with herbal medicines, but you have to consult with both your doctor and your acupuncturist. But acupuncture can stand alone with herbal medicines without the need of western medicines. It all depends on different cases.