ACUPUNC­TURE

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With ori­gins in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, acupunc­ture in­volves fine nee­dles be­ing in­serted into spe­cific points on the body to un­block the flow of en­ergy or ‘qi’. It’s said to help ev­ery­thing from headaches to in­fer­til­ity.

The sci­ence bit

Acupunc­ture has some solid ev­i­dence be­hind it for chronic lower back pain and mi­graines. Sci­en­tists think it stim­u­lates nerves, which send sig­nals to the brain to pro­duce pain-re­liev­ing hor­mones. The jury’s still out on whether it helps other con­di­tions, though. While one study sug­gested acupunc­ture boosted preg­nancy rates in women un­der­go­ing IVF, Edzard be­lieves it might be a placebo ef­fect.

“The ex­pec­ta­tion for the acupunc­ture to work helps women re­lax, which in­creases preg­nancy rates,” he says.

Find out more

Take a look at Acupunc­ture NZ to find a prac­ti­tioner near you (acupunc­ture.org.nz).

Acupunc­ture has some

solid ev­i­dence be­hind it for chronic lower back

pain and mi­graines

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