Puncturing the Acupuncture Myth

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Mutton (May 09, 2011, 20:41:13 PM):
IPS Acupuncture has been very helpful in the traetment of ailments found in pets (which blows the pseudo effect idea out of the water)

Can you recommend a source where one could verify this info?
ingwe (May 09, 2011, 22:58:33 PM):
My dog told me so! Yeah yeah yeah!! How many meridians does a dog have? A cat or a horse?
Faerie (May 10, 2011, 07:35:09 AM):
When the S/O buggered up the muscles in his back a month or so ago whilst plastering a wall, he received the "dry needling" treatment, now, the S/O is an agressive atheist and an outright skeptic, he came home from that session curdling with pain, but the next morning was good as new. Now, the analysis of the treatment leaves some open questions to us laymen, he was pounded, he was needled and then the muscles was plastered, there are three "treatments" here that could have been the healing catalist, which was it, or was it a combination? He is reluctant to refer to it as acupuncture (and I understand that entirely), he quizzed the doc about it before allowing the treatment, and in all honesty, I doubt he would have allowed the treatment if the doc couldnt base his reasons on solid scientific facts (the S/O does have medical background). Which leaves us exactly nowhere as to whether it really works or not.
Lurkie (May 10, 2011, 13:33:47 PM):
I not-so-recently read a book called "Trick or treatment - Alternative medicine on trial" written by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. The latter author is the world's first prof of complementary medicine and started off as a GP and then studied homeopathy. Ernst was enchanted by homeopathy and because he thought he was seeing results better than random, he started to do controlled studies. To his surprise and disappointment, the homeopathic rememdies in double blind placebo controlled trials were no better than the placebo. Ever since then he has been systematically testing the various flavours of CAM - acupuncture, iridology etc. etc.

Acupuncture is a tricky thing to test in double blind trials because it is virtually impossible for the practitioner to be fooled into thinking they are or aren't sticking a needle into someone. The patient, however, can be tricked to a certain extent. In the control studies they used short needles that only penetrated the skin, whereas the "real" studies used proper long needles.

I can't remember whether they tested dry needling versus traditional acupuncture using meridians, but the reults were that acupuncture was vaguely useful for certain types of pain and nausea, but the results were only slightly better than random.

Damn interesting book! http://www.trickortreatment.com/
Hermes (May 10, 2011, 13:46:43 PM):
In order to be licenced and legally practice acupuncture in South Africa, you need a 5 year BSC degree obtained from the university of the Western cape.

The Health Professions Council of SA sets the qualification criteria for the various health professions. They are:
Dental therapy & oral hygiene
Emergency care
Environmental health
Medical & dental
Medical technology
Occupational therapy, medical orthotics / prosthetics & arts therapy
Optometry & Dispensing Opticians
Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Biokinetics
Radiography & Clinical Technology
Speech, Language & Hearing Professions

The respective qualification criteria for each profession is given on the website.

The Allied Health Professionals Council is a highly controversial body that gives status to pseudo-scientific medical practices. They have their own registration requirements:
Qualifications required for registration in diagnostic allied health professions:

Chiropractic and Homeopathy: Five year full time Masters Degree as currently offered at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Durban University of Technology (DUT).

Homeopathy for Medical Doctors: Postgraduate Diploma in Homeopathy as currently offered at the South African Faculty of Homeopathy.

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Phytotherapy and Unani-Tibb: Three year Basic Medical Sciences with a two year specialisation in one of the above as currently offered at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

There are currently no accredited courses available in South Africa for Ayurveda and Osteopathy.

Qualifications required for registration in therapies:

Therapeutic Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Massage Therapy and Therapeutic Reflexology are 240 credit qualifications currently available at various accredited private providers, as listed under our Education page.

Splat is broadly right that you are required to study for five years at UWC in order to register as acupuncturist with the AHPC, though it involves a three year degree in basic medical sciences (which is not acupuncture), followed by what seems to be a two year diploma in acupuncture.

The problem here is that universities presenting such courses and an institution recognized by the state give these practices perceived legitimacy. That is why people like Splat are deceived into believing that
Acupuncture is a real science.
In truth, these practices have no credible scientific foundation and have never been empirically proven to cure.


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