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June 27, 2009


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AltMed proponents have to use dodgy studies to support their case, because all the decent research shows it works no better than placebo, or not at all.

If this simple fact is pointed out enough times, maybe people will eventually get the message....

Isn't it crazy that while we have a jury finding parents guilty for not using medicine to treat their dying child, we have taxes being spent on studies about not using medicine to treat things that are actually treated adequately with medicine?

I wonder how many people will suffer as a result of the legitimacy this study will lend to acupuncture?

"3. No sham acupuncture."
I have to disagree with your number three: any and all acupuncture involved is sham acupuncture!

The multiple emergency department acupuncture trials will employ traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to work in emergency, a first for the Western world, said the lead researcher, Marc Cohen, a professor of complementary medicine at RMIT.

The "Western world"? The implication is that the only reason acupuncture hasn't been widely accepted in "the West" in due to lack of respect for "ancient Chinese wisdom".

He said that unlike other alternative therapies, there is increasing sound scientific evidence for the use of acupuncture.

Exactly! The evidence is there, it's just due to Western narrow-mindedness and ignorance that it's not in every hospital, so we won't be impolite and ask which studies he's refering to....And if the studies turned out to have been poorly designed, no control group, no blinding, low samples, etc, then we could tell ourselves that ancient Chinese traditions are enough evidence in themselves. After all, if acupuncture has been around for 5000 years, it must work.

creationism in schools, acupunture in hospitals,
what's next?,
flat earth?,
the "radio waves are carried by ether" theory?.

I really wonder why the crazy stuff like acupunture or astrolgy refuse to go extint
like other flawed ideas that were proven
wrong long ago.
why can't the same thing that happened to
the idea of zeus being real or the earth
being flat, happen to astrology or acupunture?.

Unfortunatly, we have a law, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), about that.

The governor Sérgio Cabral approved the law. So Acupuncture and other [pseudo]treatments will be used in the public hospitals.


I wonder what your views are on Herbal remedies. I'm not talking about serious health issues, but for helping with the occasional digestion and yin/yang issues. I've been recently studying Taoism and find that they are tied together, mostly for traditional purposes. Last weekend I picked up a book on Chinese herbal cures, and find it to be pretty good for things that arent very accute, like the occasional creeping crud. Plus they have great advise on how to avoid these eating 'disorders' to begin with

There's also a large number of excellent posts regarding acupuncture over a Science Based Medicine.

Harriet Hall on the myth of acupuncture

"After one of President Nixon's aides developed acute appendicitis during an official visit to China in the 1970s and received acupuncture as part of his perioperative care, interest in this area spread to the West,"

I wish they wouldn't still drag out that deconstructed myth.

Kimball Atwood's 4 part Deconstruction of acupuncture anesthesia

Herbs have potential utility because they actually contain ingredients, unlike, for example, homeopathy. Usually, though, there's no point to taking something in herb form when you can get measured amounts of the active ingredients taken out and put into pill form. Often, raw herbs vary in how much they contain, to a point that some don't contain any of the key ingredient, or contain double the average.

Yin/Yang's nonsense.

I'll pay more attention to Chinese herbalism when they say what specifically in Gensing is doing whatever.

Too bad it was revealed to me in Wayne's World 2 that the Ancient Chinese Secret for getting clothes "so clean" was actually Calgon.

It would occur to me that many of these "Ancient Chinese Secrets" are more akin to "Recently Made-up Woo".


I can't answer your question, but in general the typical skeptic's view on [insert your treatment here] is that the treatment must have been shown to be effective to have any value. This usually means blinded trials where the goal is to separate any real effect the treatment may have from the placebo effect and other undesirables like observer bias.

Hope this helps.

Chinese herbal cures...pretty good for things that arent very accute, like the occasional creeping crud.
There's a particular herbal tea I drink regularly because it seems to help my digestion. Also, I happen to like the taste. But it's not medicine, and I don't pretend it is.

The other day I overheard a conversation between a group of travellers at a backpackers.
This one girl was claiming the standard "science doesnt know everything" and of course the brilliant (pause. not)argument that "chinese medicine and acupuncture has been around for thousands of years".
To this a guy replied asking why if it has been around for so many years is it only in the past 100-200 years or so that living standards (years) have increased, parallel with the expansion of modern medicine.
I cant believe I never thought of that reply myself before...sigh. So simple, so clear so true.
I felt like running up to him giving him a high five :)

I fell over and badly sprained my ankle, then a few days later I had a migraine. All my doctor could offer was painkilling medication and an elastic support for my ankle. Where were the acupuncturists when I needed them?

Then I got the flu and my doctor just gave me Tamiflu and a prescription for some antibiotics to take later if I got a chest infection. Again, no acupuncture.

Actually, I can see a role for acupuncture in emergency medicine. I know for a fact that if I turned up at the ER and they offered me acupuncture I would try to get away as soon as possible. I would be worried that I had used the wrong entrance from the car park and had ended up in a psychiatric ward. Why else would I be talking to mad people?


I have used that exact response before. Apparently the girl was none too bright, becuase the normal response I hear is:


but no definitely not modern medicine. It cant be. Never mind that modern medicine gave us the reasons why sanitation and hygene are important. Never mind that sanitation and hygene do nothing for tuberculosis and smallpox or a varitey of other airborne diseases that can kill us.

But these guys think that sanitatio and hygene along with acupuncture or other woo will provide life span benefits unheard of before, but that nasty allopathic medcine keeps getting in the way

Amazing how non-sensical things can be sometimes. If the procedure is known to not really do any better than a placebo, then what is the point of spending so much on it? It'd make more sense to just have the option available for patients who want it, rather than spending that kind of cash on a study concerning it.

I don't think a hospital should "have the
option avaiable" for the same reason I don't
think creationism should be taught in schools.

the crazy stuff can be found everywhere, but
it should not be "officially endorsed" by
institutions that deal with the real thing.
it might give people the wrong impression.

an example:
my mother went to medicine school and
worked for like 30 or 35 years in
a hospital,
yet she couldn't believe it when I told her
homeophaty is fake, and I was shocked to
find she didn't know, I assumend that being
familiar with real medicine, she would know
better, but no, she thought homeophaty was
real, and here comes the most shocking part:
she was not very convinced by my explanations because
"they teach it at the university", so it
can't be a made up fake thing, right?


anyway, my point was, "no, the option to
choose between medicine and acupunture
should not be presented by a doctor for
the same reason a teacher should not
teach creationism"


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