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Alternative medicine success story?

February 20th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Technology · 8 Comments · Technology

According to this story: (which refers to this earlier story)

There is growing evidence that acupuncture can greatly increase a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant

I am more than a bit sceptical about claims for medical treatment based on theories like “the body’s major organs use energy pathways to communicate and that malaise occurs whenever communication breaks down” but I have a bit more tolerance for the assertion that ” the mind can have the most profound influence on the body’s health”.

In the late Stephen Jay Gould’s now-legendary essay The median is not the message, ((no apologies for plugging this article yet again)) he mentions the possibility of mental attitude affecting physical health – “Attitude clearly matters in fighting cancer” he says, and then goes on to say:

I asked Sir Peter Medawar, my personal scientific guru and a Nobelist in immunology, what the best prescription for success against cancer might be. “A sanguine personality,” he replied.

If mental attitude can have such an effect in one area of medicine, then why not another?  In other words, this acupuncture may well have the claimed effect but only indirectly, by bringing about the mental state which has the real effect.  Other ‘treatments’ could do the same if the subjects believed enough. It may well be a placebo effect, but if you get the result you want why quibble?

At the end of the day though, the claim that all it takes to overcome fertility problems is a little prick has got to be newsworthy on its own.

The real surprise that Kerron didn’t jump on a story which is just crying out for a Carry On-style comment – he is never normally reticent to let loose with a double entendre: he must have missed this story.  🙂

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Andrew

    That acupuncture study is somewhat dubious – it’s a meta-analysis of various studies, many with dodgy methodologies. There’s a decent write-up here.

    Bit concerned that Guardian lady felt currents of energy move across her body during the acupuncture session…hope the acupuncturist wasn’t applying a voltage.

  • skud's sister

    I tried acupunture once – quite relaxing which I guess might help. No currents of energy but more fun than Chinese Herbal medicine which tastes like sticks boiled in mud.

  • Chinese herbs for sexual health

    Traditional Chinese medical practitioners attach comparatively great importance to the “science of health preservation”. They are of the opinion that “the imperative job is to cope with a disease before it occurs.” Wouldn’t the result of so doing be more satisfying and more perfect than any effect that may be achieved by attending to the illness after it has arisen? The oft-told “prevention is better than cure” is what is remarkable as a national trait of the Chinese people. Chinese traditional herbs Offer most effective Antihypertensive tea; hair regenerator; natural male sexual health preserver from China. SANLIDA has the merit of increasing immunity against diseases and very quick in enhancing male potency and enduring in this effect of natural male enhancement. For more detail:

  • skud's sister

    Preventative medicine is also very popular in western medicine but we tend to draw the line at the body parts of endangered animals. I would question any form of medicine that could have formed a diagnosis on the 5 minute consulatation I was offered. Anyway it may work for some people but not me, no medicine can be effective if you can’t keep it down…

  • W. C. Douglass MD

    Thanks for these posts. Considering that at the most fundamental level our bodies are vibrating/resonating ‘local condensations’ of the ‘quantum field’ (and E = MC2) – and at a less fundamental level, we’re ‘swirls’ of positively-charged protons and negatively-charged electrons – it makes sense to me that any and all types of energies (light, electrical, magnetic, sound, aromas, homeopathics, electroacupunture) can all alter our body frequencies (resonance) for better or for worse, depending on the applied frequencies and dosages. Good science is supporting this. We need to look at the evidence and integrate what works, and discard what doesn’t.

  • Rob Glover

    “resonating local condensations of the quantum field.” you haven’t even a clue what the words mean, have you?

  • Rob Glover

    Surely the transperambulation of pseudo-cosmic anti-matter can only realistically be achieved by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.