TechSkeptic sent me this article that I find it hard to believe isn’t from The Onion - Military tries 'battlefield' acupuncture to ease pain:
The technique is proving so successful that the Air Force will begin teaching "battlefield acupuncture" early next year to physicians deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, senior officials will announce tomorrow.
Using tiny needles that barely penetrate the skin of a patient's ear, Air Force doctors here say they can interrupt pain signals going to the brain.
Their experience over several years indicates the technique developed by Col. Richard Niemtzow, an Air Force physician, can relieve even unbearable pain for days at a time.
And I thought this cartoon was a joke.
Perhaps it was. But it’s not anymore. This military doctor is apparently claiming he can interrupt pain signals going to the brain for days at a time. And he is relying on "experience over several years" - presumably because actual studies suggest that acupuncture is nothing more than a highly elaborate placebo. For example:
Our troops deserve better. For example, only treatments that have been shown to work.
[Note: cartoon from DC's IMPROBABLE SCIENCE page.]
Dec 15 - Edited to add:
Two more blog posts today from Orac and Novella: