Let’s conduct a hypothetical clinical trial
of a new drug that may reduce pain. We’ll take 3000 patients and assign them to three
groups randomly. We’ll give group 1 no treatment. Group 2 will receive a sugar pill containing
no active substances, and Group 3 will get our drug. We’ll track our patients for several
months and measure objective responses. I’ve drawn a chart of change in reported pain status
on a 1 to 100 scale at the time of follow-up. Notice that Group 1, our no-treatment, has
essentially no change. Group 3 shows some improvement, however small, but Group 2 shows
the greatest response. Remember that this is the group that got only sugar pill. What
should we conclude about our drug? What could cause such a difference between no-treatment
and a sugar pill? Is sugar an effective treatment for pain? Don’t forget this example, because we’ll be
coming back to it. Placebo describes our ability to respond to inactive substances or stimuli
by way of suggestive guidance. A placebo sugar pill can be more effective at relieving pain
than no sugar pill, even though the sugar is ineffective at biologically interfering
with the pain response. The placebo response is measurable in subjective tests like the
visual analog pain survey, but it’s also measurable in objective tests like blood pressure and
pulse rate. It has a real biological effect, and we shouldn’t ignore it. This says a lot about our creative brain and
the power it has over our biology. It takes an expectation and turns it into a reality.
Many cultural traditions recognized this long before the advent of modern psychology, and
healers have been using the placebo effect for non-life threatening conditions for millenia. There’s an interesting correlation between
the nature of the placebo intervention and the degree of response. Medical research has
established that placebo capsules are more effective than placebo in pill form. Large
capsules are more effective than small capsules. At the very top of effectiveness on the list
are two placebo treatments, injection and acupuncture. It would seem the more intense
the sensation of the placebo, the more confidence we gain from it, and the stronger the suggestion
of efficacy. Sticking needles in our skin, we might subconciously reason, is bound to
be effective, because it’s so extreme. I want to deal specifically with the idea
of acupuncture in its modern form. This is the belief that a needle inserted in the skin
by a skilled practicioner can activate qi, an invisible vitalist fluid that runs through
the body to give function to the organs. Now I don’t have the time to go through the long
and detailed history of acupuncture. Suffice it to say that the belief in qi and acupuncture
is a largely supernatural belief akin to the belief in humors and blood-letting in Europe,
and about as accurate. There are many variations and types of acupuncture
that correspond to different traditions. Some practicioners burn plant material on the needles,
called moxibustion. Others use electrical stimulation through the needles, or a recent
addition, cool lasers. What is most important for this discussion is that an acupuncture
session involves sitting quietly while a trusted authority figure shoves needles into your
skin. There’s a great deal of manual contact, as the practicioner inserts the needles and
applies certain motions, and an sense of relaxation. This creates an atmosphere of high suggestibility,
and frequent painful stimuli followed by release, something that can stimulate the release of
endorphins. We could also include acupressure here, which doesn’t penetrate the skin, but
simply puts pressure on specific chi points. So, does it work? The short answer is yes.
In the short term, say less than 2 days, you will feel some relief from certain kinds of
pain. The magnitude is very small in the clinical trials that have been run, say 2 to 6 points
out of a 100 improvement over no therapy for a variety of painful conditions from arthritis
to tooth pain. We could certainly walk away at this point
and conclude that acupuncture is very slightly effective on the evidence. Many of the studies
conducted by professional acupuncturists do. But the comparison doesn’t have to just be
between no treatment and acupuncture. We can also include a sham treatment, a placebo
of acupuncture, if you will, just like we would for a drug trial. We have some options
here. Some have used regular acupuncture needles, but not placed them in qi points. Some use
the needles in the right places, but don’t adjust them correctly, or insert them deeply
enough. My favorite, though, and the study I want to discuss, used… wait for it…
toothpicks in place of acupuncture needles as a sham treatment. Can we agree in advance that if sham acupuncture
with toothpicks works as well as regular acupuncture, that’s a clear placebo response? Because that’s
not what they found. No, they found that toothpick acupuncture works better than the real thing.
And not just a little, but a lot. Both of them beat the no-treatment group, but the
toothpick group was the clear winner. In fact, the example I gave at the beginning are the
numbers from this study, conducted by the NIH office of Complementary and Alternative
Medicine. The other placebo group often examined, the placement of needles not in qi meridians,
but rather randomly, or improperly placed, or placed too shallow, often outcompete the
conventional acupuncture in these type of randomized patient-blinded trials. If a drug company came up with these kinds
of results, they would quietly slink away. Not the acupuncturists, though. They’re quite
happy with the finding, suggesting that acupuncture works so well, it doesn’t even matter if needles
are inserted or not… Clearly, they all missed the day in acupuncture class when evidence
based medicine was taught. For me, this is the end of any discussion about acupuncture.
But if anyone out there still has doubts, even after the systematic reviews by the Cochrane
Institute and others dismiss any effectiveness versus placebo, I would ask you to consider
the very real risks. That’s right, sticking needles in your body
has some associated risk. I know you’re all shocked. If those needles are improperly sterilized
or handled, they can introduce bacteria deep into tissue. If they’re inserted too deeply,
they can puncture membranes like the lungs, the spine, and the heart. If they break off
inside your tissue, removal may require surgery. So the possible side effects of acupuncture
are infection, tissue and nerve damage, major surgery and death. Is that worth a 2% reduction
in pain? I don’t think so. How likely are these adverse outcomes? In
a survey of adverse events of acupuncture given to about 1000 doctors and 200 acupuncturists
in Finland in 1995 (Norheim and Fonnebo, 1995), there were 25 cases of pneumothorax, or punctured
lung, reported by doctors. This gives a prevalence in Finland of about 250 cases in about 5 million
people, or 5 per 100,000 people. But the number of licensed acupuncturists in Finland is only
about 500, and presumably they only treat a few thousand people, elevating the risk
substantially for those who use the services. Now, not all pneumothorax are fatal, many
spontaneously heal, but there is a risk of lung collapse and very rapid death. There are numerous case reports too horrifying
to list here. X-rays revealing broken needle points in the pericardium, post-mortem exams
of spinal lining punctures, and even a few outbreaks of infection from needles called
acupuncture mycobacteriosis that infected dozens of people. If you do go to get needles
inserted, make sure the practicioner is at least licensed, uses disposable needles, and
that they carefully sanitize both their hands and your skin. I’m not a fan of scare tactics. But I think
a thoughtful examination of the risks and benefit do not support the use of acupuncture
for pain management or any other condition. Placebo effect is a useful tool to be sure,
but the next time you’re tempted to visit an acupuncturist, perhaps you might pursue
the more effective, less expensive and probably safer alternative therapy. It’s all natural,
composed entirely of wood, and also good for holding olives in a martini. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Acupuncture”

