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  • Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting very thin needles through a person's skin at specific points on the body, to various. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional. Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative.


    I have read many resources regarding this as well as other alternative therapies. I see that there are a large number of studies which show a slight improvement over other modern modalities, however, there are also a greater number which show no difference. Acupuncture would not work on me as I do not believe it would…I had it done by a colleague, years ago, due to a soft tissue injury and it made absolutely no difference.

    I, unfortunately, do not succumb to the placebo effect, or hypnosis or anything else of that nature…I wish I did but fortunately for me, I do not suffer from chronic pain or am addicted to pain meds. Acupuncture is also used by veterinarians to help with issues with animals, such as pain or incontinence. How many times did you get treatment? Though there is often a level of immediate improvement, most cases take a few treatments before getting a strong response, similar to other therapies; you can discount it based on one try.

    Was your colleague a licensed and trained acupuncture professional? Approaching it all from a scientific mind, there is plenty of research and clinical results that warrant further exploration into understanding acupuncture, and no reason to deny it from people, nor stigmatize it and practitioners as the above article is trying to do.

    Truth can be found when exploring with an open mind. Yes my colleague was an acupuncture professional. I will never believe that spending ridiculous amounts of money to have needles stuck into my body will improve any condition I may develop and you will never believe that acupuncture is bunk. Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathic, Cleanses, Naturopathy and the like are nothing but money grabbing scams, period.

    Animals can demonstrate behavior that shows pain is decreased…ie, they are unable to get up off of the floor prior, but able after an acupuncture treatment; and a reduction in frequency of incontinent episodes is clearly measurable. I doubt animals are biased, or reporting results to make the vet happy, or subject to the placebo effect.

    Proof that acupuncture is helping. How does money enter the equation? I thought we were simply discussing if acupuncture worked or not. Most of us are struggling financially, but are honored to provide a service that helps people, and is in itself intriguing. I do agree with you on one thing. If I may join in, as an RN; western medicine has yet to come up with a safe, effective treatment for chronic pain.

    Opiates do not work, and are absolutely far more dangerous than accupuncture. Spinal surgery can kill or paralyze a person, or can worsen chronic pain. As an RN you will of course be able to point to the metastudies on each alt med that shows they are safer and equally effective or more so to the medically recommended treatment.

    I know it is inconvenient for you, much easier to make claims than actually do the real work to prove your points, but that is what you have to do to understand what you are reading, let alone doing real research. I personally have a degree in Health Science, which means I needed to prove I could read research, analyse it and report on it.. The only people making money by lying to patients ate the acupuncturists.

    You may firmly believe what you tell people but it is still a lie. No, we pay attention to high-quality studies. Just a pity that none of them have been presented yet. The article is froth and flake. You should have learnt this in Reception. Secondly, you know those blue bits of text or footnotes or PMID numbers? They are dealing with burdens of proof. Thirdly, who else do you think should have to be the one to provide evidence for your claims that you made yourself?

    What does this have to do with your responsibility to provide support for your claims that you made yourself? So…once more…do you have any actual evidence that anyone here is being paid?

    Why on earth do you think that you providing evidence for your claims that you made yourself is a favour to me, exactly? You made the claim. Being open-minded is the willingness to assess evidence for a claim, not the willingness to accept a claim without any. Do you know what the willingness to accept a claim without any evidence would be called? The DerpTurtle has eaten too much radioactive seaweed and now has Wolff-Chaikoff hypothyroidism.

    The lack of thyroid hormone is making it even clumsier than usual. So what you have done then? I mean, you find it too difficult to deal with my points or even insult me while dealing with my points? She asked the question.

    Only he can answer. Not bad for a single post. I see that you have made many statements in this discussion and lied at least three times. So where is the evidence this RN has for their claims?

    Scientism is a fairly well used word. All the decent research indicates that it does not. So acupuncture is a scam until they prove otherwise. This article is only claims. Nothing concrete, almost rumours and innuendo! In the history of time people have died after having acupuncture. A the author gives references, so it is not just claims B the are only those reported in the medical literature. When I was in college we had to reference supportive literature.

