Study Finds Acupuncture Works for Chronic Pain Relief

Acupuncture, or the process of inserting needles into the body in specific locations or “meridians” in order to treat various ailments, has always had a somewhat dubious reputation in the U.S.  Originating in China, acupuncture has had many skeptics who believe that if it works at all, it is only via a placebo effect.  But a new study has found that for sufferers of chronic pain, acupuncture provides real relief.  And even if it’s only in their heads, the results are strong enough to support continued treatment.
The study, published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine analyzed data from over two-dozen clinical trials dating back to the 1990s.  All combined, the trials evaluated more than 18,000 people with chronic pain stemming from arthritis, headaches, or back and neck problems.  In each study, pain relief from acupuncture was compared with traditional treatment methods such as medication and exercises, and fake acupuncture — a phony version of the treatment in which needles are inserted unsystematically.
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