Reviewed by Michael Smith on January 08, 2016

Sources

Hosts: Leah Curney and Noah Forman.; White, A. Rheumatology, 2004.; CDC: “Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002-2012.”; World Health Organization: “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.”; Lim, S. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, June 2010.; Zhu Bing & Wang Hongcai, Meridians and Acupoints, Singing Dragon, Feb. 15, 2011.; Johns Hopkins Medicine, Health Library: “Acupuncture.”; Bai-Yun, Zeng. International Review of Neurobiology: Neurobiology of Acupuncture, Volume III, Academic Press, November 2007.; Johnson, C. American Journal of Physiology,June 4,1999.; Smith, G. Hawai’i Medical Journal, March 2010.; Sound Effects: freeSFX.

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Video Transcript

Leah: No one likes getting a needle when they go to the doctors.

Noah: I do. I love doctor office lollipops. I get one every time I get a needle.

Leah: Well, you'd get a lot of lollipops if you went to an acupuncturist.

Noah: Ah, which brings us to our topic-- lollipops--

Leah: Acupunctu-- no, the Chinese art of acupuncture.

Noah: I'm so unprepared.

Leah: I've got you covered. Doctors in China have spent over 2,000 years figuring out where hundreds of acupoints are located all over the body. Each acupoint corresponds to a specific organ or limb.

Noah: OK. Well, now, the lollipop was invented--

[Leah: inaudible] inaudible, inaudible] I said I-- I've got it.

Noah: Yeah.

Leah: Now, acupuncturists insert sterilized, fine-tipped needles into these points, targeting certain ones based on your condition.

Noah: You know, using pain to stop pain doesn't seem like it would be that popular.

Leah: Well, it may not sound like fun, but over 3 and 1/2 million Americans do it every year. Not all scientists agree about what happens next.

But many of the needles stimulate your nerves and cause your brain to release endorphins.

Noah: Oh, I know about endorphins. I mean, there's nothing like a good endorphin release, because it helps muscles relax and dulls pain. [SIGHS]

Leah: And that puts a point on acupuncture.

Noah (LAUGHING): That's good. OK, I think we might have time to talk about lollipops.

Leah: Great.

Noah: OK.

I assumed you were going to say no. And I'm not actually prepared to talk about lollipops.

Leah (WHISPERING): Yeah, I'm not surprised. [BELL RINGING] [MUSIC PLAYING]