  1. @RELIGIONmustDIE
    The article you are referring to used electo-acupuncture (EA) and temperature stress in rats. That involves running electrical charge into the skin, which stimulates a lot of responses that have nothing to do with the presence of the needle.

    I couldn't locate the second article with the information given.

  2. Interesting. I have studied tai chi and chi gong for some time now. I knew someone who had a pinched nerve in their shoulder and was seeing a professional accupuncturist. He was always telling me about his appointments and how the accupuncturist would use the needles to move the minor muscles and nerves back into alignment and he had a very noticeable affect. I dont doubt that the mind can make the hands bleed, but there are valuable things in eastern teachings.

  3. @Psy0psAgent In reference to the above, there is a big difference in these type of 'arts'. Take martial arts schools for example. There are the types you find in cities that make you run around doing calisthenics, and stretching but never quite teaching the arts of death to your average joe. They get a sporty version of self defense. And then there are real Dojos. So there are practitioners of arts that are amatuers and there are very rare pros. The outnumbering amatuers give the rest a bad name

  4. @RELIGIONmustDIE
    Whenever you can, try to track down the primary source. Sometimes popular articles badly misrepresent the research. For example, this is a laughable statement from the physorg article:
    "In special "adenosine receptor knock-out mice" not equipped with the adenosine receptor, acupuncture had no effect."
    and
    "When adenosine was turned on in the tissues, discomfort was reduced even without acupuncture."
    How is adenosine turned on? That's a nonsense phrase.

