Given the accomplishments of modern science and technology, one might wonder what possible advantage an ancient system of healing could offer. Can it really be effective and safe? Does it really offer an alternative to conventional medicine? Modern research, and millions of patients around the world, would answer with a resounding, "Yes!"
First of all, acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used on human beings for thousands of years, and their effects -- both beneficial and detrimental -- have been well-documented for generations. (How long has the safety of your prescription or over-the-counter medication been studied?) Additionally, modern research is constantly verifying the effectiveness of both acupuncture and herbs for many health issues. Chinese medicine is often used in conjunction with Western medicine to improve treatment outcomes (i.e. greater success in IVF procedures) or to reduce unwanted side-effects (i.e. nausea with chemotherapy treatments). Furthermore, diagnoses are determined by each patient's overall constitution and set of symptoms, therefore making treatments personalized, flexible, and effective for the individual. Ultimately, on its own Chinese medicine can treat almost any illness, with fewer unwanted side-effects and greater safety than conventional medicine.
For more detailed information, please read the State of California consumer guide on acupuncture and Asian medicine: