Acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic method with an established history of at least two thousand years. It originates in China, though it is almost certain that other countries gave birth to similar techniques. Therefore the World Health Organization is referring to East Asian Medicine, with a common background, but also local differences. Besides, China, a vast country of more than a billion inhabitants, was never nationally, religiously, politically or socially homogenous. Only after 1949 a forceful homogenization was attempted.
Nevertheless Acupuncture, whether Traditional Chinese or Western Scientific,
forms today part of the therapeutic armamentarium of 21st century medicine, despite of the huge differences concerning its rationale or its proper use. Some use it as a modern panacea, trying to treat everything with acupuncture. Others consider it as just another technique for treating patients.
Some accept the flow of Qi, the philosophical dualism of Yin-Yang, the existence of meridians and acupuncture points. Others are reluctant to accept anything that cannot be proven scientifically, according to the western definition of science, which takes pride in believing that it is the continuation of ancient greek thought.
Different acupuncture techniques always existed and will continue to exist. Whether globally applied acupuncture techniques are directly comparable is a huge question mark.
The most common indication for acupuncture in the West is pain, especially musculoskeletal pain. Therefore acupuncture use in orthopedics is particularly significant and nowadays is considered as first-line treatment. In the case of simple low back pain acupuncture is recommended, before even considering X-rays.
Evidence-based studies have shown that acupuncture is efficacious in pain of the lower back, neck and knees, the very reason why patients seek orthopedic care.
Therefore the attending physician, in this case the surgeon, may offer instant and significant pain relief to his patients without the need of referring them to other health providers. Besides, according to Greek Law, acupuncture is a medicalprocedure, performed by doctors of medicine, dentistry or veterinarians, who have the necessary training and experience.