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Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:45 PM

Top cancer hospitals across the country treat their patients' PAIN with "woo."

That is, if you consider acupuncture to be "woo." These hospitals don't -- even if they don't think "chi" is the mechanism of action.

They, of course, treat the cancer itself with standard cancer therapy, but treat many of the symptoms or side effects of treatment using an integrated model which can include acupuncture and other complementary forms of therapy.

Here are just a few examples.

MAYO CLINIC

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/acupuncture/care-at-mayo-clinic/why-choose-mayo-clinic/prc-20020778

• Expertise. At Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is done only by doctors trained in acupuncture and by licensed acupuncturists trained in traditional Chinese medicine.
• Experience. Mayo Clinic specialists in complementary and integrative medicine perform thousands of acupuncture treatments each year.
• Integrated care. At Mayo Clinic, acupuncture specialists integrate their care with the care provided by your other doctors to blend the best of conventional and complementary treatments.
Research leader. Mayo Clinic researchers rigorously test complementary treatments such as acupuncture to determine their effectiveness.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/acupuncture/basics/definition/prc-20020778

Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body's natural painkillers and increase blood flow.


http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/acupuncture/basics/why-its-done/prc-20020778
You may try acupuncture for symptomatic relief of a variety of diseases and conditions, including:

• Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
• Fibromyalgia
• Headaches
• Labor pain
• Low back pain
• Menstrual cramps
• Migraines
• Osteoarthritis
• Dental pain
• Tennis elbow


FROM MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CENTER


http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/expertise

Acupuncture

To address chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, nerve and joint pain, hot flashes, dry mouth, headache, fatigue, procedural anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, appetite loss, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain and loss, and lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation. Recent research also shows that acupuncture may be effective in managing swallowing difficulties and swelling such as lymphedema.


http://www.mskcc.org/blog/study-shows-acupuncture-may-relieve-chronic-lymphedema-after-breast-treatment

A study from Memorial Sloan Kettering investigators has shown that acupuncture may help relieve lymphedema of the arm, a swelling that sometimes follows breast cancer treatment.
The research, led by Barrie R. Cassileth, Chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative Medicine Service, and Clifford A. Hudis, Chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service, was published April 10 in the journal Cancer.
“We have shown that acupuncture as a treatment for lymphedema is safe and well tolerated,” says Dr. Cassileth. “Furthermore, this study demonstrated reductions in lymphedema for the patients treated, providing strong impetus for the randomized controlled trial that is now under way to prove that the effect is real.”

SNIP

Dr. Cassileth cautions patients who might seek acupuncture for lymphedema on their own. “Because of the potential for complications,” she concludes, “it’s important that acupuncture treatment is received only from licensed practitioners who are also specifically trained to work with cancer patients.”

FROM THE FRED HUTCHINSON CANCER RESEARCH CENTER:

http://www.fhcrc.org/content/dam/public/Treatment-Suport/survivorship/Healthy-Links/Aromatase%20Inhibitors.pdf

Acupuncture and Cancer

Acupuncture is not used on its own as a treatment for cancer. Instead, it is combined with traditional cancer treatments to decrease symptoms of cancer or the side effects related to the treatment of cancer such as nausea, vomiting and stress. Acupuncture has also been found to relieve fatigue, pain and neuropathy related to cancer and its treatment. In the United States and Europe, acupuncture is generally used to control pain and alleviate symptoms of disease, but not cure the disease.

There have been many proposed scientific reasons related to acupuncture’s effect on pain. Acupuncture points are thought to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain. When these chemicals are released it is thought that they change the experience of pain or release hormones that control different functions in the body. These changes may affect blood pressure, body temperature, increase immune system activity and cause endorphins (natural painkillers) to be released.

Are There Side Effects From Acupuncture?

There have been few side effects reported. Problems have been associated with using needles that were not sterile, placing a needle in the wrong place or movement of the patient. Other possible side effects may include soreness or pain during treatment, fatigue or lightheadedness and sleepiness. Chemotherapy and radiation weaken the immune system so it is very important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practioner who only uses disposable needles for each patient. Before beginning any type of therapy individuals should talk to their doctor first.

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Reply Top cancer hospitals across the country treat their patients' PAIN with "woo." (Original post)
pnwmom Apr 2014 OP
Electric Monk Apr 2014 #1
pnwmom Apr 2014 #2
Electric Monk Apr 2014 #4
otherone Apr 2014 #28
RandoLoodie Apr 2014 #134
otherone Apr 2014 #5
LeftyMom Apr 2014 #14
otherone Apr 2014 #18
TBF Apr 2014 #136
otherone Apr 2014 #137
TBF Apr 2014 #139
otherone Apr 2014 #141
KittyWampus Apr 2014 #19
LeftyMom Apr 2014 #22
840high Apr 2014 #37
otherone Apr 2014 #138
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2014 #17
otherone Apr 2014 #20
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2014 #21
roguevalley Apr 2014 #63
Pathwalker Apr 2014 #64
Dragonfli Apr 2014 #70
laundry_queen Apr 2014 #101
arikara Apr 2014 #125
SwankyXomb Apr 2014 #67
MattBaggins Apr 2014 #121
Scout Apr 2014 #140
Spider Jerusalem Apr 2014 #3
OriginalGeek Apr 2014 #85
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #6
Tuesday Afternoon Apr 2014 #93
COLGATE4 Apr 2014 #95
Tuesday Afternoon Apr 2014 #96
roguevalley Apr 2014 #112
Tuesday Afternoon Apr 2014 #124
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #7
Crunchy Frog Apr 2014 #16
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #26
Bluenorthwest Apr 2014 #33
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #66
noiretextatique Apr 2014 #97
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #99
noiretextatique Apr 2014 #100
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #104
noiretextatique Apr 2014 #108
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #117
noiretextatique Apr 2014 #119
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #122
Dragonfli Apr 2014 #71
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #72
Dragonfli Apr 2014 #74
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #83
mucifer Apr 2014 #8
MattBaggins Apr 2014 #123
Democracyinkind Apr 2014 #9
Crunchy Frog Apr 2014 #10
IdaBriggs Apr 2014 #59
marions ghost Apr 2014 #11
LeftishBrit Apr 2014 #12
laundry_queen Apr 2014 #102
pnwmom Apr 2014 #129
LeftyMom Apr 2014 #13
pnwmom Apr 2014 #31
Iggo Apr 2014 #68
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #105
msanthrope Apr 2014 #143
REP Apr 2014 #82
The Velveteen Ocelot Apr 2014 #15
NuclearDem Apr 2014 #23
KT2000 Apr 2014 #48
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #107
KT2000 Apr 2014 #113
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #116
KT2000 Apr 2014 #131
VanillaRhapsody Apr 2014 #132
KT2000 Apr 2014 #142
eridani Apr 2014 #77
NuclearDem Apr 2014 #78
AngryAmish Apr 2014 #24
SidDithers Apr 2014 #25
snappyturtle Apr 2014 #27
Bluenorthwest Apr 2014 #29
Dragonfli Apr 2014 #73
rocktivity Apr 2014 #30
Progressive dog Apr 2014 #32
Bluenorthwest Apr 2014 #35
Progressive dog Apr 2014 #41
Progressive dog Apr 2014 #89
KT2000 Apr 2014 #50
Progressive dog Apr 2014 #88
cthulu2016 Apr 2014 #34
SidDithers Apr 2014 #36
TNNurse Apr 2014 #38
Autumn Apr 2014 #39
Ecumenist Apr 2014 #40
pnwmom Apr 2014 #43
Ecumenist Apr 2014 #46
naturallyselected Apr 2014 #58
Ecumenist Apr 2014 #69
naturallyselected Apr 2014 #92
Ecumenist Apr 2014 #114
Curmudgeoness Apr 2014 #42
pnwmom Apr 2014 #44
Ecumenist Apr 2014 #47
intaglio Apr 2014 #45
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #49
Pathwalker Apr 2014 #62
PDJane Apr 2014 #51
Archae Apr 2014 #52
magical thyme Apr 2014 #55
magical thyme Apr 2014 #56
riderinthestorm Apr 2014 #91
magical thyme Apr 2014 #57
Pathwalker Apr 2014 #61
pnwmom Apr 2014 #60
Recursion Apr 2014 #81
laundry_queen Apr 2014 #103
pnwmom Apr 2014 #128
ManiacJoe Apr 2014 #53
Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #87
noiretextatique Apr 2014 #98
a2liberal Apr 2014 #54
etherealtruth Apr 2014 #65
Marr Apr 2014 #75
Electric Monk Apr 2014 #94
Marr Apr 2014 #110
laundry_queen Apr 2014 #106
Marr Apr 2014 #111
politicstahl Apr 2014 #76
Iggo Apr 2014 #79
Recursion Apr 2014 #80
pnwmom Apr 2014 #84
arikara Apr 2014 #126
Union Scribe Apr 2014 #86
Happyhippychick Apr 2014 #90
Silent3 Apr 2014 #109
FarCenter Apr 2014 #115
Warren DeMontague Apr 2014 #118
MattBaggins Apr 2014 #120
pnwmom Apr 2014 #130
arikara Apr 2014 #127
G_j Apr 2014 #135
flamingdem Apr 2014 #133

