Re: [asa] Consensus science

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Fri Aug 28 2009 - 15:56:33 EDT

Heya Jack,

A note: I'm not all that enthused with "alternative medical practices"
myself, whatever they may be. I've heard some interesting anecdotes, but for
my own part I tend to put at least a bit more stock into mainstream

That said, I don't think the issue is as clear-cut as you say. I decided to
check out if there have been any studies indicating acupuncture actually
works. Sure enough:

"The study showed that acupuncture increases the binding availability of
mu-opioid receptors in regions of the brain that process and weaken pain
signals -- specifically the cingulate, insula, caudate, thalamus and
amygdala. By directly stimulating these
acupuncture can affect the brain's long-term ability to regulate pain, the
study found."

Now, I'm not a big fan of science journalism (and I have a healthy
skepticism of scientists reporting on their research too), so take this with
a grain of salt - at least if you trust the reports about that helping. But
at the glance I took, it seems that there's at least recognition that
acupuncture could honestly be achieving some valid results. (Chiropractors,
I didn't look into much.) I could care less what chi is or what mystical
principles acupuncture is based on - if it works, it works. And if it seems
to work, it warrants investigation. Even use.

I think Cameron could have picked some better and less controversial
examples to drive his point home, but I don't think he's completely off-base
on this.

> There are so many things wrong with this paragraph it is hard to know where
> to begin. Chiropractic and acupuncture are considered "alternative"
> medical practices, for good reasons. First there is no scientific basis to
> them. I have never seen an electronmicrospy of Chi, nor a Chi gel, or fMRI
> of Chi states. Western Medicine, for all its flaws, is based on science;
> anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc. Acupuncture is based on mystical
> principles. Chiropractic is based on a philsophy that almost all modern
> chiropractic practioners have abandoned. The other difficulty is a lack of
> clear definitions. When someone does a study of chiropractic techniques,
> they are rarely rigourous in defining exactly what the manipulation is.
> There are just about as many manipulations as there are practitioners. I
> find it surprising that you place higher authority in the general public,
> "everyone goes to chiropracters", and congressman, than you do on the
> "consensus" medical opinion. I guess that tells us a lot about you.
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Received on Fri Aug 28 15:57:11 2009

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