Talk:Acupuncture

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Unanswuestions[edit]

You editors prefer to censor questions than answer them. I won't bring up other websites, but my questions remain unanswered. How did Wikipedia cover NICE before they updated? And why is everyone here quick to update based on NICE, but not care to update many Cochrane Reviews? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Playalake (talkcontribs) 19:31, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Reverting editors: this doesn't look like trolling or off-topic discussion to me. It shouldn't be removed out of hand.
Playalake: the article as it stands summarizes scientific consensus with due mention of fringe theories. If you have specific complaints, please point out the section(s) you are referring to. AlexEng(TALK) 22:22, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually, if you read the article, there are citations to Cochrane reviews and other meta-analysis all over the place. I don't understand the basis for the question? Roxy the dog. bark 22:57, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I was talking about updates. Cochrane updates. You Wikipedia editors are so quick to dismiss NICE because they updated, but everyone else in science does as well. The article says, "An overview of Cochrane reviews found that acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions, and it suggests acupuncture may be effective only for chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, postoperative nausea/vomiting, and idiopathic headache.[13] " This is old. There are at least a dozen new conditions they recommend acupuncture for based on the research. Playalake (talk) 23:03, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Results saying "may be effective" are a dime a dozen. That wording suggests that it is an uncorroborated statistically significant study. 5% of all studies will yield statistically significant results if there is no effect - for that reason such results are neither exciting enough to quote nor an indication that there is something to it. There will always be some "may be effective" wordings, but the conditions acupuncture "may be effective" for change every few years when the old findings are disconfirmed and new random hits are made. That is the typical situation for all inefficient but well-researched medical stuff. --Hob Gadling (talk) 23:17, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
And 100% of studies designed to yield positive results will yield positive results. This is what happens in China - it's an extended exercise in taking credit for the placebo effect. Even the most glowing reviews of acupuncture for any condition have to lean on objectively terrible studies to reach a positive conclusion, but they usually admit that and are equivocal as a result. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:23, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Trying to refute the claims of acupuncture (see here and here, and again here, for example) is like playing whack-a-mole. Proponents claim it cures dozens (or hundreds) of different conditions, and each time a claim falls flat, they simply make up a new one. Acupuncture also carries small but real risks to patients, who can suffer infections and sometimes much worse, such as punctured lungs.

— Steven Salzberg, Fake Medical Journals Are Spreading, And They Are Filled With Bad Science
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:07, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Not only is there always a new condition, there is also always a new form of acupuncture. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:10, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Also, Playalake, if you want your questions answered, you should be more truthful when you pose them: "NICE is being accused of being problematic" was, as was pointed out above, bullshit. You should at least acknowledge that. And when you write "still are waiting to issue their final statement" that is still bullshit. Unless acupuncture will some day turn out to actually work (which is pretty unlikely), there will never be a "final statement" since the status of the evidence will forever remain "no evidence for an effect was found" and there will always be people who demand "more research" until the research shows what they want it to show.
"But before their update, I'm curious about something. How did Wikipedia cover NICE?" Does that matter? Not if you are trying to improve the article, which is the goal of this page. --Hob Gadling (talk) 23:17, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I think that as Wikipedians we're reasonably clear on the difference between clinical practice and scientific evidence, and the reason the two are often out of step (especially with pseudomedicine). I'm not sure the same can be said of the trypanophiles. Guy (Help!) 00:07, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
No! You Wikipedians are wrong. How did Wikipedia cover NICE before they updated themselves on acupuncture? Nobody answers me! Yes it matters. It shows you always have a bias! And you were the one who brought up the context for NICE being the arbiter of truth, you brought up the change.org petition so it's only fair for me to address. The petition says NICE still lists acupuncture for tension headaches and migraines, yet you Wikipedians hate this idea. Wikipedia is so keen to update NICE on back pain but not Cochrane updates! There are many many Cochrane updates yet Wikipedia lists only the old conditions! Fraud! Playalake (talk) 20:36, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Except it's simply not true: the article is crammed full of recent Cochrane reviews. Alexbrn (talk) 20:47, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
ec NICE. You are welcome. Roxy the dog. bark 20:49, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Lies! The article does not have new Cochrane updates! How about somebody reconcile a Cochrane update that says "From the available evidence, acupuncture may have beneficial effects on improving dependency, global neurological deficiency, and some specific neurological impairments for people with stroke in the convalescent stage, with no obvious serious adverse events." with says, "An overview of Cochrane reviews found that acupuncture is not effective for a wide range of conditions, and it suggests acupuncture may be effective only for chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, postoperative nausea/vomiting, and idiopathic headache.[13] " sentence from the opening paragraph. Delete this sentence or turn on my edit button so I can do it myself! Cochrane changes, but Wikipedia does not! Playalake (talk) 21:40, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
You mean this Cochrane review? The one that looked at 31 randomized controlled trials on acupuncture for stroke, all of which were deemed by the authors to be heavily biased, and the best studies they could locate were unblinded. Seriously. Someguy1221 (talk) 22:51, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Right, so this review concluded acupuncture "may have" beneficial effects (i.e. just a possibility, no good evidence) and so "There is, therefore, inadequate evidence to draw any conclusions about its routine use". Alexbrn (talk) 10:14, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Playa you can edit articles - add or edit paraphrases from recent cochrane reviews. You may get reverted but at least we can discuss the merits of the source. Don't call people liars, focus on the content you think they are ignoring and why its relevant. You will get banned quickly which would not help to make this article less ridiculously negative. I got banned for calling a dude "Betty" and swearing a bunch. Not worth it, if you really want to help focus on the actual sources (systematic reviews).Herbxue (talk) 23:09, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Terrible advice, given that this has already been discussed here multiple times. Much better advice is to propose an edit, and wait until it has achieved consensus before making it. Guy (Help!) 23:14, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
For the record, I think there would be some merit in including the high level summary of this review, namely:
We found some evidence that acupuncture improved activities of daily living and a number of aspects of neurological function. However, these conclusions were based on studies with low quality evidence.
After several decades and, at a conservative estimate, thousands of trials of acupuncture, the fact that this is the best they can find is pretty damning. Guy (Help!) 23:20, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Whoah. I'm late to this party, but I have to say I agree with most of the advice and responses given to Playalake so far. Calm down and focus on the facts of acupunture - not peripheral issues such as whether NICE is 100% trustworthy or not - or you will get banned fairly quickly (that's not a threat, it's just based on experience). Famousdog (c) 12:21, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
"it suggests acupuncture may be effective" You know what "may" means, right? You can always replace it by "may or may not" without changing the meaning. Then you see that this is not information, just noise. --Hob Gadling (talk)
How did Wikipedia cover NICE before they updated themselves on acupuncture? You can check yourself in the edit history if you're so inclined. All revisions are preserved. Sizeofint (talk) 08:17, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

In fact, acupuncture is very safe medical therapy. Clean Needle Technique is a professional stand established by several national committees more than 30 years ago in the USA. It is required by all licensed acupuncturists in their training and practice. Neither WHO nor OSHA requires acupuncturists to wear gloves in routine practice. (see position letter from CCAOM) There is no evidence or any report that needling by a dark skin acupuncturist process any risk of “non-asepsis”. Adding "Note bare hands and long sleeves" is pointless. Of course, needle should be inserted into to a bare hand and I do not see anything wrong or good with the sleeve. In fact, we do not even know if he is a licensed acupuncturist. Because of the history of this photo: a link between dark skinned acupuncturist hand to "Note lack of gloves" with Wikipedia page on "asepsis". I recommend to delete this photo and description. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tcmaa2004 (talkcontribs) 16:45, 15 January 2017 (UTC) Tcmaa2004 (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

There is precious little evidence that it is a medical therapy at all. Guy (Help!) 16:49, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Acupuncture is ancient and current medical therapy for everyone, but its efficacy beyond placebo is challenged by RCTs for sure. However, RCT methodology was really developed for drugs and its direct application in a technical-device-based procedure is still very controversial. For example, many dental therapies are not RCT tested and no one call them pseudoscience. Dr Vickers report on acupuncture for pain from MSKCC is a major resource and evidence, and there are many more. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tcmaa2004 (talkcontribs) 04:52, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

