Tell me about acupuncture…

Home Forum Chat Forum Tell me about acupuncture…

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 61 total)
  • Tell me about acupuncture…
  • Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    I’ve had a few sessions of acupuncture in conjunction with physio following a shoulder op. I personally felt that it made a big difference although hard to quantify as such. You really need to read up on how it works.

    DT78
    Member

    Does it hurt in any way?

    I don’t particularly enjoy needles, does it feel like lots of injections?!

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    I went but felt a bit of a prick. 😉

    ETA – the needles are really fine so you don’t feel them in the same way as a hypodermic, and it did (seem to) ease some back pain for me.

    uwe-r
    Member

    pure snake oil, does not stand up when any rational thought is applied to how it might work.

    lemonysam
    Member

    pure snake oil, does not stand up when any rational thought is applied to how it might work.

    Well except that it appears that it might.

    You really need to read up on how it works.

    “No one really knows”

    There, done.

    i got a 15 minute massage after mine, which i wasn’t expecting, is that par of the course?

    klumpy
    Member

    No effect beyond placebo has ever been measured in many many well run and controlled double blind trials, and there’s no physiological mechanism that could explain it. Complete woo.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    does not stand up when any rational thought is applied to how it might work.

    there’s no physiological mechanism that could explain it.

    Just because we don’t understand it / can’t explain it doesn’t mean we should dismiss it as woo. However,

    No effect beyond placebo has ever been measured in many many well run and controlled double blind trials

    …if it doesn’t stand up to well-run trials, then we can dismiss it as woo fairly readily.

    Fueled
    Member

    No effect beyond placebo has ever been measured in many many well run and controlled double blind trials, and there’s no physiological mechanism that could explain it. Complete woo.

    I dont doubt that acupuncture has no effect beyond placebo, but I would love to know how a double blind trial of it actually works. Surely it will be pretty obvious to both the patient and practitioner whether or not acupuncture is being administered?

    lemonysam
    Member

    Well except that it appears that it might.

    Actually I went and reread some things and that was overstating it a fair bit. The second part of my post stands.

    klumpy
    Member

    I dont doubt that acupuncture has no effect beyond placebo, but I would love to know how a double blind trial of it actually works. Surely it will be pretty obvious to both the patient and practitioner whether or not acupuncture is being administered?

    The people running the trial are blind to who gets treatment or placebo. The patient is blind as the control placebo is typically either needles that don’t pierce the skin, or needles shoved in at random rather than real (for want of a better word) acupuncture points. The practitioner will of course know what’s what!

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Fueled – Member
    …but I would love to know how a double blind trial of it actually works. Surely it will be pretty obvious to both the patient and practitioner whether or not acupuncture is being administered?

    get a bunch of people who suffer from migraines, athlete’s foot, IBS, whatever, divide them into 2 groups A & B, get 2 young doctors.

    tell doctor 1 to stick the patients in group A with a needle in the arm.

    tell doctor 2 to stick patients in group B with a needle in the leg.

    see if there’s any difference between groups A & B…

    (i might have simplified it a bit, but that’s the idea)

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    I had a chronic bowel condition and acupuncture had a discernible positive benefit.

    Note that NICE do recognise that acupuncture is effective for lower back pain and it is available on the NHS and it is proven to work for that particular issue so I see no reason why it should not work on others.

    Bear in mind the Chinese have been practicing it for thousands of years and just because it cannot be quantified or explained by out Western methods and science doesn’t mean it should be dismissed.

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Fueled
    Member

    Bear in mind the Chinese have been practicing it for thousands of years and just because it cannot be quantified or explained by out Western methods and science doesn’t mean it should be dismissed.

    (devils advocate:) Bear in mind that it cannot be quantified or explained by out Western methods and science, and just because the Chinese have been practicing it for thousands of years doesn’t mean it should be accepted. (Ask an asiatic black bear for an opinion if you like).

    I’m also now confused as to what constitutes a double-blind trial, might do some reading myself.

    DT78
    Member

    health benefit or snake oil?

    wondering if it could help me with my tight ITB (in conjunction with osteo and foam roller, not instead of)

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    No pain or discomfort. Nerve endings are stimulated to assist the healing process.

