More Americans try acupuncture for pain relief.


With all the worry about pain medications and addiction, it’s no wonder Americans are increasingly trying alternative medicine like acupuncture to alleviate their discomfort. A common stance against acupuncture is that the ancient practice is a placebo effect. But there is strong scientific studies showing acupuncture can soothe back and knee pain, quiet migraines and ease cancer-related pains without any disturbing side effects. “There’s even been research on certain non-pain conditions, such as post-chemotherapy nausea,” said Dr. Malcolm Taw, an associate clinical professor at David Geffen School of Medicine and director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. “It’s been shown to demonstrate a benefit.” Often Patients turn to acupuncture after trying other therapies, including epidurals or surgery. “Now, we’re seeing more patients who want to try this first. They want a non-pharmacological approach,” said Taw.

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