Acupuncture Study of Studies


MTS Alumni
Mar 15, 2006
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Interesting read. I have yet to estudy the actual abstract yet, but based on the commentary, I have to (for now) agree with it. I do wonder however how many of the adverse affects would have been prevented with proper sterile technique. I really don't see how it would be detrimental if those were used. Not good maybe, but not bad either. Nice to see some asian (Korean) scientists were involved in it.


Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Jan 8, 2006
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North American Tectonic Plate
I was not going to post anything here in an attempt to avoid the usual suspects in posts like this but what the heck

All I will say and I shall say no more on the topic after this

My wife is a traditional Chinese medical doctor trained in China and was the acting head of acupuncture department of a rather prestigious hospital in China before coming here. She also was training western doctors in acupuncture for the World Health Organization in China before coming to this country.

She was trained in and uses proper sterile procedure and uses it and in her over 20 years has not killed any patients nor given a patient an infection. actually she has helped many and cured some too.

She will tell you that TCM is not magic as well as tell her patients when they need to go see a western MD, there are things that western medicine take better care of than Chinese medicine and there are things Chinese medicine takes better care of than western medicine.

She will tell you that if acupuncture is done incorrectly it can do serious damage she will also tell you the exact same thing about Chinese herbal medication. She was trained in the top university in China in TCM and at that university they stressed the necessity for PROPERLY trained TCM Doctors (Also note In China she is an MD). In the university they trained all students that there are points you need to use for specific problems and points you should never use as well as points that should not be used on certain patients (think pregnant women)

She is rather appalled at the state of TCM in this country and cannot believe what is being passed off as TCM and acupuncture. She cannot believe the little amount of training that a typical western MD needs to take to practice acupuncture and although she does feel that many westerners who are practicing TCM in this country are very serious about what they are practicing they are not trained properly here in the States. They simply do not have the opportunity that she had in China. She had to learn Western Medicine as well as Eastern Medicine and the also had to go through an internship and residency in a hospital that included ER and OR work. Also many of the books on TCM are not translated into simplified Chinese and these books are not translated into English either. She had to learn how to read traditional Chinese as part of her college curriculum.

As a medical school professor said, that invites her every year to give a talk to his students, Wow, you are required to take more course than we are.

My last statements is be very wary of any acupuncturist here that claims to be trained in China, first asked trained in what, they ask where you trained and then ask for how long.

I meant an acupuncturist here that was claiming “Trained in China” and that is all most westerners need to see. But if you looked a bit deeper you would discover that this person, although trained in China…was trained as an accountant in China…they learned acupuncture in the USA.

My taiji sifu isa traditinally trained acupuncturist and he will tell you pretty much the same exact things my wife would tell you about acupuncture...oh and he is a western medical doctor too.

Beyond this I will give you my wife's likely response to all this… whatever.
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Bill Mattocks

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Feb 8, 2009
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I don't know.

I can say this. As a diabetic, I take Metformin. It helps my body control blood sugar in ways that are not yet completely understood by science, although it is proven and indeed is the most popular diabetes medication in the world. It's cheap and efficacious.

And it comes to us from French herbal medicine, where the Lilac was observed to help people with diabetes.

Aspirin, I am told, comes from a folk remedy for headaches as well. Chinese herbal medicine? I don't see any reason why there would not be scientific reasons, discovered or not, for the efficacy of many of these herbal cures.

That doesn't mean I would go taking things I read about online willy-nilly. I think a qualified doctor should be involved - sounds like the Chinese have such doctors.

Empty Hands

Senior Master
Feb 7, 2007
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Jupiter, FL
Pneumothorax? Seriously? Was someone performing acupuncture with a steak knife?

From the studies I have seen, acupuncture can be efficacious, although not because of the reasons the practicioners think, because random placement is just as efficacious as proper placement. So it's probably an elaboration of the placebo effect, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing - placebo can actually be a very powerful treatment that pharmaceuticals have trouble competing with, depending on the context. Pain is one such context with a very high placebo effect. Thus, acupuncture is probably a pretty safe, relatively cheap, and easy way to get some pain relief. It isn't manipulating your meridians or your chi, but if you feel better, I don't think you really care.