    You guys supporting this poor piece of journalism are hypocrites. My quote is from The BMA. Your phone must work differently because his link on deaths after acupuncture go to a blank page. The claim to disprove is No Deaths have been recorded as a direct result of acupuncture. I found a link to deaths after tooth extraction, ear piercing and after sex. And my doctor is a great doctor, was once medical officer to a country and personal physician to the leaders, has published papers in more than one field and now back in UK as the senior partner in a practice is also an examiner for the BMA and a consultant to the Macmillan Cancer Charity.

    According to you, your doctor is advising a treatment which has no evidence of working. Even if he was just trying to get rid of you, it is unethical to prescribe a placebo, even a theatrical placebo. When I told him a professional sportsman I knew had great results from acupuncture would he recommend it or not he said he would. Thank God he did too. Oh and get your advertising right, CAM went out ages ago, you are supposed to use the equally misleading integrative medicine.

    Anything to get your feet under real medicine eh? That is legalized torture. Problem is the black market offers no consistency in product, and patients using illegal drugs to control their pain are now not only marked as criminals, but may be left without any medical care at all let alone careful monitoring by their physician. It is certainly reasonable to ask and expect patients to try existing alternatives to opiates, but even many of the accepted alternatives offer questionable efficacy—short-term or long.

    Some of the most effective alternatives to opiates are far more destructive than the careful use of opiates—some of which have already been mentioned.

    No, there is much more going on here. All you have to do is consider the circular reasoning used to support the hysteria, and the language being used to see it.

    The fact is, opiates do work, and they work very well for many patients when other treatments do not, and frankly with fewer side effects for those who find it most effective than you find with treatments such as anti-inflammatories. This is a huge gap in the pain paradigm, and one that could easily help explain why some patients DO in fact gain long term ongoing relief from opiates.

    They also ignore the possibility—and little attempt is being made to verify whether or not any additional drugs—or just the presence of black market or illegal drugs, are being used to self-medicate, whether for untreated or under treated pain or a co-morbid psychiatric disorder such as anxiety or depression, or anything else. To be fair, some of this is due to the poor records, and a failure to attempt to do more—which can in turn be due to a failure in funding. Bad science all around.

    Correlation does not equal causation, and given the lack of any real attempt or any attempt at all to separate the co-existing or mitigating factors from the use of opiates, these statistics are essentially meaningless.

    In addition, any patient with genuine patient is not going to readily give them up. These is another possibility behind this push as well: That is a significant financial incentive to demonize the drug—particularly when you add in the additional costs from potential side effects or true addiction.

    However, left out of this picture are the additional costs that would be incurred if insurance were to pick up the costs of alternatives such as ongoing physical therapy, massage therapy, etc. This may be a lesser factor, or may not play a role at all, but with an administration eager to reduce medical costs, and one that is not known to look at the big picture, this may seem like an easy sale.

    Certainly there will be a significant costs savings if they refuse to pay for alternative treatments. Marijuana for example, is a popular pain treatment growing in popularity—but one that is NOT covered by insurance. Short term pain reduction does not qualify. Pills really ARE cheaper and easier, but that does not mean they are necessarily bad medicine. What scientific evidence is there that opiates do not work for chronic pain? You should go back and read that bit of the conversation a little more carefully, you missed the point to her accusation and my response.

    And she said that she improved. I had occipital headaches for years until I was treated by a chiropractor. I thought I had arthritis in my hip a few years ago and after putting up with the discomfort for months, went to a chiropractor and got relief in 3 visits.

    Turns out it was a spasming muscle. I agree that some of what you named are money grabbing scams, but not all. We let the evidence—concrete rigorously tested evidence provide the proof. Creating false connections between unrelated actions or effects is a useful survival characteristic and useful in rapid learning, even if fundamentally inaccurate.