That is a statement of faith, not fact. Guy (Help!) 10:34, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 January 2017[edit]

Please remove the words "and acupuncture is a pseudoscience" because it's a subjective judgement. Rcsoul (talk) 01:43, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

No, it is content that has been discussed extensively here on the Talk page over the years, and is well-sourced and compliant with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Jytdog (talk) 01:47, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog: So you mean those who oppose to that biased statement have to find evidence to proof that acupuncture is NOT "a pseudoscience" right? Got it. There has been much misunderatanding since the Great Firewall not only harms the freedom of us Chinese's to access foreign sites but also contributes to some bigots' comprehension to(or any suitable conjunctions) Chinese traditional and classical wisdom. Thanks to that goddamned wall!!Super Wang 11:43, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
No to oppose the statement you need to find a good source that says it is not pseudoscience. Wikipedia is built on sources, not the argumentation of editors. Alexbrn (talk) 12:03, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
And of course even then the statement would not be deleted, because there are good sources for it. If you find equally good sources, it would be qualified: Pseudoscience experts A, B, and C say it is, but pseudoscience expert D says it isn't.
But a better resolution of your problem (with slightly higher chance of success) would be to inform yourself about the properties of pseudosciences. Then you would be able to confirm for yourself that acupuncture is indeed one. --Hob Gadling (talk) 12:31, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm not trying to define what a pseudoscience is, never. What I care and am concerned most is that that so-called objective and just definition hurt people. Did you mean that there must be MORE reliable sources to proove that TCM is not pseudoscience? So what does "science" mean then? Super Wang 12:24, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Unless there's some new source on the table focusing on acupuncture and pseudoscience this thread is pointless and I suggest it be closed. Alexbrn (talk) 12:26, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Acupuncture is not a typical subject of Sciences, but it is NOT pseudoscience. It contains a lot of scientific components with medical values, some have been approved others are being testing. Any ancient medical therapy may carry some unscientific contents but, it is not right to simply classify them as pseudoscience. The opinion of reference books cited under "acupuncture is pseudoscience" is not very popular among medical and scientific communities at least in the USA. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tcmaa2004 (talkcontribs) 05:11, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia is built on sources, not the assertions of its editors. If you have no source, we're done. Alexbrn (talk) 05:20, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Sources should be selected without bias, and more real experts should be invited to join the discussion. It's not done yet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tcmaa2004 (talkcontribs) 17:01, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

So, which source are you suggesting then, Tcmaa? TylerDurden8823 (talk) 23:47, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
https://health.spectator.co.uk/fakery-massive-scale-means-just-cant-trust-studies-china/ Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:55, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Acupuncture is not science. It is a quasi-religious set of practices, so I personally don't think it's pseudoscience either (though the study of it very often is). It is definitely pseudomedicine. The thing is, though, that what we think doesn't matter a hill of beans, it's what the reliable sources say, and no reliable source on the subject of the demarcation issue between science and pseudoscience, has come down in favour of acupuncture being science.
What science tells us about acupuncture is that it doesn't matter where you pit the needles or whether you even insert them, so acupoints are fictional, the claimed "meridians" have no associated anatomy and have never been shown to exist, and a large part of acupuncture's popularity in the West stems from a propaganda stunt by Mao in the 1970s. We know it does not work for most things, we know that the effect size in all studies is small, we know that the more scope there is for bias, the greater the chance of a positive outcome from a trial, we know that no study from China has ever found a negative result, and we know that the evidence trend is firmly against it. Guy (Help!) 00:03, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Acupuncture is ancient and current medical therapy for everyone, but its efficacy beyond placebo is challenged by RCTs for sure in the last 15 years. However, RCT methodology was really developed for drugs and its direct application in a technical-device-based procedure is still very controversial. For example, many dental therapies are not RCT tested and no one call them pseudoscience. Dr Vickers report on acupuncture for pain from MSKCC is a major resource and evidence, and there are many more. What you said about acupuncture reports from China and Mao's acupuncture are INCORRECT. If you could not read Chinese or never studied Chinese medicine and Chinese history, please declare that FIRST before you make such an absolute judgement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tcmaa2004 (talkcontribs) 05:05, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

It's not medical therapy, it's a quasi-religious set of practices that have been shown not to work for most situations and where the evidence of efficacy is restricted, weak and contradictory. The popularity of acupuncture in the West can be directly traced to the propaganda demonstration involving Reston during Nixon's visit in 1971. And as with most SCAM practices, acupuncture is immune to self-correction (and thus scientific validity) because it employs inoculating tactics to avoid facing incontrovertible evidence of error. Guy (Help!) 10:16, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
In can be proven with inductive reasoning that Acupuncture is not "pseudo science". "Pseudo science" is something which is pretending to be science, sort of synthetic science. Acupuncture however does not pretend to be science, rather it is pre-scientific. A subset of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which itself is subset of an ancient Taoist philosophy. I think its clear there is no consensus here that acupuncture can really be classified as "pseudo science". In fact, stating so is highly contentious, and therefore shouldn't be included in the lede of this article. In fact this entire article has no NPOV at all, which can be proven by comparing and contrasting to this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism . To say "we are not going to stop calling it a pseudo-science unless someone comes up with 20 different sources saying its not" is a ridiculous position, because thinking acupuncture is only a pseudo science and not else really is a very narrow and un-holistic viewpoint, which is frankly absurd, so not that many authorities would ever even have the notion cross into their minds, apart from the very small but vocal community of fanatical sceptics which exists mainly on the internet. This article reads like it was entirely written by single-minded sceptic fanatics and not by, you know, actual acupuncture scholars and experts. The problem as I see it is this article reads so NPOV because of the xenophobia and racism of some editors who are too small minded to see that acupuncture is a cultural and philosophical subject moreso than a medical subject. Even if we wish to treat acupuncture as a science, which it doesn't claim to be, then because of the experiential nature of the practice, it should use Husserl's paradigm of phenomenology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology_(philosophy) . Once you do that, any notion of "placebo" becomes laughable, because you're exposing your idiocy by missing the whole point. Sure, devote maybe 10% of the article to how you sceptic fanatics think that acupuncture is no better than "placebo", (but also include the evidence showing acupuncture meridians to be planes in the connective tissue of lower electrical impedence), however the bulk of the article, and especially the lede, should be devoted to the writings of actual acupuncture experts about acupuncture.Arthur Long (talk) 05:35, 20 January 2017 (UTC) EDIT: source for one medical authority stating acupuncture is not pseudo science http://blogs.bmj.com/aim/2016/12/30/is-acupuncture-pseudoscience/
Don't be silly. He's an acupuncturist. In a blog. He would say that, wouldn't he. This was explained this year, on this page I believe.Roxy the dog. bark 05:53, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
"rather it is pre-scientific" You are claiming that it will be science one day. But encyclopedias do not describe what will happen in the future, because sources from the future are hard to come by. If you want the description of acupuncture as a pseudoscience changed, you need to change acupuncture into something else.
There are lots of pretend scientific publications that claim to have found evidence. Just have a look at this page.
BTW, one hallmark of pseudosciences is that their proponents, when they recognize they have no evidence, claim that the evidence is just around the corner and that what they are defending is protoscience. I suggest we just wait until acupuncture has become a science, then describe it as one. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:33, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
The idea that this is simultaneously thousands of years old, and at the same time protoscience, is an inherent contradiction. The problem for the trypanophiles is not that the evidence is not yet in, but that the evidence is moving solidly against them. Guy (Help!) 10:36, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
No, what I mean was, Acupuncture was developed before the Scientific method was developed. Therefore it is "pre-scientific". Then Science came along, which is fine, science is great. I love science. But it doesn't invalidate all of the pre-existing cultural and historical and mythological value of precious ancient practices like acupuncture, which I argue should be dealt with holistically in an all-encompassing way by this encyclopedia, by noted experts in the field, rather than just examining the topic in the very narrow and binary viewpoint of sceptics who ask "Does it work or not?", and then when it doesn't jump through their little hoop (i.e. RCT's), then wholesale writing off the very deep, complex and storied topic of acupuncture as being worthless.Arthur Long (talk) 01:06, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, in the 21st century what's the point of having medical treatments which we know they don't work? Acupuncture is not practiced as a religious ritual, it is practiced by people who claim to heal a plethora of real diseases. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:17, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
E.g., for holy water is irrelevant whether it heals any disease, it still remains holy for the believers. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:32, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
But it doesn't invalidate all of the pre-existing cultural and historical and mythological value of precious ancient practices like acupuncture, No, not necessarily. But it did invalidate the theories and practices behind acupuncture. You seem to think that there is some sort of duality going on here: that science works and is true, but that there's another level of truth and reality in which science isn't valid. But that just demonstrates that you don't know science. Tim Minchin said it best: Do you know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? Medicine. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:25, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Pseudoscience seems more like an opinion than an accurate reflection of modern research. I would like to add this line: Researchers conclude that acupuncture is a nonpharmacological alternative for analgesia and the mechanism of action is due to, at least in part, by migroglial inhibition.[1] This research was funded, in part, by the University of South Florida Neurosurgery and Brain Repair Department and the US Department of Defense. It is certainly scientific and is one of many newer investigations revealing the mechanisms of acupuncture's effective therapeutic actions. Note that the researchers do not qualify the conclusion with may or might. It definitively states that acupuncture is effective and includes a discussion of the cellular activities responsible for acupuncture's analgesic effective actions. I am interested in feedback on this topic from Wiki editors. Is this an appropriate insertion given the scientific nature of the investigation by reputable sources? Preceeding comment added by User:Acuhealth and moved by User:MPants at work

