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Acupuncture needles in a patient's knee

Acupuncture needles in a patient's knee

M745/0109

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Credit

DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Acupuncture. Close-up of acupuncture needles in a patient's knee. According to traditional Chinese philosophy, ill-health occurs when "meridians" in the body, through which life-force is said to flow, become blocked. Acupuncturists aim to restore health by inserting needles at appropriate sites on the affected meridians, altering the way the life-force flows. Scientific evidence that acupuncture works is lacking, although some research suggests that the technique may have a pain-killing effect by triggering the release of endorphins (morphine-like compounds) in the brain.

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