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Old 05-09-2010, 03:36 PM   #61
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I have a friend who is a retired medical librarian (at NIH). She told me that there was a strong political push a few years ago to research a number of alternative therapies, including acupuncture. The results were inconclusive for all the other therapies except for acupuncture - the results for acupuncture were positive. I hope it works out for you - it certainly sounds preferable to taking drugs.
The positive results for acupuncture are not conclusive and may be due to placebo or publication bias. Many studies are poorly designed and double blinding is challenging. The current conclusion is that more research is needed. But the risks are low so whatever floats your boat.

There was a political push to research alternative therapies through the NIH National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Everything I have read has shown that no definitive results have come from any of that research. CSI | The Ongoing Problem with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:56 PM   #62
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As for me, I wouldn't pay good money for acupuncture. But if someone else thinks that it helps them, and if it is harmless, personally I see no problem with it. This is assuming that the acupuncture is done in addition to conventional medical care, not as a substitute for conventional medical care.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:25 PM   #63
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As for me, I wouldn't pay good money for acupuncture. But if someone else thinks that it helps them, and if it is harmless, personally I see no problem with it. This is assuming that the acupuncture is done in addition to conventional medical care, not as a substitute for conventional medical care.
I don't think I'd let anyone stick me full of needles either, but IMO there should not be any requirement to try conventional medicine first or together with alternative treatments, at least not for a non-lethal condition like hot flashes. I have used homeopathy in the past (for something else). I had good results with one condition I tried homeopathy for, and zip with the other. I read up on prescription medications for the one that worked and the potential side effects scared me to pieces. I'm glad there was nothing requiring me to try conventional medicine before, or in conjunction with, homeopathy. I think I'd rather have put up with the condition than take that medication I was so nervous about, but I'm glad I didn't have to make that choice. The condition that didn't improve with homeopathy was eventually treated successfully with conventional medication.

Maybe the results I got from homeopathy were a placebo effect, but so what? If a treatment works and does no harm, why shouldn't it be used, regardless of the mechanism of operation (i.e. whether it is a placebo or a "real" effect)?
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:42 PM   #64
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The positive results for acupuncture are not conclusive and may be due to placebo or publication bias. Many studies are poorly designed and double blinding is challenging. The current conclusion is that more research is needed. But the risks are low so whatever floats your boat.

There was a political push to research alternative therapies through the NIH National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Everything I have read has shown that no definitive results have come from any of that research. CSI | The Ongoing Problem with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The congresscritters who pushed to set up NCAM recently testified that they were upset that procedures kept being proved not effective.
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