Does Acupuncture Really Work?

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Although the Chinese have been using acupuncture for over 3,000
years, there are still some who believe that its only benefit is
the “placebo effect.” A placebo effect occurs when a
patient takes a sugar pill after being told it is a powerful pain
killer, and then experiences less pain. So, is acupuncture simply
a placebo treatment? Not according a recent study from the
Department of Sport and Performance Medicine at the University of
Vienna. Thirty-six young men were assigned to three groups:
actual acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, or no stimulation. Each
group was tested with a spiro-ergometer at the start of the
study, and at the end of 5 weeks.

The group actually receiving acupuncture was able to
significantly increase maximum performance capacity and anaerobic
threshold. There was no improvement in the group receiving
placebo acupuncture or no treatment. In Japan, Kurume University
studied the effect of acupuncture on the cardiovascular system of
23 healthy males. One group received acupuncture; the other
received a placebo pill. Skin blood flow and heart function
measurements showed that the men receiving acupuncture had a
better functioning cardiovascular system. Modern studies are
confirming what the Chinese have known for a long time.