Leita says…Beauty Brains, I would like to see your opinion in regards to the points made in Jante’s and Rosa’s posts. Right now, I can’t help but feel you’re ignoring these arguments because they’re so full of win.
Left Brain gets prickly:
Thanks for the comments Leita. We didn’t ignore the comments due to a lack of response. We just don’t always have time to go through every comment on every subject and discuss every point.
A lack of response does not indicate agreement.
I find acupuncture particularly troubling, so I’ll address their comments now.
Jante & Rosa made the following points. You can go back to the comments section of our cosmetic acupuncture post for their entire comments.
“I can’t imagine why Beauty Brain relies solely on her own opinion and others’ poor research for questioning the efficacy of acupuncture, especially when she has never had it herself.”
Our own experiences are a terrible way to make judgments about whether something actually works or not. People are easily fooled. We fill in blanks and falsely assign cause and effect relationships where there might not be. That makes magic tricks entertaining, but it’s practically worthless when it comes to determining truth.
Second, we don’t rely on poor research. We rely on the best peer reviewed research we can find.
Everybody’s doing it
“Why are hundreds of western MD’s now taking medical acpuncture courses at UCLA Medical school to learn this effective modality”
I really don’t know whether this is true but assuming it is, the most logical reason people are taking the course is because their customers are demanding it. They can make more money by offering the service. This says nothing about whether it actually works beyond the placebo effect or not. People, especially ones who don’t exercise critical thinking, are easily fooled.
Just because a large number of people believe something doesn’t make it true.
Argument from Antiquity
“In Asia, Acupuncture and Traditional Asian Medicine has effectively treated all kinds of medical problems for over 2,500 years…In contrast, Western medicine has been practiced a mere 200 years.”
Just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s true or effective. “Western” medicine has been responsible for increasing the human life expectancy from an average of 31 years to an average of over 70 years. This wasn’t achieved through ancient technologies, but through modern, science-based medicine.
Making things up
“over 250,000 people are killed annually by medical errors, including wrong medication, treatment and doctor error. It has become the third leading cause of death in this country.”
I checked. That’s not true. The third leading cause of death (according to the CDC) is stroke.
The claimed number of deaths due to medical error were between 44,000 and 98,000, but even this number is disputably high.
You’re wrong so I’m right
“Even revered journals such as JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine have been found to contain biased, unsubstantiated opinions.”
You are absolutely correct that scientific literature is full of inaccuracies and mistakes. Those mistakes get filtered out after more experimenting and testing. That way, the knowledge gets more and more accurate. But just because medical research is often wrong doesn’t mean that acupuncture works. One person being wrong is not evidence that your beliefs are right.
“The problem is, in this country, no one wants to pay for the research to be done because there is no money in it.”
I disagree. There is money in it which is exactly why doctors and HMOs are now offering this unproven treatment to patients. $150 a treatment? That sounds like money to me.
You just don’t understand
“It (acupuncture) is a deep and profound method of healing that goes beyond what most people can comprehend. It is based on the fundamental principle of Qi (chee) which has no Western equivalent.”
Qi is a made-up concept for which there is no supporting evidence. If it is true, where is the evidence? If one person can comprehend it, give the rest of us the evidence so we all can comprehend it. If physicists can get people to comprehend quantum physics, Qi believers should be able to give evidence to get others to comprehend this concept.
“No wonder skeptics are quick to automatically say it doesn’t work.”
Skeptics aren’t quick to say it doesn’t work. There have been study after study after study which demonstrates acupuncture has no effect beyond a placebo effect. That is why skeptics say it doesn’t work. There’s no proof that it does!
“Regarding cosmetic acupuncture, it will never replace a surgical face-lift. It wasn’t meant to. Two of the many things it will do, is promote the production and movement of qi and blood in the underlying tissues as well as cause a slight micro-trauma which increases collagen production.”
And your proof of this is what? We are supposed to believe it just because you say it is true?
“Clinical studies presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy, as well as for dental pain after surgery.”
There have been a number of clinical studies about acupuncture. If you look at the study design, the ones that show positive benefits have no placebo controls. When you add a placebo control, acupuncture is not more effective than a fake placebo treatment. Millions of dollars have gone into studying acupuncture. The conclusion…it doesn’t work better than a placebo.
Beauty Brains bottom line
For the most part, we love to see companies offering alternatives to the same old wrinkle treatments everyone sells. But it hurts to see people wasting their money on things that have not been shown to be effective. Cosmetic acupuncture, and general acupuncture, still have not been proven effective. They are still, most likely, a waste of money.
Have you had acupuncture? What did you think of the effects? Is it worth doing as a beauty treatment? Leave your comments below.