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With or Without Needles, Acupuncture Eases Back Pain

Posted: May 19, 2009

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The researchers said there is some evidence that even needles were used 2,000 years ago in acupuncture treatment, and some imaging studies have shown that "superficial and deep needling of an acupuncture point elicited similar blood oxygen level-dependent responses," the team wrote.

Another study even found that lightly touching the skin can induce some emotional and hormonal reactions, which could explain the benefit, they wrote. Or, it may simply be the experience of visiting an acupuncturist for treatments that helps.

Regardless of how it worked, they said acupuncture appears to be a relatively safe and painless way of easing an aching back, especially when traditional medicine alone fails.

Reuters Health, May 11, 2009