Puncturing the Acupuncture Myth

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benguela (February 18, 2009, 16:01:24 PM):
I came across this publication from the World Health Organisation (WHO) which says acupuncture is the bees knees

Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trial

there is a positive review Acupuncture: Review And Analysis Of Reports On Controlled Clinical Trials

and below is an apparent extract from the book which claims acupuncture can effectively treat all sorts of stuff. Is this for real? Does the WHO have any credibility ???

The following is an excerpt from an official WHO document entitled “Acupuncture:
Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials.” Compiled by John A.
Amaro D.C., FIAMA, Dipl.Ac, L.Ac.
Email: DrAmaro@IAMA.edu
Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture
The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials
reported in the recent literature can be classified into four categories as shown below.
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved—through
controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Tennis elbow
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture
has been shown but for which further proof is needed:
Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
Acne vulgaris
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
Bell’s palsy
Bronchial asthma
Cancer pain
Cardiac neurosis
Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
Competition stress syndrome
Craniocerebral injury, closed
Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
Female infertility
Facial spasm
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Gastrokinetic disturbance
Gouty arthritis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
Labour pain
Lactation, deficiency
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
Ménière disease
Neuralgia, post-herpetic
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
Pain due to endoscopic examination
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
Postextubation in children
Postoperative convalescence
Premenstrual syndrome
Prostatitis, chronic
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Raynaud syndrome, primary
Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine, traumatic
Sialism, drug-induced
Sjögren syndrome
Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
Spine pain, acute
Stiff neck
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Tietze syndrome
Tobacco dependence
Tourette syndrome
Ulcerative colitis, chronic
Vascular dementia
Whooping cough (pertussis)
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials
reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying
because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:
Choroidopathy, central serous
Colour blindness
Irritable colon syndrome
Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
Small airway obstruction
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the
practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring
Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Convulsions in infants
Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
Diarrhoea in infants and young children
Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar
Rigil Kent (February 18, 2009, 20:44:00 PM):
May I coin a phrase? A wango list.


Wandapec (February 18, 2009, 21:38:59 PM):
That's a good one! :D
benguela (February 19, 2009, 08:51:36 AM):
May I coin a phrase? A wango list.

yea but comming from the WHO? wtf!?
Spike (February 24, 2009, 22:51:30 PM):
'My' Physio practice dry needling but calls it acupuncture.

When I was studying pharmacy during the early 90's, we did a couple of lectures in anatomy on the modern type of acupuncture i.e. connecting the needles with an electric charge etc. The whole idea was that it affected the levels of Prostaglandins and Cyclooxygenase to produce and anti-inflammatory or analgesic effect. The effect of the change in levels of Prostaglandins and Cyclooxygenase is well known and has led to the development of some of the worlds best and frequently used anti-inflammatories and analgesics.

After a couple of sessions, I got round to asking her why she was using this method. Her reply was that "amongst others, the nett effect of the needle entering the muscle increases blood flow (and healing) to that area". She also told me that 'acupuncture' increased energy levels in some patients, and drowsiness or calmness in others.

Now here's the thing: Every time after dry-needling I had to go to the nearest Mugg & Bean (thanks to his noodliness only about 50m away) to drink a cup of caffeinated coffee just to be able to get on the road! I do not drink caffeine if I can avoid it as it I am very sensitive to its effects (i.e. 3 minutes flat and no waiter wants to serve my table).

I cannot however state unequivocally that dry needling had a positive effect on the specific affected muscle.


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