    Scientists are human and just as vulnerable to irrational even if hidden or unacknowledged beliefs as anyone else. Sometimes pure desperation can lead to at least a temporary placebo effect, no matter how irrational, So—and yes I do see the danger of circular reasoning in this argument: Perhaps the patient simply wanted it to work even with their rational brain telling them it was highly unlikely because their pain was unresponsive to standard westernized medicine—an effective placebo may sometimes be better than no relief at all.

    Despteration has driven a number of rational people I know into trying alternative treatments—even as they express their own skepticism as to the effectiveness of such a treatment. Sometimes they unexpectedly find relief—coincidence or not, and they tend to become the most fervent believers when that occurs. Chiropractory is one of those dubious treatments that some of my friends swear by—yet they ignore the obvious issues and contradictions in a treatment that requires weekly— sometimes bi-weekly return treatments— literally for decades.

    I personally suspect at least part of the claimed relief simply comes from the innate human need for the non-threatening touch of another human being—massage being another golden opportunity—with better documentation for short-term benefits,and fewer potential complications.

    In the case of two of my friends, they delayed conventional treatment far longer than was advisable as a result of their passionate and frankly untrue belief in the Chiropractor which resulted in permanent disability—which they then blamed on the conventional treatment! To be fair, not every Chiropractor operates this way—and I do know of individuals who were actually turned away by their local Chiropractor and referred to a standard physician.

    As a disclaimer, I have the same skepticism when spinal or joint manipulations are offered by Osteopaths, unless as part of a standard physical therapy regime and treatment program.

    These treatments can be dangerous in themselves and result in further injury and long-term disability—which potentially could be said about any placebo though thankfully, most are not as directly or forcefully applied as Chiropractory.

    Does it last long term? I would suspect it is most effective with short term conditions—or conditions which fluctuate in intensity— and which would have faded or improved on their own anyway—but the placebo gets the credit.

    Acupuncture came up empty even for pain reduction. Why all the hate, Sonny? Some of us are trying to make life better for people, when other treatments have failed them. And I just finished interviewing a patient, who reports complete relief of her shoulder pain after her last visit that included acupuncture and cupping treatment. It is at least as effective as prophylactic drug therapy, has longer lasting effects, is safe, seems to be cost-effective and reduces drug intake with possibly severe unwanted effects.

    Does the placebo effect work if you have no faith in the treatment? I was at a health farm just for a rest and was asked if I had any specific problems. I said that I had a chronically painful coccyx, having crashed down on an icy path. Acupuncture was suggested and I agreed to have some treatment, included in the cost of my stay so there was no extra charge. I had 3 sessions over the week and the therapist said I would feel no improvement for 6 weeks.

    Then, one morning, I woke up, and for the first time in 16 years, I was free of pain….. A bizarre co-incidence that the pain disappeared naturally after 16 years? I, for one, have benefited from acupuncture even though I was very skeptical. Has it worked every time?

    Was it worth it? Any rational thinking person would quickly identify it as a scam. My acupuncturist is fully qualified doctor, has worked worldwide, including Europe Ireland before going to train in China in acupuncture and now works purely as an acupuncture practitioner. Has done so for 30 years. Several doctors send stroke victims to her and the results with stroke victims are incredible.

    Not even back pain. There are loads of evidence that it relieves pain. Back pain research among the strongest. The game is far from over. Acupuncture is under exploration, and evidence is pointing it to be an effective therapy. I Jon, quick question: I had acupuncture for the first time today. I had needles all over my body, including my belly. I noticed that ONLY my belly has red dots where the needles were.

    Nowhere else has these little red dots showed up. Do you know why that is? In Australia Acupuncturists are primary health care practitioners, recognised with a DR. Thank you for your comments! Acupuncture has been great for me personally. Off of the hormones my cycles were anywhere from months. So, my dentists today, after years of failing, put 3 needles into me, one of them was in the chin area. I was super skeptical about this stuff, but I waited a few minutes after the needles went in and then he put the film into my mouth for the x ray.

    I never gagged at all!!! In fact it was extremely easy and not uncomfortable for me at all. What has kept me walking is a combination of acupuncture and diet.. I would agree too. What studies did he look at? This is an article on the topic, not a systematic review. All of your answers are one quick search away.

