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Old 15th March 2017, 11:29 PM   #1
rjh01
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Does acupuncture work?

https://academic.oup.com/brain/artic...g-the-primary-

Quote:
Acupuncture therapy was provided for 16 sessions over 8 weeks. Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire assessed pain and paraesthesia symptoms at baseline, following therapy and at 3-month follow-up. Nerve conduction studies assessing median nerve sensory latency and brain imaging data were acquired at baseline and following therapy. Functional magnetic resonance imaging assessed somatotopy in the primary somatosensory cortex using vibrotactile stimulation over three digits (2, 3 and 5). While all three acupuncture interventions reduced symptom severity, verum (local and distal) acupuncture was superior to sham in producing improvements in neurophysiological outcomes, both local to the wrist (i.e. median sensory nerve conduction latency) and in the brain (i.e. digit 2/3 cortical separation distance).
I know some of you people can tear apart a good research paper better than me. So please prove the previous statement correct by do so on this article.

The only issues I can come up with are
1. It was a small study. Could have had the result by chance.
2. Did the people giving the treatment know which group the subjects were in? If so this could influence the result.
3. Sham acupuncture did improve the condition.


None of these prove the study is no good. But can you do better?

Edit. If you want to see a news report of the above then read this http://time.com/4690200/acupuncture-...nnel-syndrome/

Last edited by rjh01; 15th March 2017 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 15th March 2017, 11:45 PM   #2
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The "classic" sham acupuncture studies prove, as far as I am aware, that doing it wrong is just as good as doing it right.
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Old 16th March 2017, 03:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I know some of you people can tear apart a good research paper better than me. So please prove the previous statement correct by do so on this article.
It's honestly impossible to say without reading the paper itself. Since that costs £26, I'm not going to do so.
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Old 16th March 2017, 03:49 AM   #4
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As with all mainstream or alternative medical practices, if you have faith in the process then it can be quite effective sometimes.
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Old 16th March 2017, 04:09 AM   #5
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You need to define "acupuncture" first.

If it's stabbing needles in certain points, altering the flow of Chi to heal the body, the answer is "most likely no, and please stop wasting precious bandwidth".

If it's stabbing needles in certain points, hoping the healing scars will alleviate the pressure to the carpal nerve, the answer is "this study shows it might".

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Old 16th March 2017, 05:08 AM   #6
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No, it does not.
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Old 16th March 2017, 05:28 AM   #7
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They used electro-acupuncture, which might actually do something. That is putting in two needles, and some small voltage hooked to them. Think electro-massage? or TENS machine?

Whatever, it was NOT traditional acupuncture. Rats. now somebody need to do a study comparing e-a to other treatments.
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
They used electro-acupuncture, which might actually do something.
I'll say. Getting electrocuted has actual effects!
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:02 AM   #9
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It works very well, people make a lot of money out of it.
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:11 AM   #10
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Acupuncture works as well as one believes that it works.
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:12 AM   #11
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It's not as good as duct tape to make things stick to your skin.
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
They used electro-acupuncture, which might actually do something. That is putting in two needles, and some small voltage hooked to them. Think electro-massage? or TENS machine?

Whatever, it was NOT traditional acupuncture. Rats. now somebody need to do a study comparing e-a to other treatments.
Thanks. Interesting post.
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
It's honestly impossible to say without reading the paper itself. Since that costs £26, I'm not going to do so.
Well you can go by the wealth of other evidence: The answer is, no.
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Old 16th March 2017, 06:56 PM   #14
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I'll say. Getting electrocuted has actual effects!
Sticking needles into someone has actual effects as well. If only to make the recipient say "hey, stop sticking needles into me!"
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Old 17th March 2017, 03:15 PM   #15
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I can only speak from personal experience, but it worked for me.

I used to have moderate to severe pain in my lower back from an injury I received in a rugby tackle when I was younger (about 30 years ago). As I got older, the pain got steadily worse, and made it difficult to do everyday things such a riding a bike or driving a car. Sometimes, even sitting at a computer was painful. I tried several sessions with physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths, all to no avail. I used to take some pretty heavy painkillers (Percoset, Oxycontin) Then, on the physiotherapist's recommendation, I went to an acupuncturist.... She connected wires from a small machine to the needles which passed a small, pulsing electric current through my body (a weird but not unpleasant sensation). Three sessions later, no more pain and it hasn't returned in a few years.

