Acupuncture has a long history of ups and downs. Its latest renaissance started in 1971, when a journalist in President Nixon’s press corps experienced symptomatic relief after being treated for postoperative abdominal distension. He reported this experience in The New York Times, which triggered a flurry of interest and research.
In turn, it was discovered that needling might release endorphins in the brain or act via the gate control mechanism. Thus, plausible modes of action seemed to have been found, and the credibility of acupuncture increased significantly.
Numerous clinical trials were initiated, and their results often suggested that acupuncture is clinically effective for a surprisingly wide range of conditions.
Both a World Health Organization report and a National Institutes of Health consensus conference provided long lists of indications for which acupuncture allegedly was of proven benefit.