  5. Physorg didn't cite the actual paper:
    Nat Neurosci. 2010 Jul;13(7):883-8.
    "Adenosine A1 receptors mediate local anti-nociceptive effects of acupuncture."

    What I take from this article is that if the anti-nociception is a localized phenomenon that interacts with AdA1R, then it doesn't matter if needles are placed on "mystical points" or not. In fact, they speculate that any physical stimulation has a similar effect. Studies on chiro and massage are cited for support.

  6. They also point out that most studies find an analgesic effect whether needles are inserted or not, suggesting that the pressure on skin cells is enough to replicate the effect. To quote them:
    "…it is possible that ATP release from keratinocytes in response to mechanical stimulation of the skin results in an accumulation of adenosine that transiently reduces pain, as A1 receptors are probably expressed by nociceptive axon terminal in epidermis"

  7. Again, your videos are so important.
    You are teaching people how to think properly,
    Thank You so much for your work.

  8. @JZJYRWO You should reflect on all the factors that you underwent in your treatment for the pinched nerve. Did you absolutely only get acupuncture. Was there any massage or relaxation techniques with the treatment. Who diagnosed you with a pinched nerve. It is not physiologically possible to correct a pinched nerve with only acupuncture. The condition may have already been in the process of resolving, if that was even a proper diagnosis.

  9. And The Joint Commission in the USA found that doctors and nurses fail to wash their hands with alarming frequency, contributing to the 247 deaths caused each day by preventable hospital infections. They found that doctors & nurses washed their hands only 30% to 70% of the time that they entered or exited a patient's room, averaging 50%. "Certainly there are some individuals who believe they are above the law,'' Joint Commission President Mark Chassin said.

  10. This was a cut and paste from "Natural News" presented as an original comment. This is called plagiarism, and I don't tolerate it. The comments section is for original commentary on the content of the video. You've been warned so many times, I will take pleasure in blocking you if you continue.

    On a second, related note, you failed to cite a source for your facts. Natural News does as well.

  11. I was able to locate the monograph there that I assume the article is referring to. There was not a single reference to deaths caused by inadequate handwashing. Certainly not 247 per day (which translates to 90,000/year).

    The only reference to 30 to 70% was in a 1999 paper from a teaching hospital in Switzerland.
    (Compliance with hand washing in a teaching hospital. Ann Intern Med 130:126–130, Jan. 19, 1999.)

  12. You need to learn to think critically, Dawn. Don't let Natural News do your thinking for you. There's a reason they never source their facts: they are afraid you might discover that they make up news.

    A primary source is one that generates original research in a format that allows it to be reviewed for error and critically examined by experts in the field. A journal like "Nature" is a primary source. "Natural News" is not much better than the Enquirer.

    Be skeptical, Dawn!

  13. The human body will often heal itself, given time. Proper nutrition alone is often all one needs unless the body becomes overwhelmed with disease. Placebo effect is often nothing more than the body healing itself. The placebo didn't do anything. The body often heals on its own powers with no assistance. Medical doctors & medications aren't needed for every minor ailment, although proper nutrition is. Without proper nutrition, the human body will inevitably become vulnerable to most anything.

  14. The Chicago Tribune puts the death rate even higher, at 103,000. The Chicago Tribune examined hospital records, court records, and federal and state agency data pertaining to 5810 hospitals to reach its estimate. The CDC based their extrapolations on data voluntarily submitted by 315 hospitals: "How the Chicago Tribune Analyzed Infectious Cases," Chicago Tribune (July 21, 2002).

  15. Thank you for that. Setting that person straight is time wasting, but necessary.Plagiarism is no trivial matter, & not citing references while just cutting and pasting without attribution is wrong.

