This topic contains 26 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Ali 6 months ago.

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  • #4069


    Has anyone acupuncture tried before? If so, what did you think of it?

  • #4070


    Yes, tried it. Didnt work.

  • #4071


    Yes, it helped me recover from a slipped disc/ sciatica. Applied by sports physios. Would definitely try again if needed.

  • #4072


    Just had some this morning. Depending on the injury and the person doing the acupuncture, it can be very effective at aiding recovery.

    A few years ago I had some back and neck problems. The physio did what he had to do and then he suggested a bit of acupuncture. At the time I was very sceptical and thought it was all mumbo jumbo, but I had nothing to lose so I agreed. I noticed instantly that the acupuncture worked. It helped to break knots in my muscles that was helping to cause the pain.

    For me it was a lightbulb moment, and I now swear by acupuncture. I’ve even had an NHS physio perform ‘dry needling’. Its similar to acupuncture but has some western science to back it up. That too, worked.

    It all depends on the treatment, so your mileage may vary.

  • #4073


    It’s placebo plus a small infection risk in exchange for your money. What is feeling like you’re doing something worth to you?

  • #4074


    It’s placebo plus a small infection risk in exchange for your money. What is feeling like you’re doing something worth to you?

    @ben depends what it’s for.

    Stick a needle in your hand to help a headache. – probably (almost definitely) placebo.

    Stick a needle into the middle of a knotted muscle to help the knot relax – very real.

  • #4075


    Stick a needle into the middle of a knotted muscle to help the knot relax – very real.

    @saffy or result in bent needles, minor bruising and no improvement in the knot. Deep tissue massage was far more effective for my shoulder.

    I know others who swear acupuncture helped, but I wouldn’t try it again.

  • #4076


    Yes, I had a knot in my shoulder which was very resistant to being sports massaged out so acupuncture was suggested. A couple of needles shoved in and around the knot and it released.

  • #4077

    just another Dave

    A few years ago one of the biggest health insurers in Germany ran a study demonstrating its efficacy for a couple of conditions including chronic back pain and tension headaches, but e.g. not for migraine.

    The interesting bit is that they used two control groups: One untreated, and one where the needles were placed at random places unrelated to the “meridians” prescribed by TCM.

    Both groups worked the same, and both better than the untreated control, so these conditions seem to be very amenable to treatment by placebo, which is a valid treatment anyway!

    My dentist usually pokes a needle under my lip. I know that there are no special neuronal structures, but the little pinprick pain for some reason (psychology / placebo effect) helps suppress my urge to vomit when he is doing anything towards the back of my mouth (a vicious cycle for me, as I have difficulty brushing my hindmost molars for the same reason).

    So yes, it can work, but while the surrounding ritual may have its value for the placebo effect, it has no other physiological basis.

  • #4078


    Whilst undergoing physio for a thumb problem the physio asked if he could try acupuncture, being open to new things I said yes (paid for the session anyway). He put needles in my hand around the area then did some in the other hand to “balance the flows”

    After my thumb felt great, no pain at all. For about 30 minutes then it was back to being painful. I doubt I would try it again.

  • #4079


    Had some experience with this when suffering from sciatica – needles inserted into the muscles of my back and wired up to the mains via some sort of transformer whilst whiny violin music was playing in the background. It was bearably painful but did sod all to sort out my sciatica which I understand is caused by herniated discs putting pressure on the spinal cord (ie no muscular tissue is involved). Although presumably sciatica can change ones gate leading potentially to muscular issues I guess.

  • #4080


    One of my daughters is a physio who has been trained to do acupuncture, and has taught me to do it for my osteoarthritis in my big toes. Does seem to help for a short time. She uses it mainly for back pain in conjunction with other work. Some research from 2017

  • #4081



    My shoulder injury became more painful afterwards.

    That will just have been coincidence, as will most success stories you hear.

    It’s pretty well studied, and isn’t better than other placebos, with the possible exception of offering some mild benefits for certain types of pain management.

    Just get a massage instead, it’ll do you the same amount of good (very little), won’t carry the risk of infection, and will be more pleasant than being stabbed with needles (unless you’re into that sort of thing, that is).

  • #4082


    There is science to show it can and does work.

  • #4083


    I work in medicine, and my understanding is that there’s more evidence coming out that shows it doesn’t work for the very limited conditions that evidence shows it does work for currently (basically lower back pain and some short term pain relief).

  • #4084


    There is science to show it can and does work.

    @mel not for very much, but there is evidence to show some effect for pain management.

    If you know of other stuff, please provide credible references.

