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The myth of Chinese acupuncture

Scientific studies show that the procedure is full of holes.

Acupuncture treatment. Source: US Navy.
Acupuncture treatment. source: US Navy.

by Janine Interlandi, The article is published with the approval of Scientific American Israel and the Ort Israel network 13.09.2016

In 1971, James Reston, then a New York Times columnist, underwent surgery to remove his appendix in a hospital in China. The article he wrote The experience still resonates today. His doctors used the conventional medicines, Lidocaine וBenzocaine, to put him to sleep before the operation, he explained. But they treated the pain he suffered after the surgery with something completely different: a Chinese treatment method known as acupuncture, which involves inserting tiny needles into his skin at very specific points and gently rotating them after insertion. According to Reston, it worked.

The readers at home were captivated. In the burst of excitement following this new and exotic knowledge, the original story went wrong, and soon the popular opinion took over that the Chinese doctors used acupuncture not only after the operation, but also as anesthesia during the operation itself. The interest in acupuncture in the USA is proud and has remained high ever since.

But it turns out that acupuncture, as Reston described it, is not a piece of ancient Chinese wisdom as its ardent proponents assume. In fact, the procedure was considered a superstition in the 17th century, and by the 19th century it had been completely abandoned in favor of a more scientific approach to medicine. Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong revived acupuncture in the 50s only as part of his initiative to convince the Chinese people that their government had a plan to maintain their health despite a severe lack of financial and medical resources.

Mao's campaign worked well in China at the time, but it is even more impressive how well it works in the US today. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans undergo acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions, from pain to post-traumatic stress syndrome, and the federal government spends tens of millions of dollars to research the method.

So far, the results of the study are disappointing. Studies have found no real differences between acupuncture and a wide variety of simulated treatments. And one is whether the researchers penetrate through the skin or not, use needles or toothpicks, prick certain areas of the body according to the rules of acupuncture or randomly, the same proportion of patients experience the same degree, more or less, of pain relief (the most common problem for which acupuncture is used, and the one that has been studied to the greatest extent). "We have absolutely no evidence [that acupuncture] is any different than a theatrical placebo treatment," says Harriet Hall, a retired family physician and US Air Force medic who has researched the issue and is a longtime critic of complementary medicine.

But not all the news is bad. During the study of acupuncture, scientists have gained insights that can lead to the development of new and much-needed methods for treating pain.

small effects

Acupuncture is based on the concept of qi, the life force or energy that therapists believe flows through the body along 20 express pathways called meridians. If the meridians are blocked they are supposed to cause disease because the blockage interferes with the flow of qi. Inserting needles at certain points along certain meridians is supposed to remove the blockages and restore the natural flow of qi, which in turn restores the patients to the line of health. Scientists have long understood that chi is not a legitimate biological entity. Many studies have shown that the effects of acupuncture are the same whether the needles are inserted along the meridians or whether they are inserted in random areas throughout the body. But the advocates of acupuncture among them claimed that acupuncture itself may still work, even if by an as yet unknown mechanism.

Strong support for this claim was received in 2012, when researchers at Memorial Salon Kettering Cancer Center and their colleagues published a meta-analysis of 29 studies that included nearly 18,000 patients. The analysis revealed that traditional acupuncture caused a slightly greater decrease in pain level compared to placebo or sham acupuncture. Many have claimed that this surgery is the first clear proof that acupuncture really works. But critics of the article refuted this interpretation. First, they point out, it is very difficult to conduct acupuncture studies using the method The double blind, a methodological approach in which both the researchers and the patients do not know who is receiving the researched treatment and who is receiving a placebo or sham treatment. The researchers knew which of the patients were receiving real acupuncture and which were not, and this awareness almost certainly biased the results. Also, although statisticians found a difference in pain relief between treatment and placebo, the patients may not have noticed the change. "What [the study authors] claim is that patients can notice a 5-point change on a pain scale of 0 to 100," says David Gursky, a surgical oncologist at Wayne State University School of Medicine, in his blog. "But they're probably not capable of that."

