Accupuncture scores some points.

Read this article. Courtesy of Science Daily. They are a wonderful website. One of the best science news sites I’ve ever seen.

So I’m starting to believe there might be something to this whole accupuncture thing. I’ve never experienced it myself, but I know several people who swear by it. I was leaning towards a placebo potential, but this new research looks promising. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

Anyone here ever experienced it? How’d it go?

DaLovin’ Dj

Um. Not to burst your bubble or anything, Deej, and you already know how I feel about your alternative press news sources… :smiley: … but:

  1. A single study does not constitute “proof”. Before that happens, other people will have to go out and be able to reproduce the results of this study.

  2. As I understand it, this study was not studying whether acupuncture works. It seems to be taking it as a “given” that acupuncture DOES work, and was only studying whether acupuncture works better if you twirl the needles around in a certain way, rather than simply poking them in and leaving them there.

  3. This article gives no facts whatsoever about the study. It doesn’t say how many subjects participated in the study, it doesn’t give any real scientific details of their testing procedure, or of how they decided that the needles work better if you twirl them around.

  4. The study, such as it was, was funded by an alternative medicine group.

Not that they’d have any kind of vested interest in positive test results or anything… :rolleyes: I’m such a cynic, I know. :smiley:

  1. I followed the link at the bottom of the article to the “original press release”, here, and found that it’s the same as the article. In other words, the magazine article is just the researchers’ press release, word for word.

So, sorry, the same way that “one swallow doth not a summer make”, “one press release doth not a revolution in medical treatment make”.

And if you just wanted opinions on “how did your acupuncture treatment go?”, or “did it work for you?”, you should have posted this in MPSIMS or IMHO. :wink:

I do want peoples experiences with this form of therapy. I posted it here because it’s a subject that quickly leads to debate. I didn’t say that accupuncture had been proven beyond a doubt, only that I am starting to give it some more credtit. Friends testimonials were giving me pause to begin with, and now this article supports their statments, even if it doesn’t prove them.

DaLovin’ Dj

Well I think DDG is right in pointing out the problems, DJ. Also keep in mind that good science does not rely on testimonials. Testimonials are the tools of frauds and marketers, and science avoids them precisely because it is so easy to become confused when testimonials are admitted.

With that in mind, we now have the following evidence that you mention:

  1. testimonials from thousands of people – but testimonials are not admissible

  2. The study you mention – but DDG already explained the problems with that

What remains? I’m not saying acupuncture does not work because we don’t know one way or another, but it’s important not to jump to conclusions or make assumptions even.

Here’s the abstract from the actual article.

The whole article is available online, but you gotta pay.

Just from the look of it, I’m not sure I would call it landmark. I do think that the Science Daily article is misleading, particularly in its headline, “University Of Vermont Study First To Confirm Acupuncture’s Effect”. The study only suggests that one phenomenon described by acupuncturists actually exists; it says nothing about what we would think of as the “effectiveness” of acupuncture. I think the wording is deliberate.

Dr. J

Is it harder to pull a needle out of someone’s skin if you twirl it at the same time? Hmmm, seems reasonable to me.


I posted it here not because I feel very strongly one way or the other and want to defend that position in a debate, but because it could lead to a debate easily.

So far, the consensus seems to be that the article doesn’t prove much, and testimonlials are inadmissable. Since this don’t seem to be it, are there any conclusive studies on the effectiveness of accupuncture - one way or another? Non-biased tests with controls and definitive reults?

DaLovin’ Dj

I had an operation 4 years ago which I found really hard to get over. I was exhausted all the time and found it difficult to get up in the morning. I don’t think I could have got up at all without a lot of caffeine. Caffeine is, without a doubt, the poor person’s cocaine. Anyway, I eventually went to an acupuncturist with this problem and had a course of treatment. My energy levels started to improve dramatically right away. I went home from one session and exercised for two hours straight. I would recommend it as an accessory to any operation.

I had a series of acupuncture treatments for a medical problem; the treatment had no effect whatsoever.

This negative “testimonial” also should not be taken as a guide to whether or not acupuncture is effective. Testimonials are for hucksters, and should not be the prime basis for accepting or rejecting a therapy.

I don’t know if the study cited in the OP was done in a good, rigorous scientific manner - the fact that it was funded by the NIH leads me to think that there was at least a solid, reasonable study proposal deserving of funding.

It sounds like some people with an ax to grind have taken a modest study and blown it out of proportion to support their views.

Great thread title, though

Thanks for picking up on that SuperNelson. I do try.

DaLovin’ Dj

I go to my acupuncture treatments every 3 weeks. (I even started a thread in IMHO -Ask the Acupuncture Patient) Does it work? Dunno. Is it better than spending $65 on crack? Prolly. :wink:

I did a bit of reading at before my first treatment. There are a few articles regarding acupuncture. The biggest beef seems to be about the science used in the acupuncture studies. News flash - perfect studies are non-existant. That is one reason that replications are necessary.

There are controls used in acupuncture studies (blunt needles that don’t puncture skin, needles placed in non-meridians, etc.), but one must consider that the sample base os often current acupuncture patients, who may have an expected outcome.

Perhaps I’m an anomoly. Many people go to acupuncture because the believe it will work for them. I went in having been steeped in western science and believing that it probably wouldn’t work. Yet, I keep going back.


It may work, my allergies seem to be lessening (but it’s getting later in the season.)
My back doesn’t hurt as much (but I got a new chair at work.)
It’s nice to have half an hour of quiet peaceful time - I have a 13 month at home.

And don’t forget, the placebo effect is still a positive effect!!!