Find an acupuncturist...

What are the effects of acupuncture long term.

Many of the problems with which people present when they visit an acupuncturist are improved to a measurable extent, and in some cases they go away. To describe this as a 'cure' is not something any BAcC member would claim, however, and the reason lies in the nature of the system of medicine itself. Disease arises for a number of reasons from a Chinese medicine perspective. Apart from the obvious reasons like injury and infection, there are a whole range of lifestyle situations which are seen as disruptive of the body's balance. These can be both external and internal; living on a rotten diet or worrying all of the hours of the day are just as likely from a Chinese medicine perspective to cause disease. Over and above that each of us has a constitutional balance which is largely inherited and which determines how well we maintain our health and which also predisposes us to certain weaknesses.
In ancient times the doctor's primary role was to keep someone well rather than to get them better. If a patient became ill at all this was taken as a reflection that the doctor had done a poor job! The practitioner's task is to try to restore balance where it has been disturbed by a recent factor and to strengthen the underlying balance, in order to enable the patient to withstand the ups and downs of life. If the practitioner does a good job then it is largely down to the patient to listen to any advice that the practitioner may have to give in order to stay well. In many cases and if someone's health is generally good, the changes achieved by treatment can be long-lasting. If, however, there are a lot of confounding factors in play, like the patient who wants to keep on working excessively long hours or drinking 40 units of alcohol a week, then there are limits to what any system of medicine can achieve.

Post a question

If you have any questions about acupuncture, browse our archive or ask an expert.

Ask an expert

BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

Browse the facts