The lack of scientific support did not cool the enthusiasm for this method of treatment. Medical centers such as the Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital now have acupuncturists on staff. Medical insurance plans are beginning to cover acupuncture to a limited extent, and private consumers, who are unable to receive reimbursements from insurance, are paying millions out of their own pockets. Nor have the findings stopped the flow of government funding for acupuncture research, which has topped $73 million since 2008. At the same time, Massachusetts General Hospital received a $26 million share of that funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services, mostly for research that scans their brains. of people being treated with acupuncture or thinking about acupuncture treatment. And the Department of Defense allocated more than $12 million for contracts and grants to acupuncture.

The ongoing investment is partly related to patient demand. But there are other justifications. Josephine Briggs, director of the American Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (a department of the US Institutes of Health (NIH) responsible for all research in the field of complementary medicine), admits that all the evidence indicates that acupuncture works through the placebo effect. But in her opinion, there is still good reason to investigate the procedure. "It is not unreasonable to think that the effect of many needles may change the processing of pain in the central nervous system in some tangible way," she says. Just as the discovery that a drink made from the bark of the willow tree can relieve headaches led scientists to the discovery of salicylic acid, which in turn led to the development of aspirin, many acupuncturists believe that their work may lead to the development of a pain treatment that will be more effective than acupuncture. Their goal, in other words, is not only to justify acupuncture for its own sake, but to understand whether some mechanism can explain the small effect, and if so, whether it will be possible to utilize this mechanism to develop an applied treatment for pain.

possible mechanism

With this goal in mind, scientists are examining a series of possible biological pathways through which acupuncture may relieve pain. The successful in these attempts focuses on the material Adenosine, which is believed to relieve pain by reducing inflammation. A 2010 study in mice revealed that acupuncture needles cause the release of adenosine from the cells adjacent to the puncture into the extracellular fluid, and it reduced the level of pain felt by rodents. The researchers injected mice with a substance that made them hypersensitive to heat and touch. And they reported a 24-fold increase in the concentration of adenosine in the blood of the animals after acupuncture. This increase was accompanied by a two-thirds reduction in the degree of discomfort felt by the animals, as reflected in the speed with which they recoiled from heat and contact. When mice were injected with adenosine-like compounds, they had a similar effect to acupuncture. Injecting compounds that slowed the removal of adenosine from the body increased the effect of acupuncture because it increased the availability of adenosine to nearby tissues for longer periods of time. Two years later another group of researchers showed that injecting PAP, an enzyme that breaks down other compounds in the body and releases adenosine, can provide long-term pain relief by increasing the amount of adenosine in nearby tissue. They called the experimental method acupuncture (PAP (PAPupuncture.

Both findings caused excitement among researchers, and for good reason. The options available today for the treatment of pain are limited and rely mainly on causing changes in the activity of the body's natural pain control system, called the opioid system. Opioid-based pain relievers are problematic for several reasons. It is not enough that their effectiveness wears off over time, but they are linked to an epidemic of addictions and overdose deaths across the US. Because of these serious effects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently advised doctors to limit their use considerably. There are few non-opioid pain treatments today, and many of them involve repeated injections or catheterization. And many times they have side effects, such as movement disorders. Adenosine provides a completely new mechanism for new treatments, with fewer side effects and a reduced risk of addiction. Moreover, adenosine can be made to flow in the body for extended periods of time. Pharmaceutical companies are investigating compounds related to adenosine as possible drugs.

But even if adenosine is a promising treatment for pain, the findings from this study do not prove that acupuncture on its own "works". First, the researchers did not show that adenosine release is unique to acupuncture. Acupuncture may cause a flood of adenosine in nearby tissues, but so does strong pinching, applying pressure, or other types of physical effects. In fact, both studies suggested that by increasing the level of adenosine in mice through other mechanisms, the pain relief was the same or even greater than the response to acupuncture. And second, the study results do not provide support for the use of acupuncture to treat other conditions for which acupuncture is claimed to be effective. A local response of adenosine release may relieve local pain. But this does not mean that she also treats insomnia or fertility problems.