    Demonstrating evidence based medicine is writing a proper review of all of the studies, and backing up your claims with full references and meta-analysis to evaluate the results of the studies, I see nothing mentioned in this article.

    If I wanted to make a decision about whether Acupuncture works or not I would want all the evidence presented to me, this article does not. A link to his book and a link to his blog where he discusses these things in depth with references.

    There are not enough pointers to make it evidence based and enough to make an informed decision clinically wise, or for the lay person. There is no mention of Cochrane Reviews for example, which are the gold standard in terms of Evidence. I also know that linking to the odd PubMed article is certainly not enough. If you want a more informed and not biased information about it then this is well written and informed by the evidence http: NICE base these recommendations on all the Evidence.

    They do extensive searching of the literature to inform this. You will be able to see all of this if you look at their guidelines. They would not do this if they had not enough evidence to back it up as it has cost implications if anything. That would be called a meta analysis, meta study, systematic review, etc… Way out of scope for an article on the topic.

    The latter would expose a double standard in your view. However, any member of the public should expect a balanced view of the evidence, and currently there are mixed results when it comes to accupuncture. This is simply biased. Yes I would demand it for every article posted about acupuncture whether postive of negative. I have downloaded about forty PDFs on acupuncture journal papers, theses, etc. The evidence is mixed and there is certainly not a complete negative in relation to acupuncture, actually positive in some cases, applications.

    The evidence is mixed until you start filtering the studies based on robust measurements of the quality of the methods used in the study. Back pain is best addressed by developing a stronger, more flexible back; learning the proper way to deadlift; becoming more active or resting more, if you habitually overload your back ; and learning simple, gentle stretches.

    Back pain is a physical fitness issue — as is most skeletal-muscular pain not caused by disease. You can argue all you want, but peripheral nerve stimulation is an effective form of pain management. There is also the issue of how they claim it works. This can lead to poor thinking which will open the doors well… leave the doors open to the crazy. Accepting [insert CAM of choice with disproven or unprovable mode of action here] and it becomes a gateway Woo. As far as references go, every med student should know who dr.

    Wall is, the inventor of gate control theory of pain, and he did generalise, look here http: I prefer taking the gaseous byproduct of cellulose combustion and injecting it under air pressure into the anal cavity. I should patent and copyright that, but why do I have a feeling someone already has? You guys are just lobby trying to rip off billions of dollars from the poor ailing population in the name of science.

    That lofty and dishonest claim typically falls to the CAM crowd. Science is the best tool we have to date to establish reality. Firstly, I can declare an interest in that my wife is a traditional acupuncturist. Secondly, acupuncture works for me. Or perhaps just asked to make things clear, just as doctors and pharma companies should be clear as to who pays for what research etc etc.

    As are many of us, but we are aberrations to this outfit? Why should we even consider the effectiveness of other medicine. Should we discuss the effectiveness of chemotherapy by discussing antibiotics? Combination treatments are often used, there is nothing new about it. But whether all the combined treatments work or not the combination has to be tested.

    Is there a mechanism that might indicate that it could enhance medical treatment? You can pick and choose your research. Manner R et al. However Ernst et al , Smith C. Acupuncture is statistically safer than most treatment interventions with minimal or no side effects, but is more research needed…absolutely.

    You can pick and choose. The thing is, if you pick and choose using the second option acupuncture looks no better than placebo. Can you provide a link to the WHO site that shows this claim? Searching for it returns no results. Now this I am sure this will include emergency and trauma care where pressure and emergency factors are evident and it may even include acupuncture incidents as the NHS provides acupuncture for conditions identified by the WHO.

    The point is that we can all counter with this and that but acupuncture is not, in my view, a sham and the WHO agree with me.

    The British Acupuncture Society make every effort to be open and subject acupuncture to research. That WHO report was over thirteen years ago. In , 1, papers on acupuncture were added to PubMed. So far this year, there have been a further Should all those be ignored? Da Silva, Arnaldo Neves; Headache: Chen, Xiaoyan; Spaeth, Rosa B. Our study suggests that acupuncture may stabilise symptoms and no major safety concerns were identified, so further research is needed.