    As I said, my physio carried it out and he is properly accredited for physio.

    webwonkmtber
    Member

    Okay, this could be long. Apologies.

    1. There are good acupuncturists and bad acupuncturists, much like there are good and bad practitioners of Western medicine. Ask around for recommendations and don’t go straight to the first one you walk past/hear about. There are acupuncturists who specialize in particular areas, much like Western medicine.

    2. The Chinese are a canny bunch and have been using acupuncture for thousands of years – it is unlikely that it would have stood the test of time if it didn’t do something beneficial or have some level of efficacy. Furthermore there are acupuncture hospitals in China to this day where the primary care method is, wait for it, acunpuncture.

    3. The placebo effect. Maybes aye, maybes naw. Does it matter?

    4. Double blind studies and clinical evidence. Let’s be clear – double blind studies and clinical evidence are different things. Double blind studies reduce situations to singular points and therefore are about the lowest common denominator – in other words, a one size fits all approach. Which is ideal when you’re being bank rolled by the drug companies who want to make money. Acupuncture on the other is (at it’s best) a completely individualised treatment protocol and therefore means it is completely unsuited to the homogonisation of double blind studies.

    However, there is ample clinical evidence of individualised treatment of individual conditions having remarkably positive outcomes through the use of acupuncture.

    Furthermore, depending upon what sort of studies you are looking for there is an emergent body of evidence that is proving the effectiveness of acupuncture in certain circumstances (particularly women’s health issues…) beyond any question.

    4. Just to labout the point…blind acceptance of “science” and “double blind” studies is foolish and naive. Properly so. It is nothing more than pseudo intelectualism – which under scrutiny reveals itself to be dumb bollocks and snobbery. That’s not to say acupuncture shouldn’t be questioned…

    5. We don’t how it works. Does that matter? There are many things that we don’t know or can’t explain, yet are still accepted as scientific fact. One of the reasons that we don’t why it works is that the early acupuncturists who developed this stuff 2,000+ years ago wrote it down. And then some upstart Chinese Emporer hundreds of years later burned all of the books as part of a drive to make himself seem onmipotent to his subjects. Prick. So the classic texts are gone. However, I would simply ask, what was Western medicine like 2000+ years ago? Oh, that’s right…

    6. Big science is unlikely to make any money from acupuncture – unlike say making fat loss pills – so as the profit motive is missing the best thing to do is rubbish it.

    7. Acupuncture (at it’s best) should go for the root cause of an issue rather than simply treat or mask the symptom as most Western medicines do.

    8. Acupuncture at it’s best should be used when you are well and healthy, as opposed to “dis-eased” or suffering acute symptoms. Acupuncture at it’s best is a preventive practice, unlike the entire Western medical system which is predicated on curing rather than preventing (because of the profit motive). In the parlance of acupuncture, it is best used to tonify the body.

    9. Some points hurt, some don’t. It depends on you, the practitioner and the day of the week…inasmuch it is all back to that individualised approach that means each time you have acupuncture you are in an unique state and therefore each treatment is unique. How does Western medicine account for those reasonable differences?

    I could go on…

    Woo – my arse!

    kudos100
    Member

    I’ve had two lots.

    The first lot didn’t do much. The second lot made a massive difference.

    It is worth getting a recommendation as practitioners can vary hugely.

    I’m not convinced that it would be the most helpful thing for IT band syndrome as this is most commonly a structural issue. It may help to speed up the healing process and help you get back to running/cycling faster, but it is unlikely to get to the root cause of the problem.

    Eastern therapies are beginning to be more accepted by western medicine and about time.

    Edit: Great post webwonkmtber, sums up my thoughts pretty well.

    glupton1976
    Member

    Accupuncture – never had it so cant comment.
    Dry needling – best treatment I’ve ever had. Hurts like hell, but worked wonders on a chronic muscle injury I had.

    IvanDobski
    Member

    I know someone who had it done on a bad shoulder and they reckoned it was worthwhile. As a consequence they had their dog treated for a canine version of a bad shoulder and the dog appeared to have much better mobility afterwards.

