So what IS the truth about acupuncture?

For critics of acupuncture, last week’s headlines provided ready ammunition.
News reports revealed that hundreds of NHS patients undergoing the treatment have suffered complications including fainting and dizziness.
A study said there were 325 reports of patients coming to harm after having acupuncture on the NHS in just two years.  These included 100 cases of needles being left inside the body, and five patients who suffered collapsed lungs after a needle accidentally penetrated their chests.
Proof, according to acupuncture’s critics, that its claims to be an effective form of pain relief are not just mumbo-jumbo, but dangerous mumbo-jumbo. But is that the whole story?
Many would argue that all treatments have side-effects — especially if mistakes are made — and that the number of problems reported was relatively small.
Now a major analysis, published yesterday, suggests the sceptics are also wrong about acupuncture’s benefits: it really does control pain. Practitioners claim that by inserting fine needles at 400 specific points on the skin, they can affect the ‘meridians’ — channels of energy that run up and down the body, blocking pain. Critics claim any relief comes purely from the placebo effect.

Source  - Daily Mail

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