The VA recently mandated inclusion of acupuncture, reiki, reflexology and other CAM in veterans medical benefits and will require that they be offered at VA medical facilities, ignoring the lack of evidence and federal rules on what medical benefits can be covered.
Acupuncture for menstrual cramps, chiropractic for the prevention of domestic terrorism, and more in this miscellany of medical malarkey. Or would you prefer hodgepodge of healthcare hokum?
Evidence for the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine is scanty, unconvincing, and often fraudulent. China is seeing a resurgence of TCM, even teaching it to children. But in Australia, restrictions are being placed on misleading advertising.
For whatever reason, acupuncturists and acupuncture believers think that acupuncture can be useful in emergency situations, be they in the field ("battlefield acupuncture," anyone?) or in the ER. They even do studies purporting to show that. This is yet another of such a clinical trial, albeit larger than usual. Guess what? It doesn't really show what it's advertised to show. I explain...
When it comes to expansion and infiltrating medicine, "integrative medicine" has frequently seemed like the Terminator: utterly relentless. Recent setbacks at major integrative medicine "Crown Jewels" resulting in their closure cast that narrative in doubt. However, I never forget that after its seeming destruction, the Terminator always comes back.
Forced insurance coverage of chiropractic, naturopathic, and acupuncture services is not consistent with the goals of either the ACA or the AHCA. Whatever happens to Obamacare in the U.S. Senate, Section 2706 of the ACA should be repealed.
As quackery in the form of "integrative medicine" has increasingly been "integrated" into medicine, medical journals are starting to notice and succumb to the temptation to decrease their skepticism. The BMJ, unfortunately, is the latest to do so. It won't be the last.