View Full Version : He Says Acupuncture Is Quackery.

11-25-2001, 07:02 AM
Acupuncture (http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html)

11-26-2001, 03:17 AM
He isn't the first, and he certainly won't be the last.

Many of his colleagues in the medical profession would probably disagree though - acupuncture is gaining a lot of mainstream acceptance.

You're fu(king up my chi

Kung Lek
11-26-2001, 07:12 AM
He makes a lot of valid points and even misses the point in some places.

I think he has definitely done his homework thoroughly, but I also see that he is operating from a particularly westren doctor paradigm and I sense that he "fears" that which he cannot understand through the triviality of measurement.

I wonder if he goes to church? hahahahahaha, what solice is gained in that activity?

it is true that the relief of any disease is first through the psychosymatic quelling and then comes all other therapies.

Surgery is the most advanced form of any medical practice with drug therapy both western and eastern having the most nebulous attributes. so taking pills for headaches has no more validity than reducing coffee intake and calming the mind every day for a few minutes.

"physician heal thyself" comes to mind.

acupuncture has helped me, as well rest, healthy diet and the attempt to have a good regimen of exercise.

so, I'll sit on the fence on this one, there's just as many in the dark westren docs that is a for sure! Mind you, I do believe that eastern medicinal practices need to face the stringent tests that western medicine faces.

There are far to many herbalists and acupuncturists who do not have the time of study or the depth of knowledge to be practicing medicine. I really do believe that eastern or western , you need a licence and that licence must adhere to standards determined by applied knowledge. This is where the western medical socities fail to act. They should act on this and make it licensable. It is the only way to filter out the witch doctors and hocus pocus holistic healers. Make them accountable for the therapies they prescribe.


Kung Lek

Martial Arts Links (http://members.home.net/kunglek)

11-26-2001, 07:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Surgery is the most advanced form of any medical practice with drug therapy both western and eastern having the most nebulous attributes. [/quote]

There is no doubt it has become a very advanced field. However, if you could fix a problem without cutting someone open to do it, wouldn't that be considered more advanced?

I agree that TCM practitioners need to be regulated. In fact, I think most genuine TCM practitioners would probably agree with you. However, the problem lies in who will do the regulating.

Then you end up in the lovely situation of one group or the other lobbying the regulatory body in order to tighten or loosen the regulations.

It is a big can of worms.

Western medicine is pretty well regulated (here it is anyway) however it is also possible for the regulation to fail. You still get plenty of shonky MDs despite the regulation. What is worse is when someone takes action on a shonky MD, the medical profession tends to close ranks to protect their colleague.

As I said, it is a pretty big can of worms. I personally don't think it will ever be resolved.

You're fu(king up my chi

11-26-2001, 09:53 PM
men such as these are like angry adolescent boys who rebel against their elders for believing in ideals foreign to youth.

Where is the page for malpractice suits against western doctors?

older does not always mean better, but it does indicate a system which has endured the test of time.

The western doctor however is perfectly content to try new and experimental treatment and even surgeries on you and your loved ones just to see if they will work.

I always feel worse after going to a western doctor, and better after TCM.

that's all I need to knows

Repulsive Monkey
11-27-2001, 12:22 AM
I would really like to get hold of the source of this info. I havent read it all in its entireity but there are too many gaping holes and innaccuracies in it to take it seriously. I laughed even with just a general view on it. There are so many absolute lies in what it says. This is a pathetic attempt from someone who knows precious little about the practice. I must disagree this person who wrote it certainly has NOT done their homework well at all.

Kung Lek
11-28-2001, 12:04 AM
repulsive and grounded, are you guys doctors?
You are reacting in a highly emotional way like something "sacred" to you has been shattered.

What is written there is quite matter of fact and frankly, I don't agree with the non-openess of the study, but he has done a bonafide study and I have read parralel studies to this on many occasions and in fact have met quacks on both sides of the medicinal coin, but far more of them are on the hgolistic side of things.

Did you actually read through this writing or did you just react as soon as it conflicted with your views?

What he says for the most part is scientifically qualified and quantified due to the empirical data available on these matters.

Preventitive medicine is for chronic ailments and 90% of the time is quite useless for acute disorders that has been proven time and again in both the east and the west.

Your average Beijing hospital room has plenty of western medicinal practices going on in it.
The advantage they have in the east is the depth of knowledge regarding the application of traditional medicines. As compared to the west where these concepts have only been around for a relatively short period of time.

If you ever suffer a heart attack, or cardio pulminary failure, I don't think you will be going on about foolish western doctors for too long.


Kung Lek

Martial Arts Links (http://members.home.net/kunglek)

Repulsive Monkey
11-28-2001, 07:58 PM
Yes I have read through it now, and A) although I am studying to practice I am still not that biased enough to question things taught me and accepted others aspects easily. B) He has in in his study misunderstood and therefore made some blazing mistakes, and presented some innaccurate information.

