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'Acupuncture is a placebo'? Are you kidding?

 -Errors and mistakes in acupuncture researches in Western countries

Dr. Martin Wang, MD. Ph.D.

Registered Acupuncturist

Edmonton, Canada

 

 

 

  1. Factors affecting acupuncture researches

Dr. Martin Wang

This article talks about factors influencing acupuncture researches. The most possible reasons for failure of acupuncture study, we believe, is due to poor healing effect in acupuncture group, rather than in sham acupuncture group, in the hands of acupuncture researches in the Western countries. The poor healing effect of acupuncture group again is mostly and at least, due to too long interval between treatment sessions and too low total number of sessions. It is also due to uncontrolled quality of personal skill of acupuncturists in the studies....

(PDF versions)
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Meeting2   2. Placebo, sham acupuncture and acupuncture researches

Dr. Martin Wang

For a long time, it is believed that the failure of acupuncture studies in the Western countries is due to poorly controlled sham acupuncture group. It is believed that non-inserted sham acupuncture should be more proper than inserted sham acupuncture... This might not be true. We found that at high acupuncture treatment frequency and high total number of treatment sessions, the healing effect of acupuncture group is higher and that of sham acupuncture remained low, so it tends to increase the difference between these two groups, to support the specific healing effect of acupuncture. 

(PDF version)

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Meeting3   3. Acupuncture is not a placebo

Dr. Martin Wang

Placebo effect requires the person is in clear mind and be able to react to the hint and the hinted result. There have been a lots of clinic studies from China showing that acupuncture can work in clinic conditions, in which the patients are without clear mind or no consciousness, such as in coma, shock, under anesthesia, persistent vegetative states, in delayed wake-up period after surgery, dementia. There are also many difference between the acupuncture effect and placebo effect. Therefore, it is not proper to conclude that acupuncture is a placebo effect. 

(PDF version)
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Meeting4   4. Acupuncture is not placebo - Errors and mistakes in acupuncture researches in Western countries  

Dr. Martin Wang

This is a comprehensive discussion based on the three articles above. We further discuss how researchers come to the suspect that acupuncture is a placebo effect, and how Chinese acupuncture society reacted to the results of acupuncture studies in the Western countries. 

(PDF version) (PDF Chinese Version)
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Meeting 5   5. What we can learn from acupuncture researchers in Western countries

Dr. Martin Wang

Scientific researchers should be open-minded. In acupuncture research, the researchers should not only understand the nature of, and specific requirement for acupuncture treatment, but also know what is down in similar research area, such as in physiotherapy, chiropractic and massage; know what has been done and how it has been done for acupuncture in China. Referring to other research area would also help to find our own possible errors, mistakes or weakness, in our own research area. If the researchers in the Western countries did so, the acupuncture research would be much earlier moved forward to study the mechanism of acupuncture, rather than still stick into the placebo mass and argue if acupuncture is placebo effect or not.

(PDF version)
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Meeting 6   6. Acupuncture styles or systems in current practice

Dr. Martin Wang

There are some different acupuncture systems in practice. The exist of such largely various acupuncture techniques gives more chance for acupuncturist to increase their clinic healing effect, while it create more challenge to basic research on acupuncture: any hypothesis needs not only able to explain one type of acupuncture but that of all types.... 

(Under preparation)
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Appendix 1. Letter to editors

 

Appendix 2. Comments and suggestions from readers