This is not proof or definitive by any means, but my experience makes it difficult for me to conclude that it doesn't work...
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Old 17th March 2017, 03:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
No, it does not.
As said, it depends how you define "acupuncture".

The whole 'theory' behind it (fixed points, altering flow of chi, etc.) is junk -- it clashes with current scientific medical/biological theories on many levels.

Sticking needles into the skin randomly, and maybe hook them up to voltage, does seem to have about the same effect as if you follow the chi points.

The problem is that it is nigh impossible to compare sticking needles into someone with not sticking needles into someone.

There have been some studies which try to do exactly that (for instance, by effectively blinding the patients, either with blindfolds or [pretending to] use the needles where they cannot see it).

I don't have the time to search for such studies -- as far as I recall, they were some that concluded that the sham procedure worked just as well as actual putting needles in, meaning that it's probably a pure placebo effect. It's not the needles sticking, it's the treatment by the acupuncturist and the patient's belief in it that does the trick. Of course acupuncturists complain that the test procedures fail because they couldn't use proper techniques -- just the ones that minimize the feel of the needling to make the sham procedure work.

As I said: It's hard, next to impossible, to test.

Personally, currently I don't see it as something to be used on myself.
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Old 17th March 2017, 03:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
[snip] I went to an acupuncturist.... She connected wires from a small machine to the needles which passed a small, pulsing electric current through my body (a weird but not unpleasant sensation). [snip]

I don't know what this procedure is called, but it's clearly not "classical" or "traditional" acupuncture, where neither of those words are intended to refer to chi, or music, or any such thing.
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Old 17th March 2017, 04:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I can only speak from personal experience, but it worked for me...
For your sake, I hope you continue to get relief and my heart goes out to you. Perhaps this works for you.

But if your name is not smartcooky, consider the possibility and science (i.e., lack of it) behind this claim: outrageous, extremely ridiculous and highly unlikely.
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Old 17th March 2017, 04:17 PM   #19
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I recall reading somewhere that the "chi points" themselves, so confidently assumed, are imaginary and vary between any two nitwits with a needle.

Electricity, on the other volt, now that one I can see. Had it myself, though not a needle, just a wet pad. The rapid osculating of the muscle as the current varies is an intense workout in a short period.

These days I do a routine of stretches (taught me by my last physio) and they work well.
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Old 17th March 2017, 04:23 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
For your sake, I hope you continue to get relief and my heart goes out to you. Perhaps this works for you.

But if your name is not smartcooky, consider the possibility and science (i.e., lack of it) behind this claim: outrageous, extremely ridiculous and highly unlikely.
And yet, an established medical treatment is to wear a small unit that gives you small electrical pulses through the affected area.

This signature is intended to irritate people.
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Old 18th March 2017, 03:05 PM   #21
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The problem, as I understand it, with acupuncture trials is developing a suitable control protocol. Whaddya do? Just stick needles into people in random places?

On the subject of electricity: I received Tens treatment for knee problems some 25 years ago, and found it mildly effective. I was only a teen at the time, and while not the least bit susceptible to magical hocus pocus stuff, I wasn't the skeptic I now try to be. It was, however, a chiropractor that introduced me to the treatment, so...

I occasionally use a Tens device now, and find it mildly helpful. I've read a bit about the idea though, so maybe it is a placebo effect.
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Old 18th March 2017, 05:33 PM   #22
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All injury affects the surrounding area, though a needle prick is not much of an injury.
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Old 19th March 2017, 11:24 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I can only speak from personal experience, but it worked for me.

I used to have moderate to severe pain in my lower back from an injury I received in a rugby tackle when I was younger (about 30 years ago). As I got older, the pain got steadily worse, and made it difficult to do everyday things such a riding a bike or driving a car. Sometimes, even sitting at a computer was painful. I tried several sessions with physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths, all to no avail. I used to take some pretty heavy painkillers (Percoset, Oxycontin) Then, on the physiotherapist's recommendation, I went to an acupuncturist.... She connected wires from a small machine to the needles which passed a small, pulsing electric current through my body (a weird but not unpleasant sensation). Three sessions later, no more pain and it hasn't returned in a few years.

This is not proof or definitive by any means, but my experience makes it difficult for me to conclude that it doesn't work...
Pain, especially chronic pain, is very complex. It isn't simply an indication of tissue damage. There are all sorts of complex feedback loops. It wouldn't surprise me if your treatment really worked by interrupting the feedback loops. But the thing is that even if it's a placebo, it still worked. If you're in pain, there's no reason to refuse a placebo treatment that works.
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Old 19th March 2017, 12:41 PM   #24
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I like the idea of acupuncture being labeled an "alternative" medicine.

