September 25, 2022

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Acupuncture, alternative or integrative medicine? A word to the expert: “The World Health Organization considers it beneficial for 64 diseases. Here’s how”

Its millennial and original imitation of a village as far away as China It is still surrounded by an aura of mystery. In fact, acupuncture is based on the idea that in the human body there is a system of channels – meridians – through which energy flows at the base of life, called “life force” or Qi. Working on the meridians allows you to deal with various organic diseases by making this vital energy flow where it has found “mass”. This method is now widespread also in public and private hospitals, abroad and in Italy.

But how does this practice fit into the principles of Western biological sciences and based medicine? “Obviously this is a definition based on old visions Acupuncture that has completely changed today, and especially since 1997, thanks to the diagnostic and exploratory tools of modern medicine, which led to the identification ofAcupuncture is a true medical science, based on a complex system of interconnections that allow a wide range of interactions at the neural, hormonal and circulatory levels. Today, acupuncture is Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). so) with 26 thousand scientific publications on the same topic,” explains Dr. Franco CracolechiMD, Physician and Director of the School of Acupuncture in Florence, Vice-President of Fisa (Italian Federation of Acupuncture Society), Scientific Director of Integrated Oncology Activities at Azienda Usl Toscana Sud-Est, Master Instructor at the University of La Sapienza, Rome.

Dr. Krakolici, about 20 years ago, the World Health Organization recognized acupuncture as a valid treatment for painful symptoms. In what other areas is there evidence that this method works?
The World Health Organization found it useful at least at that time 64 different diseases After these statements, there have been many studies and research, especially in the United States, where acupuncture has been confirmed. Among other things, in the upcoming Classification of Diseases and Health Problems (ICD11) ofWho is the There will be an introduction to the chapter, 26, devoted to diagnosis according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, which communicates with UNESCO which declared in 2010, in Nairobi, that acupuncture is a “world heritage site”. Today, 30 large US oncology hospitals (Sloan Kettering, Anderson Cancer, Dana Farber) have acupuncture service responsible for, for example, the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Headaches and migraines find a first choice of practice in the use of acupuncture, without neglecting anxiety, depression and stress. If anything, it’s hard to find an area where acupuncture can’t always have its say Considering it in combination And not just an alternative to classical medicine. We can say that from obstetrics and gynecology to most chronic diseases that cause pain and aging, acupuncture can have its say, contributing to the improvement of a wide range of problems.

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Can we then define it as complementary medicine to conventional medicine?
We have to talk about one integrative medicinewhich puts itself at the service of the human being to support a state of balance and psychosomatic prevention, exerting an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, thanks to a variety of neurotransmitters evoked by the acupuncture itself (endorphins, Cgrp, substance P, dopamine, serotonin, cytokines).

remarkably It is not a panacea for all diseases. Moreover, the therapist who performs it must be prepared with a recognized course of study, and perhaps must carry in his heart Hippocratic medicine because today empathy is such a fundamental value. And again: He must know how to advise or advise against applying the same where there is a priority need for another form of treatment or a surgical procedure. In my opinion, there are three essential characteristics of a good doctor who practices it: propriety, evidence, and humanity.

Are there any contraindications to consider before undergoing acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the absolute drug that has the least amount of side effects.

Acupuncture has recently been the subject of applications in breast cancer treatments. The results seem to open up very encouraging scenarios about the possibilities of an integrated treatment for this disease.
exactly. There are many innovations in the current national and international reality that enhance the therapeutic procedure of acupuncture in the context ofintegrated tumors. For example, Ispro (Institute for the Study, Prevention and Oncology, Tuscany) informs on its website of regional health service clinics offering integrated medicine treatments in oncology, there are 19 in Tuscany and 11 in the rest of Italy. ; In 2021, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Asco) approved the Sio (Society of Integrated Oncology) guidelines for the complementary treatment of breast cancer, during and after classic allopathic therapies, in the anxiety, nausea, and vomiting of chemotherapy, and lymphedema and peripheral edema. Neuropathy, etc. But perhaps the most significant novelty, at the national level and beyond, the only one officially in Europe, is the approval of the Pdta (Diagnostic Therapeutic Pathway) of Integrated Medicine for Cancer Patients approved in Tuscany and Espero.

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what is he talking about?
It consists of the formalization of Integrated therapies in oncology, based on evidence and implemented through a multidisciplinary and personalized pathway in tandem with traditional therapies and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and healthy lifestyles. All this is included in the regional oncology network and has its own coordinating body to which the various general complementary medicine clinics are connected. Personally, I work for the local health authority in southeastern Tuscany, which, thanks to three important initiatives in this sector in the public sphere (Grosseto, Campustaglia) associated with integration in oncology, is one of the most advanced public and hospital realities in Italy “.