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:47 PM

1. You know what else is really common, and generally accepted without mocking? Prayer.

 

I think acupuncture has more basis in reality, fwiw.

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:49 PM

2. If some cancer hospitals are treating patients' pain with prayer, I didn't run into any.

Have you?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:51 PM

4. When my mom had cancer, she had many friends who said they were praying for her recovery.

 

Personally, I credit the surgery, radiation therapy, and chemo rather than the prayers for her still being alive today, 10 years later.

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:24 PM

28. perhaps prayer helps

I got the idea that it does help from http://usa.rigpa.org/

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:18 PM

134. nothing fails like prayer

 

grown ups begging daddy jeebus for stuff. waste o' time.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:52 PM

5. I don't have the data

I am under the impression that prayer has worked in blind trials for recovering from illness..

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Response to otherone (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:03 PM

14. People who know they're being prayed for do slightly worse.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?pagewanted=all

Prayer is somewhere between useless and harmful. You're welcome.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:06 PM

18. I've heard differently

but I could be wrong..

Thanks for the link..

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Response to otherone (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:27 PM

136. "Hearing differently" without data

does not add to the conversation. Especially when you've been rebuffed by actual data ...

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Response to TBF (Reply #136)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 03:53 PM

137. I didn't find the data I was looking for

I read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and thought that the info came from the book.
I have a link to
www.usa.rigpa.org
perhaps some digging there will turn up what I am looking for.

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Response to otherone (Reply #137)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 04:00 PM

139. Good luck looking for

The info. I'm not doing your research for you. But I will say that I usually have the opinion that prayer can't hurt - unless it's keeping folks from seeking actual treatment.

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Response to TBF (Reply #139)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 04:40 PM

141. That is a good way of looking at it.

peace and low stress..

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:07 PM

19. that study was so poorly designed and so poorly executed, NO ONE should reference it.

 

Ever.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:09 PM

22. The Templeton foundation surely wanted the opposite result.

Sadly for them nothing fails like prayer.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:56 PM

37. I've read differently.

 

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Response to 840high (Reply #37)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 03:55 PM

138. me too

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Response to otherone (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:05 PM

17. Quite the opposite

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567

BACKGROUND:

Intercessory prayer is widely believed to influence recovery from illness, but claims of benefits are not supported by well-controlled clinical trials. Prior studies have not addressed whether prayer itself or knowledge/certainty that prayer is being provided may influence outcome. We evaluated whether (1) receiving intercessory prayer or (2) being certain of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with uncomplicated recovery after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
METHODS:

Patients at 6 US hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: 604 received intercessory prayer after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; 597 did not receive intercessory prayer also after being informed that they may or may not receive prayer; and 601 received intercessory prayer after being informed they would receive prayer. Intercessory prayer was provided for 14 days, starting the night before CABG. The primary outcome was presence of any complication within 30 days of CABG. Secondary outcomes were any major event and mortality.
RESULTS:

In the 2 groups uncertain about receiving intercessory prayer, complications occurred in 52% (315/604) of patients who received intercessory prayer versus 51% (304/597) of those who did not (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.92-1.15). Complications occurred in 59% (352/601) of patients certain of receiving intercessory prayer compared with the 52% (315/604) of those uncertain of receiving intercessory prayer (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28). Major events and 30-day mortality were similar across the 3 groups.
CONCLUSIONS:

Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:07 PM

20. thanks for the info

peace and low stress..

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Response to otherone (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:07 PM

21. You're welcome, and to you as well n/t

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:31 PM

63. I wonder if I am the only one here sick of hearing the use of 'woo'

seriously.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #63)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:56 PM

64. You are not alone. Not even close.

n/t

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:21 AM

70. I can't stand it, between that and other childish words thrown around here of late

the place has started sounding like a confederation of third graders. There is indeed bad science in the world but why must they try so hard to sound like idiots describing what they feel is the bad science?

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:01 PM

101. Not the only one. I wish we had a 'trash word' function. nt

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:39 PM

125. Me too

That's the first thing I thought when I saw the title. I frickin' despise the word and the sentiment around it.

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:30 PM

67. Jesus is woo?

That explains a lot, actually.

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Response to SwankyXomb (Reply #67)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:38 PM

121. Prayer doesn't have to have anything to do with Jesus.

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 04:25 PM

140. you got that right, your entire post. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:51 PM

3. They probably aren't using coffee enemas and laetrile though.

 

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:58 AM

85. My step-mother was once prescribed decaf coffee enemas for relief from hives

I don't think it helped her but it gave us lots of jokes.


"fill it to the rim with brim..."

OK, one joke...but we laughed a lot.

In my defense I used to be kind of an asshole.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:54 PM

6. Yes and bloodletting too...

 

Good grief....some folks never give up!

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:39 PM

93. Medicinal use of leeches

Medicinal leeches are any of several species of leeches, but most commonly Hirudo medicinalis, the European medicinal leech.

The European medical leech Hirudo medicinalis and some congeners, as well as some other species, have been used for clinical bloodletting for thousands of years. The use of leeches in medicine dates as far back as 2,500 years ago, when they were used for bloodletting in ancient India. Leech therapy is explained in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Many ancient civilizations practiced bloodletting, including Indian and Greek civilizations. In ancient Greek history, bloodletting was practiced according to the humoral theory, which proposed that, when the four humors, blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile in the human body were in balance, good health was guaranteed. An imbalance in the proportions of these humors was believed to be the cause of ill health. Records of this theory were found in the Greek philosopher Hippocrates' collection in the fifth century BC. Bloodletting using leeches was one method used by physicians to balance the humors and to rid the body of the plethora.

