Complementary medicine update

Acupuncture in medical practice

Katrina L Watson

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Abstract

Acupuncture appears to work at many levels, with much research in progress to provide evidence of its effectiveness.

Article Extract

Acupuncture is a widely used complementary therapy, but what is the evidence for its use?

Acupuncture has been practised as a method of healing for more than 2000 years. Acus is Latin for ‘needle’ and pungere means ‘to prick’. The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine, written between the third and second century BC, is the earliest text documenting the use of acupuncture. Nowadays acupuncture is practised by medical practitioners, health practitioners such as physiotherapists and practitioners of Chinese medicine. An explanation of the therapy is given in the box on page 62.

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