Using the anchor of critical thought to examine our world

A new evaluation of acupuncture as pain relief has concluded that it just doesn’t work. Surprised? Well, yes, acupuncture is a very old treatment. But simply being around for a long time does not make a treatment any more truly effective. There can be other reasons why it has remained in use for so long: tradition, lack of alternatives, or some psychological or economic reason why it may remain popular.
Here is the bottom line — after hundreds of years and hundreds of studies, we still can not see a clear positive effect from acupuncture used in this way. That is a damning fact. Here is a quote regarding the study (from the April 2011 journal Pain):

“When a treatment is extensively studied for decades and the evidence continues to be inconsistent, it becomes more and more likely that the treatment is not truly effective. This appears to be the case for acupuncture. In fact, taken as a whole, the published (and scientifically rigorous) evidence leads to the conclusion that acupuncture is no more effective than placebo.” Dr. Harriet Hall, M.D.

More information can be found in this Science Daily news release and in the book Trick or Treatment.
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