Pseudoscience seems more like an opinion than an accurate reflection of modern research. It's not. There are two characteristics of pseudoscience: 1) It purports to be science, and 2) it's not actually using the scientific medicine.
Acupuncture claims to be medicine (an applied science based on research science), so it meets the first criteria. Advocates of acupuncture have engaged in fraud and shoddy research with the aim of promoting it as science, and no well-structured studies have found it to have any better effect than placebo. Therefore, it meets the second criteria. So it's not an opinion, it's a fact. Furthermore, it is stated as a fact by a wide variety of reliable sources, including numerous MEDRS compliant sources. There is no reasonable doubt here; acupuncture is a pseudoscience. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:23, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I am presenting an example of a specific high quality piece of scientific research prior to inserting it into the article page. I feel that it is appropriate to get feedback first. I will leave out the pseudoscience line based on your concern. I wanted a consensus prior to making any changes. What I will insert instead is only:
Researchers conclude that acupuncture is a nonpharmacological alternative for analgesia and the mechanism of action is due to, at least in part, by migroglial inhibition.[2]
In this way, I will conform to using only accepted scientific research. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Acuhealth (talkcontribs)
Please read WP:TPG and sign your posts using four tildes (~~~~).
That is not a high quality study. It admits right in the abstract that it only discusses studies that claimed a positive result, gives the usual "more well-structured studies are needed!" in the introduction despite the wealth of well-structured studies out there showing no efficacy, was co-written by someone from Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is a hotbed of fraudulent acupuncture studies (they've never produced a study which didn't show a positive effect and have been lambasted by the scientific community for their lax adherence to scientific principles, as have many other Chinese institutions). Finally, the whole point of the paper is to propose (yet another) mechanism by which acupuncture might work. This paper doesn't even try to demonstrate its efficacy. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:11, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Researchers from the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida and the College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, are instrumental in this work. I understand your concern that one researcher was from the Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I am to understand that any research involving anyone from this university is unacceptable to you and I will not include it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Acuhealth (talkcontribs) 20:56, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Right now, my biggest concern is that you read WP:TPG (that's a link, so just click on it) and start signing your comments. I already noted the other authors of the paper, but I've pointed out several other flaws in it. You should also read WP:MEDRS to understand why simply being published in a peer reviewed journal is not enough. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:05, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I'll read up on your suggestion. Let's go with researchers from the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, and the Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, U.S.A. Their findings are the following:
Stanford University researchers conclude that intraoperative acupuncture results in reduced pain levels and earlier returns to a normal diet for pediatric patients with posttonsillectomy pain.[3] --TriumvirateProtean (talk) 23:26, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Please make an effort to sign your comments and indent your posts correctly. You've been asked several times now.
Cherry picking tiny studies that give marginally positive results is not helpful. It's a very weak study for reasons that should be obvious, and I'm not going to spend any more time trying to spoon-feed you when you're not interested in listening. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:05, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
(ec) (Note that I've also corrected the indenting of comments in this part of the thread.)
The problem is much more than the involvement of a researcher from Fujian University (which is, certainly, a red flag in and of itself). MjolnirPants has already noted that the article is an advocacy piece that cherry-picks positive studies (rather than any sort of systematic review, which would use unbiased keywords and inclusion criteria; and certainly not a proper meta-analysis, which would use rigorous statistical methods to quantitatively assess data across multiple studies). As MjolnirPants notes, the article begs the question—it starts from the assumption that acupuncture works, and attempts to spin hypotheses and mechanisms which might explain it. It does not critically assess the question of efficacy in any meaningful way.
The article itself appears in a journal – Cell Transplantation – where it seems out of scope. Cell Transplantation nominally deals with cell transplantation techniques in the context of human disease. Acupuncture has nothing whatsoever to do with the journal's area of expertise; one wonders why an acupuncture paper appears within its pages, and if its editorial board and referees have access to the necessary competence to rigorously evaluate such a manuscript in the first place. Cell Transplantation itself moved to an open-access publication model (with publication and color charges) in 2009, which can introduce certain pressures to maintain publication volume at the expense of quality. In 2012, a number of the journal's editorial board members got into hot water for citation manipulation in order to boost the journal's apparent impact factor. (I'm guessing that this is why I can't find a current impact factor for the journal.)
So...a bad paper, in a dubious journal from the wrong field, with some questionable authors. Definitely not what one would call a reliable source. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:46, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The article itself appears in a journal – Cell Transplantation – where it seems out of scope. I noticed that as well, though I didn't give it too much thought. But you raise a good point: Why would a reputable journal covering cell transplantation publish an article on 'non-invasive' (and I use that term very loosely, as sticking needles in patients is generally considered invasive) analgesic therapy? And even with a good reason, do they really have the expertise to properly peer-review it? Those are very good questions. And then there's the WP:MEDRS issue: Even if this paper had no obvious problems like the cherry-picking they admit to; it's nothing but the explication of a hypothesis. It doesn't actually do any meta-analysis or even perform a novel study. It just asserts things and cites those things to other papers. Given that last point, this paper doesn't just fail MEDRS, it fails WP:RS to begin with. Any such claim we cited to this paper is one that originated in another paper the authors of this one cited.
By the way: Thank you for refactoring the discussion. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:20, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Working on the ident and signing issues, please bear with me and I appreciate the help. Please clarify why the Stanford University study in unacceptable. The quality of the study is high and the research team consists of peer respected doctors. I am trying to build consensus and conform to wiki guidelines, so unbiased feedback is appreciated.--TriumvirateProtean (talk) 23:34, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
TriumvirateProtean, while it's sometimes considered acceptable to place replies higher up (a section can sometimes expand into multiple threads), until you get more used to it, it would be best to place your responses at the very bottom. I've moved them for now. I'll take a look at the Stanford study in just a moment, but I'm fairly certain it's been brought up here, before. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:41, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The quality of the study is not high, and the fact you think it is, Acuhealth, suggests to me you don't understand how to evaluate clinical research. First and foremost, the sample size for the study is tiny, a whole 59 patients. The study was nominally blinded, but there were no attempts made by researchers to prove the blinding was successful (this would typically be accomplished by having parents and patients fill out a questionnaire asking if they believed they had received the real treatment or a sham). The study measured both pain and oral intake, showing a brief reduction in pain that quickly regressed to the mean, and a slight improvement in oral intake that began at a higher baseline and followed the same trend as control. Predictably, the researchers focus only on the positive correlations, and not on the neutral ones. Even in the supplementary data, the raw patient data is never provided, making it impossible to do a power analysis or stability test, and gauge whether their statistical tests were even appropriate. And finally, the authors of this paper appear to buy into the myth of acupoints, suggesting they are quite deep in wooville, though thankfully they do not actually mention meridians or qi. In summary, not a high quality study. Rather, it's small, sloppy and biased. No number of small crappy studies will change the content that appears on this page. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:53, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Okay, it's not the one I thought. But it's a primary study with a small sample size (n=59), and it used "sham acupuncture" as a control method. The problem with stuff like this is: how do you convincingly fake sticking a needle in someone in a clinical setting? I can see how you could fool someone once if you catch them by surprise (I recall doing exactly that to my oldest son when he was about 6: he thought I really stabbed him with a needle, but of course I didn't), but in a clinical environment? No. The difficulties in establishing a control group for acupuncture studies is well documented and not a trivial thing. Also, they studied children, who tend to be more susceptible to the placebo effect. Finally, the actual difference wasn't that much compared to the sample size, and was based on surveys. I will tell you this much: I bet good money those three year olds weren't filling out the surveys themselves. Instead, their parents -who are the sorts of parents to sign their kids up for an acupuncture study- were filling it out.
And in the end, primary studies like this don't meet the requirements of WP:MEDRS, even when they agree with the larger meta-studies we prefer. When they disagree... Well, you can see where I'm going with this. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:09, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
@MP, yes, the child surveys were suspicious in this study. They did two surveys: One asking children how they felt, and one asking parents how they think their children felt. You'll notice the two sets of survey results are damn near identical. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:15, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
So you're not going to take my bet, then? Damn, I could use an extra twenty... ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:19, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
It is a high quality study. It is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine (Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and the Department of Anesthesia). The researchers conclude, “This study demonstrates that intraoperative acupuncture is feasible, well tolerated, and results in improved pain and earlier return of diet postoperatively.”[4]--TriumvirateProtean (talk) 00:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Repeating that all day long won't make it true. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:15, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Seconded. We've explained to you exactly what's wrong with the study. Responding with "But it comes from Stanford!" doesn't make anything we said wrong. And even if it was of the utmost quality: It's one primary study. We're not going to abandon our own policies and the established scientific consensus in order to be in agreement with a single primary study. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 00:18, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
No, it really isn't a "high quality" study. And the fact that you keep insisting that it is reinforces my previous conclusion that you aren't good at evaluating clinical studies or scientific literature (nothing to be ashamed of, it's hard to do well) and persistently unwilling to either accept that or learn from it (which is very problematic).
  1. Having Stanford-associated authors doesn't mean it's high-quality work; association with a reputable institution at best increases the prior probability that it may be a good paper. Lots of crap comes from Stanford. And Harvard. And Oxford. And Cambridge. The proportion of good stuff is often higher at the big-name institutions, but their people are far from infallible. Perversely, one sometimes sees terrible papers get into print because they bear a big-name imprimatur.
  2. The sample size in the study was rather small, as noted: n=30 in the acupuncture group, n=29 in the control.
  3. For some reason, they chose to enrol patients with a very wide range of ages (from 3 to 12 years), which seems like a great way to needlessly introduce massive heterogeneity into their self-reported (and parent-reported) pain reports. Both groups had similar mean ages, but there is no information about the distribution of ages, which could well be clumpy.
  4. The gender breakdown between the two groups was different. The acupuncture group was 70% male (21/30) and the control group was 45% male (13/29). The difference didn't rise to statistical significance in Table 1, but it's a pretty hefty skew. Note that both age and gender definitely have an impact on subjective reporting of pain.
  5. All that said, for the data collected by the only observers who were likely to be both a) experienced medical professionals and b) genuinely and meaningfully blinded – that is, the PACU nurses – no significant differences were observed between treatment and sham. (Er, sham and control? Sham and sham-sham? Anyway.)
  6. Roughly 30% of the enrolled patients were somehow lost to follow up (in a four-day study!): 7/30 from the acupuncture group, 9/29 from the control. This takes us back to Table 1 and points 2, 3, and 4 above. No analysis is reported to show whether or not the dropouts introduced statistically-significant (rather than just conspicuous) differences between the two groups. Did the dropouts represent an important subgroup? Did the dropouts receive similar levels of painkillers in-hospital (for example) as the patients who completed the study? Remember, the only "positive" results in the paper come from this not-fully-described cohort of just 43 patients, not even the original 59.
And I'm not even going to start on the question of how difficult blinding is in the field of acupuncture. Even assuming everything else was done right and the blinding was perfect, the data and analysis shown have too many important holes that would have been properly addressed by a "high quality" publication. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:19, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Feedback on this meta-analysis is appreciated. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics) and University of York researchers conclude, “We have provided the most robust evidence from high-quality trials on acupuncture for chronic pain. The synthesis of high-quality IPD found that acupuncture was more effective than both usual care and sham acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the more clinically effective physical therapies for osteoarthritis and is also cost-effective if only high-quality trials are analysed."[5]--TriumvirateProtean (talk) 00:58, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

