Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along the skin of the body using thin needles. It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light to these same points. Traditional acupuncture may involve: needle insertion, moxibustion, and cupping therapy. It is a form of alternative medicine, and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. Acupuncture aims to treat a range of conditions, though it is traditionally used for pain relief. It is rarely used alone but rather as an adjunct to other forms of treatment.

An overview of high-quality reviews suggested that acupuncture alone may alleviate some, but not all, kinds of pain. A meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as an adjunct to standard care.

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