It’s a known fact that during the recent decades medical technologies have significantly developed. However, the achieved progress quite often has been unable to grant an optimal solution for a large number of diseases. Perhaps, it is partly due to the complexity of the human body, or lack of the required attention to the patient needs… On the other hand, maybe some of the concepts of the modern medicine are wrong and have to be reconsidered… 

Anyway, a growing number of patients are looking for help from the specialists in the area of complimentary medicine, and particularly acupuncturists among the others. For a long list of disorders acupuncture has been used not less, but rather more effectively than the conventional medicine. Nevertheless, prior to proceeding to the above mentioned list I would like to emphasize the following very important aspect. That is that the Chinese Medicine refers to the human body and consequently to its physiology and pathophysiology in a substantially different way from the allopathic (modern) medicine. Therefore, the perception of diseases, their diagnostics and treatment are totally different and incomparable to this of the modern medicine. Without getting to deep into the principals of the Chinese Medicine, it is essential to mention one of the major differences between the Chinese Medicine approach of the diagnostics and treatment as compared to these of the modern medicine. In the classical modern medicine all the efforts are generally directed to treat the symptoms of the disease. Chinese Medicine refers to the symptoms as to “alarm signals”, which can be “turned off”, but it does not treat the cause of the disease. According to the Chinese Medicine, the symptoms of a disease are a guide that can be used in combination with the diagnostics to find a cause of a disease and to affect it. That is why, although a diagnosis may sound the same in the Chinese Medicine and modern medicine, its essence and consequently the treatment are different. For instance, such concepts as pain, neuralgia, asthma, rhinitis etc. have unequal meaning in the modern medicine as compared to the Chinese Medicine.

Dr. Arkady Kotlyar


WHO classification of diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials
1st category
2nd category
3rd category
4th category

Evaluation of the effect of acupuncture


In 2003, the World Health Organization published a landmark study titled "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials". According to this study, the diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials can be classified into four categories:

1. Diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven to be effective

• Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
• Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
• Biliary colic
• Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following  a stroke)
• Dysentery, acute bacillary
• Dysmenorrhoea, primary
• Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and  gastrospasm)
• Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
• Headache
• Hypertension, essential
• Hypotension, primary
• Induction of labor
• Knee pain
• Leukopenia
• Low back pain
• Correction of  fetus  malposition 
• Morning sickness
• Nausea and vomiting
• Neck pain
• Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporo-mandibular dysfunction)
• Periarthritis of the shoulder
• Postoperative pain
• Renal colic
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Sciatica
• Sprain
• Stroke
• Tennis elbow

2. Diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown, but for which further proof is needed

• Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
• Acne vulgaris
• Alcohol dependence and detoxification
• Bell’s palsy
• Bronchial asthma
• Cancer pain
• Cardiac neurosis
• Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
• Cholelithiasis
• Competition stress syndrome
• Craniocerebral injury, closed
• Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
• Earache
• Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
• Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
• Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
• Female infertility
• Facial spasm
• Female urethral syndrome
• Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
• Gastrokinetic disturbance
• Gouty arthritis
• Hepatitis B virus carrier status
• Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
• Hyperlipaemia
• Hypo-ovarianism
• Insomnia
• Labour pain
• Lactation, deficiency
• Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
• Mιniθre disease
• Neuralgia, post-herpetic
• Neurodermatitis
• Obesity
• Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
• Osteoarthritis
• Pain due to endoscopic examination
• Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
• Postextubation in children
• Postoperative convalescence
• Premenstrual syndrome
• Prostatitis, chronic
• Pruritus
• Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
• Raynaud's syndrome, primary
• Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
• Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
• Retention of urine, traumatic
• Schizophrenia
• Sialism, drug-induced
• Sjogren syndrome
• Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
• Spine pain, acute
• Stiff neck
• Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
• Tietze syndrome
• Tobacco dependence
• Tourette syndrome
• Ulcerative colitis, chronic
• Urolithiasis
• Vascular dementia
• Whooping cough (pertussis)

3. Diseases, symptoms, or conditions for which only a few controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects exist, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult

• Chloasma
• Choroidopathy, central serous
• Colour blindness
• Deafness
• Hypophrenia
• Irritable colon syndrome
• Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
• Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
• Small airway obstruction

4. Diseases, symptoms, or conditions in which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment

• Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Coma
• Convulsions in infants
• Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
• Diarrhea in infants and young children
• Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
• Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar


The effect of acupuncture on the areas of pain is generally confirmed using thermograms taken by an infrared imaging system. Areas of chronic pain, inflammation, wound healing, or disease can be evaluated thermographically to assist the physician with a diagnosis and treatment plan in the following way:

• To detect thermal indicators as they relate to infection, inflammation, or fibrocystic disease
• To determine thermal indications of angiogenic or blood vessel significance that would require further evaluation

Infrared imaging is the test of choice for undetermined pain disorders such as:

• Muscular skeletal disorders, including wound healing and chronic pain
• Impaired peripheral circulation, including varicosities, peripheral vascular disease, or blood viscosity concerns
• Neuropathies

Infrared imaging in two patients suffering from pain in different areas 

Patient 1



Red and yellow color – areas of increased temperature typical for infection, inflammation, and pain. Blue and green color – areas of normal temperature.

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