The use of leeches in modern medicine made a small-scale comeback in the 1980s after years of decline, with the advent of microsurgeries, such as plastic and reconstructive surgeries. In operations such as these, problematic venous congestion can arise due to inefficient venous drainage. Sometimes, because of the technical difficulties in forming an anastomosis of a vein, no attempt is made to reattach a venous supply to a flap at all. This condition is known as venous insufficiency. If this congestion is not cleared up quickly, the blood will clot, arteries that bring the tissues their necessary nourishment will become plugged, and the tissues will die. To prevent this, leeches are applied to a congested flap, and a certain amount of excess blood is consumed before the leech falls away. The wound will also continue to bleed for a while due to the anticoagulant hirudin in the leeches' saliva. The combined effect is to reduce the swelling in the tissues and to promote healing by allowing fresh, oxygenated blood to reach the area.[36]

The active anticoagulant component of leech saliva is a small protein, hirudin. Discovery and isolation of this protein led to a method of producing it by recombinant technology. Recombinant hirudin is available to physicians as an intravenous anticoagulant preparation for injection, particularly useful for patients who are allergic to or cannot tolerate heparin.


Today
Medicinal leech therapy made an international comeback in the 1970s in microsurgery,[6][7] used to stimulate circulation to salvage skin grafts and other tissue threatened by postoperative venous congestion,[6][8] particularly in finger reattachment and reconstructive surgery of the ear, nose, lip, and eyelid.[7][9] Other clinical applications of medicinal leech therapy include varicose veins, muscle cramps, thrombophlebitis, and osteoarthritis, among many varied conditions.[10] The therapeutic effect is not from the blood taken in the meal, but from the continued and steady bleeding from the wound left after the leech has detached, as well as the anesthetizing, anti-inflammatory, and vasodilating properties of the secreted leech saliva.[2] The most common complication from leech treatment is prolonged bleeding, which can easily be treated, although allergic reactions and bacterial infections may also occur.[2]

Because of the minuscule amounts of hirudin present in leeches, it is impractical to harvest the substance for widespread medical use. Hirudin (and related substances) are synthesised using recombinant techniques. Devices called "mechanical leeches" that dispense heparin and perform the same function as medicinal leeches have been developed, but they are not yet commercially available.


more at link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirudotherapy#Medicinal_use



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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #93)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:31 PM

95. My God. I thought it was

a photo of my brother-in-law!

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #95)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:32 PM

96. LOL!

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #93)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:05 PM

112. doctors in the fifties saved four of my father's fingers using leeches

They are a miracle to guard for infections and help with amputations.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #112)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:00 PM

124. Yes, it is not woo/psuedoscience. That is wonderful for your father!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:55 PM

7. Next time you have a suspicious mole....

 

don't go to a doctor.....just go to an acupuncturist!

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:05 PM

16. Nice straw man.

She wasn't talking about it as a primary cancer treatment, but as an adjunct treatment, mostly for the side effects of conventional treatments.

Did you actually read the post?

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:19 PM

26. It is still woo.....it is no more effective than placebo....

 

thus woo...

As stated above....some people believe in the power of prayer....and sometimes that even "works"....I have a cousin who believes that....got the "hands laid on him" and SHAZAAM he was cured of severe Asthma....or so he says.

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #26)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:39 PM

33. It's covered under Obamacare.

 

You'd best write the President at once and advice him of your wisdoms. Of course, he also hears from the actual Medical Doctors that employ acupuncture as part of their practices, so you better use lots of CAPS and emoticons when you write to him so he'll know you are righteous!!!

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:27 PM

66. No matter where its used.....

 

it is still no more effective than "sham accupuncture"....where the researchers used faked acupuncture....facts are still facts.

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #66)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:41 PM

97. how do you know?

have you tried it?

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #97)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 03:21 PM

99. this is why I don't need to try to know...

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19250001

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
This study sought to determine whether sham acupuncture is as efficacious as true acupuncture, as defined by traditional acupuncture theories.

METHODS:
A systematic review was conducted of clinical trials that used sham acupuncture controls with needle insertion at wrong points (points not indicated for the condition) or non-points (locations that are not known acupuncture points). This study used a convenience sample of 229 articles resulting from a PubMed search using the keyword "acupuncture" and limited to "clinical trials" published in English in 2005 or 2006. Studies were categorized by use of wrong points versus non-points and the use of normal insertion and stimulation versus superficial insertion or minimal stimulation.

RESULTS:
Thirty-eight acupuncture trials were identified. Most studies (22/38 = 58%) found no statistically significant difference in outcomes, and most of these (13/22 = 59%) found that sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture, especially when superficial needling was applied to non-points.

CONCLUSIONS:
The findings cast doubt on the validity of traditional acupuncture theories about point locations and indications. Scientific rationales for acupuncture trials are needed to define valid controls, and the theoretical basis for traditional acupuncture practice needs to be re-evaluated.


because.......

SCIENCE!

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #99)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 03:57 PM

100. check the "science" on chemo

it is evolving rapidly, and much of it indicates that chemo is not as effective in treating certain cancers as the SCIENCE concluded earlier. SCIENCE is not static. as cancer survivor, i am very grateful for the NEW research that saved me from chemo...which not certainly would have been standard treatment 10 years ago. also, scientifically-sanctioned or not, a cancer diagnosis is not just physically challenging, it is also mentally and emotionally challenging, and SCIENCE doesn't offer much help for those challenges. i am certain surgery, radiation and hormone therapy helped me survive, and just as certain that acupuncture, reiki helped me cope with the stress and fear. i'd encourage anyone dealing with the big C to take advantage of any treatment that helps, even if it just to manage stress. that's a part of the reason why hospitals offer these adjunctive treatments. unless of course they've just succumbed to woo.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #100)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:23 PM

104. that has NOTHING to do with this....BECAUSE

 

Many people ARE cured with chemo....chemo is not woo...chemo is science.

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #104)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:38 PM

108. chemo also kills people

and causes a host of problems. there is no CURE for cancer, which tells me you really don't know you are talking about,

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #108)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:21 PM

117. and that STILL doesn't make it Woo....

 

No there is no cure for Cancer....but some people ARE cured of thiers....

Chemo saves lives.....its not woo.

Yes I do know what I am talking about....

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #117)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:16 PM

119. didn't you say chemo "cures" cancer?

why, yes you YOU did, so I have to infer from that: you don't know you are talking about. nice try at revisionism though. woo...does that include the belief that chemo "cures" cancer? perhaps you just miswrote
\

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #119)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:01 PM

122. No.....but for some people it DOES save their life....

 

you have a problem with that statement? Surgery to remove a tumor also cures a case of Cancer....sometimes it doesn't....still not woo.

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #26)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:26 AM

71. The power of prayer is "woo" as has been shown by studies posted upthread

God I hate that word! Made me sound like a third grader just responding to you using your chosen nomenclature.

I believe having less or worse of an effect than placebo is your standard is it not?

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #71)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:29 AM

72. I did not say that it was not woo......

 

I said my cousin BELIEVES he was cured...

and yes...to your second point...and its pseudo-scientific

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #72)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:38 AM

74. I'm sorry that I misread the implication of comparison. /nt

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #74)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:42 AM

83. No problem....glad I could clarify...

 

sorry if I didn't express myself well enough the first time though...

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:55 PM

8. I think things like acupuncture have a hypnotic component that truly does help pain.

It's my observation as a hospice nurse with a few of my patients who have acupuncture. I know that's not scientific proof. But, it does help some people feel better.

With some of my patients or their families I do relaxation exercises with tuning forks. It's part of my nursing visit so no one pays extra for it. Some people love it and I keep doing it with them. Others try it once and don't like it or feel that it's silly so we don't continue doing it. Also, remember that these alternative therapies are in conjunction with medications. Often times when people relax the meds work better.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:02 PM

123. That is the component people miss

Relaxation and anxiety.

Anxiety is the bride of Pain They go everywhere hand in hand. That is not woo or pseudoscience that is good basic medical psychology.

You tell a patient "I will give you your pain med at 1:30", and as that target time approaches many people will start to feel pain relief. Just giving a person a goal line relieves anxiety which helps to promote relaxation. That is damn good medicine and good nursing. I don't care for the CAM artists because they try to promote it has something beyond that and enter the realm of fraud.