It is very possible that the piles of scientific research conducted on acupuncture have lit the way for a better understanding, and in the future for better treatments, of persistent pain. But it may be time to pick up the clues that research has scattered and move on.

good to know

needle in the inflated balloon 

The editorial board of Scientific American Israel responds to the article, and describes an Israeli study in which it is a partner, which presents evidence for the effectiveness of pain treatment through acupuncture

by Dorit Ferns

Acupuncture evokes strong emotions, there is no doubt about that. People who are against acupuncture get really angry when someone even considers this type of treatment medicine, or invests in research that focuses on it, while people who have been helped by acupuncture and their health and lives have improved, do not understand how it is possible to underestimate medicine that attracts so many people over so many years. The writers also fail to overcome the strong temptation to refer to the needles in the title of the article, and as you can see, I didn't succeed either...

And for our purposes, the discussion of Janine Interlandi's words should be on several levels. First - is the criticism it raises justified and consistent? And secondly - is it possible to decipher the research data accumulated so far in other ways?

What does history teach us?

Without going into the history of the communist revolution, which made a name for itself both in traditional Chinese medicine and in many other traditional aspects of Chinese culture, and only then was freed to revive it in a clearly non-traditional way, it is certainly not correct to say that in the 16th century Chinese medicine was considered a superstition. In fact, the author relied on her claim, apparently on an article by Adzard Ernst, from the authors of the bookHealing or seduction” in which he argued that Chinese medicine was considered superstition in the 17th century, citing two articles in support. The one, of Prof. Ma, who actually reviews important reference books written on Chinese medicine in the 17th century, and points out that ancient Chinese medicine continued to be part of the curriculum of the Imperial Academy of Medicine until the 19th century. However, the two sources cited in the article do note that with the introduction of Western medicine to China by missionaries, the ruling class despised traditional Chinese medicine. Not so the rest of the people. Does this prove anything? Not really. For example, in the 18th century, wealthy Europeans switched to white flour, which was considered more luxurious. Today, the wealthy of the western world are returning to plain flour and paying a lot of money for breads that were once received with utter contempt by the wealthy classes. The fact that Mao Zedong did not believe in Chinese medicine is also not related to the issue. George W. Bush does not believe in global warming, is this even an argument in the scientific debate on the subject?

Strange concepts

Many of the writers on Chinese medicine try to explain its principles to the readers. To begin with, this is a complex experience. Try to think how to explain in a short paragraph the principles of Western medicine. Interlandi chose the concept of chi as the central concept on which acupuncture is based. First, explaining that acupuncture works by moving qi is like saying that Western medicine relies on people breathing, and its goal is to allow people to keep breathing, otherwise they will die. This is of course true, but does not explain anything about how various procedures are carried out in Western medicine. The concept of chi (which is a complex concept that provokes discussions in the world of Chinese medicine as well, and some people in the field do believe that it is equivalent to breathing) is indeed one of the pillars of Chinese medicine (and they are just as important, if not more so, but this is not the place to detail them) , but the details of point selection, in most schools of acupuncture, rely on anatomical principles rather than on the movement of qi. The concept of qi, as central as it is, is very important, many times, for choosing herbs more than for choosing acupuncture points.

If there is indeed any chance of a battle between ancient Chinese medicine and Western medicine, it will not happen by compiling a list of strange concepts that are jarring to the modern ear, but by trying to translate the ancient concepts into terms familiar to the modern world. For example, the concepts of yin and yang, which form a much stronger basis for choosing acupuncture points than the concept of chi, can be translated, at least in the context of acupuncture, as medial-internal, ventral-abdominal or caudal-caudal (yin) and lateral-lateral, dorsal-dorsal or caudal-apical (yang).

