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acupuncture, more snake oil?

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Simon Spooner, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    Interesting. I've personally had acupuncture at a student clinic while I was studying, and noticed a huge difference between two practitioners. I got better pain reduction results and felt a zip of electricity on placement of the needles from the student who was very careful about land marking than I did from the student who seemed to rush the placement.

    It's hard to do studies of this kind of treatment on people, we come to the table with bias. Some in the control "sham" group will believe that it acupuncture will work, while some in the treatment group will believe that acupuncture will not work, and vice versa. Also, the two tests will seem very similar to the uninitiated, maybe this shows that meridians aren't important in placement. Acupuncture has also beaten the effects of aspirin in a study, though sometimes I'd bet that a glass of water would work as well with a sugar pill as with an aspirin but we're not eager to attribute all of the effects of Aspirin as a placebo (dehydration -> headache).

    I wish I could still access online full text research and read the papers myself.

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Acupuncture beats aspirin chronic headache/1021220/story.html

    I think the rats in the following studies probably had no previous bias and the results cannot be chalked up to placebo.

    Effect of acupuncture on behavioral hyperactivity and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens in rats sensitized to morphine
    Neuroscience Letters
    Volume 387, Issue 1, 14 October 2005, Pages 17-21

    Acupuncture analgesia in a new rat model of ankle sprain pain.
    Pain. 2002 Oct;99(3):423-31. (I've read this myself for a Podiatry class project on alternative medicine)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2009
  2. elmsj

    elmsj Active Member

    Acupuncture seems to work pretty well on trigger points for me (personally and as a practitoner)

    Western medical acupuncture - ie that taught to GPs Podiatrists etc, said to be useful for myofascial pain. There is quite a few studies out there that conclude that acupuncture can be useful in myofascial pain ....just a few quickly put down here....

    Complement Ther Med. 2007 Sep;15(3):172-9.
    Comment on the "Randomised trial of trigger point acupuncture compared with other acupuncture for treatment of chronic neck pain".Kim SY, Park HJ, Yin CS.
    PMID: 19028337 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Acupuncture for chronic neck pain: a pilot for a randomised controlled trial. [BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2006]

    Aust Fam Physician. 2007 Jun;36(6):447-8.
    Acupuncture in musculoskeletal disorders - is there a point?Pirotta M.

    Acupunct Med. 2003 Jun;21(1-2):18-22; discussion 22. Links
    Acupuncture for soft tissue shoulder disorders: a series of 201 cases.Guerra J, Bassas E, Andres M, Verdugo F, Gonzalez M.

    Some studies done on animals concluded that acupuncture was helpful -

    If Travell & Simon say applying pressure can work for relief, I wonder if there has been any studies comparing just pressure, with using an acupuncture needle on the points though?

    Will go and have a look.....

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