Acupuncture ‘can lead to improved happiness’

Ever thought having pins stuck into all parts of your body could be the key to being healthy and happy?

Well, research into acupuncture says the method can transform some patients with medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) who have had no joy with treatment from their GP.

In the first study, 80 patients who attended their GP surgery regularly underwent five element acupuncture alongside their normal care, and were found to enjoy “improved health status and well being” for 12 months, researchers said.

A second study monitored 20 patients at the start and end of 12 acupuncture sessions spaced over half a year, and found that patients reported feeling less pain as well as a reduced intensity of pain.

Other patients with digestive and neurological issues also reported an improvement in their symptoms.

Dr Charlotte Paterson, co researcher in both studies, said of the second study: “Psychologically, many noted a more positive outlook on life and experienced feelings of greater personal control, calmness, and relaxation. These changes sometimes led to improved relationships and increased social activities.

“Three interviewees reported that their health had worsened but did not ascribe this to acupuncture.”

Dr Paterson, a GP and senior research fellow at Exeter’s Peninsula Medical School, also added that patients appeared to be more confident and proactive concerning their healthcare, and enjoyed greater “mental energy”.

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