Evidence from a number of studies suggests that acupuncture may help ease certain types of pain and perhaps other conditions. It has been promoted as a treatment for smoking cessation, even though research has not demonstrated that it is effective for this.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is funding research to see if acupuncture can decrease the frequency of hot flashes associated with menopause and the pain and discomfort associated with chemotherapy. Some mainstream physicians even practice acupuncture.

According to NCCAM, acupuncture generally is considered safe when performed by experienced practitioners using sterile needles.

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