    Pilot data suggest that acupuncture may be a feasible and effective treatment modality for decreasing subjective pain and inflammation as measured by WBC White Blood Cell count. Acupuncture may be a useful non pharmacological PED Paediatric Emergency Department intervention for treating patients with acute appendicitis pain.

    A Pilot Study Christine M. Jonas , USA Ret. However, both groups experienced a similar reduction in pain 24 hours following treatment in the ER. More research is needed to elucidate treatment effects and to determine mechanisms. Military Medicine, Vol 8 , Aug, "There are numerous techniques that appear to provide effective pain management for many individuals including the use of standard acupuncture points on the extremities, the scalp, and the ear……We can continue to discuss the theory and scientific basis for years to come but we must start evaluating its relative benefits in the real environment where it is so badly needed now.

    I have not delved into the full aspects of each study and in the interests of balance I should copy and paste sections of studies that found acupuncture ineffective. However as no one else seems to bother about balancing the argument I won't either.

    The first states there was no evidence of an effect difference between the verum acupuncture and sham. So why bother sticking needles in with its attendant risks? Thanks for the link. It is hoped that it will provide a useful resource for researchers, health care providers, national health authorities and the general public. That is not a position statement. The point is that CAM pushers claim that it is safe. This demonstrates that those claims are wrong.

    Why be so antagonistic? It does suggest that, like most CAM supporters does that sound better? I would prefer to think that either of the first 2 here were the actual case.

    No one is claiming the health service is perfect. But it is a hell of a lot more honest than CAM. The original article to this thread can hardly be considered impartial and yes more research is needed but there are plenty of doctors, academics, researchers and the like that accept that acupuncture is sufficiently proven as effective in certain cases.

    What is partial about the article? It presents the inescapable conclusion of the modern evidence. Ernst did not start with the conclusion and only allow data that supported that conclusion but the WHO group clearly did. Their excuse could be that evidence from better techniques was not available. Still no excuse to make such a claim before producing the evidence. If the WHO document is outdated then i will leave this link to the NHS with the current position which i think is exactly what I have been saying.

    There is evidence of efficacy for some conditions but trying to conduct blind trials is difficult. The volume of replies and posts to date does kind of discredit this claim.

    You do know you can come back later and add the list. This is typically what we hear from the CAM supporters and practitioners. Are you saying they are wrong? This is a separate claim. There is some scientific evidence acupuncture has a beneficial effect for a number of health conditions.

    However, there is less clear scientific evidence about the benefits of acupuncture in the majority of conditions it is often used for. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE only recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraine. Blimey now you are trying to discredit my claim that I am busy.

    Well I have done a double blind trial on my life and you are right i do have time for one last email. So I will jump through your hoops one more time then crack on with other stuff if thats ok with you. I have had good and bad experiences of acupuncture, just as I have had good and bad experiences of other medical treatments.

    Finally at last you have now accepted that there is evidence in favour of acupuncture but you and others view it as weak. Myself and others view it differently and having had acupuncture for a number of years, it works.

    Our views are polar opposite and maybe they will stay that way but I used to be sceptical so maybe you should try acupuncture. This sounds like an argument from personal incredulity. Not a good argument to claim the original article can hardly be considered impartial. You claim that your view is based on evidence yet when we look at the evidence we find that it is at best very weak for a very small number of conditions. Again, you add your own personal experience as a factor that sways your position.

    As I child I loved Xmas. My own personal experience told me that Santa brought me presents. I really believed that. Reality turns out to be a little different despite my firmly held belief. So, poor evidence plus personal experience equals reliability. But again, you willing to accept weak evidence for a very small number of conditions and filter that through your own personal experience hardly reinforces any claim that the original article can hardly be considered impartial.

    That was addressing a single generic claim that CAM peddlers invariably make. That of CAM being safe. Any one link on that site is enough to disprove this claim.

