acupuncture

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NJRick

Level 3 Valued Member
I am considering acupuncture to relieve tightness and spasms in my lower back. Does anybody have any experiences with acupuncture?
 

Toby

Level 5 Valued Member
I go to Traditional Chinese Med clinic when I have Martial Arts related injuries. It helps the flow of blood and "Chi" locally

I am originally from Hong Kong and there're lots of good Tik Da ("Fall" and "Hit") practitioners. Broken arms/legs/dislocated joints/punches can be healed by hot herbal compression and other exotic stuff.

However, I think Osteopathy can do the job just fine.

 
 

Samuel

Level 2 Valued Member
At risk of offending people…

Acupuncture is bogus, based entirely in mythology, and without evidence either for the basis of the method or its efficacy.

See http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/116/6/1360 for further reading.
 

EHughes323

Level 5 Valued Member
I have heard nothing but great things from people who I have talked to who have received acupuncture. I would love to try it out for myself, but unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity.

My response to Samuel's comment would be this: just because there isn't a perfectly-formulated, double-blind study done on something, doesn't mean it's completely untrue, nonexistent, and/or useless. Just because something is not totally controllable, measurable, and observable, doesn't make it illegitimate. Just because a healing method doesn't involve taking a pill or receiving an operation, doesn't mean it won't work. Sam, would you approach a devout Christian, Muslim, or Jew and tell them that their religion is "bogus, based entirely in mythology, and without evidence either for the basis of the method or its efficacy."? Because although you may or may not think that way, the basis for these aforementioned religions is very, very real for the practitioners of these religions. Hopefully this didn't come off as snobby, as this is not my intention at all, just trying to respectfully expand horizons and get us thinking outside of the box.

NJRick, if it sounds appealing to you, and needles don't bother you much, then I would say go for it.
 

Jason Ginsberg

Level 4 Valued Member
NJRick, I'm a licensed acupuncturist and have been practicing in NYC for over a decade; I'd be happy to answer any questions you have; feel free to shoot me an email at jasonDOTginsbergDOTlac@gmailDOTcom (obviously, replace the DOTS with .). If you're in New Jersey (guessing from your screen name), let me know where, and I can either refer you to someone nearby, or ask friends of mine who practice in Jersey if they know anyone in your area.

Much like kettlebells, it is an extremely effective modality in the hands of a qualified, well trained practitioner. In the hands of someone who doesn't know what their doing, it is not nearly as effective, just as most of us have seen examples of truly awful kettlebell instruction on youtube etc.

 
 

Iron Tamer

Strongman, Speaker and Seeker of Truth
Do it. Acupuncture is something that has held the intention of an intelligent society of people for Several thousand years. My own personal experience with it has been excellent. The worst thing that will happen if you try it is nothing will change.
 

Zach Ganska

Level 3 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
NJRick-  If you do decide to try I would suggest finding a practitioner of "Five Elemental Acupuncture." I've done various forms and this is the best I've experienced by far.  As Jason said, the quality will depend on the practitioner's insight and experience.

 

@Samuel- it is quite effective.  Aside from personal testimonies there are documentaries I've seen of people getting brain surgery, heart surgery, and other procedures done where they are completely conscious and speaking to the surgeons while only using a fraction of the amount of analgesics during the operation.
 

Samuel

Level 2 Valued Member
Evan,

": just because there isn’t a perfectly-formulated, double-blind study done on something, doesn’t mean it’s completely untrue, "
Read the science. This isn't the absence of having been studied, this is many, many studies having been done on the topic, and the weight of evidence is that it is nothing. Again, read the science. Start with the article I linked.

"Just because something is not totally controllable, measurable, and observable, doesn’t make it illegitimate. "
If you're using acupuncture to treat some kind of medical condition, why wouldn't it be measurable and observable? And I would argue that, yes, if it's not measurable and observable then there is no reason to believe it exists. Without evidence, why believe?