It's a very new meta-analysis, which I'm not sure was even ever reviewed, and it has not yet been looked at by people who haven't made a career out of promoting acupuncture. But that said, I have several deep misgivings about this work. First, it's not published like a normal meta-analysis. Second, it relies on more small studies than large ones. Third, Vickers is an author, a man whose previous work is of low quality. Fourth, if you specifically look at the largest studies that form the evidence base for this meta-analysis, the effect size of acupuncture over sham control actually closely matches the rate of unblinding. If you look a the raw data for these large studies, you'll find that the apparent benefit of acupuncture is essentially produced by a small number of outliers, that is itself much smaller than the number of unblinded patients. It's great evidence that the placebo effect will cause patients to rate their pain lower in a survey, but how this ever gets interpreted as a positive result, I don't know. Motivated reasoning I guess. And here we end up at a point I made earlier. High quality sources have repeatedly called out pro-acupuncture sources on everything that is wrong with the field. And here we get a new meta-analysis that suffers from many of the same problems as the previous ones (not all of them, MacPherson appears to have avoided the temptation to cite a buttload of unblinded Chinese studies). The fact that is is newer than the rest, and newer than the most recent published criticism of acupuncture, does not suddenly absolve the field of these issues. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:17, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it is new (2017). It is current research reflecting up-to-date scientific analyses. You have four other concerns. First, you are not comfortable with how this is published, which is ultimately a personal preference or even a straw man logical fallacy. Second, you mention that both small and large scale study sample sizes are of concern. Regardless of the use of small high quality studies, large studies are also used. Therefore, although there is no perfect research design in any field, this study focuses on quality studies both large and small. Keep in mind that acupuncture research inherently is on smaller group sizes due to the nature of the profession and that opining on large and small sizes rely on false equivalencies. Third, ad hominem attacks on Vickers (who is only one of the researchers anyway) is inappropriate, goes to bias, is a straightforward logical fallacy. By that logic, the research is also valid because of the stature and peer accepted nature of the others on the research team. Ultimately, just because we don’t like one player on the team does not mean that they are not balanced and fair. Fourth, you mentioned concerns over sham control blinding. Regardless of sham outcomes, the research explicitly states that acupuncture is more effective for the treatment of osteoarthritis than usual care and sham acupuncture. This does not negate the conclusion that acupuncture is more effective for the treatment of chronic pain than usual care. As for your concerns on consensus, that is opinion. There is significant data demonstrating the efficacy of acupuncture and this is but one of those pieces. Again, this is a straw man argument to some fictitious set of perfect research that has determined that acupuncture is not effective. Please avoid bias. There is no perfect research, but this is a high quality study meeting the standards appropriate for this page. If people want to assert that acupuncture is a pseudoscience, then the scientific data must be considered. This is a clear refutation of that opinion. --TriumvirateProtean (talk) 02:09, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't think you understand the issue with publication. Let me put it simply: Was this paper ever reviewed by an independent group? I can't even tell. I don't think you understand the issue with Vickers. We are talking about a guy who has published meta-analyses where he has A) Eliminated the 75% of the papers that disagreed with his hypothesis, and then cherrypicked one outcome that the other 25% agreed on, and wrote a whole paper about it; and B) Touted his paper as one of the largest meta-analyses ever done on double-blind RCTs of acupuncture, when the studies in question where not actually blind. I feel the same about a paper with him as an author the way I'd feel about a conviction based on the testimony of a serial perjurer - it's bias, but quite justified and in line with NPOV. In other words, ad hominem is only a logical fallacy if the truthfulness of the target has no bearing on the validity of his position, which is not the case here. I don't think you understand what an ad hominem is. I don't think you understand what a skeptic means when he says, "acupuncture doesn't work". No skeptic is arguing that acupuncture patients don't report feeling better after treatment. They are arguing the fact that because gently poking a patient with a toothpick has the same outcome, acupuncture doesn't work the way supporters claim it does. Their alternative hypothesis is that the whole thing is a theatrical placebo, not that it has no effect of any kind. There is no strawman here because the studies are being attacked for their actual failings, not hypothetical ones, so I'm not sure you understand what a strawman is. And there is no demand that studies be perfect, but only that conclusions actually match the data. As so many prominent researchers have pointed out, this is simply not the case with virtually all positive studies of acupuncture. As much as this has been an entertaining exercise in locating the flaws in various publications, I tire of this, and will not comment further in this thread. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:34, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your opinion. Nonetheless, for reasons that I have already clearly outlined in detail, the research is valid and your concerns have already been addressed (issues such as placebo controls and the like included). This is valid science, a reputable source, and does call into question many biases presented on the article page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Acuhealth (talkcontribs) 02:57, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
As others have already noted, simply repeating that you think our concerns have been addressed doesn't make it so. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:19, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
That was not an opinion. You are randomly using the names of fallacies and ascribing them to others without checking what those fallacies do and whether they fit. Someguy refuted your reasoning. Earlier, other users refuted it.
Several weaknesses of the study have been pointed out by several users and you seem to think that the status of the people who did the study overrides them all. Putting status ahead of reason is an attitude Galileo Galilei complained about in he writings, and at least since then, science has been the very antithesis of that way of thinking. But even if the high status of those guys made their results right, why don't you accept the opinion of all those other experts with high status who say the opposite?
Even if you were right and this study were as wonderful as you say it is, we still could not use it until it has been confirmed by peers to be an important one that ranks among the top acupuncture studies. After all, we have to pick the most important sources according to the science community - we cannot just say: "oh, look at this text from this obscure journal, let's mention it in the article!" If we did that, the article would be extremely long and boring. So let's wait until the scientific community changed its mind, then change the article accordingly.
You see? Your reasoning is weak, your evidence is weak, your study is weak. The article says what it says because that's how it is: Pricking sick people in magic places does not help, whatever you superstitious folk think. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:58, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Lin, Lili; Skakavac, Nikola; Lin, Xiaoyang; Lin, Dong; Borlongan, Mia C.; Borlongan, Cesar V.; Cao, Chuanhai (12 April 2016). "Acupuncture-Induced Analgesia: The Role of Microglial Inhibition". Cell Transplantation. 25 (4): 621–628. doi:10.3727/096368916X690872. 
  2. ^ Lin, Lili; Skakavac, Nikola; Lin, Xiaoyang; Lin, Dong; Borlongan, Mia C.; Borlongan, Cesar V.; Cao, Chuanhai (12 April 2016). "Acupuncture-Induced Analgesia: The Role of Microglial Inhibition". Cell Transplantation. 25 (4): 621–628. doi:10.3727/096368916X690872. 
  3. ^ Tsao, Gabriel J.; Messner, Anna H.; Seybold, Jeannie; Sayyid, Zahra N.; Cheng, Alan G.; Golianu, Brenda (August 2015). "Intraoperative acupuncture for posttonsillectomy pain: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial". The Laryngoscope. 125 (8): 1972–1978. doi:10.1002/lary.25252. 
  4. ^ Tsao, Gabriel J.; Messner, Anna H.; Seybold, Jeannie; Sayyid, Zahra N.; Cheng, Alan G.; Golianu, Brenda (August 2015). "Intraoperative acupuncture for posttonsillectomy pain: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial". The Laryngoscope. 125 (8): 1972–1978. doi:10.1002/lary.25252. 
  5. ^ MacPherson, H; Vickers, A; Bland, M; Torgerson, D; Corbett, M; Spackman, E; Saramago, P; Woods, B; Weatherly, H; Sculpher, M; Manca, A; Richmond, S; Hopton, A; Eldred, J; Watt, I (January 2017). "Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research". PMID 28121095. 

