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  Wai Tak Cheung: In What Way Is Acupuncture New  
     
  Since about the 16th century, acupuncture continuously developed and spread from China to Japan, to Korea, and to Vietnam. At about the end of the 17th or early 18th century, it began in Europe.

Acupuncture has only recently come to the United States. Since former President Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972, acupuncture has continuously gained popularity because it has been shown to be of value in numerous cases and includes many medical doctors among its practitioners.

With the spread of acupuncture throughout the world, clinical input from other countries has contributed techniques to the practice of acupuncture. New techniques (such as treating patients with herbs and vitamins, injecting Western medicine into meridian points after acupuncture treatments for specific conditions, adding new treatment areas of the body, and using mild electrical stimulation of the points) have led to greater knowledge of what acupuncture can do when the combined efforts of Eastern acupuncturists and Western Medical doctors are used. For example, new points for acupuncture treatment can be added on the scalp, eyelid, nose, outside part of the ears, feet, ankles, and hands. Using these points indicates the sensitive areas of the body and if they respond well and successfully to treatment.

The technology of Western science is now sometimes used in traditional acupuncture treatment. It is not surprising to see electrical stimulation to the various meridian points; this has become a popular method of treatment for bone spurs.

We also use magnetism, laser therapy, red-light therapy and are always finding new methods to help people heal.

One step toward acceptance of Chinese acupuncture has been through research, comparing the effects of healing processes. A medical doctor in Taiwan discovered that there are at least 108 points used in Western medical pain-relief techniques. These points are actually acupuncture points used by acupuncturists for pain relief and many other conditions.
 
     
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