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The acupuncture debate – is it over?

June 3, 2013

no acupuncture

The journal Anesthesia and Analgesia has just published pro and con articles on the use of acupuncture for pain relief. Full versions of both papers are on the journal website. The pro paper (Acupuncture in 21st Century Anesthesia: Is There a Needle in the Haystack?) is very appropriately titled. The authors certainly seek out some pretty well-hidden needles. The authors of the con paper (Acupuncture Is Theatrical Placebo), David Colquhoun, of DC’s Improbable Science and Steve Novella, of Science-Based Medicine, conclude that there has been enough testing of acupuncture to warrant it being abandoned.

It’s worth reading both articles to see how public opinion of scientific issues can be hijacked by the use of red flag tactics.


Hat tip to DC’s Improbable Science.

From → Science

5 Comments
  1. Looks very interesting, thanks Graham. Just wanted to point out a typo, you’ve called both papers the “pro paper”, whereas Steve’s paper is the con paper.

  2. This looks at the effectiveness of acupuncture, from a clinical-peer-reviewed point of view, when it come to osteoarthritis in knee pain patients and concludes differently.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3556424/

    • Cameron, I can’t really see that a study of only 116 patients, with a fairly dubious claim to double-blinding changes the picture expressed in these articles.

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  1. Acupuncture Doesn’t Work | Illuminutti

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