There you go.I am a ery reasonsbale person and Acupuncture is not my God. However if someone of his standing is publicising his findings I do not think it to be too out of line of me to recognise the inccorect statements he making. He is advertising his point of view based upon mstakes (many of them too) and innaccuracy, my fears are not of being hurt by his words but for others to believe what he sayd becasue of his position and thus believing in his data.

David Jamieson
12-12-2001, 12:50 PM
-quote: "Originally there were 365 such points, corresponding to the days of the year, but the number identified by proponents during the past 2,000 years has increased gradually to about 2,000 [1]"
end quote-

This is the only innaccuracy I found in the document posted via the link given. I don't think that there were 365 original points as they did not pertain to the days of the year and in Chinese terms, the solar years was not used whereas the lunar year(s) is/are.

As for the rest, he's talking about other studies that have taken place under conditions based in pretty straight up science.

Personally, I've had acupuncture treatment from a few sources and it was all good and helped me get through what i was going through.

I still question the foundations of herbology in the instances of "blended prescriptions" based on eastern medicinal practices.

Many of these herbs are inneffective, and some actually give rise to unpleasant side effects and in some cases whole new symptoms that were non-existant before the ingestion of them.

To drink a cup of green tea to calm oneself is one thing, to mix a bunch of herbs, roots, flowers, seeds and so on to target a given disease based upon a diagnosis founded in the many intangibles that are inherent to the eastern medicinal practices is another thing entirely.

Like I said, the relief of the psychosematic aspect of any disease of symptoms of disease is half the battle.
the body by itself can combat a huge array of maladies and is for the most part self repairing.

acute maladies and symptoms cannot for the most part be treated by herbs that take care of chronic afflictions.

a broken bone requires a cast, a painkiller and rest. That is acute.

frayed nerves from stress of work is chronic and can be remedied through placebos and exercises and meditation for the most part.

Anyway, as far as herbology goes, I am not 100% convinced by it, there are many charlatans in the field of holistic medicine to begin with and therefore it is better (in my opinion) to be very careful about them.

I am just as careful with western medicine prescriptions, but more often than not, they have worked much better for me than herbal remedies.


12-12-2001, 04:48 PM
Eastern medicine works on a very spiritual level.

Western Medicine cures the rippened effects of these spiritual causes.

I think many Western doctors and Eastern doctors are beginning to understand how powerful it is to combine their efforts together, and work together. I think the biggest consistency here is the wish to heal sickness, and that, as in the ad, is priceless.

12-12-2001, 06:37 PM
So even though a lot of modern pharmeceuticals are based on traditional herbal remedies, the herbal remedies are now relegated to being useless, or at best placebos?

I agree that there are a lot of quacks out there however that does not invalidate the traditional ways of medicine.

Each to their own I guess.

David Jamieson
12-13-2001, 09:53 AM
joedoe, modern pharmeceuticals are not based in hgerbology at all.

it's an utterly and completely different methodology that is applied.
terminilogical in nature with the extraction and synthesis of those properties that give any substance efficacy in medicinal use.

herbology leaves a much wider margin for error or for one aspect being countered by anopther within the whole substance itself. or while the substance may contain the aspect you require, it may also contain an aspect that is detrimental to you.

would you rather eat an aspirin or chew on willow bark?
while the willow bark contains the properties of the aspirin, it also contains many other substances and as well will not relieve you pain as expeditiously or as effectively as the extracted and synthesized tablet would.

even in the eats, it is recognized that pills are favoured delivery methods of drugs.
To me, extractions, draughts, concoctions and deconcoctions are effective delivery methods of herbal remedies, but the knowledge must absolutely be precise for the preparation of the delivery vehicle.

In many cases it is not. In many cases it is guess work.
Western medicine has strived to remove the guesswork from the prescribed drug therapies and overall has made huge strides towards this end, it cannot be denied.

preventitive therapy is also a good thing, but in the west, the paradigm is to seek a remedy when the condition has become acute. at this point preventative therapy is useless. much of herbology is preventive or for chronic ailment treatment. there is a far greater percentage of acute treament available in western medicine.

and finally, I have to say. I am not against traditional medicine in any way shape or form, in fact I am supportive of further research and exploration. I do think that control measures need to be in place and that practitioners must be accountable for their practice Fully as are western practitioners of medicine.

If you are not accountable then there is no consequence to your blunders. THis is not a good scenario and it leaves the whole genre open to people who "Think" they understand when in fact they do not because they lack the pertinent knowledge to understand fully what they are applying or giving to another person.

This is evident in the results, medicine should NOT be a shell game, ever, west or east.

12-13-2001, 07:25 PM
I think that a lot of herbalists would disagree on the link between modern pharmaceuticals and traditional herbal treatment.