    Thinking about it I’m not sure if the same person did both treatments…

    user-removed
    Member

    Worked for me* – radial nerve palsy = completely dead right arm – Western medicine had tried everything and given up. Went to see my dad’s ex wife, a Chinese lady working out of a clinic in Edinburgh.

    This was very much a last resort – I don’t even like the woman and believed all this stuff was mumbo-jumbo. After almost a year of having no movement at all in my arm, three weeks of treatment had me feeling tingles in my fingertips. After two months I had full mobility and feeling back. A few weeks later, muscle tone reappeared and very soon I was back to 100%.

    *Treatment also included vile potions and lots of deep tissue massage.

    Wheelie good
    Member

    DT78 I don’t like needles either, I wouldn’t say it hurts just a very odd sensation, had one lot in my shoulder, I was fine till the osteopath started turning them which made me almost pass out. Then had some on my finger after I broke it and it was great, really helped. So my advice don’t look and don’t forget to breathe!

    Fueled
    Member

    Webwonkmtber – good post and some extremely valid points about double blind trials not being a good test of effectiveness in this case, and big phama having no incentive to investigate properly.

    One question I do have relates to:

    7. Acupuncture (at it’s best) should go for the root cause of an issue rather than simply treat or mask the symptom as most Western medicines do.

    – Why do you suggest that acupuncture is curing the root cause rather than the symptoms when by your own admission nobody has a clue how it works or what it actually does to the body? I dont see any justification at all for this point.

    I also think that the fact that the Chineese have been doing it for a long time is an absolute zero-value argument. See religion, homeopathy, South Korean fan-death, slavery, and ownership of women as examples.

    webwonkmtber
    Member

    @ Fueled – you’ve got me with the religion point. Damn!

    As to the root cause point. Say I have a headache and I go to the doctor, they will ask some cursory lifestyle questions and then likely tell me take some paracetamol to dull the pain and go back in a month if I’m still getting lots of headaches.

    On the other hand, my acupuncturist will dig around a bit more and ask a greater level of lifestyle questions (in my experience) as well as do tongue and pulse diagnosis (which Western medicine also used to do, and which is starting to come back into vogue for some Western practitioners).

    In the course of investigating that I have a lot of headaches it may turn out that I have a problem with my hydration levels, so I may be told to drink water with a fresh lemon squeezed into it to aid my electrolyte balance (dealing with the symptom).

    However, the treatment I receive in terms of needles will be on the systemic cause of dehydration within my body (assuming I drink enough water – I do). In acupuncture terms disease is caused by an excess of heat or cold within the body (among other things), and in the case of dehydration headaches the needles will be used to tonify the system to deal with the excess of heat.

    Now, I accept that sounds hippy-esque, but in my individualised experience of individualised treatment it was enormously effective and I know that lemon water and acupuncture is more effective for the prevention and treatment of headaches than popping paracetamol in my case.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Fueled – Member

    I’m also now confused as to what constitutes a double-blind trial, might do some reading myself.

    neither the ‘doctor’ nor the ‘patient’ know if the treatment is real, or placebo.

    6. Big science is unlikely to make any money from acupuncture – unlike say making fat loss pills – so as the profit motive is missing the best thing to do is rubbish it.

    on the contrary, sticking needles in people is very cheap, the NHS loves it.

    webwonkmtber
    Member

    @ahwiles – it might be cheap for the NHS – but it might not be effective for the patient. What quality of training have those people had? A weekend school? That is one of the biggest issues with the wider acceptance of acupuncture – i.e. many of the practitioners are crap, and not because acupuncture is crap, but because they have simply done a weekend course.

    Someone very close to me is an acupuncturist by training (5 years to get a science degree and post grad at uni in Sydney), and they are tightly regulated out there. Here, I could call myself an acupuncturist on the basis of having had many needles over the years. The Aussie trained acupunturists could give many dr’s a run for their money on physiology, anatomy etc.

    Further on the profit point – much – if not most – medical science and research is funded by drug companies who do have a profit motive, which goes back to the heart of why much big science is dismissive of acupuncture.

    gwaelod
    Member

    n the course of investigating that I have a lot of headaches it may turn out that I have a problem with my hydration levels, so I may be told to drink water with a fresh lemon squeezed into it to aid my electrolyte balance (dealing with the symptom).

