Thursday, April 23, 2009

Acupuncture As Heart Disease Treatment

A World Health Organization meta-study [PDF] ran a huge survey of available literature on acupuncture. Check it out. Of the studies treating angina pectoris, the only one that didn't show favorable results for acupuncture was the one which compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture. This seems like a strong argument for a placebo effect, except that one of the studies which did show favorable results for acupuncture found valid auricular acupuncture outperforming invalid auricular acupuncture.


  1. Not to pick nits, but angina pectoris is only a symptom of heart disease. Using acupuncture to treat heart disease is similar to NyQuil as a treatment for the Flu. It doesn't cure the disease-it only helps the symptoms. The only treatments for heart disease are surgery, exercise, diet management and certain medications. Acupuncture won't do shit for the long-term prognosis of ANY heart disease patient.

    So if you look at it like that, "real" acupuncture or "sham" acupuncture-it doesn't matter, they're both shams.

  2. No, you're just wasting time with meaningless words.

    First, the title of the post operates as a broad summary, so precision isn't required. The purpose is to help the reader figure out if they should bother to read it.

    Second, anything which treats symptoms of a disease falls under the category of the treatment of that disease. Using acupuncture to treat heart disease is like using nitroglycerin to treat heart disease.

    Third, angina pectoris is a syndrome, not a symptom, and it is considered a medical problem in its own right. Alleviating angina pectoris is justification enough for surgery in many hospitals. That surgery is certainly considered heart disease treatment.

    Like most people who dispute anything I say, you are very bad at logic.

  3. (Actually I agree about diet and exercise and all that, but your logic was way off. Diet and exercise etc. aren't the only treatments, as you say, just the best treatments.)

  4. Next step: repeat the experiments, just to make sure.


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