I agree with you on the requirement to regulate the practice of traditional medicine. However, that is a big can of worms that I honestly cannot be bothered debating.

Fish of Fury
12-13-2001, 07:32 PM
"modern pharmeceuticals are not based in hgerbology at all"

depends what you mean, herbs are still being studied to find new active ingredients to make new drugs.
until very recently (possibly still currently, i'm not sure) Digoxin was still actually extracted from foxglove, not manufactured etc.
different "philosophy" yes...but many doctors are starting to realise that to totally remove philosophy from medicine (as has been largely done in the past) leaves medicine lacking

"herbology leaves a much wider margin for error or for one aspect being countered by anopther within the whole substance itself"

can certainly be true, but the chemical complexity of herbs can also give them a great advantage over isolated constituents/pharmacueticals (see below)

"while the willow bark contains the properties of the aspirin, it also contains many other substances and as well will not relieve you pain as expeditiously or as effectively as the extracted and synthesized tablet would."

actually the reason willow bark works slower is that it needs to get to the large intestine before the beta linked glycosides can be broken down by gut flora enzymes (into absorbable "salicylates")...it's not the "other" substances in the herb.
in fact salicylates are an interesting example, because aspirin can cause gastric irritation and bleeding (and this causes numerous deaths each year),
but the herb Meadowsweet (which contains a high level of salicylic glycosides and was actually used a source in the early days of aspirin manufacture) does not cause gastric irritation and in fact is traditionally used to TREAT gastric irritation, hyperchlorhydria conditions etc.
ie. meadowsweet is a good example of the chemical complexity of a herb giving it a greater benefit than an isolated constituent

I'm not saying aspirin and other drugs aren't useful (they are), just that herbal medicine (and other complementary therapies) has a lot to offer...NOT just as a source of pharmacueticals but also as a paradigm of understanding health and healing.
there are things the allopathic mainstream largely still refuses to accept, to the detriment of health care at large

i also agree that all doctors/herbalists etc must be responsible for what they do.
but i think it's important to note there's a big difference between regulation, and the assimilation of herbs etc. into allopathy at the expense of the traditional paradigm
Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

also, despite what that site may say, medicine is not above using dodgy tactics to "damage the competition"

01-02-2002, 08:52 PM
different people use different maps to describe the same fundamental "reality" (for lack of a better word, i chose this one).

western medicine and oriental medicine are two examples of this. neither is necessarily the more 'valid', but each has it's inherant strengths and weaknesses.

i used to shout 'foolish western doctors' all the time, once i discovered there were alternatives to being cut and popping pills for every problem. now i take a more balanced view (at least i hope so?), and see the usefulness in both.

i'm sure there are other sides to this as well, it's not so much '2 sides to the coin' as much as 'many pieces in the puzzle', some of which may not be discovered or developed yet.

people often fear or try to debunk that which they do not understand, or that which does not fit easily into their worldview. who can argue with Kung Lek's claim that he was bettered by acupuncture? also, who can argue with someone who says they were healed by other means?

the facts remain; people are healed by many various methods and one of the most powerful healing forces of all seems to me to be the human body and mind. all forms of healing i've encountered are best used to augment the natural healing power of the body and anything that does this is likely to have positive results. :)

01-09-2002, 07:53 AM
Out of curiosity, what's an objective qualifier for distinguishing between 'herbal' and 'pharmaceutical'? ;)

P.S. Yes, the original article is ridiculous.

Former castleva
09-30-2003, 07:02 PM
"P.S. Yes, the original article is ridiculous."

Why is that?

Repulsive Monkey
10-01-2003, 08:18 AM
I think mostly because it is totally riddled with things just aren't true, and so his lack of decent research on the subject has lead to him potraying Acupuncture as something that purely is bollox.
Never would an Acupunturist inject sterile water or homeopathic remedies, never has acupuncture believed that initially that there was 365 points to match the days in the year , this is just crap information that I can only guess he got out of some cheap hippy, new age paperback.
Its also the blaring generalisations which he uses as fortified fact that astonishes me e.g. "The quality of TCM research in China has been extremely poor", I would love to know where he gleaned such erroneous garbage from.
The whole manner that this diatribe has been presented is so biased that there never was any intention in this persons mind to try and give accurate information so as to allow Acupuncture to be portrayed in a balanced way.

On the whole text like that should be quite happily disposed of as it seeks to purely be destructive for the reasons of baised supremacy of one idea over another. In this life not everything has to fall onto a linear top ten list with number one being the best and 10 needs to be avoided. However this is the nature immature and decreptid thinking.

12-16-2003, 08:28 PM
Yahoo! News Tue, Dec 16, 2003

Acupuncture May Ease Cancer Pain
Mon Dec 15, 7:00 PM ET

Cancer patients who aren't getting enough pain control from conventional medications may be able to find relief in the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture. A recent study found that this complementary therapy reduced pain by 36% in people with advanced cancer.

