Acupuncture does reduce pain – and it’s nothing to do with placebo
Acupuncture does work. A major study has confirmed that it eases chronic pain – and it’s got nothing to do with the ‘placebo effect’, or that the benefits are all in the patient’s mind.
The therapy should be included in the range of pain-control options offered to patients, say the researchers from the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
They are convinced of acupuncture’s effectiveness because of the sheer size of the research they carried out. It involved collating 29 different studies, which involved 17,922 patients who were given acupuncture or ‘sham’ acupuncture. With sham acupuncture, the needles are either not inserted properly or are put in ‘wrong’ areas of the body.
The patients given real acupuncture reported a far greater reduction in their pain than did those given sham acupuncture, so demonstrating that it was the actual therapy – and not the placebo effect – that was working.
(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012, published ahead of print, September 10, 2012; doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654).