After years of controversy, acupuncture has been vindicatedin a study sponsored by the US National Institutes ofHealth. The study involved 570 patients with arthriticknees. Patients treated with acupuncture showed a 40%decrease in pain and a 40% improvement in knee mobility.
Patients in the study were treated four ways: some receivedconventional acupuncture, and others sham acupuncturewhere their knees were touched with needles but notpenetrated. Others received self-help guidance, and thefourth group conventional drug therapy.
Eight weeks into the study, the acupuncture patients hadgained mobility, and by fourteen weeks their pain levelswere far less than those receiving guidance or shamacupuncture.