Acupuncture has been used in the United States for many years as a treatment for chronic muscle pain. Only recently, however, has it been tried as a remedy for other types of pain, including cancer pain, said Gary Deng, MD, PhD. Deng is an internist who specializes in integrative (complementary) medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The center has a large service that provides complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, reflexology, nutritional and herbal counseling, and music therapy to cancer patients and other community members.

The new findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Vol. 21, No. 22: 4120-4126), add to a growing body of evidence that acupuncture can be effective against cancer pain.

Needles in the Ear

The French researchers studied 79 people at a clinic who had been treated unsuccessfully with conventional drugs for cancer-related pain. After rating their pain in a questionnaire, the patients were divided into three groups: one that received acupuncture with needles inserted into valid acupuncture points (points where an electrical signal was detected) on the ear; one that had needles inserted into placebo points on the ear (points not considered legitimate acupuncture points); and one that had steel beads applied to placebo points on the ear with a sticky patch.

The patients were instructed to leave the tiny needles and steel beads in place until they fell out on their own. (Typically, in the US, needles would be removed after 20-40 minutes, and are not usually inserted in the ear.) After 1 month, the patients returned and rated their pain again.

All the participants reported similar levels of pain before the study began. But at the second evaluation, the people who got true acupuncture ? needles in acupuncture points - reported less pain than people in the other two groups. After 2 months, people in the acupuncture group reported a 36% drop in their pain level, while people in the placebo group reported only a 2% decline.

Acupuncture Not for Everyone

"For people who have acute pain, or just started having pain, the typical treatment is NSAIDs [non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs] or narcotics, and they might respond very well to that," he said. "But for people with intractable pain, when conventional treatment isn't producing results, it's reasonable to try acupuncture from a trained, experienced practitioner," Deng said.

But not all cancer patients are suitable candidates for acupuncture, he warned. People who have a low white blood cell count (neutropenia) or low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) are at greater risk of infection and bleeding. Likewise, a patient with lymphedema (a swelling of the arms or legs) might have a higher risk of infection if acupuncture is performed on the swollen limb.

Experience Counts

Cancer patients who are considering acupuncture should talk with their doctor to make sure it's a safe option for them, Deng said. And finding an experienced acupuncturist is key.

Lily Zhang, MS, who manages the acupuncture program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, agreed.

"It's important that the acupuncturist should have experience working (news - web sites) with patients who have cancer, or at least experience working with patients in the hospital," she said. "The acupuncturist should have a close relationship with the oncologist so if there are any concerns, the acupuncturist can communicate it to the doctor right away."

It's a good idea, Zhang added, for a cancer patient to bring treatment notes to acupuncture therapy, so the acupuncturist can see what type of treatment the patient is receiving and adjust the acupuncture accordingly.

12-26-2003, 06:53 AM
I agree, this guy tries to appear objective but his own framework of understanding is too stilted. Just the fact that he does not mention that most of the organ punctures in the United States are the result of poorly trained M.D.s trying to do acupuncture says a lot about his belief that acupuncturists should have medical training.

Interestingly enough, while most acupuncturists do not have MDs, most curriculae in the United States have significant portions dedicated to Western Medicine-- while programs in Asia are even more stringent.

From the guy's attitude, I would guess that he does not see patients himself because the demogoguery of his attitude would be sure to turn off a lot of people...

01-01-2004, 06:44 PM
acupuncture definitely hasa place ine the healing systems. No healing system is a cure all. I would go only to an experienced and well trained acupuncturist.
I would not go to an MD or a chiropractor doing acupuncture.
Years ago an acupuncturist was not able to help me with my hearing loss-though there was a tempoary improvement. Could be that I should have finished the recommended number of treatments which I didnt..
My current acupuncturist has helped me and others substatntially.
He is very good in both diagnosis and treatment. He also was a faculty member in Tianjin and his training included western med courses as well in the first several years.
I have osteoarthritis in my left knee and narrowing of bone space
in the knee joint and bone spurs to boot. Given my love of CMA- an artificial knee is out of the question-it would put an end to stancing, kicking , footwork abd everything else except walking pain free. (An orthopedist was shocked at what I could do with that knee- in spite of the xrays)
Ibuprofen does zilch for me. But accupuncture treatments keeps my pain at bay and keeps me efficient and mobile and effective in martial arts.
There are good and bad MDs- a bad one can kill you. And there are good and bad acupuncturists.
BTW my acupumcturist is an herbalist too and has helped people who I have known.
Aletrnative medicine including good acupuncture is definitely here to stay.

01-02-2004, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by prana
Eastern medicine works on a very spiritual level.

I'd like to use this as my signature. Would you mind if I did? I'd be sure and attribute it to you.