  16. Good advice. I worked at a Baltimore MD hospital for a time as a Biomedical Equipment Technician(12 yrs)& there were meetings with hospital infection control staff from time to time when new procedures came up(especially since HIV was being learned about at that time)regarding handwashing&protecting both healthcare workers&patients alike.A basis for handwashing procedures was, recommendations from the MD Dept of Health and Hygiene in the building across from the hospital.

  17. I love the placebo effect … but I'd rather it was from a sugar pill than something as messed up and dangerous as homeopathy or new aged medicine.

  18. Hey c0nc0rdance I found this on PUBmed:
    "The results imply that asthma patients benefit from acupuncture treatment given in addition to conventional therapy. Furthermore, acupuncture performed in accordance with the principles of TCM showed significant immune-modulating effects."
    I had an argument with my teacher because he claims his allergy was healed by acupuncture. Of course I looked it up, and found this.
    Are there any other reviews or evidence, and what is the conclusion?

  19. following your line of thoughts, you should be a fan of homeopathy then? no side effects, no risk – pure placebo.
    Your review of data is also quite selective. A Cochrane review for example concludes benefits for acupuncture comapred to sham acupuncture for chronic tension headache.
    Additionally, another Cochrane review states that acupuncture, although difficult to discriminate from sham intervention, beats drug treatment in the prophylaxis of migraine. those drugs are evidence based…

  20. "dangerous as homeopathy" :D:D
    why would something diluted to not being there be dangerous?? thats ridiculous… it simply does not help more than placebo, but it also does not harm.

  21. You are referring to:
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jan 21;(1):CD007587.

    It included four primary review, one of which was the controversial 2007 Endres study. In fact, it weighted this study to 78% of the total result. What I find most unfortunate about this is that the Endres review is, to date, the ONLY study every to show an effect which did not overlap 1. That is, it's the only study of the 4 to show any effect, but because more patients were enrolled, it was heavily weighted.

  22. I think you've forgotten about the main side effects of homeopathy:
    Subsitution effects. Homeopathy users are much, much less likely to seek out competent care when the first symptoms of a serious condition are seen. That delays diagnosis until the patient is critical.
    Likewise, expensive homeopathic remedies consume financial resources that could be used for actual medical purposes.

    Placebo, to me, is okay when a condition is self-limiting, cost is low and the patient expresses an interest.

  23. " That is, it's the only study of the 4 to show any effect, but because more patients were enrolled, it was heavily weighted."
    And this is, how evidence based medicine works…

  24. That is speculation. Homeopathic 'remedies' are perscribed by MDs as well. Also, this effect is in no way specific for homeopathy, but applies to the situation were alternative medicine is allowed in a country at all.
    Additionally, homeopathy is cheap. In Germany, 250 pills are about 5€ and payed for by the patient himself, so this does not cost the health care system – e.g. NSAIDs would do and, when taken too often, can have severe side effects.

  25. Yes, my favourite anti-acupuncture studies all show no difference between sham acupuncture and real acupuncture. And this is undoubted evidence that acupuncture is no more than a very elaborate placebo which can also be very dangerous as described in the video.
    chestbaer: homeopathy is cheap because it is either a solution of; well, just water, or it is homeopathic water dropped onto a sugar pill. Homeopathy is just as much quackery as acupuncture. Water does not have memory as homeopaths claim

  26. please check the website called "What's the Harm?" Over 300 000 deaths caused by quacks. If reading this website changes one person's mind about quackery, I am very happy.

  27. Not if you also run an electric charge through the needle (Acta Cir Bras. 2010 Aug;25(4):381-4.). I would argue that this is to be expected, as the voltage inhibits nerve transmission.

    By itself, the only benefit tested outside of China (where acupuncture is used extensively) is "reduced need" for ketamine anaesthetic and "faster recovery" post op. I will point out that these are precisely what we would expect from a placebo: subjective or psychosomatic effects.