"Just because a healing method doesn’t involve taking a pill or receiving an operation, doesn’t mean it won’t work."
Taking a pill or receiving an operation often doesn't work either. But this is a non sequitur. The reason acupuncture doesn't work isn't because it doesn't conform to what is typical of conventional medicine, the reason is that it doesn't work.

"would you approach a devout Christian, Muslim, or Jew and tell them that their religion is “bogus, based entirely in mythology, and without evidence either for the basis of the method or its efficacy.”? "
No need for the hypothetical - I have done so on many occasions.

"Because although you may or may not think that way, the basis for these aforementioned religions is very, very real for the practitioners of these religions."
Think about your example for a moment. You are comparing acupuncture to religion. By definition, not all religions can be correct. Most, if not all, of them are necessarily wrong. This is despite the fact that they are "very, very real for the practitioners". So what are you saying about acupuncture? That it's probably wrong, but we should accept it because they believe it? Please, take a moment and think about what you are saying.

 

Zach,

"@Samuel- it is quite effective.  Aside from personal testimonies there are documentaries I’ve seen of people getting brain surgery, heart surgery, and other procedures done where they are completely conscious and speaking to the surgeons while only using a fraction of the amount of analgesics during the operation."
And?

Also, for the record, "aside from personal testimonies" is a given. The plural of anecdote is not data. And a documentary isn't much better - it's essentially the equivalent of a case study, which is very interesting and valuable but not a strong form of evidence. Again, give a shot at reviewing the science. There are no shortage of studies on acupuncture. I posted that article above for a reason, not just for fun.
 

EHughes323

Level 5 Valued Member
Samuel,

First of all thank you for your response, I like that you actually took the time to break down and respond to each part of my response (not being sarcastic, just wanted to clarify). I have read the science, and there is evidence that acupuncture is even more effective than placebos for relieving pain. We also know that placebos are just as effective, if not more effective, than administering actual medication. But I guess if you just aren't a believer in energy work or meridians or anything of that nature, then there's not a whole lot I can say to sway you unless you open up to it and experience it for yourself.

However, what I will say is that just because you think something is bogus and won't work, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. In this case, if someone really believes strongly in acupuncture, and it makes sense and works well for them (which it does, for a lot of people), why try to deprive them of that if it has no bearing or effect on you? You may or may not agree with me when I say that personally if I ever had chronic pain or spasms and I needed a solution, I would much rather take my chances with something that is minimally invasive and drug-free like acupuncture than have to get surgery or take medicines that are loaded with crap that I don't want to be putting into my body, not to mention the potential side effects.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
Actually, there is fraud. The surgeries with no anesthesia are frauds usually, at least, the high profile ones I know. So, anything which seems extraordinary is usually suspicious.

Nobody credible recommends acupuncture as an anesthetic.

 
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
I agree with Iron Tamer, 1500 years, to be more precise. Traditional Chinese medicines are , recognized to work. Samuel, you are living in Australia, do you know that private health insurance, and the biggest one, Medibank, pay for the traditional chinese treatments ?acupuncture included ?  And that's right, HerrMannelig, acupuncture can't be used as anesthetic. Many tribal people all over the world are using natural recipes and they are working very well, but nothing written on " scientifics " books.

 

 
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
A thousand years means little.

Keep in mind that Galen was the primary source of medical theory in the West for over 1000 years as well. That just means any errors were retained for generations. For 1400 years, people believed his false understanding of the circulatory system, until someone figured out that the blood circulates through the body with the heart as a pump. For 1400 years, since a smart man dissected animals and developed medical theories, people did not know that simple fact of physiology. For 1400 years, people were doing it wrong. And that was based on dissection.

TCM is not based on dissection, but philosophy, an understanding of harmony within the body and Qi and meridians.

It has less credibility as Humorism, which was the foundation of much of medicine until the 1800s in the West! That was around longer than acupuncture probably. At least that is based on observable bodily fluids.

And of course, the Chinese believed that China was the centre of the world, and that the world was flat until European missionaries (Jesuits scientists were respected by the Chinese as good astronomers actually) informed that them the world was a sphere in the 17th century. The West knew this since the ancient Greeks (the main issue in the West is whether the antipodes were inhabited or not).

