Does Acupuncture Really Work?
By Brette Sember
Does acupuncture really work? Acupuncture, the practice of sticking thin needles into the body to ease pain and cure diseases, has been a standard medical treatment in China for over 2000 years, but it’s only become mainstream in the last few years.
Recent studies show that acupuncture is effective for certain illnesses and chronic conditions. Experts have found that acupuncture releases endorphins (the body’s feel-good chemicals) as well as dopamine (a neurotransmitter that affects your mood), according to Dr. Stanley Wainapel, clinical director of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
So if you’re suffering from aches and pains, you might want to consider acupuncture. But first, keep these things in mind:
1. Acupuncture doesn’t cure every condition.
Acupuncture has been proven to treat pain and help manage chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, migraines and asthma. It also has a track record for minimizing queasiness (say, from pregnancy or chemo treatments); helping people quit smoking and sleep better; and easing back, neck, shoulder and knee pain.