  28. My grandpa got trigeminal neuralgia… Theres nothing really he can do, medication has horrible side effects, the chance that surgery works is not that great and well, there are risks associated with that kind of surgery… I let him believe that the acupuncture he gets might help him, at least it gives him some kind of hope and some placebo effect as well. Just to share a little story.

  29. Good news! The placebo effect may work, even if the patient is aware of the nature of the treatment.

    Here's a free full-text study ("Placebos without Deception") where patients with irritable bowel syndrome were told they were receiving placebo, but still derived significant benefit, according to the authors.
    PLoS One. 2010; 5(12): e15591.

    I'm not sure I completely believe the data, but it will be interesting to see further open-label placebo studies.

  30. Well there are some limitations obviously… Do people really believe they receive the placebo or do they think its just mentioned to make sure no group knows what they get etc, also there was no "concealed placebo" group unfortunately. But if this proves to be right, this would be awesome. I think he could then also make a more informed decision considering surgery etc… In general I think acupuncture should be replaced by toothpic acupuncture 😛

  31. By all means. As you've probably learned, psoriasis is triggered by stress and is therefore quite susceptible to calming effects of ritual and placebo.

    If you are interested in the scientific data:
    Clin Evid (Online). 2009; 2009: 1706. (Google: PMC2907770)
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Mar 28;3:CD005028.

    The general feeling is that Vitamin D and the analogs are effective, as are corticosteroids. Older methods like coal tar and UVB radiation are also effective, but less well studied.

  32. Sorry to go off-topic but would you mind making a video about the claim that anti-depressants increase the risk of suicide?

  33. I recently heard that acupuncture actually had an effect on the sympathetic neuro-system ( or was it that parasympathetic ? )
    With a quick research if found this : news-medical. net/news/20130206/Sympathetic-nervous-system-implicated-in-acupuncture-analgesia.aspx
    And this :chriskresser. com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-iv-how-acupuncture-works
    ( remove spaces )

  34. Homeopathy is almost the definition of quackery. No one ever needed to study it experimentally to prove that it's bunk.

  35. Well, if that's what you heard, it's wrong because acupuncture has no therapeutic effect on any disease known to man

  36. sympathetic nervous system , has that got anything to do with mirror neurons which recreate feelings in yourself that you see happening to other people, i would call that sympathetic feeling :).

  37. this is how it works as far as i understand,you movement it limited by your brain interpreting pain signals from your back and so inhibits your movement to prevent damage, so you feel stiff and you can't move and it hurts in general even when sat.You then take a placebo treatment which fires endorphins in your brains which are like painkillers,so your pain signals are inhibited and your full range of motion comes back,this also alters your mood to positive and so ignore some pain for a few days.

  38. The treatment has ultimately been nil, just self induced pain killers which being relived of the pain brings on a positive mood allowing you to do much more than usual. This effect is exploited by "faith healers" who do a ceremony etc and through suggestion cause the brain to release those pain killers and people seem miraculously cured.Unfortunately saying its real leads to people with life threatening afflictions die because they believe they have been cured 🙁 and the people doing it get rich

  39. Dude, if you can't even google this…
    It's responsible for a lot unconcious activities like in the cardiovascular system.
    ( it's funny how my first comment was downvoted to the ground but with no actual counter arguments and links. I'm not even defending accupuncture I'm just looking for the truth. )

  40. I would suggest you look up ancient acupuncture. It was about bloodletting with large bone needles. The switch to thin metal needles was a harm reduction strategy.

    Also, don't glorify Eastern medicine: The average life expectancy in China (73) is six years shorter than the US (79), they still have high infant mortality (three times that of the US, 16 vs. 5 per 10,000), and the medical coverage (access to affordable care) in rural provinces is less than 60%.

  41. I found the primary article for you:
    Acupunct Med. 2013 Feb 2.
    "Sympathetic nervous system responses to acupuncture and non-penetrating sham acupuncture in experimental forearm pain: a single-blind randomised descriptive study."