Related discussion on zhwp VP[edit]

Chinese Wikipedia has seen a few posts around pseudoscience, acupuncture, and TCM in its Village Pump page for article discussions: acupuncture, Template:Alternative Medicine Systems, topics characterized as pseudoscience (inclusion of TCM). Some arguments for acupuncture's "disputed science" status on Wikipedia include:

  • Scientific TCM theories, including "acupuncture science", are formally taught in universities in China and Taiwan. Related textbooks may safely count as WP:MEDRS if publication bias is not accounted for.
  • Suggestions to use the phrase "borderline science", as given in Pigliucci, Massimo (2013). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. p. 206. .
  • Disputes around the definition of pseudoscience. This is mainly uninteresting WP:original research, so I won't elaborate on this.

Unsurprisingly, there has been outcries against perceived unfairness/discrimination against Chinese publications in English Wikipedia and the removal (actually, renaming) of sections Scientific view on TCM theory and International reception (now Purported scientific basis and Adoption). Avoidance of publication bias in Chinese-language literature also lead to discussions around NPOV itself. --Artoria2e5 contrib 01:44, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Edzard Ernst recently stated his belief in publication bias in Chinese medical literature, but a long time ago (I forget where, so I don't have a link) he had an alternate theory: design bias. That is, virtually all acupuncture studies conducted in China suffer from similar methodological flaws that guarantee a positive result: No control groups or the wrong controls, no blinding or improper blinding, small sample sizes or too many subgroups, and enough parallel measurements that something is bound to come out positive. And if all else fails, just torture the data and try every statistical test until you find something good to say about it. So basically you could potentially arrive at China's 99.7% positive-result rate with hardly any self-censorship. The trend I consistently see is that skeptics will call out the bad sources, explain in detail why they are pseudoscience, but the bad publications never stop coming. And then people come here, insisting that this new research rescues the subject by virtue of being more recent than the criticisms. "Those criticisms don't apply to this new source, because blah blah blah..." But a careful reading will show that all of these new sources suffer from the exact same problems skeptics have always been pointing out. So in summary, I would say that we call acupuncture a pseudscience because the best sources do, and the fact that acupuncturists won't stop arguing doesn't change anything. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:14, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I think actually that there are multiple sources of bias.
First, studies are designed on the assumption that a theory is correct, when that assumption is at least questionable. This besets most SCAM research especially homeopathy and chiropractic .
Second, studies are designed to confirm the hypothesis rather than test it.
Third, negative studies are less likely to eb published (which also applies to reality-based medicine).
Fourth, there is a culture of not challenging respected authorities, which in most cases means not going against the status quo.
I am sure there are others too. Guy (Help!) 12:34, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I am a Romanian. I know that it is an objective fact that scientific publications of Romanian scientists who live and teach in Romania have a low impact in world science. I am not offended by this fact, since it reflects the Romanian reality. Why Chinese people should be offended because Chinese scientists who live and teach in China produce low-quality scientific work? People should not be offended by objective facts. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:10, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
JzG's first and second points say it well. Such ancient "scientific advances" as TCM & acupuncture (well, thank Mao for these two) are part of Chinese national pride, and you know your belief is in trouble when people say parts of your pride are wrong. --Artoria2e5 contrib 01:42, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
It does show bias against the practice of acupuncture when people take into account the socio-political background of its country of origin. Let's leave the taunts at that. Whether China is a communist country or not doesn't make acupuncture any more (or less) real. If it works, it works. Statements like "there is a culture of not challenging respected authorities, which in most cases means not going against the status quo." aren't helpful in such discussions at all. 116.15.149.91 (talk) 22:58, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I can see your problem. Science is biased against ideas that are incorrect, and reality is biased against therapeutic claims based on nonsense. Wikipedia is biased in favour of reliable sources, whereas quackery is heavily biased in favour of unreliable ones. Hence quacks think their nonsense is science, and Wikipedia follows all credible sources in saying that it's not. Guy (Help!) 23:14, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Please be civil and refrain from ad hominem attacks. Thank you very much. I'm not even declaring that acupuncture works. I am simply refuting the blanket statement there is a consensus over acupuncture amongst scientific and medical community in the West. 116.15.149.91 (talk) 23:27, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Falsely accusing other editors of incivility is a policy violation that can result in sanctions, up to and including being blocked from editing. Continuing to cast aspersions upon Guy as if he had said anything at all uncivil will result in a thread discussing your edits being started at the administrator's noticeboard. WHat you are doing is attempting to use an ad hominem argument by implying that the other party is uncivil, and therefore upset and irrational. It does not work on those who have been following the discussion, and it is both disruptive and extremely dishonest. Knock it off. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:33, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Please refrain from uncivil threats. Feel free to report me to the administrator's noticeboard. 116.15.149.91 (talk) 23:38, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

