Regular acupuncture could prevent you from picking up infections – so long as the needle is in exactly the right spot.
The findings, published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, add to the evidence that shows acupuncture, a traditional Chinese treatment, really works.
In a study led by a pain specialist Dr Matthias Karst, of the Hanover Medical School, Germany, volunteers received 30-minute sessions twice a week for a month, stimulating a point known as Large intestine 11 on the elbow. This produced a significant burst of immune system cells called neutrophils. “It is not just about enhancing the immune system, but regulating and normalising it”, says Karst, who believes acupuncture could help chronic conditions. “In this sense, acupuncture looks similar to other attempts to strengthen the immune system, such as taking echinacea or vitamins.”