And that's a fact.
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Old 19th March 2017, 03:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
The rapid osculating of the muscle…
Rapid kissing of the muscle. Oh, dear. It should've been oscillating!
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Old 19th March 2017, 03:57 PM   #26
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Medline Plus:
U.S. National Library of Medicine from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health:
NIH(1): National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Acupuncture

Summary
Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. Acupuncture involves stimulating specific points on the body. This is most often done by inserting thin needles through the skin, to cause a change in the physical functions of the body.
Research has shown that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting after surgery and chemotherapy. It can also relieve pain. Researchers don't fully understand how acupuncture works. It might aid the activity of your body's pain-killing chemicals. It also might affect how you release chemicals that regulate blood pressure and flow.
https://medlineplus.gov/acupuncture.html

1. NIH: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ViewsofMars View Post
NIH: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
Their source is the slightly dubious National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. This is a short summary that hides the complete truth about acupuncture.

Being ancient does not mean that a medical practice is effective.

Many different forms of acupuncture were practiced in China for a couple of thousands of years. It was in decline for the last 800 years and even banned in 1822 and 1929. Mao Zedong resurrected acupuncture as part of the pseudoscience of Traditional Chinese medicine.

Research has shown that acupuncture may be effective only to reduce nausea and vomiting after surgery and chemotherapy.
Research has shown that there is little evidence that acupuncture reduces pain.
Research has shown no support for the stated mechanisms of acupuncture.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:29 PM   #28
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So you are knocking down the National Institutes of Health!
https://search.nih.gov/search?utf8=%...&commit=Search

Look do some research in the future before you attempt to correct me. The problem I am having here with some people is they aren't doing research. I am a science researcher.

Read this:
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/...cupuncture-pdq

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Old 19th March 2017, 07:41 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ViewsofMars View Post
So you are knocking down the National Institutes of Health!
No: The slightly dubious National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Quote:
NCCAM's mission statement declared that it is "dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science; training complementary and alternative medicine researchers; and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals."[5]
This is an institute set up to do research into pseudoscience such as homeopathy, acupuncture and reiki. When it was created that was a dubious goal. Waving hands at people should not fix ailments (though it took a 12 year old girl to show that reiki practitioners could not detected energy fields if I recall right!). Homeopathy is basically that no active ingredients magically cure just about everything. And then there is acupuncture.

After 20 years and $2 billion (e.g. a 2012 study), NCCIH has not shown that any alternative medicine works better then placebos and there is a startlingly lack of publications. Essentially they have spent 2 billon dollars mostly finding out what we already knew.
Quote:
Since its birth, in 1999, NCCAM officials have spent about $1.6 billion studying alternative therapies. They've spent $374,000 of taxpayer money to find out that inhaling lemon and lavender scents doesn't promote wound healing; $390,000 to find out that ancient Indian remedies don't control Type 2 diabetes; $446,000 to find that magnetic mattresses don't treat arthritis; $283,000 to discover that magnets don't treat migraine headaches; $406,000 to determine that coffee enemas don't cure pancreatic cancer; and $1.8 million to find out that prayer doesn't cure AIDS or brain tumors or improve healing after breast reconstruction surgery. Fortunately, NCCAM has recently abandoned these kinds of studies, choosing instead to focus on studies of dietary supplements and pain relief.[38]

Last edited by Reality Check; 19th March 2017 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 07:50 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ViewsofMars View Post
[snip

Look do some research in the future before you attempt to correct me. The problem I am having here with some people is they aren't doing research. I am a science researcher.

Read this:
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/...cupuncture-pdq

Do you honestly, really, believe that you are the only person here with a scientific background, or who is a "science researcher"?
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Old 19th March 2017, 08:05 PM   #31
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Reality Check and xterra

So you want to knock down all of the three below:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-w...e-health-nccih
The above page last reviewed on March 1, 2017

Yeah, I am one of many science researchers xterra

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Old 19th March 2017, 08:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ViewsofMars View Post
That the National Cancer Institute (another part of the NIH sadly) promotes pseudoscience does not make acupuncture work, ViewsofMars .
ETA: "promotes " is a bit strong - the NCI has a Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Patients list. The list includes some bits of quackery that are not actually promoted, e.g. antineoplastons that are only used by the quack Dr. S. R. Burzynski.