In the news[edit]

Not pertinent to article improvement. Alexbrn (talk) 07:12, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

ecns.cn.--2605:8D80:5C4:15E:78A9:63CB:BC3B:47CE (talk) 06:38, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Quacks defend quackery shock! Alexbrn (talk) 07:09, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Alexbrn do you know the doctor quoted in the article? I think it is inappropriate to use the derogatory term quack if you're not sure exactly what kind of clinical or research activities he is engaged in?Herbxue (talk) 17:38, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion Closures[edit]

close per WP:TPG discussions of behaviour need to be elsewhere. Alexbrn (talk) 17:52, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This is regarding the recent closure of 2 discussions related to article content. It is not appropriate to shut down discussion just because you don't agree with it, or you feel it has been discussed already. The issues brought forth are real issues (biased tone of the article). If you don't want to have that discussion you don't need to participate, but closing the discussion, which is clearly aimed at improving the article, certainly does not improve anything.Herbxue (talk) 17:25, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't see a single discussion shut down because someone disagreed with the OP. I see a number of discussions shut down because they're rehashing old arguments that have been shot down often enough that shooting them down again only serves to waste editors' time. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:29, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
Previous closure was ok because after re-reading it did take a decidedly unproductive turn. This recent one is a newly-shared article - how would we know that it is something already "shot-down" without discussing its contents? If you don't want to waste your time, don't. I think everyone can decide for themselves what is or isn't a waste of time.Herbxue (talk) 17:34, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Pseudoscience: yes or no?[edit]

I have been looking for RSs addressing the issue of whether acupuncture is (as our article currently claims) pseudoscience. I would like to share what these sources say about this issue here, so we can discuss whether the article should continue flatly describing it as a pseudoscience without any caveats (full disclosure--I don't think it should).

  • Psychology, Science, and Astrology in the Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (Second Edition): "In contrast, other efforts to characterize human behavior fall short with respect to a critical, reflective usage of their own tenets and findings and can in the extreme case be considered pseudoscience. Many of these approaches vary in their testability and plausibility. Some of these problematic approaches are acupuncture, faith healing, healing touch, tai chi (and similar ‘energy treatments’), and much of the field of alternative and complementary medicine."
  • [https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/196_04_050312/mcl101128_fm.pdf Tertiary education institutions should not

offer pseudoscientific medical courses], Medical Journal of Australia editorial: "The levels of evidence supporting these alternative beliefs are weak at best, and such randomised controlled trials of these therapies as exist mostly do not support their efficacy (with the exception of acupuncture for some types of pain)". And later on: "Academics at these institutions need to stand up for science. Anatomists cannot be asked to support the validity of the meridian channels of acupuncture..."

vs. Pseudoscience Disputes], Philosophia (journal) "A skeptic can (reasonably) argue that, even though acupuncture has a long-established tradition in Chinese medicine, modern science has not discovered anything that fits into the concepts of qi and meridians, to which the believer could reply with a charge of ad ignorantiam. But the skeptic’s argument is reasonable: while one cannot categorically exclude the existence of qi and meridians, modern science is advanced enough that the BoP is on the believer to explain why this new form of energy has not yet been discovered, as well as how it would fit into the tightly knit logic of contemporary fundamental physics." "...while acupuncture is still criticized in terms of both the underlying theory and the exaggerated claims of its supporters, there may now be sufficient evidence of its limited efficacy that a skeptic needs to reconsider outright rejection." Based on these sources, I think that saying that "whether acupuncture is pseudoscientific is controversial among medical researchers" would be better than what the article currently says. Everymorning (talk) 04:01, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Just...no. How many times per year do we need to rehash this discussion? We already did it once in January. We did it in December (though that one bled into January). Actually, twice. Actually, three times—though that discussion started in late October. You've cherry-picked a few lines from a few articles, the strongest assertion in your favor coming from the weakest source: a low-impact philosophy journal. Please, just don't. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:59, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
What TOAT said. Asked and answered many times, though the question could be better phrased. -Roxy the dog. bark 07:39, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Its a pseudoscience. Next. Famousdog (c) 12:12, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
  • So let's see... The OP quotes three sources that describe acupuncture in terms of a pseudoscience in order to argue that sources don't call it a pseudoscience. Welcome to a typical WP:FRINGE talk page, dear casual reader. Enjoy your stay, and don't forget to tip your waiter. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:13, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
The practice of acupuncture is quackery. And the "scientific" work done to support it is, in fact, pseudoscience; it looks as if it is testing hypotheses, but it is not. I'd like to suggest that we should make the semantic distinction clear even when our sources are sometimes vague. I would use the word "pseudoscience" in this article only in specific relation to the ostensible attempts to test hypotheses. Richard Keatinge (talk) 14:13, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree, and would happily make that change if sources also made the distinction. Acupuncture is pseudomedicine, studies of acupuncture are pseudoscience. It is very clear to me, at least. Guy (Help!) 23:12, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I just did a PubMed search for "Acupuncture Meta-Analysis" and got 685 results. "Acupuncture Efficacy" produced 2717 results. Does PubMed include non-scientific, non-peer reviewed articles?Kuwona (talk) 18:06, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Does PubMed include non-scientific, non-peer reviewed articles? Oh, yeah! ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:43, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
The bias against acupuncture here is beyond belief. Have anyone watched the BBC documentary The Science of Acupuncture? Here is a female scientist trying to debunk the "myth" of Acupuncture but ended up finding evidence to support its efficacy. It's available on YouTube, just google BBC and its title. No medical practice is a panacea for every single ailment. That acupuncture doesn't cure everything is no reason to label it pseudoscience. 2401:7400:6000:3284:1:1:19D9:5E2B (talk) 21:44, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
But that it is pseudoscience (as RS tells us) is. Alexbrn (talk) 21:47, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
You people seem not to understand that Wikipedia is not supposed to declare anything is pseudoscience, since a lot of subjective judgment comes into that. That's POV. Explain the position of Chinese practitioners and that from Western science and leave it at that. Even Brittanica does not outright debunk the practice, but states "Some Western observers studying the method have suggested that acupuncture analgesia is plainly a placebo analgesia—which does not, however, detract from its effectiveness. Chinese assertions that acupuncture can actually cure disease defy rational clinical practice and have yet to be substantiated by Western medical researchers." Surely Wikipedia can do as well? 2401:7400:6000:3284:1:1:19D9:5E2B (talk) 21:55, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
You people seem not to understand that Wikipedia is not supposed to declare anything is pseudoscience. Then you might like to delete this article. Moriori (talk) 22:50, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
You people seem not to understand that Wikipedia is not supposed to declare anything is pseudoscience, since a lot of subjective judgment comes into that. This. This right here is what bugs me. Not that the true believers keep saying it, but that skeptics keep letting them say it and respond as if it's true but irrelevant.
Shenanigans, muddafugga!
There are two defining characteristics of pseudoscience. 1) It purports to be science. 2) It's not. Anything that meets those two criteria is pseudoscience.
Acupuncture purports to be medicine (which is a type of science). It has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be no more effective than placebo. Which makes it ineffective except as a placebo. But you pokey-fans (trypanohphiles is too nice a word, IMHO) keep insisting that it's real. And over in China, they regularly fake studies to make it look like it was subjected to real scientific scrutiny and passed. That's both criteria met; no opinions, no judgement.
Thi8s is 100% pure, UDSA Choice Prime Objective Truth. It is not subjective. It does not depend on editorial judgement. It's not demeaning or degrading or biased to say it. It's just plain true. So stop arguing that the label of pseudoscience is subjective, because all you're accomplishing is convincing the rest of us that you don't know what the hell you're talking about. On second thought, keep arguing, because now at least we know who's anonymous edits to these articles are most likely to require a quick revert. ;) ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:59, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
You people seem not to understand that Wikipedia is not supposed to declare anything is pseudoscience. Wikipedia does not do this, reliable independent sources do. After homeopathy, acupuncture is probably the second most widely analysed example of pseudoscience in medicine in specialist literature on pseudoscience and the demarcation issue. It's not out problem to fix. Guy (Help!) 23:10, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Be civil, people. Fine, we'll leave out the studies from PR China, since communist Chinese aren't going to produce anything scientific (a bias in itself). But there is no consensus that acupuncture does not work in the Western world. A cursory google search produces these: [1][2][3] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 116.15.149.91 (talk) 23:18, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

