Angry Doctor

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Acupuncture - still not working

Via Orac, another study that shows that while sticking needles into people may relieve their pain, it doesn't really matter whether you stick them in the correct acupoints on the right meridien or not.

It's not the first study that demostrates that the theory behind acupunture does not describe observed reality, but proponents continue to conduct such studies instead of using the resources to find out how exactly sticking needles into people relieve their pain - it's almost too painful to watch.



  • just out of curosity have you ever gone for acuputure? I don't know enough of acuputure to comment except that my aunt went through a transplant with only acupunture as anasethsia. How true I wouldn't know. She was awake while it was going on. BTW couldn't locate the study that you posted.

    Maybe ozbloke have something to say :)

    By Blogger palmist, At September 29, 2007 12:44 am  

  • I would wonder what was transplanted. Cornea?

    By Anonymous Med Stu, At September 30, 2007 12:23 am  

  • "just out of curosity have you ever gone for acuputure?"

    I never had to.

    "my aunt went through a transplant with only acupunture as anasethsia. How true I wouldn't know."

    It is possible that your aunt had acupuncture as the only form of anaesthesia for surgery, but it is more likely that she had acupuncture as one of the forms of anaesthesia.

    In any case, that does not veify the theory behind acupuncture.

    By Blogger angry doc, At October 01, 2007 8:55 am  

  • she had a kidney transplant.

    The only reason why I asked if you have had acupuncture before is because you will be able to feel the effect is localised and affects certain 'meridian' pathways. I am not sure if you just stick the needles anywhere you like it will work. Perhaps it is my browser, I couldn't access the article that you post.

    My point of posting my aunt example is not to tell us that we know all about the mechanism. Just that it works. you can drive a car without knowing how it works. It is in the medical profession interest to know how it works but it doesn't mean that if we cannot explain it we would not use it. For eg minoxidil. WE know one of the side effects is causing hair growth but we don't really know how it works. granted reproducible trials are carried out, but I don't think anyone is working on how minoxidil works. I am sure you would come into contact with some of these acupuncturist or dr who worked with them in the hospital.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 03, 2007 12:40 am  

  • It's about having a scientific attitude and intellectual honesty, palmist.

    We actually do know quite a bit about minoxidil. We know it works through proper studies, we know it's pharmacological properties, and we have a postulation about how it works.

    We do not, however, use the fact that minoxidil works to propose a theory about invisible energies to explain human physiology, or use that theory to support a host of other unproven therapies.

    By Blogger angry doc, At October 03, 2007 8:58 am  

  • Painful to watch? Not for the students who volunteer their bodies for "randomised double blinded studies" to study the effect between accupuncture and pain.

    Heard it pays pretty well too. And what is a bit of pain for a poor medical student? Tough love.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 03, 2007 11:31 pm  

  • I guess we will never agree. I am not oppose to scientific studies. There are people out there who are fine if things work. There are some who are more inquisitive and want to find out more. I don't oppose those who want to find out more. qi theory probably needs a lot more work. People who did the research on acupuncture can cotninue with the work to find out why it is so. maybe they should also do a control with and without accupunture.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 10, 2007 11:49 am  

  • Your link at the start of your comments takes you to information on trials on acupuncture for back pain. These mention the use of 'sham' points - given that Ashi points do not lie neccessarily on meridians, its questionable whether the 'sham' points are in fact sham points. The reserach design seems to have been developed without much undrestanding of the modality. Still, each to their own. Personally, I'm not angry about patients using any modality that works for them to get better or maintain health. But then again, I'm not that randomly angry.... Perhaps you should try some acupuncture for your stress and then you wouldn't be so generally angry ?! As a doctor you should know its not good for your health-long term!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 30, 2007 5:47 am  

  • After doing research for a while; I found out that acupuncture can work in some cases, but there are other illness that acupuncture is unable to cure.

    By Anonymous viagra online, At July 15, 2010 2:19 am  

  • This practice is still very indifferent in my eyes. I have always been curious who it "works" for.

    By Anonymous Elliott Broidy, At September 06, 2012 12:13 am  

  • I do not think so that while sticking the needles any where in the body will provide relief to the patients because there is certain meridians in the body which flow the Qi and if they are not understood so a lot of problems can raise and can damage the body as well as Physiotherapy North Ryde can be consulted to know the real scenario as well.

    By Blogger Adriana henry, At October 10, 2016 3:58 am  

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