Weekend mailbag: A most telling comment

Here’s a rather interesting (and telling) comment that, because it showed up on an old post, many readers might have missed:

As a practicing acupuncturist I can only say that my sham techniques have frequently and often created such a powerful placebo effect that many patients coming to my office having exhausted “allopathic” cures find quick and lasting relief.

Some doctors, having been impressed by my results have actually started referring patients to me.

The real sham is the belief that Western Medicine has pure scientific roots that back up every treatment. If only it were the case (for example) that drug studies were conducted in a scientifically neutral (instead of pure profit driven) methodology perhaps this would be true. It seems that mostly only studies that show what the manufacturer wishes to show ever get published (or is that just my faulty observation?)

I read recently that a physician accused of faking multiple research studies claimed it was due to Bipolar Disorder? Thank god he had the ability to fall back upon the proven science of psychology and the DSM manual to provide cause for lying for years.

It is a shame that my “sham” practice has helped many patients who continued to suffer after seeing their Western Physician, however they continue referring their friends so who are we to complain?

I have no doubt that further studies (via Western research methods) will continue to validate many of the techniques of Chinese Medicine. However, with thousands of years of knowledge and millions of patients treated, I am confident that acupuncture can be very effective even without these forthcoming studies.

This is a very typical attitude. In essence, Eric (the commenter) is saying that he believes that acupuncture works and doesn’t need any studies to tell him that. Oh, and, by the way, he doesn’t care if acupuncture “works” primarily through placebo effects. In the meantime, Eric can’t help but throw in the customary rants about big pharma controling medical research and references to uncontrolled observations in his patients that are prone to so many biases as to be useless.