The Minnesota Acupuncture Association (MAA) is working to improve the health and quality of life for people in Minnesota. We describe this effort in our core beliefs:
- We believe everyone should have the opportunity to feel better and live a healthy life.
Healthcare should be safe, effective and accessible for everyone.
There are a variety of ways to accomplish safe, effective and accessible healthcare.
Acupuncture and herbal medicines are viable forms for both treatment and preventive healthcare today.
There is a growing focus on preventive care as Minnesota and the nation look to truly control health care costs. Acupuncture and herbal medicine place a major emphasis on building up the body so that illness doesn't develop, and diagnosing and intervening at an earlier point in a disease process. This is a great opportunity to not only control costs but improve quality of life.
Each year, more and more Minnesotans are using acupuncture and herbal medicine as a means of accessible, effective health care. Research has shown this medicine has a high efficacy rate and surveys show a high satisfaction rate among users.
Below, we cover several ways that acupuncture and herbal medicine can be useful partners in managing health care costs and functioning as a partner in rethinking health care.
Acupuncture is a relatively low-cost method of providing care that can often prevent or replace much more expensive means of treatment. One could be treated with acupuncture every week for a year for less than $4000. While the average person would be seen for a shorter time, consider the cost savings in medication, treatment of side effects of medication, and office calls in a year's time.
Whether used as a standalone or as an adjunct to other therapies, saving overall costs and improving outcomes of care are goals that we in this profession share with the state government and the people of Minnesota.
Focus on prevention
Below are four ways that acupuncture and herbal medicine focuses on prevention:
In the diagnostic methods of herbal medicine, practitioners are able to observe subtle signs of changes occurring in the body before they have developed into changes that would be picked up through symptoms, lab work or radiology readings. With these early indicators of imbalance, practitioners can work with the person to restore natural function before disease arises. Thus, this work can truly function in the arena of prevention as well as very early intervention.
A healthy lifestyle is a cornerstone of herbal medicine. One of the treatment principles of this medicine is that food and lifestyle are the first levels of intervention, even before through acupuncture, herbs, or other forms of care.
Treatment with acupuncture often has a calming effect on the body and psyche. In addition, when having acupuncture, the patient spends some quiet time once the needles are placed. There is great value of both for one's health in our busy world.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used to bolster the body's natural functions and defenses. It is common, through treatment, to work on improving the immune system's function and to lessen the effects of seasonal allergies as well as seasonal colds and flu. This is just one example of improving the functioning of a system of the body so that symptoms that have been previously just managed can be overcome.
Our history in Minnesota
Acupuncture has been practiced in Minnesota since as early as the 1950s. The first organization for acupuncturists was formed in 1981. After many years of effort, legislation regulating licensure for acupuncturists in Minnesota was passed in 1995. The first acupuncturists were licensed in 1996. Today, there are approximately 500 licensed acupuncturists in Minnesota.
Traditionally, practitioners have run their own independent practices or practiced in other alternative providers' offices. Today, acupuncture is also beginning to be utilized in allopathic health settings such as Mayo, Abbott Northwestern, the Courage Center, Health Partners clinics, and Woodwinds hospital.