Don’t You Love Acupuncture Haters and Skeptics – Here is How to Show Them the Truth!
As with any other form of alternative medicine, acupuncture does have its haters. Some people seem to pride themselves in being “educated skeptics” who insist that tons of “scientific proof” must exist or the practice isn’t legitimate.
Of course, what these folks accept as sufficient proof can vary widely. One thing I’ve learned over time is this – if someone just wants to hate or dislike something, it doesn’t matter how much evidence or proof you put before them, they will find some way to discount and dismiss it.
But with the right information…they will at least know in their heart that you are right. 🙂
Some people oppose anything that isn’t the “norm” or what they were raised to believe. Perhaps they have been led to believe that any health treatment not administered in a traditional physician’s office can’t be legitimate. Maybe they know somebody who went to an acupuncturist and didn’t get healed. No alternative medical treatment can heal anything and everything.
Whatever the reasons for their disbelief, the skeptics typically shoot three missiles at acupuncture and other alternative health arts in an attempt to disprove them. There are arguments you will hear over and over, and they can be dismissed with the right information. Read on.
First, they will claim that any benefits of acupuncture are a “placebo effect”. In other words, people believe that being stuck with needles will help them, and convince themselves that it did. Oh what foolish people, the skeptic thinks. What they cannot explain is how such chronic conditions as back pain can be truly relieved without medication using acupuncture. Just a placebo effect, huh?
Then, they come up with the idea that somehow acupuncture is dangerous. Perhaps the needles can infect people, or somehow magically cause them to die because they upset the body in some way. Of course this is silly, but to some, needles = dangerous. We all know better, of course.
Finally, we hear that acupuncture isn’t “evidence based”. Now here is something that you can have a lot of fun with. As you will see in the article below, many conventional medical treatments that are commonly used are not evidence based at all. And, scientific research is often open to interpretation. There are many variables involved, and quite frankly, one can conduct a study to disprove acupuncture or anything else they like just by setting up the parameters a certain way. Sadly, many who read such biased research do not realize this.
So…if you want the ammo to win an argument with an acupuncture hater, read the article quoted below. It is quite deep and provides a ton of valuable information. Please do share if you like this!
Over the last few decades, acupuncture has gone mainstream in the West. With a growing evidence-base, a sparkling safety profile, and a demonstrated track record of effectiveness, medical professionals are increasingly recommending it and patients are increasingly choosing it for relief and results.
But in the words of Chris Brown: “Haters keep on hating, cause somebody’s gotta do it.” And with this, I have no problem. I certainly don’t expect everyone to love acupuncture or even to try it. It’s merely a good treatment option for certain patients, many times better than what conventional medicine can offer.
However the specific anti-acupuncture arguments I hear repeated do have certain flaws; they are based on poor reading and interpretation of the literature, and in some cases they are based on pure fantasy. So with that in mind, I shall address the three most common arguments in the anti-acupuncture arsenal: it’s a placebo, it’s dangerous, and it isn’t evidence based.
Attributing acupuncture’s beneficial effects down to placebo is a very common argument made by critics. However, it needs to be pointed out that this criticism doesn’t address whether or not acupuncture works; rather, it’s one possible explanation as to how it works, or the mechanism behind its effectiveness. Indeed, saying that acupuncture is “just a placebo” is to acknowledge that it is indeed effective. I would argue that if you are trying to find effective treatments for patients the more relevant question is, for a particular condition or symptom, how does it compare to the standard treatment?
Let’s take acupuncture in the treatment of migraines, for example. The most recent Cochrane Review of acupuncture for the treatment of migraines concludes that while there does not seem to be a significant difference in effect size between acupuncture and placebo acupuncture, both are more effective than prophylactic pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.
So, let’s break this down. Prophylactic drugs have been demonstrated to be more effective for preventing migraines than placebo treatment in the form of a sugar pill. And both true acupuncture and fake acupuncture are more effective than the drug, which in itself exerts a placebo effect in addition to the known pharmacological action.
Critics use these results as evidence that acupuncture doesn’t really work and that it’s all in the mind. But what these results actually show is that even if acupuncture is a placebo, it works better than conventional treatment. I say that if acupuncture can exert a placebo effect greater than the combined effect of placebo and biological action of a drug, we really need to be a bit humble about what we think we know about the human body. Based on this research, if I or someone that I cared about had a migraine, I know which treatment I would choose.
Personally, I agree with Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst’s take here: “Demonstrating that a treatment is effective is the number-one priority in medicine; understanding the exact details of the underlying mechanism can be left as a problem for subsequent research.”
Read the Complete Article @ A Better Way to Health