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Acupuncture needles in a patient's neck

Acupuncture needles in a patient's neck

M745/0114

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Credit

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

Caption

Acupuncture. Acupuncture needles in the neck of a 60 year-old woman. Needles placed in the neck and shoulders may be used to treat pain and muscle tension caused by degenerating intervertebral discs. 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 points on the affected meridians, altering the way the life-force flows. Scientific evidence that acupuncture works is lacking, although some research suggests that it may have a pain-killing effect by triggering the release of endorphins in the brain.

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