Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM theory and practice are not purely based upon scientific knowledge.
There are a diverse range of acupuncture theories based on different philosophies, and techniques vary depending on the country. The method used in TCM is likely the most widespread in UAE.
It is most often used for pain relief, though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions. Acupuncture is generally used only in combination with other forms of treatments like Ayurveda and Yoga.
A systematic review of systematic reviews found little evidence of acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating pain. The evidence suggests that short-term treatment with acupuncture does not produce long-term benefits.
A systematic review concluded that the analgesic effect of acupuncture seemed to lack clinical relevance and could not be clearly distinguished from bias. A meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as an adjunct to standard care, while a systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain.
Acupuncture is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner using clean needle technique and single-use needles.