    However, the treatment I receive in terms of needles will be on the systemic cause of dehydration within my body (assuming I drink enough water – I do). In acupuncture terms disease is caused by an excess of heat or cold within the body (among other things), and in the case of dehydration headaches the needles will be used to tonify the system to deal with the excess of heat.

    Now, I accept that sounds hippy-esque, but in my individualised experience of individualised treatment it was enormously effective and I know that lemon water and acupuncture is more effective for the prevention and treatment of headaches than popping paracetamol in my case.

    Its like the enlightment never happened.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    webwonkmtber – Member

    @ahwiles – it might be cheap for the NHS – but it might not be effective for the patient. What quality of training have those people had? A weekend school? That is one of the biggest issues with the wider acceptance of acupuncture – i.e. many of the practitioners are crap, and not because acupuncture is crap, but because they have simply done a weekend course.

    are you asking me a question?

    it’s hard to tell…

    Now, I accept that sounds hippy-esque, but in my individualised experience of individualised treatment it was enormously effective and I know that lemon water and acupuncture is more effective for the prevention and treatment of headaches than popping paracetamol in my case.

    having a drink, and lying down for an hour or so made your headache feel better?

    i’m amazed.

    🙂

    Fueled
    Member

    I’m also now confused as to what constitutes a double-blind trial, might do some reading myself.

    neither the ‘doctor’ nor the ‘patient’ know if the treatment is real, or placebo.ahwiles – That was exactly my understanding too, hence me not understanding how a double blind trial could be applied to acupuncture. In the simplified example you gave above with the arm and leg, I can see how the doctor would not know where the patient’s problem is, but if the patient has a painful arm and needles are being stuck in his leg, surely he will know he is not getting the real deal?

    FWIW, I agree to some degree with webwonkler on the point that for the corporations with the $ to fund medical research, there is no incentive to study it since there is little potential to make money. On the flip side however, there is surely a Nobel prize awaiting the person who can explain the biological process through which it might work, and the fact that it hasn’t happend in 2000 years speaks volumes.

    However, the treatment I receive in terms of needles will be on the systemic cause of dehydration within my body (assuming I drink enough water – I do). In acupuncture terms disease is caused by an excess of heat or cold within the body (among other things), and in the case of dehydration headaches the needles will be used to tonify the system to deal with the excess of heat.

    Now, I accept that sounds hippy-esque…Yes, yes it does. I cannot extract any worthwhile content whatsoever from that paragraph, so dont have much to come back with, sorry.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Fueled – Member

    In the simplified example you gave above with the arm and leg, I can see how the doctor would not know where the patient’s problem is, but if the patient has a painful arm and needles are being stuck in his leg, surely he will know he is not getting the real deal?

    you’ve over-simplified acupuncture, a bit…

    (you don’t just stick needles in the bit that’s hurts – that would be terribly ‘western’, it’s a much more holistic approach, man)

    I agree to some degree with webwonkler on the point that for the corporations with the $ to fund medical research, there is no incentive to study it since there is little potential to make money.

    but there’s HUGE potential to save money, which is a bloody good reason to research the shit out of it.

    The NHS loves it, you don’t have to go very far before you’re having acupuncture offered on the NHS.

    i’ve been offered acupuncture, for my asthma, and migraines, i never even asked for it.

    Premier Icon mattclarkson
    Subscriber

    I think there are two types of acupuncture. The general well being/more eastern medicine and sports physio acupuncture. I have had acupuncture from my physio and I find it very effective, combined with sports massage. It’s basically a more intense version of a sports massage so yes it is painful, in a strange way. The needles are used to target deep seated trigger areas (basically knots, you can feel them yourself) and cause them to spasm until they relax… Apparently it doesnt work under anaesthetic so you need the pain reflex. I would recommend only getting it done by a trained sports physio rather than a general health acupuncture therapist, combined with other physio techniques.

    I have long standing ITB and knee pain and finally found a decent physio who could solve the problem by looking holistically at my body. Most of the problem lie in core strength for me but caused all sorts of muscle tiightness and flexibility issues. Also physio recommended insoles to improve arch support which removed the ITB pain within a month. From then it was focussed strength exercises, guided stretching and foam rolling.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I know that lemon water and acupuncture is more effective for the prevention and treatment of headaches than popping paracetamol in my case.

