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Acupuncture

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/studying-acupuncture-one-needle-prick-at-a-time/?ref=health

little dispute that people feel better after receiving the treatment, in which thin needles are inserted deeply into the skin at specific points on the body. But are they benefiting from acupuncture itself, or just getting a placebo effect?… Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found that among 455 patients with painful knee arthritis, acupuncture delivered no more relief than a sham treatment….Actually, patients got significant pain relief from both treatments — an average reduction of one point on a scale of 1 to 7…patients in both groups received treatment with needles and electrical stimulation; the main difference was that in the sham group, the needles were not inserted as deeply and the stimulation was far shorter in duration….a trained acupuncturist would customize the treatment to a patient’s specific symptoms. But in this study, the patients in the “real” acupuncture group all received needles inserted in the same way….Rather than proving that acupuncture does not work, in other words, the study may suggest that it works even when administered poorly…MD Anderson research and other recent acupuncture studies have fueled speculation that the prick of a needle, whether from real acupuncture or a sham version, can influence the way the body processes and transmits pain signals…

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