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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > May-19 > Getting the NEEDLE

Getting the NEEDLE

It’s thought to improve everything from joint pain to anxiety. So is acupuncture the answer for GPs wanting to prescribe fewer pills?
DR MICHAEL DIXON is chair of the College of Medicine and a GP in Devon. He helped set up an integrated centre for health that has complementary therapists on site

There’s never going to be one simple answer to easing pressures on the NHS. But a new drive from The British Acupuncture Council is urging doctors to prescribe acupuncture for a range of problems from joint and muscle pain to allergies, constipation and infertility. Dr Michael Dixon is a Devon-based GP who used to take a more conventional approach to medicine – until one of his patients claimed she was getting better treatment from an alternative therapist. ‘Conventional medicine can be incredibly good if you’ve had a heart attack or cancer,’ he says. ‘But we don’t have all the answers. I’ve referred patients for acupuncture for joint pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, arthritic knees, headaches and depression, while some studies show it’s more effective in treating anxiety and depression than drugs.’ A study of 454,920 patients treated with acupuncture for chronic pain found its effectiveness was rated as marked or moderate in 76 per cent of cases by doctors. Dr Dixon talks us through what you need to know.

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About Healthy Magazine

Have you thought about your sleep recently? It’s one of the key pillars of our wellbeing, which is why we’ve delved into all things bedtime this issue. Inside, you’ll find simple, science-backed fixes to all your sleep worries, from insomnia to snoring, plus our body clock training plan and moves to help you snooze. We investigate whether fat really deserves its bad rep, uncover the intricacies of the placebo effect, and explore 2019’s biggest wellness trend: blue health. Plus, our food section champions light Easter bakes, three beauty experts dish on their bedtime routines, and Jess Ennis-Hill talks family and fitness since retiring. Find all this and more in the brand new issue of Healthy!