The effects of acupuncture could be mostly in the mind scientists have revealed after finding that placing needles close to the surface of the skin, but away from traditional pressure points, is almost as successful as genuine acupuncture and drugs in relieving the pain of headaches.
Real and fake acupuncture ‘can effectively relieve the pain of headaches’. The genuine alternative therapy was just as good as painkillers at stopping the misery associated with a headache or a migraine, a review of 33 trials involving 6,736 patients found.
But “sham” acupuncture was almost as effective as the real treatment, said Klaus Linde, from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, who led the review of studies.
The researchers believe that the findings, published by the Cochrane Library, show that acupuncture could be an alternative to drugs, with fewer side effects.
But they warned that more research was needed to understand exactly how the therapy works in practice before it could be prescribed to patients.
Dr Linde said: “Doctors need to know how long improvements associated with acupuncture will last and whether better-trained acupuncturists really achieve better results than those with basic training only.”
Source: Daily Telegraph
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