    It was not related to any other claim or intended to speak towards the veracity of the original article. I fail to see how this is even related to the original article. So again, nothing to back the claim that the original article can hardly be considered impartial.

    We accept it as weak because that was the conclusion of the studies. You, on the other hand, appear to miss that really important point of the research. Not according to the majority of good quality studies out there. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion.

    From the CAM supporters point of view they have evidence. From a pro-science point of view that evidence is very poor quality. The analysis of the methods used to produce said evidence is the thing that allows us to separate the good from the poor.

    All my friends love it too. In , Ernst and Pittler [6] sought to invalidate the statistically significant superiority of homeopathy over placebo in the 10 studies with the highest Jadad score… Hence, Ernst and Pittler [6] claimed that the highest Jadad scores should theoretically show zero effect.

    This reasoning argued that the assumed data are more correct than the real data. If Ernst asummed data are more correct than the real data, this is a scientific misconduct and a scientific fraud.

    Care to post the link to that then? Also, if the conclusion is valid and taken seriously why has the end game you describe not come about? His basic argument is that we should ignore high quality studies in favour of low quality studies because he already knows that homeopathy works strongly. This piece of rank stupidity was only printed in an alt med magazine. Your reference However, the funnel plot is flawed when applied to a mixture of diseases, because studies with expected strong treatments effects are, for ethical reasons, powered lower than studies with expected weak or unclear treatment effects.

    This sentence of Hahn is the critique for the model of meta analysis with placebo vs homeopathy without reference of specific diseases. Hahn not reject the high quality research. Your misunderstaing is obviously. Further work with meta-analyses should abandon the concept of summarizing all available clinical trials and focus on the effects of homeopathy versus placebo or other treatments in specific diseases or groups of diseases.

    Hahn is trying to claim that low quality work is high quality and thus dilute ie ignore, the high quality work. Anything more stupid and less sensible could only come from an alt med quack. Been wondering all day about your comment, is it your obvious incomprehension of English or are you a homophobe?

    Needless to say you have nothing to say and no evidence to give but you are an example of an alt medder. Because you cannot argue from either facts or logic you have to descend to smear. They may also just be holding back the explanation allowing you to dig a deeper hole incorrectly believing that you will eventually see the error of your position in time. There is another possibility I can think of though. I would be extremely embarrassed to be shown I was in the wrong.

    However the lack of engagement by any experienced alt medder is rather noticeable. While it is easy and rather boring to show they are wrongheaded it is important to do so. He was surely extracting the urine, the best that Ludtke could do was cherry pick clinical trials until he selected just those that have a positive result for homeopathy. Linde is more interesting, he with a heavy woo Meister CO author produced a conclusion unjustified by his results. Later, without the quack, Linde added more data and analysed correctly and found the same effect as Shang.

    Effect disappears with high quality evidence. Hahn, is saying ignore the best quality and look at my appalling poor data because it gives me the result I want. Intellectual dishonesty at its highest. You smear is watermark. Watch the original paper. In general, the effect in homeopathy and conventional medicine disappears with high quality RCT:. If the analysis was restricted to trials that scored three or higher on the Jadad scale, five or higher on the IV scale, or both, the mean OR was decreased to 1.

    But, this behavoiur does not exclude some small high quality trials with positive evidence. Our analyses provide clear evidence that in the study set investigated more rigorous trials tended to yield smaller effect sizes. The most plausible explanation of this finding is bias. The results are comparable to those from similar analyses in conventional medicine.

    Only the alt med quack would mention the bias elsewhere to try and justify or deflect from the bias in their own scam. But why do you seem to expect me to do your work for you?

    Your statement is false. What is it with the alt med brigade? Try reading a comment before responding to it and try reading your own references. But still no real challenge to the article. Your credibility is as good as your grammar. Alt med magazines are magazines not serious scientific journals, your argument that Ernst wrote in them somehow makes then journals is fallacious. Do enough trials and you get false positives. Consensus is a fallacy in the context without experimental evidence.

