Category: Acupuncture

The aptly-named "Not Appearing In This Post" turtle of South America.

Acupuncture Odds and Ends

I’m cheating. No, I’m recycling. ‘Tis the season to have to no time to get anything done. Since I know none of you pay attention to the blog of at the Society for Science-Based Medicine and I have no time with work and the holidays to come up with new material, I am going to collect and expand on the entries on...

/ December 26, 2014

Study of “Acupressure” for Constipation

A recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine evaluated a treatment for constipation. It tested whether training patients to massage the perineum (the area between the vagina or scrotum and the anus) would improve their reported bowel function and quality of life at 4 weeks after training. They found that it did. It’s a simple, innocuous treatment that may be...

/ December 16, 2014

In the Spirit of Choosing Wisely

Oh, loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix. – Comic Book Guy Same can be said of viral syndromes and Thanksgiving. My brain has been in an interferon-induced haze for the last week that is not lifting anytime soon. Tell me about the rabbits, George. But no excuses. I have been reading the works of Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds. (Really,...

/ November 28, 2014
scatter-of-acupuncture-needles

Infinite Variety? So many styles of acupuncture.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale. Her infinite variety. – William Shakespeare This is not a typical post for me, but something I have been meaning to do to satisfy my own curiosity. I have wondered, how many variations of acupuncture are there? I suspected a lot, but I thought I would go looking and make a list. Since acupuncture is...

/ October 31, 2014

“Quackery: A $10 Billion Scandal”

Who would you guess authored a 250-page report which begins with this Preface? This report marks the culmination of an intensive four-year review of quackery and its impact on the elderly. . . As this report details, quackery has traveled far from the day of the pitchman and covered wagon to emerge as big business. Those who orchestrate and profit from the...

/ October 30, 2014
From the Wikimedia Commons.

Placebo Speculations

I have a new term to add to the English language, ebolasmacked, a derivative of the British term gobsmacked. Ebolasmacked defines my life the last few weeks since Ebola, or at last preparations for Ebola, have taken a huge bite out of my time with many interesting twists and turns. I think this is maybe the 9th outbreak (HIV, MERS, SARS, Legionella,...

/ October 17, 2014

Neuro-Acupuncture and Stroke

On the home page of Zhu’s Neuro-Acupuncture Center there is a video relaying a testimonial of how scalp acupuncture helped a patient recover from acute stroke. The use of testimonials is very common in the promotion of dubious health treatments. A personal story and endorsement is psychologically more compelling than dry data. Testimonials are completely unreliable, however, and in fact I would...

/ October 15, 2014

Chaperones Needed. On acupuncture.

I receive a monthly newsletter from my medical board. Among other issues discussed are the results of disciplinary actions for physicians. Occasionally a physician who has boundary issues is required to have a chaperone present when doing exams. I was thinking that the concept of a chaperone could be more widely applicable. Consider “You Docs: Amazing acupuncture,” the latest from Drs Oz...

/ October 3, 2014
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Quackademia update: The Cleveland Clinic, George Washington University, and the continued infiltration of quackery into medical academia

Quackery has been steadily infiltrating academic medicine for at least two decades now in the form of what was once called “complementary and alternative medicine” but is now more commonly referred to as “integrative medicine.” Of course, as I’ve written many times before, what “integrative medicine” really means is the “integration” of quackery with science- and evidence-based medicine, to the detriment of...

/ September 29, 2014

Rationalizing the Ridiculous: Acupuncture

I remain flummoxed. How do physicians and health care systems, trained in all the sciences that lie at the heart of medicine, justify the use of pseudo-medical interventions with no basis in reality? Rationalization. Making excuses: a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and...

/ September 19, 2014