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World Health Organization Approved List

World Health Organization: Acupuncture Proven Effective for

By Ericka Bastecki

Several years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an official report listing 31 symptoms, conditions and diseases that have been shown in controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture. Following is the list of conditions shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis elbow
  • Knee pain
  • Peri-arthritis of the shoulder
  • Sprains
  • Facial pain
  • TMJ
  • Headache
  • Dental pain
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Induction of labor
  • Breech birth presentation
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Postoperative pain
  • Stroke
  • Essential hypertension
  • Primary hypotension
  • Renal colic
  • Leucopenia
  • Radiation/chemo reactions
  • Allergic rhinitis,
  • Hay fever
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression
  • Acute bacillary dysentery
  • Primary dysmenorrhea
  • Acute epigastralgia
  • Peptic ulcer

The report also contains three other very important lists of conditions:

  • Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of Acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed.
  • Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which Acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult.
  • Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which Acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment.

This landmark report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, is available on the WHO website for download as a printable PDF file (see link at end of this article). It could help patients deal with insurance carriers who deny coverage for Acupuncture treatments for the situations contained in the report, especially those proven effective in controlled trials. WHO’s authority concerning health-related matters internationally cannot be challenged.

If a patient’s treatment is on the lists of symptoms, syndromes, disease processes, pathologies, traumas and conditions that have been proven to be effectively treated by Acupuncture, the report should be presented to insurance carriers along with a request to reconsider coverage.

SOURCE: Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, World Health Organization, 2003