No. Herbxue (talk) 20:56, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

  • I feel compelled to note that I was not cherry-picking "a few lines from a few articles", as TOAT claimed above. Rather, I was looking for as many peer-reviewed articles as I could find which touched on this subject, and those that I could find, which I quoted above, did not discuss acupuncture's scientific status (or lack thereof) in much detail. The quotes I added above from these sources represented either the first thing or the only thing in them that touched on acupuncture's status, and I did not choose any just because they conformed to my preexisting "bias". Everymorning (talk) 00:46, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
You quoted articles that call acupuncture a pseudoscience to 'prove' that articles don't always call acupuncture a pseudoscience. I don't care what your methodology was, you just defined irony. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:26, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

New MacPherson and Vickers paper[edit]

Is this trial study from the West flawed? And in what way is it flawed?
"Researchers at the University of York have found than acupuncture treatment can boost the effectiveness of standard medical care, lessening the severity of chronic pain and depression.

In a new study, investigators determined acupuncture provides more than a placebo effect.

For the research, professor Hugh MacPherson worked with a team of scientists from the UK and US. The reviewers analyzed the results of 29 high quality clinical trials focused on patients treated with acupuncture and standard medical care.

In the majority of these trials, patients with chronic pain treated with acupuncture and standard medical care were tested against those who were provided with standard medical care alone, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. The trials involved approximately 18,000 patients diagnosed with chronic pain of the neck, lower back, head, and knee.

The report, published in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library, determined that the addition of acupuncture compared to standard medical care alone, significantly reduced the number of headaches and migraine attacks and reduced the severity of neck and lower back pain." [4] 116.15.149.91 (talk) 23:26, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Eh, I can't even be bothered to read that one. We've discussed Vickers and his "studies" so many times here, and his papers have also been dissected by skeptic sites quite a lot. Every time he declares to have "proof" that acupuncture works, there is always something disastrously wrong. Either his "blind" studies were actually totally unblinded, or he tortured the data to an absurd degree to get the conclusion he wanted to begin with. Anything with his name on it has no credibility, but he does a good job of demonstrating how full of pseudoscience the field is. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:28, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Who is Vickers? The researcher in question is a certain Dr Hugh MacPherson from University of York. 116.15.149.91 (talk) 23:33, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Read WP:MEDRS. Then read it again. Then read it a third time. While you're busy reading it, those of us who actually care more about improving the encyclopedia will enjoy a much-needed respite from this blatant POV pushing. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:36, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
MacPherson is one of several authors of the paper. Vickers is another. But thanks for showing us you didn't even read the first page of the study. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:43, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
In case you are mistaken, I'm not the same person as Everymorning. 116.15.149.91 (talk) 23:52, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
No-one said you were. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:56, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
  • if anybody new to this page is unaware, Vickers, the biostatician from MSK, has been discussed on this talk page a bunch of times. Please review the discussions there. You can find them in this search. Jytdog (talk) 05:42, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

There’s a Major War Brewing Over the Acupuncture Wikipedia Page[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:34, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

A typical clash between ideology and reality, see e.g. Deutsche Physik. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:49, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Already discussed at length. Reliable sources describe acupuncture as pseudoscience. Trypanophiles have two options: either they can produce good science, or they can attack Wikipedia for reflecting the reliable sources. The latter is easier. Especially since they have consistently shown they cannot dot he former at all. Guy (Help!) 23:07, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
And it will continue to be discussed at length. I though it was funny the article said there's been contentious editing "for the last 2 months". Lol, they don't know about PPdd and quack guru. Seriously though, the sources used to call acupuncture a pseudoscience are not strong enough to keep this topic from coming up. You are within WP's rules to use them as sources for the claim, but that does not mean it's good editing to do so.Herbxue (talk) 20:51, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
As long as ancient, non-European, time proven remedies are shot down based on Western, often pharmaceutical sponsored research, that clash will continue. The Banner talk 22:12, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
No, that's not it at all. As long as people who believe in magic continue to market various "occult" teachings as having "healing" powers to the gullible public — the clash will continue. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 22:39, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The sheer fact that you call it "believe in magic" proves your POV. The Banner talk 22:59, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
So what? I happily and proudly admit that my POV regarding acupuncture is as follows: It's some bullshit. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:02, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
See appeal to tradition. Classical fallacy. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:43, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal: truce conditions[edit]

Pulling this old thing out of the archives from August 2015 (if you like, see prior post and responses here)

Here is a proposed way out of the morass:

  • a) agree to limit discussion in the article to a "zone" that anybody sane should be able to agree to:
    • a1) uses of acu that are accepted in the mainstream (adjuvant care for pain/nausea relief in cancer and adjuvant use in a few chronic pain conditions). These are uses taught in medical textbooks and practiced at major medical centers
    • a2) a minimal and reasonable discussion of the underlying theory of qi and meridians and "points" as being based on pre-scientific traditional medicine and having no basis in science (not belabored, just simple) This is the part that is pseudoscience, and we will have to say that.
    • a3) a minimal and reasonable discussion of the difficulties of obtaining good evidence (problems with placebo arm; lack of funding for big trials) (not belabored, just simple)
  • b) Self-police - if an acu-proponent shows up and adds some woo content positive about acu outside of that, pro-acu editors here would agree to remove that themselves (and not contest it if an acu-skeptic gets there first) and if some acu-skeptic shows up and adds skeptical/negative content, acu-skeptics would themselves would remove it (and not argue if an acu-proponent beats them to it). This is really essential to building up trust that the zone will be honored. A lot of the arguments on this page are about taking long-term stances against relentless pushing from the other side.
  • c) Not unilaterally enlarge or shrink the zone -- in other words - nobody adds new content or removes existing content, positive or negative, unless there is significant consensus

It is .. silly and somewhat embarrassing, that the article actually talks about things like using acu to improve sperm motility. All that kind of garbage should be taken out of the article. I understand why it is here - everybody here is following source/evidence-based editing and there is indeed a systematic review on that. But the junk-pile of an article that we currently have is the result of that process. A higher-agreement could produce a more useful article.

What do you all say? Jytdog (talk) 05:53, 9 February 2017 (UTC) (redact a bit Jytdog (talk) 07:02, 9 February 2017 (UTC))