    The primary finding was that sticking a needle in your skin may cause changes to the local circulatory system, by way of leaking blood vessels, and also the pain may stimulate sympathetic nerve impulse. I'll try to grab the article when it goes to press.

  42. C0nc0rdance – thanks for this video. My physio-therapist this morning used acupuncture for an arm injury that I have. Without advance warning or time to research I agreed to it as I didn't know if this was something that actually works and also – as you noted – maybe the placebo effect? This will be the last time I use this therapy. If anything my arm hurts worse than before. I appreciate your efforts to find the actual evidence.

  43. Sorry to hear that! I'm not going to knock the placebo effect; it can be used effectively to manage subjective symptoms, so long as the underlying cause is also being addressed.

    There are also risks, though, and equally effective techniques that don't carry those risks. A nice hand and arm massage, for example, can have similar effects with no chance of infection or puncture risk. Or you can grab those cocktail toothpicks…

  44. Your links don't work for me even with taking the spaces out, i haven't down voted you, i saw nothing wrong with your comment, what is it that you want to know? Because as far as i know acupuncture is another placebo treatment and you gain the benefit from having a lie down quietly for the treatment and human contact on the skin. The needles are not needed and they can be dangerous, like collapsed lungs and spinal injuries.

  45. Hmm… Maybe try to put 3w in front of the link? ( had to suppress it manually )
    And as far as I know, western medical tools can be dangerous too. It just comes to the skills of the doctor.
    I just think that acupuncture is spposed to be preventive, not curative. Usually the traditional doctor also gave advice about lifestyle, eating healthy, stuff like that. Also I do think this medicin works closely with the placebo effect.

  46. Also something that could be interesting is to actually look up more on how far the placebo effect can go.
    One of the theories of chinese medicin is that the body can resist any disease my itself, only when there is an "imbalance" can the disease emerge. So it looks like acupuncture is sort of meant to work closely with the placebo effect.
    Wouldn't it be interesting to see the limits of the placebo effect ? ( I heard it can be something very powerfull sometimes. )

  47. C0nc0rdance, did you see the article on Skeptical Inquirer's website? Former Olympian Kim Ribble-Orr got a collapsed lung from acupuncture. See "Canadian Olympian’s ‘nightmare’ after acupuncture needle collapses her lung"

  48. What do you think of the BBC documentary about acupuncture? In it they cite some study from the university of Maryland (I think) in which acupuncture was shown to be 30% more effective than fake acupuncture placebo in relief of arthritis in the knees. As well as a study showing better results for people who suffer from migraines with real acupuncture.

  49. FYI: Pseudocientist: Acupuncture has hundreds of years of success and thousands of published studies backing it worldwide. Check the World Health Organization to start.

  50. You misspelled 'scientist'. I point this out for the irony.

    I'm not arguing it's not effective… I'm pointing out that it's a placebo and that it doesn't seem to matter whether you stick needles in the skin or just poke people with toothpicks… the mind does all the work, the needles are just a silly prop with some risk of puncturing organs.

  51. You're wrong about acupuncture. The the impressive and undeniable benefits of this natural healing science don't end with needle induced anesthesia for surgery. Flow of electrical or electromagnetic energy along lines corresponding to acupuncture meridians is a FACT proven in China, France and Germany. Aside from the World Health Organization, I recommend Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber MD which has one fully referenced chapter. (Any typos?)

  52. "(Any typos?)"
    Yes, "The the impressive"

    Are you saying that there is proof of "electromagnetic energy flow" changes induced by sticking a needle in the skin? What are the pre and post voltages?

  53. From the National Institutes of Health Database. Study on signal transmission characteristics of meridian based on electrical network theory and experiments: " Thus, it is concluded that the signals of the point-in/point-out and the signals along a non-meridian path with the same distance are significantly different, which gives a verification of the feasibility of the method by using electrical network theories to set out characteristics of signal transmission along meridians dynamically. "

  54. This is from an article in Chinese by the Institute for RF- & OE-ICs… which you will note is an electronic engineering group in Southeast China. Digging deeper finds the entire institute of 9 professors lacks even a single biologist… they make integrated circuits.

