What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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"A University of Maryland researcher, who has been touting acupuncture for the last 17 years, now reports it may actually work — sort of. Here's the picture: a few thousand years before it was known that blood circulates or germs cause disease, doctors who had never dissected a frog, claimed that yin and yang could be balanced by inserting needles into the right points, among the hundreds of points strung along 12 meridians. They called it "acupuncture," from the Latin acus, needle and punctus, prick. Which is odd, because they were Chinese. But if they figured out acupuncture, they must have been smart enough to learn Latin. Scientists today can't even find the meridians. A Maryland study of 570 elderly patients who suffer from arthritis of the knee, found that 6 months of acupuncture modestly reduced pain and improved agility. Six months? Why not take an aspirin? Scientists suggest the needles stimulate release of endorphins. Jalapeno peppers do the same thing. So it wouldn't matter where you stick the needles would it? Then who needs an acupuncturist?" Robert L. (Bob) Park, professor of physics and former chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland, What's New newsletter (23rd December 2004)