FDA Endorses Acupuncture


John Weeks

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News and Reports

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released proposed changes Wednesday [May 2017] to its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain. The guidelines now recommend that doctors get information about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids.

“FDA Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain.” Under Section 2, part two, on how to create a treatment plan, the very first consideration urged by the FDA offers is, “Nonpharmacologic therapies include psychological, physical rehabilitative, surgical approaches; and complementary therapies.”

This follows up on the December 2016 CDC draft guidance on opioid prescribing, for instance, originally called for “many nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, complementary and alternative therapies (e.g., manipulation, massage, and acupuncture).”

According to the National Society for Addiction Medicine (NSAD)

* Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others.

* Opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.

* Addiction is a primary, chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

* In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.

* Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.

* 94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were “far more expensive and harder to obtain”.

* Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US.

Effective pain relief solutions from Health Concerns include, Channel Flow® for acute pain, which has been used successfully with acupuncture to reduce opiates and other pain medications. Curcuma Flow™ for chronic inflammation, TCM recommended on the basis of constitution; and Collagenex 2™ a supplement, which contains naturally occurring glucosamine sulfate, hyaluronic acid, collagen and other beneficial compounds for improving joint, muscle, and tendon function.