As a soma in Aruba

The research review cited by the author did show a small additional effect for acupuncture compared to placebo. However, Interlandi claims that even this was disproved, because the studies were not done in a double-blind manner. But even on anatomical procedures (such as surgeries or orthopedic treatments) that are part of Western medicine, there are no double-blind studies, because this is not technically possible. And yet, I have yet to see anyone questioning the field called "clinical rehabilitation", where not only are the studies not double-blinded, but they are not even blinded at all: In the survey From September 2016 in the Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation it was found that in 81% of the studies the patients knew what treatment they were receiving, while the therapists always knew. Only the evaluators, meaning the researchers who were entrusted with evaluating the effect of the treatment, were assigned the type of treatment each patient received, and this was done easily and in most clinical studies also with acupuncture. In fact, the only studies where it is possible to operate in full double-blindness are studies that test different substances given to subjects by ingestion, injection or infusion. So what exactly is the difference? The main difference is that clinical rehabilitation, or surgeries, seem logical to us, in Western society, and therefore if a patient feels better after surgery, we will conclude that the surgery made them feel better, and not the placebo effect. Whereas acupuncture seems illogical to us, so we will look for any possible reason to ignore studies that support its effectiveness.

If so, there is no reason to completely reject studies conducted on acupuncture just because they are not conducted in a double-blind manner. But I, as a practitioner of Chinese medicine, am more troubled by why many studies show a small effect of acupuncture compared to sham treatment, while other studies show a strong effect. Or in a slightly different formulation - why do some of my patients respond to the treatment in a very impressive way, while for others the effect is less. This is a question that should interest not only therapists, but also researchers, because it implies the correct and most accurate use of acupuncture. But first, you have to be convinced that acupuncture can be a treatment with a significant effect.

Small details

Ironically, the first evidence that acupuncture can have an effect of tens of percent in reducing pain comes precisely from Interlandi's letter. On the one hand, it eliminates (to a large extent rightly) the negligible effect of acupuncture, as appears from the research review conducted in 2012. If the acupuncture does indeed cause a pain reduction of 5 units on a scale of 0-100, this is indeed a negligible effect that it can be assumed that the patients will not really benefit from it. But a few paragraphs later she describes a study conducted on mice in 2010, in which acupuncture at one acupuncture point caused a 66% (two-thirds) decrease in the animals' pain level. In this study, by the way, no placebo acupuncture was conducted at all, based on the assumption that rodents do not have a placebo mechanism. A decrease of two thirds in the level of pain is already a very significant effect, but is it possible to see such an effect in humans as well?

The answer is, absolutely yes. Several articles have been published showing that acupuncture can reduce pain by as much as 50%-60%, under certain conditions. What are these conditions? First, you need to understand that the word "acupuncture" is to a certain extent meaningless just like saying "I was treated with surgery". Surgery means an invasive procedure, but there are many types of surgery and many surgical methods. Similarly, there are many schools of acupuncture, which differ from each other in the location of the points, the way the points are selected, the thickness of the needles, the duration of the treatment and much more. Therefore, a research review that lumps together all the clinical studies conducted on acupuncture for a specific problem (say back pain), without taking into account the acupuncture method, sins against the truth. Moreover, ironically, because many studies indeed show a negligible effect of acupuncture, in research super-analyses they tend to exclude from the database the studies that showed a large effect, because they are considered outliers (a suspected exception, an error in statistics), that is, they are considered as data that was obtained by mistake and may be biased the results of the study.

Science has often progressed thanks to a scientist who noticed some strange observation or result and did not dismiss it outright. This is the soul of science - the curiosity, the non-submission to conventions. If there are studies that show a great effect of acupuncture, such as the study on mice, or if there are cases where people report a strong effect of acupuncture treatment they received, shouldn't it be worthwhile to try and understand what these cases have in common, instead of looking for excuses underground why these are anecdotal results, In the "extra strong" placebo (an oxymoron in my opinion) and another priest and priest?