    Have you tried those two treatments in isolation? Acupuncture is an ancient practice, but I’ll wager that drinking because you’re thirsty is older.

    Fueled
    Member

    but there’s HUGE potential to save money

    Exactly: SAVE money. Hence if the NHS or non-profit organisations acting in the world’s best interests were doing all the original research, they might be interested. As it happens, it is drug corporations who do the research, and they want customers like the NHS to spend MORE money.

    1. Drug company ploughs $s into proving effectiveness of acupuncture
    2. ????
    3. Drug company sees a profit

    Can you fill in the blank? I dont see how it could be done.

    webwonkmtber
    Member

    Ha ha – the water thing…

    So, I suffered continual headaches and the doc simply recommended taking paracetamol – continually popping drugs doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    It appears my headaches were being caused by dehydration – despite me drinking upwards of 3 litres of water of per day.

    The issue being that my body wasn’t able to get the benefit of the water because of (in acu terms) an excess of heat which meant (in acu terms) it was being burnt off and effectively exacerbating the problem by becoming (in acu terms) steamlike within the body. Too much heat, man.

    So, the needles treated a condition called damp heat which has no Western equivalency, and within about four weeks my hydration levels normalised and my headaches ceased. While I peed a lot drinking that amount of water I did exhibit other symptoms typically aligned to dehydration.

    Of course it sounds weird because our western frame of reference doesn’t give us much to work with when told we have damp heat.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Fueled – Member

    …if the NHS or non-profit organisations acting in the world’s best interests were doing all the original research, they might be interested.

    they are interested, i’ve been offered acupuncture on the NHS

    …As it happens, it is drug corporations who do the research, and they want customers like the NHS to spend MORE money.

    1. Drug company ploughs $s into proving effectiveness of acupuncture
    2. ????
    3. Drug company sees a profit

    Can you fill in the blank? I dont see how it could be done.

    you could start by taking off your tin-foil hat…

    i’m not sure what your point is.

    Fueled
    Member

    you could start by taking off your tin-foil hat…

    i’m not sure what your point is. I dont think suggesting that a huge corporation will only spend money if there is some potential return makes me a part of the tin-foil hat wearing crowd. My only point was to agree with webwonkmtber that there is little incentive for big pharma to pay much attention to acupuncture.

    Of course it sounds weird because our western frame of reference doesn’t give us much to work with

    Agreed. And when nothing can be offered up that is evidence-based, I tend to be sceptical.

    “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”

    mogrim
    Member

    7. Acupuncture (at it’s best) should go for the root cause of an issue rather than simply treat or mask the symptom as most Western medicines do.

    That’s just bollocks, though. Antibiotics go to the root cause. Statistical analysis of deaths go to the root cause. Setting a broken leg goes to the root cause.

    mogrim
    Member

    Exactly: SAVE money. Hence if the NHS or non-profit organisations acting in the world’s best interests were doing all the original research, they might be interested. As it happens, it is drug corporations who do the research, and they want customers like the NHS to spend MORE money.
    1. Drug company ploughs $s into proving effectiveness of acupuncture
    2. ????
    3. Drug company sees a profit

    Can you fill in the blank? I dont see how it could be done.

    There’s loads of publically funded research, suggesting it’s all funded by private companies out to make a profit is incorrect.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Fueled – Member

    My only point was to agree with webwonkmtber that there is little incentive for big pharma to pay much attention to acupuncture.

    but there’s loads of incentive for ‘big medecine’ to love acupuncture – which it does.

    Fueled
    Member

    There’s loads of publically funded research, suggesting it’s all funded by private companies out to make a profit is incorrect.

    Fair enough, I have probably been wrong to ignore publically funded research. As I said though, my only point was to agree with webwonkmtber that there is little incentive for big pharma to pay much attention to acupuncture, so publically funded research was not relevant.

    but there’s loads of incentive for ‘big medecine’ to love acupuncture – which it does.

    Its my turn now: I’m not sure what your point is.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 61 total)

The topic ‘Tell me about acupuncture…’ is closed to new replies.