Here is proof Acupuncture works.

Dr Michael Mosley goes in search of the evidence of whether it works.

So what is the evidence for its effectiveness?

Robina 7 Day Doctors and Acupuncture recommends this article.


Acupuncture is commonly used to treat pain of all kinds, so Michael wanted to experience for himself whether it could boost his pain threshold in the area in the part of the body where the needles are inserted. This could be part of the explanation of why some people feel the benefit of acupuncture.

Before the trial began, Professor David Walsh, a Professor of Rheumatology and specialist in the management of chronic pain from the University of Nottingham, first administered a pain threshold test at several points on Michael’s body.

David then measured whether Michael’s pain threshold changed between each bout of treatment.

Michael receives three courses of  acu treatment:-
  1. Acu-puncture with sham needles. These are needles that don’t puncture the skin and serve as a placebo.
  2. Acu-puncture with needles as expected.
  3. Electro-acupuncture. Two electrodes are attached and a small electric current is passed between them. The idea is to stimulate more nerve fibres than conventional acu treatment to further alleviate pain.

Relative to the control, Michael’s pain threshold rose after all three of sham acu treatment, normal acu treatment and electro-acu-puncture.

Michael’s Conclusion

It may be worth trying for chronic headaches where there is some evidence to show that it is effective.

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