    My wife is a physio and qualified to do acupuncture, by the way!

    Unfortunately the NHS provides a number of treatments which are no better than placebo, it’s a bit of a problem. Some of them are even pharmaceutical.

  • #4085


    40 years ago my dad had acupuncture for persistent and painful dermatitis, after the usual treatments (available at the time) failed. After 1 treatment there was improvement, but the dermatitis returned. He liked the improvement so much he went ahead with a second lot, since when he had no recurrence. Placebo? maybe, anecdotal evidence? yes, definitely. However I should point out that he had had dermatitis for as long as I can remember and needed loads of creams / special gloves etc etc. Sometimes it got so bad it was painful to drive the car. As far as I’m aware there were no other factors which could have caused the improvement, and he swears blind to this day acupuncture was the cure.

  • #4086


    It worked for me, and that’s the limit of my knowledge.

  • #4087


    @luke The problem is that you don’t know that it worked. You could more accurately say “I had it and then my symptoms improved”. The link is not proved.

    To try and prove it, carefully controlled trials with many people are required. It’s never nice to tell an individual that their perspective on their personal experience is worthless, but that’s science.

  • #4088


    @ratface It’s not worthless at all to that individual, it’s the most valuable evidence there is.

  • #4089


    It’s not worthless at all to that individual, it’s the most valuable evidence there is.

    @don Let us be clear – I am not saying their experience is worthless (pain got better) but that their interpretation of that experience is worthless (pain got better because acupuncture).

    Any interpretation of an n=1 uncontrolled experiment such as this has no evidentiary value.

    I didn’t think this would be a controversial statement.

    This total detachment from an ability to critically evaluate facts and reach sound evidentiary conclusions, surpassed by a belief in the equality of worth of all competing views. This is why we have Trump and Brexit. I shall fight this woolly headedness even at great personal cost of the slight to my honour of such dislikes.

  • #4090


    Its just Snakeoil.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  ratface.
  • #4092


    @ratface Not from a single experience or event no, but after a few times an individual knows what works for them as an individual, irrespective of what the general evidence (which of course may be flawed) suggests.

    I had it and it worked for me (knee pain, immediate short term relief but half an hour later no change). I’ve been doing the Cornish version for years mind, when my brother said his leg hurt I’d thump him in the arm and he’d forget all about his leg!

  • #4093


    I was very sceptical, so someone I know that is a qualified acupuncture…ist(?!) did it to my hamstring area. I went from only being able to extend my leg to about 120deg, to fully straight with no discomfort at all.

    I don’t know how placebo works, but I don’t think it can make you more flexible? Only lasted about 10 minutes, but if you were trying to rehab a complex and painful injury, that would be enough to allow manipulation etc.

    I remain unconvinced about “a needle in your ankle will clear a cold” and similar claims, but the way it was explained to me about it causing increased blood flow to the area the needles were in to promote recovery, seemed like a reasonable explanation to me.

  • #4094


    I had it done a long time ago for a painful shoulder problem. There was blood flowing but the problem disappeared. However I now strongly regret doing it. I think it was a placebo effect in my case and afterwards I kept thinking about the clearly used needles the practitioner pulled out of a bag – had they been cleaned/ sterilized properly? Who had they been stuck in before? I now believe (1) I took a real risk, and (2) the practitioner was an absolute quack. Why didn’t I just go to the GP? I am kicking myself and personally would never do it again!!!

  • #4105


    Currently undergoing acupuncture (4 sessions) in my ears for hot flushes. It’s reported as having a 75% success rate, so worth a try. After the first week, the flushes stopped. After the second week, they were back as previously! Now on week 3, and they’re still here, but I’ll carry on for the full treatment to see what happens. And yes, it does hurt.

    I did try TCM acupuncture by an established Chinese practitioner last month to combat fatigue. That really very hurt, and had absolutely zero effect apart from making me ridiculously poorer. That won’t be repeated.

  • #4106


    Even if acupuncture is just a placebo…placebo’s a very real effect and doesn’t require you to believe in it or hope it works, and it has a valid place in treating many problems.

    Or it could also just be distraction – the mind does funny things, and you may, say, have been physically unable to extend it for a while, then just ‘learned’ that behaviour and remained mentally unable to extend it despite the physical problem being gone, and this distracted you from that pattern for a while.

    I know my wife often gets people to do things they think they can’t do by talking them round it, but this is now outside of things I know much about – I’m just pretty sure that increased blood flow won’t cause rapid healing which lasts for 10 minutes then reverses!

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