I myself have no use for touch therapy, prayer, meditation, guided imagery, massage but will use them on patients when asked since I realize how important they are. they are a part of good nursing. I refuse however, to randomly stick needles in people since this a an incredibly stupid INVASIVE procedure that has no effect other than to relive anxiety and help with relaxation. There are dozens of other techniques that will do this with out the need to break the skin barrier. Acupuncturists must engage in hocus pocus to try and hoodwink people into believing that they are practicing a magic that no one else understands in order to line their pockets with money.

Acupuncturists and Homeopaths are the worst of the charlatans fleecing people in pain and despair.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:55 PM

9. At the same time, none of them endorse "meridian" woo. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:55 PM

10. The fertility clinic that knocked me up with my twins

uses woo too. Offered me acupuncture right on the premises, and they're one of the top clinics in the world.

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:00 PM

59. Happened with me, too.

 

My twins are seven now.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:58 PM

11. Thank you

--yes acupuncture is being used at major hospitals in America routinely.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:58 PM

12. Acupuncture as such is not 'woo'; there is some evidence that it can relieve pain and other symptoms

in some patients, though the mechanism is not clear.

Treating acupuncture, or indeed any single procedure, as a cure-all is quackery however.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:10 PM

102. IMO

the mechanism is likely the same as 'TENS' pain relief (does anyone remember hearing about that? I learned it when studying about birth...) where you put electrodes on your back (for back labor) and turn it up...it creates a buzzing feeling in your back and is supposed to relieve pain in labor. There were studies about its effectiveness.

My doctor used electricity through the acupuncture needles and you would feel a light, regular, "zap, zap, zap" it was seriously a distracting sensation. That's probably how it works - it distracts you and stimulates other nerves in the area taking away the pain sensation. Like adding 'noise' to the nerves so the brain can't 'hear' the pain.

I have this peppermint oil migraine roll on that works like that - when I get a migraine, I rub the stuff on my forehead and temples and neck, and the top of my head. Before too long, the intense cooling sensation blocks out the pain of the migraine. All it is, is adding 'noise' to the area to drown out the pain signals to the brain, IMO.

That said, my doctor tried to induce my labor with acupuncture - didn't work. Tried to help treat my messed up back and hip with acupuncture - didn't work. Total waste of time. Chiropractic, however, worked wonders on my hip (not so much on my upper back). So some things work for some things, and not for others. Just like all chemo doesn't work for all cancers. Just like I can take tylenol and it helps my headache, but my mom doesn't get any relief from tylenol and takes advil. Some treatments are highly individual. Nothing is a cure-all.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #102)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 03:39 AM

129. Yes -- reaction to any treatment is highly individual. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 05:59 PM

13. It's a business. Cheap perks that give you a leg up over the competition are smart.

One of the big cancer centers here has valet parking. I'm pretty sure that's about as statistically useful as acupuncture (ie it's not,) but it's a cheap perk that keeps patients happy.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:30 PM

31. The National Institutes of Health doesn't fund studies of hospital valet parking. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:05 AM

68. What are they trying to hide?

Grrrr.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:26 PM

105. The National Institute of Health funded THIS

 

Sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture: a systematic review of clinical trials.
Moffet HH.
Author information
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. Howard.H.Moffet@kp.org
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
This study sought to determine whether sham acupuncture is as efficacious as true acupuncture, as defined by traditional acupuncture theories.

METHODS:
A systematic review was conducted of clinical trials that used sham acupuncture controls with needle insertion at wrong points (points not indicated for the condition) or non-points (locations that are not known acupuncture points). This study used a convenience sample of 229 articles resulting from a PubMed search using the keyword "acupuncture" and limited to "clinical trials" published in English in 2005 or 2006. Studies were categorized by use of wrong points versus non-points and the use of normal insertion and stimulation versus superficial insertion or minimal stimulation.

RESULTS:
Thirty-eight acupuncture trials were identified. Most studies (22/38 = 58%) found no statistically significant difference in outcomes, and most of these (13/22 = 59%) found that sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture, especially when superficial needling was applied to non-points.

CONCLUSIONS:
The findings cast doubt on the validity of traditional acupuncture theories about point locations and indications. Scientific rationales for acupuncture trials are needed to define valid controls, and the theoretical basis for traditional acupuncture practice needs to be re-evaluated.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19250001

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #105)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 05:10 PM

143. You won the thread. nt

 

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:23 AM

82. Indeed. Looks like a "whole person approach;" justifies sky-high prices

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:04 PM

15. I think acupuncture has become an accepted treatment

for at least some conditions. It does not fall into the same "woo" category as, say, homeopathy, which involves the successive dilution of a substance that might be toxic with water until it supposedly is able to "cure" ailments - except that the process involves dilution to the point where there is nothing left but water. Some claim the water has "memory." But homeopathy has been repeatedly debunked. It's harmless as long as it doesn't take the place of some treatment that might actually work.

On the other hand, sometimes acupuncture does seem to work. I realize my own experience is only anecdotal and therefore completely unscientific and incapable of proving anything, but: a few years ago I had a sore knee - it had become very painful and I could barely go up and down stairs. I got cortisone shots a few times but they worked only temporarily. Somebody suggested acupuncture and I said, meh, that's not real medicine, it doesn't work, but they said go ahead and try it, it can't do you any harm. Since nothing else was working and my knee was really painful I decided to give it a try, but I was very skeptical. After the first treatment my knee felt better, and I thought, Ha, placebo effect. But I went back got some more treatments and the problem went away and never returned. Maybe it would have gone away on its own without any treatment. Maybe there was a placebo effect. I don't know. But I have at least retreated from my original opinion that acupuncture is pure woo.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:12 PM

23. Are they using to alter the flow of qi?

 

No. They're using it to release endorphins, something which does manage pain.

Acupuncture based on qi is woo.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #23)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:54 PM

48. Oh please -

acupuncture was developed in China and it is part of traditional Chinese Medicine. An acupuncturist who is trained in Chinese Medicine (as this article states they are) has learned the elements of qi and their treatment would be based on that. Whatever happens as a result of that treatment is due to the placement of the needles. You do not place them in one place to release endorphins and somewhere else if treating qi.

What you are probably misunderstanding is the principle that the body always seeks to heal and protect itself. Much of our mainstream medicine is based on "silver bullets (pharmaceuticals)" and what are considered as alternatives seek to assist the body to find its balance again so our innate mechanisms can manage the illness, injury or trauma.
Alternative medicine is not for all health conditions but is more helpful than drugs for others. It is a choice.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #48)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:28 PM

107. and STILL requires BELIEF in woo...

 

its the "belief" part that does the healing....

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #107)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:22 PM

113. How exactly do you know that?

Everything is not known at this point in time and there is no study that proves belief is what causes success with acupuncture. The human body has many systems - blood, lymph, fascia, immune response, etc. Exactly what acupuncture taps into is defined as the energy meridians, or as some have interpreted it - the electrical system. It may turn out to be something else entirely. But it works for some health needs.

At one time it was scientifically proven that most people had falling internal organs. When x-rays were taken of people's abdomens, their internal organs were lower than those in the horizontal cadavers used in schools and for autopsies. To correct this "problem," surgeries were done to sew the organs back into the higher positions. Science proved this was necessary and later proved it was unnecessary.

Also - At one time you could say that belief was the cause of multiple sclerosis because that is how it was diagnosed. It was said to affect artistic types and those of low moral character.

The research scientists I have met are not given to ridicule or garbage can explanations, but rather they are humble seekers. They do not use "science" as blinders and are open to clues from all sources in their search for answers.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #113)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:19 PM

116. How exactly do I know? Simple...

 

Sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture: a systematic review of clinical trials.
Moffet HH.
Author information
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA 94612, USA. Howard.H.Moffet@kp.org
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
This study sought to determine whether sham acupuncture is as efficacious as true acupuncture, as defined by traditional acupuncture theories.

