Acupuncture Found To Be Effective As A Placebo Only
Acupuncture has been found to be ineffective at reducing pain, instead being useful as a placebo only. UPI reports that British and South Korean researchers failed to uncover evidence to support acupunctures efficacy.
More seriously, reasearchers have said the therapy can cause "serious adverse effects" stemming from practitioners' incompetance.
Lead researcher Dr. Edzard Ernst, Peninsula Medical School Universities of Exeter & Plymouth in England, and colleagues at the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine in Daejeon, South Korea, evaulated systematic reviews.
Of 266 found, 56 were categorized as acceptable systematic reviews, reports UPI.
Recent results from high-quality randomized controlled trials have shown that various forms of acupuncture including "sham acupuncture," during which no needles actually penetrate the skin are equally effective for chronic lower back pain.
The effects were attributed to such factors as therapist conviction, patient enthusiasm or the acupuncturists communication style, according to UPI.
Ernst said in a statement, "Acupuncture remains associated with serious adverse effects."
The findings, scheduled to be published in the April issue of the journal 'Pain', found 38 cases of infections caused by acupuncture, 42 cases of trauma, 13 other adverse effects and five patient deaths, reports UPI.
Many of the adverse side effects were not singularly intrinsic to acupuncture, but resulted from malpractice of acupuncturists, the study found.