Strong immediate effect

Well, those who bother to read the details of the published articles on the effect of acupuncture will see that there is at least one group of articles that show a strong and distinct effect of acupuncture. These are studies that test the immediate effect of acupuncture on well-defined pain conditions. In these studies, the needles are not inserted in the painful place, but in points far from the pain, sometimes on the opposite side of the body. In these cases, a strong effect of the acupuncture is documented, to the point of reducing the pain by 50%-60% shortly after the needles are inserted, similar to the experiment conducted on the mice and described by Interlandi. for example, One study Tests the immediate effect of acupuncture at remote points on neck pain, compared to acupuncture in the neck area itself or simulated acupuncture at remote points, and shows an almost 50% decrease in pain level after acupuncture. In contrast, the simulated acupuncture or the acupuncture in the neck itself resulted in a decrease of approximately 10% in the level of pain, which corresponds to a placebo effect.

Another study looked at the immediate effect of acupuncture on pain caused by patellar tendinitis. The research, which was sent for publication, was conducted by, in collaboration with Prof. Michael Tal from the Hebrew University, and Dr. Eliad Davidson and Dr. Adi Friedman from Hadassah Hospital. The evaluation of the effect of the acupuncture was done by Baruch Carlsbron in a double-blind manner, as in orthopedic studies. A total of 38 subjects participated in the study, who were divided into several groups. In one group (11 patients) the effect of a one-time simulated acupuncture compared to a one-time real acupuncture on the pain in the knee was examined, in a second group (12 subjects) we examined whether the level of pain caused by the needle affects the degree of knee pain reduction, and in the third and fourth groups (15 subjects) We compared the degree of knee pain reduction after elbow acupuncture versus wrist acupuncture. The subjects in the third and fourth groups underwent several cycles of acupuncture (between 4 and 8), therefore a lot of data was accumulated regarding these groups (see Attached illustration). And what we have seen is that when we use placebo needles, which do not penetrate the skin, there is a slight decrease in the level of pain felt by patients, on the order of 10-15% in the pain level. The same slight decrease is also felt when using real acupuncture needles, but stabbing in a place that should not affect pain in the knee. On the other hand, when we inserted the needles in the area that is supposed to affect pain in the patellar tendon, the patients felt an average of 60% decrease in pain level. This is a significant decrease in pain and it shows us that acupuncture can be extremely effective, and also teach us a thing or two about different ways to affect the nervous system and pain. The immediate decrease in pain is also a measure of how effective the treatment is over time. Patients who felt the strong decrease in pain recovered from the inflammation and pain in the patellar tendon after about 10 treatments, while patients who do not feel an immediate decrease in pain are usually not affected by the acupuncture over time.

Although Chinese acupuncture is an ancient medicine, this does not mean that it cannot be measured with modern research tools. However, the studies should be done with a deep understanding not only of science but also of Chinese medicine, its capabilities and limitations. If we are wise enough to choose this path, I am sure that not only Chinese medicine will benefit, but also our understanding of the nervous system and how pain is processed in the brain.

Dorit Frans received a doctorate in biochemistry at the Hebrew University, and completed her post-doctoral internship in the field of nervous system development at the University of California, Berkeley. She then moved on to studying Chinese medicine, and she currently specializes in Chinese medicine treatment of pain and neurological conditions such as stroke rehabilitation, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.

About the writer

Janine Interlandi - Journalist from New York who writes about health, science and the environment.

28 תגובות

  1. Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion, but as an introduction I recommend that you first read the article, Successful Imaginary: Guided Imaginary for Parkinson's Patients, published in the first source. I will explain what the connection is. The guided imagination is also a type of placebo, but of the type that works the body and eventually manifests itself physically. In my personal opinion, at least one of the effects of Chinese acupuncture is also like this.

