How Acupuncture Can Offer a Cost-Effective Health Solution

The ancient Chinese remedy of acupuncture, practised for thousands of years in Asia, is increasingly gaining in importance in its use in modern medicine. The therapy involves inserting needles into the skin at certain points on the body to alleviate the symptoms of a number of diseases, illnesses and conditions.

Modern acupuncture also includes the use of imaging and diagnostic technologies in inserting the needles, complementing the techniques used by trained practitioners.

Like all clinical practice, the use of acupuncture is only approved where medical practitioners believe there will be both a positive outcome on health and on cost. Health economics now dictates that clinicians are aware of the costs involved in health care, including both the direct and indirect financial effects for patient care.

While complementary healthcare such as acupuncture is considered to have a relevant place in the provision of health care for certain conditions, there is a dearth of research into its potential benefits and effects. And this can have a negative effect on doctors prescribing acupuncture, unwilling to spend money on treatment with uncertain outcomes.

To this end, the scientific community is being persuaded and encouraged to carry out more scientifically valid studies and clinical trials using the likes of acupuncture to test its effectiveness in a more rigorous fashion. The results of such studies can then better inform health economics for the future, allowing clinicians and practitioners to be more clear about health outcomes for patients before prescribing complementary therapies such as acupuncture.

Cost is not the only relevant factor in deciding treatment and therapies but as the ageing populations of the developed world continue to live longer, affordable healthcare for all continues to be a problem for nations to resolve. Finding cheaper treatments that don’t involve pricey pharmaceuticals but do offer positive health outcomes is one way forward.

With acupuncture already being shown by research to offer long-term savings in the cost of direct healthcare for patients, acupuncture’s use as a complementary therapy looks assured for the future.

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