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Acupuncture not without risks, says study

A three-year review by the National Health Service in the UK of acupuncture complications showed patients suffering dizziness, lost needles and collapsed lungs as just some of the risks involved in the treatment.

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A new study says that acupuncture may have hidden risks. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Acupuncture may be more risky than previously thought say researchers.

A three-year review by the National Health Service in the UK of acupuncture complications showed patients suffering dizziness, lost needles and collapsed lungs as just some of the risks involved in the treatment.

The study found 325 safety incidents involved in acupuncture treatments given within the NHS system.

The Daily Mail reported that out of that number there were 100 cases of needles being left inside the body.

63 others saw patients lose consciousness and 99 felt dizzy.

There were also another five percent of cases that suffered lung collapses after the needle was accidentally pushed too far into the chest.

The study had major drawbacks, however, as it did not say how many acupuncture treatments were conducted in total.

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In essence, this means that 325 incidents could be a miniscule number compared to the total number.

Also, let's be honest, cases of dizziness or fainting may have had to do with the fact that people were afraid of being stuck with needles.

And then there's the crazy healers that GlobalPost has reported on.

A recently charged Swiss man used acupuncture needles to infect 16 people with the HIV virus.

The research was published in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120909/acupuncture-not-without-risks-says-study