I've been watching all this for quite some time and reading carefully. Surprisingly, it looks like I've never edited this page, so maybe my two cents are worth less. What you propose does indeed look like a way forward and one that I could support. jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 06:50, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Whatever the merits of the proposal, I do not think it is achievable. Standard procedures will always apply, and if someone adds a pro or con factoid that is outside an agreement, it will not be possible to argue that the factoid must be reverted because of [link to agreement]. Instead, the usual arguments about WP:RS and WP:DUE and WP:CCC will be needed. Regarding the clumsiness of much of the article, I commented elsewhere with something that is relevant here: "the clumsy wording is the result of following a good source, and attempting variations of the wording wanders into original research by unduly promoting or opposing acupuncture". In a contentious topic, it is not possible to put blanket text in the article unless it closely follows a suitable source, and that means achieving the proposal would be too difficult. Johnuniq (talk) 07:10, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Everything in the zone (a1, a2, a3) is supportable with very high quality sources. Policy-wise, this working will rely on what editors working here decide is in the scope of the article. To make a decent article out of this battleground topic an agreement on a limited scope is feasible and defensible. It might take an RfC to nail it down; that is what would be linked to. Jytdog (talk) 07:29, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I support vigorous pruning. An enormous amoutn of stuff here is the result of trypanophiles adding sources claiming effect for $RANDOMCONDITION followed by reality-based editors adding the evidence showing that's bullshit. We have high level sources now which can be used to say that it is ineffective for virtually all conditions, so the article can certainly forget about those and focus on the few where the jury is not yet in. Guy (Help!) 09:46, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oh man, remember how this article used to look? I think there were 60 sections that went, "acupuncture has shown promising results for <condition>, but the studies are crap so who really knows." Orac and SBM are still playing whack-a-mole with the acupuncture's "condition of the month" style of promotion. Someguy1221 (talk) 10:07, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. It has benefited greatly from the reduced involvement of True Believers, but unfortunately the recent propaganda campaign has ramped that back up a bit. Guy (Help!) 12:01, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Johnuniq's assessment above. I like the spirit of jytdog's proposal but I just don't see us agreeing on the inclusion/exclusion criteria.Herbxue (talk) 21:33, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Herbxue the inclusion criteria are defined in a1 - what do you find ambiguous about that? (the exclusion criterion is "everything that is not included") If you see the inclusion criteria as ambiguous, how would you improve them? Jytdog (talk) 19:48, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I would like to point out that the proposal is nothing but the application of WP policy and a keen eye towards keeping the statements made in the article well organized, in their own sections. As such, I'm all for it. There might be some difficulty figuring out how exactly to structure and name the sections, and we might have to allow a bit of crossover (claims like "Some studies show that it's good for X, but others show that it's not." aren't necessarily going to fit perfectly), but I'm okay with this. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:58, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In my view the current page falls afoul of our WP:V policy, specifically WP:EXCEPTIONAL which states "Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources" (emphasis in original). Because we know (from our RS) that acupuncture is implausible, any claim of efficacy is ipso facto exceptional, and so this higher bar for sourcing must be appplied. As WP:EXCEPTIONAL says, it particularly applies to "claims that [...] would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living people". The current article really needs significant filleting. Any claim that acupuncture works in any way needs several high-quality MEDRS in agreement on that point. Alexbrn (talk) 07:34, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

mmm that doesn't deal with things like the unexceptional claim that acu doesn't help with sperm motility. Jytdog (talk) 07:36, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • hello!!!!!!! Is this a lead ballloon or are folks willing to work with this? Jytdog (talk) 06:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Specific conditions[edit]

Should we sort the conditions within this section alphabetically to make a condition easier to find? Rklawton (talk) 19:31, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

American College of Physicians[edit]

It appears that inaccurate reasoning caused the revision of the acupuncture page, the following was deleted:

For chronic low back pain patients, the American College of Physicians recommends acupuncture.[1]

The reason given was “Misleading: the source describes acupuncture as a method with "low-quality evidence”” However, we find that this is in fact, not the case. Nor have I referenced an quality standard, although it was rated as moderate, not low. It is simply the formal recommendation of the American College of Physicians.

In the clinical guidelines Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians, the American College of Physicians explicitly states the following that is quoted: “For patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially select nonpharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction (moderate-quality evidence), tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence). (Grade: strong recommendation)”[2]

Acupuncture is given moderate quality evidence, not low quality evidence, for the treatment of chronic lower back pain. This needs to be included for balance, it is 100% accurate that this is the official recommendation of the American College of Physicians. The current acupuncture page is prejudicial based on cherry picked anti-acupuncture misinformation including the following: “a systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain.” In fact, this is not the case for the American College of Physicians. Further, I am not asking to remove that cherry picked anti-acupuncture attack piece, rather, to show the reality and truth of the official recommendation of the American College of Physicians. My aim is to present accurate health information. The omission of the American College of Physicians information lacks balance in the page.

References

  1. ^ Qaseem, Amir; Wilt, Timothy J.; McLean, Robert M.; Forciea, Mary Ann (14 February 2017). "Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians". Annals of Internal Medicine. doi:10.7326/M16-2367. 
  2. ^ Qaseem, Amir; Wilt, Timothy J.; McLean, Robert M.; Forciea, Mary Ann (14 February 2017). "Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians". Annals of Internal Medicine. doi:10.7326/M16-2367. 

--TriumvirateProtean (talk) 04:09, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Busted here (with quotes from the horse's mouth). Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:17, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
That is an opinion hit piece, not an accepted peer-reviewed piece. Blog opinion pieces: completely inadmissible and against wiki guidelines. Trash evidence. Again, the American College of Physicians formally recommends acupuncture. Are you asserting they do not? Are you asserting it is not valuable and accurate information?TriumvirateProtean (talk) 04:22, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
The quotes provided therein aren't "opinion hit piece", but WP:MEDRS compliant. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:25, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
On what peer reviewed basis is the censorship of the official recommendation of the American College of Physicians done? Omission of the formal recommendation of the American College of Physicians is slanting the accuracy of the article away from fact. It is current, accurate information, from an accepted body of doctors. This appears to be outright censorship in an attempt to squelch the recommendation.TriumvirateProtean (talk) 04:29, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Again, as showed by a table quoted from the ACP source, recommendations could be strong even if the evidence quality is low. But examining the evidence actually cited by the ACP source, it is laughable evidence. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:35, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
So you find the formal recommendation of the American College of Physicians "laughable". That is your personal response and you may try add it wherever you like. However, the American College of Physicians (and the NIH: "Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain."[1]) are specific. You can call it laughable it you like, but it is still censorship of the formal recommendation of the American College of Physicians and is completely inappropriate to omit based on your personal issues with how they determine results.

References

TriumvirateProtean (talk) 04:40, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
All this was discussed at #Proposal: truce conditions. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:42, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
  • The actual edit was unambiguously a violation of NPOV and misrepresented the source Jytdog (talk) 06:49, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
  • The source itself explicitly uses the phrase "low quality evidence" to describe acupuncture, contrary to the OP's assertion otherwise. Hence my use of quotation marks in the edit summary. So either the OP didn't read the source or is willfully misrepresenting it. Either way, the specific claims this source was used to support are highly misleading, as the recommendation was specifically for acute pain (as opposed to chronic pain), and was explicitly presented as a recommendations intended to avoid the prescribing of drugs. Any treatment producing a placebo effect would work well within the context established by the source. The fact that the source listed the three most common treatments with effects indistinguishable from placebo does not represent an endorsement of any of those as being better than placebo. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:10, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm seeing some original research here. The doc's still recommend acupuncture. It is a significant source from an actual authority. The doc's are addressing a clinical issue (drugs have higher risk, acupuncture can help people with lower risk), while you are writing about a scientific question (does it work via placebo or not). Those are separate issues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.223.168.84 (talk) 18:07, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)#Medical and scientific organizations, pointing to underlying literature (i.e. evidence). Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:11, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting putting my analysis into the article. I'm suggesting not putting another editor's analysis into the article. WP:OR only applies to contents we put in the article. If it applied to things we say on talk pages, we might as well just get rid of those pesky human editors and write a script to create articles. Find a wording that accurately represents what is said and I'm all for it. But just stating "They recommend it" is highly misleading. Try "They recommend it, among other treatments with low-quality evidence of their efficacy as a possible treatment when pharmacological treatment is not indicated." I'd be fine with that. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:14, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree with Mjolnirpants. This strikes me as analogous to the NICE situation, but reacting somewhat more slowly to the trajectory of evidence. The evidence for use of acupuncture in back pain is weak. Combined with the near-impossibility of proper blinding, the fact that back pain will generate weak evidence for virtually anything just because of what it is, and the wider context of no remotely plausible mechanism, I think we have to treat this with a degree of caution not far short of the proverbial ten foot pole. Guy (Help!) 22:37, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Incidentally, since when was sticking needles into people "noninvasive"? Guy (Help!) 22:39, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Heh. GMTA. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:50, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Just to clarify, we aren't confusing recommendations of the American College of Physicians with the quantified results of relevant meta-analyses, are we? The ACP, like NICE and pretty much every practicing physician, is well aware of the placebo effect and is happy enough to recommend it. Also, quite happy to divert patients to whom we can offer rather little on a solid scientific basis. If the ACP says there's solid evidence for something, there probably is, and they are probably able to give references for it. But if they merely say that they recommend a course of action, that doesn't imply any scientific evidence for benefit from that course. Richard Keatinge (talk) 15:25, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
That has pretty much been the crux of my argument: Just because the recommend it when no proven efficacious treatment is available doesn't amount to them endorsing it in general. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:32, 20 February 2017 (UTC)