Also, Chinese people were crippling girls for life for the sake of beauty. And they were unable to deal with the infections which often arose from foot binding which killed many.

So, when it comes to medical knowledge, ancient knowledge is not a bonus.

And even for modern advances, it often refines and discards previous understandings and knowledge when it has been found to be lacking.
Many tribal people all over the world are using natural recipes and they are working very well, but nothing written on ” scientifics ” books.
To disregard scientific advances and knowledge for folk medicine is quite an interesting thing these days. Yes, tribal people have many interesting theories and remedies and treatments. Some of them work. However, NONE of them are replacing bodily organs, eradicating diseases, or reattaching limbs. They cannot deal with mental disorders either.

If most ancient aspects of China have been discarded for new things, there is little to think that medical science is one thing which should be retained.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
Whether one tries acupuncture or not is up to oneself. My grandfather claims to have benefited from it.

However, until acupuncture has a studied and accepted method of operation based on empirical evidence, one cannot disparage others for rejecting it.

Literally anything can be supported by the arguments for acupuncture here. Appeal to antiquity is being used selectively. Appeal to personal experience is being used selectively.

If principles are to be held, they should be consistent, otherwise, they are meaningless.
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
Yes, HerrMannelig, that's right for everything, some are working and some others are not...I agree.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
Traditional Chinese medicines are recognized to work.
And this is not true. TCM is not recognized to "work". While some aspects of it are possibly useful for very particular situations, as a whole, it is based on faulty premises and it is not scientific.

It also leads to abuse of animals and poaching of endangered species. Look at what they are doing to Asiatic black bears for instance.

While acupuncture is not generally harmful, it is over misrepresented and recommended for things which it has no chance of helping.

Also, trying to cure cholera and other dangerous ailments by injuring the skin is foolhardy, considering that cholera is potentially very deadly, and a very dangerous condition which kills many people in less developed countries, and proper hygiene, and understanding of the disease is essential, not some foolish adherence to a mistaken medical tradition.

 

 
 

kris

Level 3 Valued Member
Yes, HerrMannelig, that's right for everything, some are working and some others are not...I agree, but I don't disregard scientific advances and Medecines, as I work in Sports and Medecines. I worked in various country, and was always very curious of naturals medications used by indigenes, it is very interesting.
 

HerrMannelig

Level 3 Valued Member
You wrote "Traditional Chinese medicines are recognized to work", which is not the same as being curious about indigenous traditional medical traditions, or that some thing work and some do not.

A broken analog clock does not work, despite being correct at certain times. Traditional Chinese Medicine as a system does not work, so whatever elements which may be efficacious work for reasons other than the Traditional Chinese Medicine theories.
 

dmaxashman

Level 3 Valued Member
As long as we are throwing out personal opinions I'll add mine in.  I have tried acupuncture three times with various people and received no benefit.  For me, it was a waste of time.  Don't bother!

Samuel, excellent post IMO.

Constructive advice: try dry needling.  Now depending on what state you're in, this may be hard, since acupuncturists are playing politics with the government to make it illegal for physical therapists to perform dry needling.  It is quite easy to measure changes brought on by dry needling though.  Pick some movement pattern that is restricted, get some affected muscles dry needled, then test the movement pattern again.
 

Zach Ganska

Level 3 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Saying one has "tried acupuncture" is akin to saying one has done PT and therefore...... with no mention of what modalities the therapist uses.  Are there non-effective acupuncturists? Of course, just as there are practitioners of any other modality that are ineffective. There are many modalities that all can be described as "acupuncture" that I would not use, I was able to find a highly skilled Five Elemental practitioner and have seen great results.

Would I use his services for any medical issue? No, there are other modalities that I would use first.  For musculoskeletal problems I see an SFMA that uses MAT as his primary modality.

@Samuel- the article you posted is an "con editorial," not a peer-reviewed study.  That same issue of A & A has a "pro editorial" that you can read if you pay them money.
 
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