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