Category: Acupuncture

An ICD Code for the Running Piglets!

… animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous ones; (g) stray dogs; (h) those that are included in this classification; (i) those that tremble as if they were mad; (j) innumerable ones; (k) those drawn with a very fine camel’s-hair brush; (l) etcetera;...

/ February 26, 2011

The Good Rewards of Bad Science

All the world sees us In grand style wherever we are; The big and the small Are infatuated with us: They run to our remedies And regard us as gods And to our prescriptions Principles and regimens, they submit themselves. Molière, The Imaginary Invalid (1673)1 The passage above is part of a burlesque doctoral conferment ceremony, where the French playwright Molière (1622-1673)...

/ January 13, 2011

Of SBM and EBM Redux. Part III: Parapsychology is the Role Model for “CAM” Research

This is the third post in this series*; please see Part II for a review. Part II offered several arguments against the assertion that it is a good idea to perform efficacy trials of medical claims that have been refuted by basic science or by other, pre-trial evidence. This post will add to those arguments, continuing to identify the inadequacies of the...

/ January 7, 2011

Compare and Contrast

I have been in Infectious Diseases for almost 25 years. I have two major jobs: I see inpatient consults and I chair the Infection Control program. I have been involved in quality improvement, especially as it relates to hospital acquired infections, for my entire career. It has been an interesting quarter century. Year after year we have driven down infection rates and...

/ December 31, 2010

The Acupuncture and Fasciae Fallacy

Let us be certain of a fact before being concerned with its cause. It is true that this method is too lengthy for most people who naturally run to the cause and overlook the certitude about facts; but at last we will avoid the ridicule of finding the cause of what does not exist.1 Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757) Amidst the...

/ December 30, 2010

California Forbids Chinese Bloodletting

In November 2010, the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) finally decided to act responsibly and forbid the prevalent practice of Chinese bloodletting by licensed acupuncturists. The practice became a concern for the DCA when allegations of unsanitary bloodletting at a California (CA) acupuncture school surfaced. The incident allegedly occurred during a “doctoral” course for licensed practitioners. The instructor was reportedly demonstrating...

/ December 16, 2010

Acupuncture and the Hazard of Nonsense

A recent study published in the Archives of Opthalmology compare patching of one eye vs acupuncture in the treatment of amblyopia in older children, and finds positive results from acupuncture. The study, and its press, are a good example of the hazards of studying highly implausible modalities. First let’s dissect the study itself – from the abstract: In a single-center randomized controlled...

/ December 15, 2010

Sky Maul

The worst part of flying is the take off and landing. Not that I am nervous about those parts of the trip, it is that I am all electronic. Once I have to turn off my electronic devices, all I am left with is my own thoughts or what is in the seat pocket in front of me. Since there is nothing...

/ December 3, 2010

Acupuncture and history: The “ancient” therapy that’s been around for several decades

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it – A. Hitler It seems that just about every article about acupuncture makes some reference to it having been used in China for thousands of years. The obvious reason for such a statement is to make the implication that since it’s been around for so long,...

/ October 18, 2010

Uff Da! The Mayo Clinic Shills for Snake Oil

A couple of weeks ago, in a review of the Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies, Harriet Hall expressed relief that she hadn’t found any “questionable recommendations for complementary & alternative medicine (CAM) treatments” in that book: Since “quackademic” medicine is infiltrating our best institutions and organizations, I wasn’t sure I could trust even the prestigious Mayo Clinic. The Home Remedies book...

/ October 15, 2010