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 animals...so 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.