Friday, December 27, 2013

Acupuncture as pseudoscience

Instapundit links:

SHOCKER: New Study Exposes Acupuncture As Pseudoscience. I think the reason the Chinese government pushed it so hard under Mao was that it was cheap, not that it was effective. . . .

I might add: I suspect it is related to placebo/hypnosis, which does work in a subpopulation.

Why? Well, when we took a course on hypnosis in medicine, the teacher observed that

ONE: those getting open heart surgery with acupuncture anesthesia were sitting there smiling. Ordinary folks, even if pain free, would be hyperventillating, especially when they sawed the chest open. That suggested a deep trance state rather than pain relief.

Two: one patient asked to be taught self hypnosis for chronic pain and it didn't work for him...and that patient mentioned that acupuncture didn't work either.

A lot of this could be sorted out by using the eye roll test, which correlates with hypnotizability.

And if you have a high score, you are also easily talked into doing things, and easily suggestible.

So I suspect accupuncture will work for these people, (along with placebo and faith healing)...

On the other hand: Acupuncture works on some there might be a "counter irritant" type blockage of the pain signal in acupuncture similar to the reason that moxification/old fashioned mustard plasters etc. work.

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