METHODS:
A systematic review was conducted of clinical trials that used sham acupuncture controls with needle insertion at wrong points (points not indicated for the condition) or non-points (locations that are not known acupuncture points). This study used a convenience sample of 229 articles resulting from a PubMed search using the keyword "acupuncture" and limited to "clinical trials" published in English in 2005 or 2006. Studies were categorized by use of wrong points versus non-points and the use of normal insertion and stimulation versus superficial insertion or minimal stimulation.

RESULTS:
Thirty-eight acupuncture trials were identified. Most studies (22/38 = 58%) found no statistically significant difference in outcomes, and most of these (13/22 = 59%) found that sham acupuncture may be as efficacious as true acupuncture, especially when superficial needling was applied to non-points.

CONCLUSIONS:
The findings cast doubt on the validity of traditional acupuncture theories about point locations and indications. Scientific rationales for acupuncture trials are needed to define valid controls, and the theoretical basis for traditional acupuncture practice needs to be re-evaluated.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19250001

That's HOW!

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #116)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:37 PM

131. This review article

may demonstrate that the placement of needles as described by the teachings of traditional acupuncture is not accurate. It does not prove that the outcomes of acupuncture are based on belief. That is a supposition, not a proven fact.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #131)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:00 PM

132. that is HOW you prove it....

 

Results show that "real" acupuncture is no more effective than sham acupuncture....that is called science

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Response to VanillaRhapsody (Reply #132)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 05:05 PM

142. calling it belief is not science

borne out by this article. You asserted that belief drove the results and that was the proof I was requesting. These are not studies to determine if belief is what is driving the results. One would have to design a study that looks at that question. You suppose it is belief.

I am not going to argue the efficacy of acupuncture as stated in this article as I don't have the money to access it or the studies it was based upon. It would be interesting to see how the studies were conducted as acupuncture as well as many other therapies involve many aspects that would need to be controlled for. For example, talking with the patient, touching the patient, background music, relaxation techniques, incense etc. Whether these alone or used synergistically could affect results should be studied as well as characteristics of the individuals involved.

Your conclusion of belief is not yet support by science.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:45 AM

77. Like most medicine that originated before the scientific revolution,

--acupuncture is an empirical practice, probably derived from battlefield medicine where soldiers punctured with arrows at various sites noticed pain relief. It is normal for humans to make up stories about why empirical treatments work, and probably even functional as a memory aid. It is no longer necessary to bother with explanations like meridians, any more than we believe a hedge witch who says that willow bark tea relieves headaches because the willow is sacred to St. Sebastian, the patron saint of headaches.

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Response to eridani (Reply #77)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:48 AM

78. Yeah, my point exactly.

 

Saying that acupuncture treats headaches because of qi is pseudoscience. Saying that it treats headaches because of the release of endorphins isn't.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:14 PM

24. As long as acupuncture is used with real medicine, it is harmless

 

Massage for chronic pain cures nothing, vut it really feels good. A few hours off narcotics can't be so bad.

Nothing feels better for longer than a real, therupratic, deep tissue massage. Preferably by a middle aged european woman with a lot of issues. Felt better than paying off the mortgage 18 years early.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:17 PM

25. Yes, they are...

What's your point?

Sid

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:20 PM

27. It isn't "woo" it works! K&R nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:26 PM

29. I use acupuncture on the recommendation of one of the country's leading

 

acute pain physicians, head of a department and all that. Works very well when nothing else did. A very useful system of treatment for many things. The Knights Who Say Woo are of limited experience and certainly none of them hold an MD. I'll take my physician's advice over some ranting DU nutter any day of the week.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:36 AM

73. The Knights Who Say Woo. Brilliant!

I don't know if that is old or you just came up with it on the fly but I actually physically laughed my ass of when I read that!!

Thanks for the giggle! (I just hate that word as it sounds so childish)


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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:26 PM

30. The military has been using accupuncture for pain

Though it's not covered by the military's Tricare health insurance:
http://acupuncture-austin.com/military-using-acupuncture-for-pain/


rocktivity

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:37 PM

32. I hope that health insurance doesn't

pay for this. Acupuncture is just a placebo, sugar pills are cheaper and don't require sticking needles into patients.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #32)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:43 PM

35. As the OP points out, many actual physicians disagree with your great wisdom

 

and yes indeed acupuncture is covered by much insurance, including the expanded Medicaid provision of the ACA as implemented in my State. You'd better write to the President and set him right. 'Dear Mr President, I am not a physician nor a doctor of any kind but you must listen to me because I am just smarter than the folks at the Mayo clinic.' I'm sure he will put your advice directly where it belongs.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:16 PM

41. Woo is woo, evidence says acupuncture

is about as effective as placebo or faith healing. It should not be paid for by monies better spent on real medicine. I'll bet some real physicians believe in faith healing too. I just hope no one who actually could be helped by medicine is suckered in by this woo.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #35)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:31 AM

89. Many physicians took out tonsils

from children. They also used X-rays to treat swollen tonsils and adenoids. Farther back they bled patients. The acupuncture lobbies did get acupuncture (but only for anesthetic and pain-not where it is an actual treatment for disease) into the bill. This probably got the bill support from the acupuncture (woo) lobby.
BTW Physicians used to be used to advertise the health benefits of cigarettes and Rand Paul is a physician.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #32)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:03 PM

50. please post you research

that proves what you said. Thank you.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:10 AM

88. Scientific research doesnt work that way.

Outrageous claims need to be proven. Purveyors of woo (quacks in this case) should have to show that it works, and since they never can, it should be banned.
The FDA does this for drugs.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:43 PM

34. And clowns, for that matter

I'm sure some children's cancer ward uses clowns to make the patients "feel better."

That doesn't mean acupuncture "works" in the sense of "working."

It does "work"... as do clowns.

It does not, however, work in the sense of "putting needle at point X has effect Y."

In terms of higher self-reported pain reduction or sense of well being all sorts of things "work."

An interesting TV shows probably "works." It probably distracts from pain.

It seems likely to me that people request fewer pain meds during a show they're really interested in.

But if one is making a scientific claim like claiming "putting needle at point X has effect Y"... it doesn't.


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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 06:46 PM

36. A commenter on another board, with a related thread asks the pertinent question...

Denice Walter
April 15, 2014

When people feel helpless, they want to believe that their own actions can somehow counteract their current state: offering whimsy-based substitutes for SBM seems to take advantage of them. Shouldn’t ‘psycho-social’ intervention address that issue?

I wonders and I wonders….
if there are data which indicate how much
- the addition of woo-ful specialities contributes to patients’ choice of using a particular facility
- which woo is most lucrative
- how much woo contributes to the bottom line: i.e. profit


Wouldn’t that be ironic?
If SB facilities added altie nonsense in order to make money.
I thought that they were already rolling in it.


Denice Walter nailed it.

Sid

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:09 PM

38. Speaking as a recent cancer patient.

The side effects of chemo and radiation can be brutal. I took pain meds mostly so I could just sleep and get through it. If I had the opportunity to try acupuncture (from someone trusted to be sterile) I would have. I was already having a lot of chemicals put in my body and you have to wonder about the combination of things you are putting in your body after awhile.

The placebo effect is just that an effect, if it brings relief from symptoms without harm. Does it really matter if it helps suffering?

