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Alternative medicine. Part 1, Acupuncture.

Sykes, Kathy.
  • Videos

About this work


The first in a three-part series, presented by Kathy Sykes, looking at the effectiveness of various ancient remedies. This part focuses on acupuncture and we hear from various people for whom acupuncture has worked while acupuncture practitioners such as Professor Benny Mei explain how the therapy works. Sykes travels to China and sees surgeon Jia Zhou perform open heart surgery on an young woman using no general anaesthetic, only acupuncture. Sykes herself has an acupuncture session in Shanghai then travels deep into the Chinese countryside to a 2000-year-old village to trace the origins of acupuncture. Returning to the West, Sykes attempts to find out if acupuncture has undergone any serious objective scientific trials, and she meets Professor Edzard Ernst. Dr. Andrew Vickers led the first full-scale acupuncture trial in this country looking at how acupuncture might help people with migraine or chronic headache disorder. Dr. Brian Berman tested how acupuncture might help with osteo-arthritis. Both trials showed that acupuncture made a significant difference to these conditions. Sykes then puts together a team of scientific experts and acupuncturists to discuss the efficacy of acupuncture. Together they set up an MRI experiment to see how acupuncture might affect the pain centres of the brain - there was no denying that the acupuncture changed the activity of the brain.


London : BBC2, 2006.

Physical description

1 video cassette (VHS) (60 min.) : sound, color, PAL

Copyright note



Broadcast on 24 January, 2006



  • English

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