    So there really are a lot of interesting comments here, and it's really nice to read you after two years. In my opinion, a separation should be made. Between what the person actually feels and the scientific measurement. I personally studied NLP, and my teacher was none other than Orna Ben Yaacov, director of the Center for Movement Disorders and Parkinson's at Rambam Hospital. From her I learned what guided imagination is and I also experienced its effect on myself. In my personal experience, the guided imagination has become a tool that helps me cope, yes, maybe it's a placebo, does it help me? Yes. Did it help me to do two treatments and reduce the pain level? Yes. In short, the list of examples is long. I met Ofir Segev Freeman, a friend and acupuncturist, precisely under circumstances that are not at all related to the world of treatments. But after many conversations with him I came to the conclusion that acupuncture also has this aspect. Maybe it's related to psychogenic pain or something else that we don't have the tools to measure it, but whether it's placebo or not it has an effect and thousands of patients who have undergone acupuncture treatments will testify to that.

  2. anonymous
    Where did I write "there are more neurons than synapses"? If I wrote like that - it is of course a mistake.
    And if not - you are also a liar.

  3. anonymous,

    Leave Nissim, I want to learn from you, you sound so smart. So what exactly are you claiming that our brain is a muscle? Has the world of science already heard about this amazing discovery? Can you direct me to an article that says something like this? Something from Wikipedia maybe?

  4. Yes OK..
    What is this obsession of yours towards? Come on, leave me alone, you leech. Ask for miracles to teach you.
    Leave me alone, be an adult.
    Good luck.

  5. anonymous,

    How do you explain that there is no place on the internet that states that the brain is a muscle? Is this a new discovery that the world of science hasn't heard about yet? And if I were you, I wouldn't talk about frustrations, curse people here non-stop and call them screwed up and stupid and insane and send them to be checked in the clinic shows who is the real frustrated here.

  6. rival
    Don't you have a corner where you can take out your frustration? Why do you keep trashing the site with your comments? Besides babbling here, you haven't refuted anything and a half of what I said. Just rambling and not contributing anything. Go ahead and study with Nissim..

  7. Someone who has eaten kapas all his life and even now in his adult life eats kapas - a child calls me kapas... well…

    Well, what can you expect from someone who claims to be a brain researcher and writes things like: "There are more neurons in the brain than synapses"....

    Apparently the kaphats he ate as a child are still echoing in his head - otherwise the filthy behavior of him and his "rival" friend cannot be explained..

  8. Miracles,

    You know, or this is a really stupid person who not only somehow got into his head the stupid idea that the brain is a muscle, he is not even able to search for one minute on Google and see that he is talking nonsense.

    Or is it simply a stupid troll who is just trying to create riots and fights with other commenters here because it gives him pleasure.

  9. rival
    really sad A kid who hides behind his lies. Obviously he's not that stupid that he didn't check and see that the brain is not a muscle.
    Nobody is that stupid, right?

  10. I don't have the strength to look for it now.
    Because this is information I read about 10 years ago,
    But at the time I saw studies that said that some acupuncture treatments were proven to be ineffective... and some treatments
    (Treatments for pregnant women and some other thing that I don't remember)
    They have been proven to help!!!
    The article does not talk about the type of treatment and it simply excludes the field from its essence
    I think it's a shame... not really as scientific as it needs to be to stop the debate

  11. Miracles,

    Want to hear a joke? There is a commenter here who insists that our brain is a muscle, he can't bring here even a single piece of evidence for that - not even from Wikipedia, but he calls people here stupid 🙂

    Say it's not funny?

    Honestly, I think it's pretty sad.

  12. If people like Eric and Michael who responded here had listened to bullshit like "miracles" - then either they would have continued to suffer, or they would have spent the best of their money on treatments that would not help them.

    Fuck this miracle.

  13. What happened to "miracles" - you don't like the finger in the eye? 🙂
    You still haven't recovered from the knockout you got? Poor (and wretched).

  14. דני
    You are absolutely right. Ten thousand people were given the treatment - and completely by chance two of them recovered after the treatment.

