Is anyone here a fan of any of these (acupuncture, homeopathy, etc) or think there is a single one that holds any merit?    My SIL is a Reiki practitioner.    I can all but not laugh out loud when she shows me her hand waving and listen to the bull shit about the energy around us and how one can learn to manipulate it with some hand motions and thoughts and symbols.  I  cannot believe she charges people for this.    She's really a nice person, albeit gullible and truly doesn't feel she's ripping anybody off.   She really and truly believes in this crap with all her heart.    And she paid good money to take classes, so she's victim of the rip off as well and I feel bad telling her how I think she's a fool.

It's a bit hard to be polite and not laugh in her face, but she knows how I feel and just thinks I'm the misguided one, lol.   Still, its amazing people can go for this junk science. 

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In my previous post, I was referring to clinical trials that have shown the ineffectiveness of acupuncture. There is an example here:
http://www.rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/5/801
Shine Ellens, your post prompted me to do a bit more research on the subject. Based on the results of the first Google page for "acupuncture clinical trials", it seems that the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture is more mixed than I thought. Here is a synthesis about the possible effects of acupuncture for pain:
http://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.a3115.abstract
I also agree than some practitioners are less scrupulous in their claims than others.
I have good understanding of what medical science did to me. It bothers me very much to not understand how acupuncture might work.

More specifically: how needles that are barely inserted in to the skin, can "connect" either directly or via the brain, to such "deep" areas where some pain is felt, specially if the treatment appears to bypass the nerves.
In martial arts we would occasionally work with nerve points. If I can momentarily take out the motor functions in your legs by lightly pressuring just the right nerve in your hand, I have little trouble extending that to "Hitting just the right nerve X helps alleviate the spasms/contractions/pain in body part Y."

In fact, long before I'd ever heard of such a concept, being driven insane with extreme, permanent pain from a nerve injury when I was a teen, I inadvertently found a pressure point under the front of my collarbone that would calm the pain in my upper back and shoulder.

The downside however is with any unregulated industry. Any snake oil salesman can say they do acupuncture. Whether or not they're doing it right or got proper training is a crapshoot. Also, what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Everyone's reflexes, ticklish spots, and injuries are a little different. Even in my very western-medicine physical therapy for an injured knee, they are quick to say that the exercise that works best for one person might not be the one that works best for me, and vice versa.
The downside however is with any unregulated industry. Any snake oil salesman can say they do acupuncture. Whether or not they're doing it right or got proper training

How do you think acupuncture could be regulated, since, even when it might work, the "right" way to do it is based on tradition not evidence?
How do you think acupuncture could be regulated, since, even when it might work, the "right" way to do it is based on tradition not evidence?


Don't know. Will leave that to people in other fields. Honestly, I've never been to an acupuncturist, have never looked into if/how it supposedly works. I was just addressing the general concept of nerve manipulation being not so far a stretch.

Again, my mantra is that when we cast too general a blanket of dismissal, (e.g.; "All things ancient/traditional are ineffective ... most herbal remedies are ineffective, therefore all of them are ... I don't understand how it works, therefore it can't work..." we might miss something genuine lurking under that large pile of woo.
It makes complete sense to me that a short circuit or crosstalk might happen at the level of the lower brain between regions that are near each other s a result of a strong and precise stimuli, and that an empirical science of these possible connections might me developped.

The level of precision and depth of coverage of Accupuncture (it's great age as a practice might be a factor) are to say the least astounding - and I'm not even talking about the healing claims. And since apparently no nerves are being touched by the needles, I wonder what system carries this intricate information.

Fascinating question, Michel.
Do you think that research should concentrate on looking for statistical evidence, or on looking for a process?
I'm much more interested in the systemic implications.
Is there a correlation somewhere in the brain between the lower lobe of the ear and the face for instance.
Homepathy is quite popular since old time. I think pagans and religions who believe in natural forces tend to think about these medicine a lot.
so what?
So... he's making an observation. And a rather accurate one imho. Neo-pagans indeed seem to fall into the trap of "ancient-wisdom" automatically = true.
I think one of the reasons for that is that some of the ancient wisdom still holds true. They hang on to that fact and all the rest they imagine based on it, howerver wild or improbable, must then be true too.

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