Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

I don’t hate acupuncture

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 21, 2009

I don’t actually, and I don’t even want to see it gone for good. What I do want is for its practitioners to let go of the qi fable, let go of the unsubstantiated claims about its powers and simply admit that is nothing more than a relaxing ritual. If someone makes the claim that it eases people’s stress, that it makes them more relaxed, I have no problem with that. This is what this acupuncture practice seems to be trying to do, for quite a cheap price, average of $18 per session.

“Most people just carry around the pain they have,” Van Meter says. “We’re great with stress — we put needles in them and they fall asleep for an hour. That’s good because most people could really use that.”

Now movie and popcorn probably will cost you more than that and if some people enjoy the ritual, the lying down, relaxing, maybe catching a nap, and wake up rejuvenated after it, for $18, I am ok with that. I know how relaxing a good massage can be, and I am willing to grant acupuncture that it can be just as relaxing. We already know that acupuncture is a placebo and as such can affect people’s perception of pain, and it can be helpful in such manner for little pains that do not represent a medical condition.

So I say go for it, but be honest, give up the qi crap, give up the meridian nonsense, focus on the ritual, the music, the nice table, the nap, the soothing aromas and whatever else helps people relax. Just stop with the bullshit claims!

PS: I do not understand how the journalist jumped from the story of an unemployed mother who needed daycare services to acupuncture, but I won’t dwell on that too long.

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