    Now perhaps this is the Earth-shattering proof of acupuncture and ancient pre-scientific discovery of as yet undetectable flow of magical energy… or maybe it ain't.

    So far no-one has cited this paper. It ain't.

  55. Doctors help when they can. If you have an illness that they cannot help you with then don't think that anyone else on the planet will do better than science.

  56. Here is a link to the NCCAM which is part of the NIH (National Institute of Health) which outlines all the studies that have been done on acupuncture. After reviewing all the evidence the NCCAM states"In general, acupuncture appears to be a promising alternative for some of these pain conditions; however, further research is needed.". The key is further research and a way to medically describe what the needles actually do physiologically. Based on the the findings it has an effect.

  57. "Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA, in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. " /nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction.htm . Caution must always be used.

  58. "Based on the the findings it has an effect."

    Quite likely. Massage also has an effect, as does toothpick acupuncture. Meditation and yoga also have effects. It's important to determine if the therapy is effective and safe, and so far acupuncture appears to be a very strong form of placebo.

  59. Wait. They don't know what's wrong with you? If they don't then they will keep trying to find out until they do know what's wrong.

  60. We're just not going to agree on this one. I will say this, there is nothing wrong with placebo. New research shows that even if a placebo treatment has a therapeutic effect it shouldn't be discounted as ineffectual. If someone is feeling relief from their acute or chronic pain from a placebo treatment why should they stop doing what gives them relief. I agree that the archaic language that TCM uses needs to change to describe more accurately what is happening physiologically.

  61. More studies showing exactly what acupuncture does needs to take place and they are and within the profession the language needs to be updated. We know the earth is not flat and there is no such thing as qi, no vital life force but instead we do know there are nerves and electrical conductivity in the body and that most likely acupuncture has an effect on nerve conductivity, which is why it's been most effective for pain.

  62. "If someone is feeling relief from their acute or chronic pain from a placebo treatment why should they stop doing what gives them relief."

    Because often pain indicates an underlying problem. Placebos are great for managing the milder symptoms of chronic conditions… but if you have migraines every week, an MRI is better clinical practice than an acupuncture session.

    Placebos are only appropriate for self-limiting conditions, and only a licensed physician's supervision.

  63. 1) There is a deficit in people who educate themselves in biology so the line for examination by departments of diagnostics is long.

    2) If doctors can't figure out the cause then they will wait for more symptoms.

    What is your problem exactly if doctors say that it's in your head?

  64. The problem is that I have 24/7 headaches on one side of my head that can get excruciating and never go away, I have trouble remembering words and recognizing faces, my memory in general has gotten really bad, parts of my body like my leg go numb at random times, I have issues with my balance, and I get dizzy a lot. The doctors have basically said I'm creating the symptoms in my mind since they can't figure them out, and that's unethical and dismissive in my opinion.

  65. No one is saying to not consult an MD for a diagnosis. I agree about that. Many MD's refer to acupuncture for pain management because their patients report back to them that it helped. Many MD's offer acupuncture themselves for pain management. Placebo or not it does work.
    btw- are you in healthcare?

  66. Most placebos 'work' to some degree in that they alleviate subjective symptoms.

    I'm a researcher in the medical diagnostics and basic research field, with a specialty in cancer and infectious disease diagnostics.

  67. That's ridiculous. They are practicing well within the scope of their practice . Are you going to report MD's that use mindfulness in their practice as well? You sound like a witch hunt . Better spend your time reporting MD's that needlessly perform surgeries and leave the patient in more pain and suffering than they started with. Or better yet the leading cause of death in hospitals is due to iatrogenic causes.

  68. How interesting, I've received a number of acupuncture treatments for pain, digestion, and anxiety conditions. In each case a significant benefit was perceived both in comfort and function. There are a number of conflicting views about acupuncture efficacy. I recommend experiencing the procedure for yourself to see if it can help you.