A lot of people prayed for me. I have no idea if that helped or not, but there was comfort in knowing that so many people cared.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:11 PM

39. I found acupuncture worked better on back pain than pain meds

and it lasted longer.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:15 PM

40. Pnwmom, I have to disagree with you as I have been treated with acupunture AS PART

OF A COMPREHENSIVE treatment plan...I AM STILL HERE DESPITE THE INITIAL PROGNOSIS AT MY DIAGNOSIS. I was Dx with stage 4 SQUAMOUS CELL CERVICAL CANCER and I KNOW personally that this works. IT IS NOT WOO and although, the way it works isn't totally understood, IT IS NOT WOO!!! I was treated at a renowned CANCER treatment center and when I came back into California, I found that nearly ALL the specialty Cancer treatment centers UTILISE ACUPUNCTURE as part of a comprehensive treatment program..

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #40)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:32 PM

43. I think you are really agreeing with me, if you reread my OP.

I said that cancer hospitals treat pain with woo only IF you consider acupuncture to be woo -- which I don't.

The hospitals don't consider acupuncture to be woo, the NIH doesn't consider it to be woo, and neither do I. It's true that the precise mechanism of action is unknown, but that's the case for some standard drug treatments, too.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #43)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:45 PM

46. Oh okay, I am so sorry. I read it but not completely. I shouldn't have assumed that

you were against it. So many, who think they know everything DO laugh at it and it WORKS, when in the hands of people who are THOROUGHLY trained.
Sorry.

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #40)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:55 PM

58. Maybe works for pain

While it's possible the acupuncture works for pain, due to some unknown effect, or a placebo effect, I doubt that even those who put together your comprehensive treatment plan would claim it helped to put your cancer into remission.

If it worked for your pain, that's great, and I am not being dismissive in any way or trying to diminish your personal experience. But someone saying it worked for them is not in any way evidence that it is a more effective pain treatment than placebo. I could easily counter your story with one of my own. My wife, who went for acupuncture for severe back pain in her third pregnancy, got no relief from the pain at all. It's just one anecdote vs another. I can't draw general conclusions from my wife's experience any more than I can from yours. It is only through large comparative studies that any claim for general effectiveness can be made.

Insurance covers many things that are known to be ineffective. Some health insurance plans still cover Christian Science practitioners (thankfully far fewer than in the past), otherwise known as faith healing. I can find people who claim that this religious treatment was effective too - but while I keep an open mind about acupuncture, faith healing is nonsense, despite the individual anecdotes.

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Response to naturallyselected (Reply #58)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:14 AM

69. OH BULLSHIT. Only talk about what you know. Just because she went to someone who

claimed to be an acupuncturist DOES NOT MEANT THAT THEY KNEW WHAT THE FUCK they were doing. I trust very few acupuncturists and ONLY the ones who have EXTENSIVE training in ASIA, NOT the US....

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #69)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:29 PM

92. I try and offer a reasoned response and this is what I get...

There are countless individuals who claim to have gotten no relief through acupuncture, and countless individuals who claim they have gotten help. But they are all just individual anecdotes and there is no way to use any of them as generalized evidence one way or the other. Only well-controlled acupuncture/sham comparative studies can do that. And, for me, the jury is still out on whether acupuncture offers anything but a placebo effect. I wish that more good studies could be funded, as there is enough intriguing data to warrant them.

Why should you just assume we didn't fully research the practitioner we found? She was in fact trained in Asia, and had been practicing for decades. The conventional, Western, OB/GYN practice my wife went to recommended her, as they had success stories from their patients, and we went into the experience with great optimism and hope (although if it is really effective, the patient's mindset shouldn't make a difference), as my wife was really suffering and didn't want to use heavy-duty painkillers while pregnant.

Why should you take offense if someone doesn't take your single positive experience as proof of the efficacy of acupuncture? No offense was intended. I made it very clear that I keep an open mind about acupuncture, despite our experience, because any one experience, positive or negative, doesn't prove much of anything.

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Response to naturallyselected (Reply #92)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:01 PM

114. Yeah, well, I take offence to someone who has NO FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE

and "OF COURSE, I BELIEVE THAT YOU RESEARCHED"the "Acupuncturist"you took your wife to to make sure they had the appropriate training, experience & ...MAKES PERFECT SENSE. Considering that I didn't ask you for your input, I take REAL offence on your psuedo-scientific and 'REASONED" response. I KNOW what I went through and considering that I was UNCONSCIOUS during the first part of my Acupuncture treatment during my chemotherapy due to a unforeseen complication and it WORKED, it's INSULTING that you put your 2cents into a fight you had no dog in but of course, you know EVERYTHING there is to know the applications of Acupuncture... TRUST ME,I am NOT the one you want to get into a "discussion" about what alternative treatments are effective and which aren't.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:24 PM

42. Whenever I hear a pitch like this...

FROM MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CENTER


http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/expertise

Acupuncture

To address chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, nerve and joint pain, hot flashes, dry mouth, headache, fatigue, procedural anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, appetite loss, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain and loss, and lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation. Recent research also shows that acupuncture may be effective in managing swallowing difficulties and swelling such as lymphedema.


I run so fast the other direction. I see these kind of claims on all those internet scams, and we all know that the more incredible the claims, the least likely it is that it works on any of it.

I suppose if all else failed, I would try it.....but that is only if all else failed.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #42)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:32 PM

44. I guess you should avoid Sloan-Kettering, then.

They must be crazy there.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #42)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:52 PM

47. IT WORKS, Curmodgeness. I am a recipeint of this "cray-cray". IT IS NOT CRAZY

at all. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE and KNOW AT LEAST 20 others who underwent this and IT WORKS....

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:37 PM

45. When all else fails you can try anything not actively harmful

The simple truth is that in the majority of studies acupuncture is no more effective than placebo medication at pain control.

Some studies seem to indicate that acupuncture might stimulate the nerves to block signaling but others seem to show that such effects are caused by a hypnotic response. In any event if the hospital is reduced to using acupuncture to control pain - you are in the same position as Kate Middleton - royally f***ked

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 07:55 PM

49. There's prayer in hospitals too.

 

Doesn't mean it works.

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #49)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:15 PM

62. Or the toilets. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:13 PM

51. I found that accupuncture did not, for me, work well enough nor long enough.

However, guided meditation did and does. Mind you, I have neurological pain and that may make a difference.

And yes, the guided meditation was a program through the local hospital, under the auspices of a woman named Jackie Gardiner-Nix.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:15 PM

52. So why does it fail every time in scientific tests?

Obvious reason: Woo.

Just because a respected institution offers some treatment, doesn't mean it's valid.

Andrew Wakefield used to be a respected British doctor.

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Response to Archae (Reply #52)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:28 PM

55. NIH funded study: Acupuncture for Chronic Pain / Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis

 

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1357513

Andrew J. Vickers, DPhil; Angel M. Cronin, MS; Alexandra C. Maschino, BS; George Lewith, MD; Hugh MacPherson, PhD; Nadine E. Foster, DPhil; Karen J. Sherman, PhD; Claudia M. Witt, MD; Klaus Linde, MD; for the Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration

Background Although acupuncture is widely used for chronic pain, there remains considerable controversy as to its value. We aimed to determine the effect size of acupuncture for 4 chronic pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, and shoulder pain.

Methods We conducted a systematic review to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of acupuncture for chronic pain in which allocation concealment was determined unambiguously to be adequate. Individual patient data meta-analyses were conducted using data from 29 of 31 eligible RCTs, with a total of 17 922 patients analyzed.

