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March 15, 2004

The point of acupuncture

A controlled (though obviously not double-blind) clinical trial reveals that acupuncture can help to relieve chronic headaches (BBC News). It's good to see that alternative therapies are getting some scientific review, and it's certainly a cheaper (and arguably safer) means of treating the problem. The British Medical Association even suggests it be available under universal health care.

Personally, I think the question of whether acupuncture has any real benefit remains unproven: this could easily be the result of a placebo effect. This doesn't make it any less effective, of course. But I'd be more impressed if it showed benefit for a complaint which isn't purely self-reported and could be subject to directly measurable improvement.

Posted by david at March 15, 2004 04:59 PM | TrackBack
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It certainly makes you PRICK your ears up.

Posted by: David Smith on March 17, 2004 02:59 PM
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