Read Human/Clinical Studies where NCI are honest about the limitations of the studies they cite, e.g.
Quote:
Although most of these studies were positive and demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in cancer pain control, the findings have limited significance because of methodologic weaknesses such as small sample sizes, an absence of patient blinding to treatment in most cases, varying acupuncture treatment regimens, a lack of standard outcome measurements, and an absence of adequate randomization.
Look at the "nonrandomized, single-arm, observational clinical study" above that paragraph. 20 patients. Acupuncture of the ear lobe. Leaving needles in until they dropped out in 5 - 35 days.

Last edited by Reality Check; 19th March 2017 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 08:15 PM   #33
Reality Check
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Originally Posted by ViewsofMars View Post
So you want to knock down all of the three below
To ViewsofMars: There are many US intuitions that promote pseudoscience. That does not make acupuncture work.

Being a "science researcher" suggests that you know about science. You should know that the traditional basis of acupuncture is pre-scientific fairy stories. The purported scientific basis is mostly wishful thinking, e.g. that the response of rats to relatively invasive needles means the minor invasion in humans will have similar effects.

Last edited by Reality Check; 19th March 2017 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 08:18 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The "classic" sham acupuncture studies prove, as far as I am aware, that doing it wrong is just as good as doing it right.
Among other reliable studies that show no benefit.
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Old 19th March 2017, 09:18 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
To ViewsofMars: There are many US intuitions that promote pseudoscience. That does not make acupuncture work.
None of the U.S. institutions that I have presented are promoting pseudoscience. Also, I honestly don't read Wikipedia for science information.

Updated: October 20, 2016

"In patients with lung cancer, the acupuncture group also showed greater improvement than the controls in the symptoms of cough, thoracodynia, hemoptysis, and fever; in patients with esophageal cancer, the acupuncture group showed greater improvement in the symptoms of chest pain, mucus vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing. In addition, the acupuncture group suffered fewer side effects (e.g., poor appetite, N/V, dizziness, or fatigue) from radiation therapy or chemotherapy than the control group. However, no statistical analysis was performed on these data. An RCT of 138 postoperative cancer patients treated with acupuncture plus massage showed decreased pain (P = .05) and a decrease in depressive mood (P = .003) compared with usual care.[18]
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/...dq#section/_35

Is acupuncture approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a cancer treatment in the United States?
The FDA approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that sterile, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only.

More than 40 states and the District of Columbia have laws regulating acupuncture practice. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (www.nccaom.orgExit Disclaimer) certifies practitioners of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Most states require this certification.


https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/...e-pdq#link/_53

By the way, I've never needed acupuncture. I'm over 60 years old and have had great health. It must be the German, French, and Irish in me. I eat healthy meals and exercise though I have a dear friend who has cancer.

Last edited by ViewsofMars; 19th March 2017 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 09:30 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
As with all mainstream or alternative medical practices, if you have faith in the process then it can be quite effective sometimes.
temporarily.
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Old 19th March 2017, 09:34 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Rapid kissing of the muscle. Oh, dear. It should've been oscillating!
Good self catch!!!!
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:09 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by ViewsofMars View Post
To:
Reality Check and xterra

So you want to knock down all of the three below:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-w...e-health-nccih
The above page last reviewed on March 1, 2017

Yeah, I am one of many science researchers xterra

I asserted nothing about NIH or NCCIH, nor about the research you cited, nor even about whether you are a science researcher. I took issue with this:

"Look do some research in the future before you attempt to correct me. I am a science researcher."

The implication underlying that paragraph is that people who disagree with your support of acupuncture do so from a position of ignorance. That implication is unwarranted.

Your declaration of being a science researcher implies that no one else here has that qualification. You have no basis that I can discover for such a statement.
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:55 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
All injury affects the surrounding area, though a needle prick is not much of an injury.
I've had acupuncture a few times, based on recommendation of my physiotherapists and whilst it didn't seem to do anything for me there is no doubt there was a physiological response to sticking the needles in. Apparently I'm a "good reactor" as around each needle point there would be a circular red mark, about 5 to 10cm in diameter.

Given that there was something objectively and physically happening it could be doing something.
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Old 20th March 2017, 08:24 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Rapid kissing of the muscle. Oh, dear. It should've been oscillating!
No, you were right the first time. My children can attest to the pain-relieving efficacy of that treatment.
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