Results In the primary analysis, including all eligible RCTs, acupuncture was superior to both sham and no-acupuncture control for each pain condition (P < .001 for all comparisons). After exclusion of an outlying set of RCTs that strongly favored acupuncture, the effect sizes were similar across pain conditions. Patients receiving acupuncture had less pain, with scores that were 0.23 (95% CI, 0.13-0.33), 0.16 (95% CI, 0.07-0.25), and 0.15 (95% CI, 0.07-0.24) SDs lower than sham controls for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headache, respectively; the effect sizes in comparison to no-acupuncture controls were 0.55 (95% CI, 0.51-0.58), 0.57 (95% CI, 0.50-0.64), and 0.42 (95% CI, 0.37-0.46) SDs. These results were robust to a variety of sensitivity analyses, including those related to publication bias.


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Response to Archae (Reply #52)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:39 PM

56. Series of studies first to examine acupuncture's mechanisms of action

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314085528.htm

Date: March 14, 2013
Source: Georgetown University Medical Center

Eshkevari used rats because these animals are often used to research the biological determinants of stress. They mount a stress response when exposed to winter-like temperatures for an hour a day.

"I used electroacupuncture because I could make sure that each animal was getting the same treatment dose," she explains.

The study utilized four groups of rats for a 10-day experiment: a control group that was not stressed and received no acupuncture; a group that was stressed for an hour a day and did not receive acupuncture; a group that was stressed and received "sham" acupuncture near the tail; and the experimental group that were stressed and received acupuncture to the Zusanli spot on the leg.

The researchers then measured blood hormone levels secreted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, which includes the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland. The interactions among these organs control reactions to stress and regulate digestion, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexuality and energy storage and expenditure.

"We found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway," Eshkevari says. She adds that the rats receiving the sham electronic acupuncture had elevation of the hormones similar to that of the stress-only animals.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #56)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:01 AM

91. We use acupuncture with great effects on the horses. Animals can't manufacture a placebo response

 

They either get relief or they don't.

I keep an open mind about any treatment that gives my animals relief, just like my veterinarians who prescribe treatments including acupuncture.

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Response to Archae (Reply #52)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:44 PM

57. Can Acupuncture Reverse Killer Inflammation?

 

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/talking-back/2014/03/03/can-acupuncture-reverse-killer-inflammation/

By Gary Stix | March 3, 2014

The ST36 Zusanli (足三? acupuncture point is located just below the knee joint. This spot in mice—and it is hoped perhaps in humans—may be a critical entryway to gaining control over the often fatal inflammatory reactions that accompany systemic infections. Sepsis kills over 250,000 patients in the U.S. each year, more than 9 percent of overall deaths. Antibiotics can control sepsis-related infection, but no current drugs have FDA approval for counteracting the runaway immune response.

A research group at Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School, Newark, reported online in Nature Medicine on Feb. 23 that stimulating ST36 Zusanli with an electrical current passed through an acupuncture needle activated two nerve tracts in mice that led to the production of a biochemical that quieted a sepsis-like inflammatory reaction that had been induced in mice. (Scientific American is part of the Nature Publishing Group.)

The finding, which also involved the collaboration of the National Medical Center Siglo XXI, Mexico City and other institutions, raises the possibility that knowledge derived from alternative medicine may provide a means of discovering new nerve pathways that can regulate a variety of immune disorders from rheumatoid arthritis to Crohn’s disease. If future studies achieve similar results, acupuncture might be integrated into the nascent field of bioelectronics medicine—also called electroceuticals—that is generating intense interest among both academics and drug companies.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #57)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:13 PM

61. So, the skeptics are either flat out wrong, don't know what they're

talking about, or.... figured as much. When all they've got is -no - the doctors are wrong. no, the hospitals are wrong, no the studies are wrong - WE are the only ones you can trust -anonymous posters on the internet with an agenda. uh-huh. I wonder who they think they're fooling. Not me, or you.

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Response to Archae (Reply #52)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 09:07 PM

60. An NIH funded meta-analysis of 29 studies involving 18,000 subjects

confirmed that it's effective in pain relief.

Your opinion doesn't mean it's not.

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Response to Archae (Reply #52)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:22 AM

81. From what I remember the only problem with the studies is that you can't double blind

As in, the patients will always know whether they got stuck or not.

The placebo response is poorly understood in general, but taking advantage of its observable benefits to patients (if that's what it is) is hardly woo.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #81)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:17 PM

103. You absolutely could do a double blind

if you designed the study so that everyone in the study 'got stuck' but some got stuck in the 'right' places, and some got stuck in random non-acupuncture medicine spots. Of course, that would make it difficult to discern if the benefits were from acupuncture medicine or from the sensation of being stuck with needles. It would be interesting to see if just being stuck with needles is all people need.

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Response to Archae (Reply #52)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 03:37 AM

128. It doesn't. A meta-analysis of 29 studies including 18K patients showed

that it helped to relieve pain.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:19 PM

53. When did acupuncture start to be considered woo?

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #53)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:24 AM

87. when people needed sonething

To use to feel their superiority compmex and bash those who they think are lesser than them...

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #87)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:49 PM

98. +1000...as a breast cancer survivor

i used acupuncture, reiki in addition to surgery and radiation. i could give two fucks about the science. anything that helped me deal with the STRESS or the diagnosis, and the side effects of the treatments...i tried it. and those treatements helped me. help is help...whether it is a placebo effect or something else.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 08:25 PM

54. We need to send the DU "woo" police to these hospitals (n/t)

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:03 PM

65. It is very important to differentiate the marketing information provided by health care centers ...

... and the actual research. Since I believe in caring for the "entire" person, I do not object to meeting the spiritual needs of patients while providing optimal science based medical care.


http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/PIIS0025619613005132/related?article_id=S0025-6196%2813%2900513-2

It is well known that acupuncture has pain-relieving effects, but the contribution of specific and especially nonspecific factors to acupuncture analgesia is less clear. One hundred one patients who developed pain of 3 on a visual analog scale (VAS, 0 to 10) after third molar surgery were randomized to receive active acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, or no treatment for 30min with acupuncture needles with potential for double-blinding. Patients’ perception of the treatment (active or placebo) and expected pain levels (VAS) were assessed before and halfway through the treatment. Looking at actual treatment allocation, there was no specific effect of active acupuncture (P=.240), but there was a large and significant nonspecific effect of placebo acupuncture (P<.001), which increased over time. Interestingly, however, looking at perceived treatment allocation, there was a significant effect of acupuncture (P<.001), indicating that patients who believed they received active acupuncture had significantly lower pain levels than those who believed they received placebo acupuncture. Expected pain levels accounted for significant and progressively larger amounts of the variance in pain ratings after both active and placebo acupuncture (up to 69.8%). This is the first study to show that under optimized blinding conditions, nonspecific factors such as patients’ perception of and expectations toward treatment are central to the efficacy of acupuncture analgesia and that these factors may contribute to self-reinforcing effects in acupuncture treatment. To obtain an effect of acupuncture in clinical practice, it may therefore be important to incorporate and optimize these factors.

http://www.painjournalonline.com/article/S0304-3959%2813%2900231-5/abstract

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:41 AM

75. I very nearly went deaf in one ear as a child because of woo.

 

My parents believed in herbal remedies, and when I got an ear infection, they were determined to treat it with the herbs prescribed by their witch doctors. For almost a month I had increasing pain and pressure in my ear, with the final week being literally the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life. Every once in awhile I'd just be hit with this blinding pain that left me literally collapsed on the floor and gasping for air.

Anyway, my mom finally took me to see an actual doctor, who told her I was days, or minutes away from going deaf in that ear. He gave me antibiotics and kept me there until the swelling started going down (about two hours).

Since then I've been a huge fan of science and western medicine, and have no patience at all for woo and people who waste others' precious time with it. Sick people don't have time or resources to waste, and if you're not a doctor, you really should just stay out of the way.

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Response to Marr (Reply #75)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:23 PM

94. What does that have to do with acupuncture, which is what the thread is about? nt

 

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #94)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:37 PM

110. The title of this thread references "woo", specifically.

 

There is implied second part to the OP's argument that acupuncture is both 'woo' and sometimes effective. That is that woo has a place in medicine.

