China Photos Stringer

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine, is accused by most scientific reasoning to being the results of a placebo effect. Yet it has been shown to work for almost every physical or mental ache and pain.It uses needles to stimulate the body’s energy or "qi" to bring more balance to the body as a whole. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states things unrelated to the actual needling, like how the patient feels or thinks about it, may play a large role in the results of acupuncture.

Studies show that acupuncture helps with chronic pain from areas like the back and neck, but treating other conditions the results is not as consistent. And once again with this type of complementary medicine, outcomes are inconsistent in showing (overall) a clear outcome of results. But according to NIH it may help with the body’s own pain-killing chemicals, and might help with the release of chemicals that regulate blood pressure and blood flow.

Perception is everything when it comes to medicine (placebo effect). Even if the science does not completely back the results, the reaction and feelings of the patient are what determine if this practice is worth it.

A study in Archives of Internal Medicine reported acupuncture relieved about 50 percent of pain, which Harvard Health Publications says is similar to the pain relief gained from conventional care like pain medicine.

Most states require a license to practice acupuncture, but not all. Checking the credentials of any acupuncturist you see will help ensure you receive proper care.