Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
It is often seen as a form of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), although it is used in many NHS general practices, as well as the majority of pain clinics and hospices in the UK.
Acupuncture practitioners - sometimes called acupuncturists - use acupuncture to treat a wide range of health conditions.
It is often used to treat pain conditions such as headache, lower back pain and osteoarthritis, but is also sometimes used in an attempt to help people with conditions ranging from infertility to anxiety and asthma.
Acupuncture is occasionally available on the NHS, although access is imited. Most acupuncture patients pay for private treatment.
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