I'd say that acupuncture isn't really woo, since it appears to do *something*, even if we don't understand exactly why. And woo has no place in medicine.

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Response to Marr (Reply #75)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:28 PM

106. Sounds like the doctor was a quack too

he can't know if you were days or minutes from going deaf from an ear infection - how ridiculous. I have had a ruptured ear drum and I have felt that pain except mine came on ridiculously suddenly, no time to go to the doctor until the next day when my ear drum had already ruptured. I'm not deaf, although it did feel like I was hearing underwater for a month or so. IS there a risk of deafness? There is a risk of hearing loss with repeated infections, or if the infection damages the auditory nerve, but a doctor can't know that until the infection is gone and some time has passed, because most regain their hearing.

Besides the swelling wouldn't go down from only 2 hours on antibiotics. He must've given you something else. Antibiotics take much longer than that to work. Unless it was iv antibiotics.

Anyway, it wasn't 'woo' that almost 'made you deaf', it was your parents who ignored your pain for a month, wtf? Even my friends who are VERY into 'natural medicine' would never wait that long to see a real doctor. Most people understand the limitations of alternative treatments.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #106)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:46 PM

111. To be perfectly honest with you, I was a little kid.

 

I remember the pain and I remember the quick relief I got from a visit to an actual doctor. I could well be remembering some of the specifics inaccurately, but it doesn't change my point. The same little drama is played out with lots of other people, and result in things much worse than partial deafness. Death, for one.

Also, your claim that woo isn't to blame, but rather the parents who choose it, seems like a Christian insisting that the blame for an abortion clinic bombing be placed solely on the bomber, and not the movement. It's a little too convenient.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:44 AM

76. Cancer

The Politics of History Writing, January 25, 2002
By Winfield J. Abbe, Ph. D., Physics
This review is from: Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know And Don't Know About Cancer (Paperback)
Professor Proctor uses many words to talk about prevention, even mentions on page 145 quoting one Thomas Culliney of the USDA Forest Service, listing a number of fruits and vegetables "...are outstanding sources of vitamins A and C--both of which may play a role in reducing human cancers." Yet apparently no mention of Linus Pauling, Ph. D., or Max Gerson, M.D., the earlier researchers who vigorously stressed their importance in treatment and prevention of cancer. (1), (2). While "Genetic Hopes" (Chapter 10) are promoted, he omits any mention of the seminal discoveries of Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D., who has been described as "the greatest biochemist of the twentieth century", of cancer cell metabolism, as early as 1923. These discoveries have been discussed in articles in the journal "Science" about 1956 (which was a translated speech Dr. Warburg gave before the German Cancer Control Commission in 1955) and later articles by Dr. Warburg (3). He and his pupil Dean Burk stated "1000 papers" supported their conclusions, yet Proctor makes no reference to him in about 360 references. Max Gerson, M.D., referenced Otto Warburg as authoriity for his treatment (1). In a 1967 statement on "the prime cause of cancer", Dr. Warburg wrote regarding cancer prevention (3):
"To prevent cancer it is therefore proposed first to keep the speed of the bloodstream so high that the venous blood still contains sufficient oxygen; second, to keep high the concentration of haemoglobin in the blood; third, to add always to the food, even of healthy people, the active groups of the respiratory enzymes: and to increase the dose of these groups, if a pre-cancerous state has already developed. If at the same time exogenous carcinogens are rigorously excluded, then much more endogenous cancer might be prevented today." However, there is no mention of Dr. Warburg or this statement by him in this book! Otto Warburg, M.D. won the 1931 Nobel Prize and was nominated for two others, 1926 and 1944. Linus Pauling won the 1954 Nobel Prize for Chemistry and the 1962 Nobel Prize for Peace. The omission of these two giants of science is very puzzling.
(1) "A Cancer Therapy Results of Fifty Cases" by Max Gerson, M.D., The Gerson Institute, 1958, 5th Edition.
(2) "Cancer and Vitamin C", by Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling, Camino Books, Philadelphia, 1993.
(3) "Otto Warburg Cell Physiologist Biochemist and Eccentric" by Hans Krebs and Roswitha Schmid, Clarendon Press-Oxford (1981).

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:02 AM

79. They sure do.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:19 AM

80. It has actual studies on pain relief. Which means it's not woo.

Some of the studies have issues, sure, but that's true for anything. The placebo response is still poorly understood, but even if that's the basis of acupuncture's performance in studies, the relief actually happens. (Personally I find it difficult to imagine inserting conductors into an electrical system wouldn't have an effect.)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #80)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:52 AM

84. I agree, but many DUers consider acupuncture to always be woo.

They also don't recognize that many drugs used in conventional medicine also have an unknown mechanism of effect.

*(Personally I find it difficult to imagine inserting conductors into an electrical system wouldn't have an effect.)*

Me, too. And that may be why sham acupuncture using needles in the "wrong" places turns out to help, also.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #84)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:16 AM

126. I personally consider much of western medicine to be woo

but I try not to insult the people who believe in it and find it beneficial.

I'd rather just see us lay off the woo flinging and all get along.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:09 AM

86. Do you run an acupuncture biz or something? nt

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:55 AM

90. If you don't believe in it, don't do it. The rest of us know better.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 04:48 PM

109. In other words, they let patients indulge in generally harmless placebos of their own choice...

...as supplementary treatment for the placebo effect.

So what?

That placebos, as a general idea, can be effective isn't "woo".

But when, for example, it turns out that sham acupuncture (done with no regard at all for particular placement of needles, and/or faking the insertion of needles) is just as effective as "real" acupuncture, that exposes acupuncture, as a system, to be pseudoscience, just one more in a long line of interchangeable mind games we can play with ourselves with sometimes positive results.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:09 PM

115. Why wouldn't they? There is good money to be made in acupuncture.

 

The customer is always right.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:36 PM

118. Sure, because we give the DEA 60 billion a year to bully doctors into under-treating pain.

Basically, we have people in screaming agony who cant have their pain managed properly, medically and scientifically- due to the stupid fucking drug war.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:28 PM

120. Top cancer hospitals across the country relieve their patients' of money with "woo."

fixed that for ya.

yer welcome.

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Response to MattBaggins (Reply #120)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 03:40 AM

130. Then why should we trust them for any care, when they obviously

don't have the patients' best interest in mind.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:30 AM

127. Has Science Finally Confirmed the Existence of Acupuncture Points, Validating Chinese Medicine?

The number of acupuncturists, Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) doctors, and complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) patients is growing in the United States, yet mainstream science, medicine and health insurance companies often disregard acupuncture as a legitimate medical treatment.

However, it appears that science may finally be able to visually verify the existence of acupuncture points, meridians (vessels within the body that conduct Chi, or life force energy, much like the wires in an electrical circuit), and Chi cavities within the human body.

Using a new combination of imaging techniques and CT scans (computerized tomography), researchers have observed concentrated points of microvascular structures that clearly correspond to the map of acupuncture points created by Chinese energy doctors nearly 2000 years ago.

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/science-finally-confirmed-existence-acupuncture-points-validating-chinese-medicine.html

That bears repeating... they have been practicing it for 2000 years. Here, not even 200 years ago, women died after childbirth because doctors refused to wash their frickin' hands. In comparison, our medicine is in its infancy.

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Response to arikara (Reply #127)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:20 PM

135. fascinating!

thanks for posting!

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:13 PM

133. Accupuncture: don't knock it if you haven't tried it

- I am critical of a lot of woo health foody things and see them as marketing scams but accupunture has been beneficial for me.

Try it with a recommended practitioner, skills vary.

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