PAUL BIDDLE & TIM MALYON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. PAUL BIDDLE & TIM MALYON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Acupuncturist applying needles to knees & hands of an elderly woman suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In this case acupuncture is used to provide palliative treatment, ie to control pain in substitution for conventional drugs (steroids & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents), that are widely used in treating arthritis. The fine needles are introduced beneath the skin until contact is made with a meridian (a channel connecting points throughout the body), producing a sharp sensation radiating from point of contact. The needles remain in place & the meridians are periodically stimulated by rotating the needles.
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