  69. The problem with the info in this video is that it's biased. Does acupuncture have elements of placebo? Of course, but so does all medicine. 2nd, You're a lot more likely to die of using prescription drugs correctly than from using acupuncture (there have been only a handful of reported deaths from improper needling by poorly trained clinicians while thousands die each year of liver complications from using Tylenol). 3rd, There are randomized controlled trials that confirm the efficacy of acupuncture for treating certain conditions well beyond 2%.
    Here is a link to one 2 year study on acu and osteoarthritis of the knee: http://group.bmj.com/group/media/latest-news/acupuncture-offers-low-cost-alternative-to-knee-surgery-for-osteoarthritis

  70. How did they stab tooth picks into people and make them stay there.. they're kinda thick and shitty for stabbing.. they must of thinned them down and made them really sharp and hoped the tips didnt snap off inside them or something.

  71. Here is a large scale RCT acupuncture study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical School that concludes something very different:  

    Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found that traditional Chinese acupuncture significantly reduces pain and improves function for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who have moderate or more severe pain despite taking pain medication. Those are the results of a four-year study published in the December 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Source: Acupuncture | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2004/acupuncture-provides-added-benefit-for-people-with-osteoarthritis-of-the-knee#ixzz39ACGWmT8 
    University of Maryland Medical Center 
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  72. Nice scare mongering, now how about enumerating the risks associated with the conventional treatments so that we can make a comparative assessment? 

  73. How can we believe a scientific article? There is always article that prove something and another that prove the opposite… ! Every where on earth there is evidence that acupuncture work. Europe, America, Asia… And there is those articles that prove that does not work. There are millions of people who get treated by acupuncturist whitout any complications that you mention in your video and get better. But there also evidence that acupuncture does not work. I'm acupuncturist and every day I see improvement with my client. Every day, I see immediate positive respond. Objectiv symptoms disappearing in seconds like muscle tension and improvement of mobility and motion. I'm not in the research field but more in the care of my clients. So how can I believe a scientific article ?
    Cause for me, science seems to be the new religion of the millenium… I use religion, cause in religion we use faith in something… And with all the contradiction within all those scientifics articles and with what we can withness in the real empiric world,
    how can we believe a scientific article ? How can we guide ourself in that ocean of knowledge ? 

  74. @C0nc0rdance I'm not seeing the 7.9 figure you reference. Was it the Cherkin et al study? That one showed similar numbers for the simulated and standardized acupuncture.(4.5 each)

  75. This is certainly a sham video. There is so much wrong and untrue in this video that I cannot waste my time going over it all.
    Suffice it to say this:
    1. The 'so-called study' was only on pain patients. Acupuncture effectively treats so much more.
    2. A licensed acupuncture physician is highly trained in hiw to avoid infecting or killing the patient.
    3. The earliest found evidence of acupuncture was from long before the bronze age. This was before needles were invented. The first acupuncture was done using a Bian Stone. it was a stone ground into a sharp point – not sharp enough to break the skin. You do not have to break the skin to stimulate an acupuncture point. Yes, in a pinch, a licensed acupuncture physician could stimulate an acupuncture point.

  76. You wasted 8:52 of my time to tell me acupuncture is bullshit? If I had the time machine that stupid shaky kid had, I'd go back in time to 2010 and kick you in the knee, yo.

    I look forward to your next hard hitting expose: "Why are all atheists mouth breathing fucktards?" Can't wait.

  77. CHI does not exist.  CHI cannot be scientifically measured in any way shape or form.  Don't fall for this modern day snake oil boys and girls.

  78. The problem with promoting Acupuncture as a viable alternative to proven science because of the Placebo effect is simply gross logic.  People are now treating their pets with Acupuncture.  While people may be able to convince themselves with the placebo effect, animals are not capable of benefitting from placebo.  They simply suffer while we tell ourselves how much better they feel.

  79. Your advice on selecting an acupuncturist (if still so inclined) is the same advice given to those who get tattoos. Make sure they are licensed, use disposable needles and use the correct sterilizing practices. Tattooist use latex gloves and autoclaves.

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