    If some high quality trials shown effect of placebo, this evidence of efficacy over placebo. Like there is only one. Or we could tell them to RTFA and do just the tiniest amount of extra searching to verify the content. Recent attention given to acupuncture has attempted to bring it into the scientific fold by hypothesizing physical mechanisms for its alleged effects. For example, some proponents argue that the needles may stimulate the release of pain-killing natural chemicals, relax tense muscles, or inhibit the conduction of pain through counter-irritation.

    These potential mechanisms, while more plausible than the non-existent chi , remain speculative. Further, they would only explain the very non-specific effect of acupuncture causing a temporary mild reduction in pain no better than rubbing your elbow after accidentally banging it against something hard.

    Such mechanisms could not account for any of the medical claims made for acupuncture, or the alleged existence of acupuncture points. Using needles to mechanically produce a temporary local counter-irritation effect is not acupuncture — even though it may be an incidental consequence of this practice and may have contributed to its perceived effectiveness.

    This is not acupuncture — it is transcutaneous electrical stimulation TENS , which is an accepted treatment for chronic pain, masquerading as acupuncture.

    This is not a quibble. Science requires unambiguous definition of terms and concepts. If acupuncture is said to be something scientifically then it must have some specific and unique characteristics. In medicine that means it should have a specific mechanism of action — and it is that mechanism that we would call acupuncture.

    Further, during a typical acupuncture treatment there are many other incidental effects that may occur. Practitioners also provide their kind attention, which has a positive psychological therapeutic value. There are therefore many nonspecific subjective effects that could lead to clients feeling better, making the actual insertion of needles an unnecessary component.

    Reports of acupuncture anaesthesia are also misleading. Other reports indicate that patient were experiencing great pain, but were simply instructed to remain quiet by the surgeon a product of Eastern culture.

    There are no verified reports of acupuncture serving as effective anesthesia during surgery. The previous points are all reasons to be highly skeptical of the claims made for acupuncture, but they are all also trumped by the ultimate consideration — the direct scientific evidence.

    There is a surprisingly large published literature on the clinical effects of acupuncture. Most people are equally surprised to learn that the literature is essentially negative — probably because the press cherry picks apparently positive studies and uncritically re-prints the press releases of acupuncture proponents. It is important to evaluate the literature as a whole to see what pattern emerges. The pattern that does emerge is most consistent with a null effect — that acupuncture does not work.

    Their manufacture and labelling needs to meet certain standards. The needles must be sterile, nontoxic, and labelled for one use only, by a licensed practitioner. As with any complementary therapy, it is advisable to use it alongside conventional treatments in cases of chronic or severe illness. Most states require practitioners to be licensed by this board.

    People are advised to ask practitioners about their experience and training. The NCCIH point out that some insurance policies now cover acupuncture, but it is important to check first whether the cost will be covered. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Thu 21 December All references are available in the References tab. Evidence-based acupuncture WHO official position. How acupuncture can relieve pain and improve sleep, digestion, and emotional wellbeing.

    Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochraine Database Systematic Review. Does acupuncture relieve pain? MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Privacy Terms Ad policy Careers. This page was printed from: Get the most out of Medical News Today.

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    Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Table of contents What is acupuncture How does it work?

    Uses Benefits What to expect Risks. Acupuncture involves inserting needles at certain points of the body. This content requires JavaScript to be enabled.


    Acupuncture is a 3,year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In , the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). What is acupuncture? Find out how it works, the possible uses and benefits, does it hurt, what a typical treatment is like, and side effects.

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    Acupuncture is a 3,year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In , the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and.


    Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).


    What is acupuncture? Find out how it works, the possible uses and benefits, does it hurt, what a typical treatment is like, and side effects.


    Can acupuncture relieve pain or help other conditions? Is it safe? Find out here.


    If you're new to holistic healing as a type of treatment, acupuncture can seem a bit terrifying. How could pressing needles into your skin.


    What Is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is an age-old healing practice of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are placed at specific points in the body.


    Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese practice of inserting needles in specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of energy or Qi. Side effects of acupuncture.

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