Acupuncture can speed up labour, a new study of pregnant women has revealed. Although the women did not deliver the baby any sooner, it dramatically reduced the duration of the active phase of labour. In a study of 100 pregnant women who were about to give birth, 48 were given acupuncture while the remainder received the standard care. Those given acupuncture had an average active phase of 4.4 hours compared with 6.1 hours in the standard-care group. Delivery time was marginally better in the acupuncture group-29.1 hours compared with 32.7 hours in the standard-care group-but this difference was too slight to be considered significant (Acta Obstet Gynecol, 2006; 85: 1348-53).