    There are 3 problems.
    The first is the charlatans who sell this nonsense.
    The second is the fools who are willing to pay for it.
    The third is scumbags like "Anonymous" who litter this site with their slime.

  15. pay attention,
    In China, the Communist Party revived acupuncture because it was a cheap means:
    "The leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong revived acupuncture in the 50s only as part of his initiative to convince the Chinese people that their government had a plan to maintain their health despite an acute lack of financial and medical resources"

    In Israel, on the other hand, this is a luxury medicine for the rich only.

    These and those are liars and opinion holders, who take advantage of the plight of desperate people, to sow false hopes in them.

  16. The tightness in the neck vertebrae combined with a cold caused pressure on the discs between the upper vertebrae of the spinal cord, and extremely intense pain in my hands that prevented me from working, holding even light things in my hands, and not sleeping for more than an hour in a row, in addition to that, the finger next to the thumb completely fell asleep on my right hand - I just stopped feeling her.
    The situation lasted almost 3 months. During the first treatment, the pain disappeared completely, completely, and immediately. After that they came back with much less intensity, and after a few treatments they disappeared as if they weren't there.

  17. Anonymous, one might think that the field of alternative medicine is not full of charlatans who take advantage of patients' weakness to extort money from them...

  18. unidentified
    There is a problem - not only with me - with the greed of the doctors (especially the senior ones) to extort money from sick people.
    They act like the latest criminals when instead of providing life-saving treatment to patients - they decide to take advantage of their weakness to suck all their money from them in order to save their lives.
    These doctors do not see a patient who needs treatment but a client from whom money can be extorted... shame and disgrace.

    now you understand?

  19. Even a strong blow or pinch in an area far from the area of ​​pain will immediately affect the feeling of pain, which is partly psychological. It is known that the more we focus or concentrate on the pain, the more we will notice it. In short, acupuncture is nothing more than a placebo in the form of a distraction.
    The fact that there are specific cases that report considerable success (assuming they are verified and not lies and exaggerations) does not establish anything if it cannot be shown in a research form on a sufficient population. If someone was cured of cancer by himself and happened to have acupuncture the day before or received a blessing from the rabbi, it does not mean that he was cured thanks to them. According to the opinion of the second correspondent, contrary to the anecdotes presented to scientists, and if they were ignored, we might have missed something on the topic of acupuncture, money has already been poured in and considerable time has been invested in order to establish the reasonable possibility of finding a benefit in it.
    Even assuming it benefits 1% of people for sure, it still doesn't justify cheating the other 99%.
    This field and the entire field of alternative medicine is infected with charlatanism for its own sake and belief as a result of self-convincing and the little benefit from it does not justify all the resources invested in it.

  20. It is true that this is also something... but this something 'kidnaps' patients from the conventional doctors - and it does not suit them, the doctors.... After all, for the Jeep Lexus they could take care of another customer... and for the sofa from Italy they could save two more customers... 🙂

  21. The truth is that I also have some doubts about it despite all my skepticism. Leaving aside for a moment whether or not there is a difference compared to sham treatment (placebo), if the treatment with acupuncture (or sham acupuncture) really causes such a dramatic reduction in the patient's pain sensation, then that is also something, isn't it?

    I heard a personal story of someone who suffered for a long time from strong migraines (headaches for those who don't know) and after several short acupuncture treatments the pains simply disappeared, and even after many years they did not return again.

  22. I am the living proof that acupuncture does work! And works for quite a long time.
    By profession I am a farmer who suffered from tremendous back pain in the past. Under the experienced hands of the late Dr. Amnon Tzviali I was released
    from my back pain and I returned to my work in the farm.
    The acupuncture was done on my back and right leg. The needles hit the target. It was like an electric shock. Two needles in his legs twitched and took the form of a coiling snake. And that's when I slept from the back pain.
    I was also a great skeptic about acupuncture and a great believer in conventional medicine.
    I realized that there is more than one path in the medical life. Today it is called immunotherapy. Personal customization .

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