BBC: Acupuncture 'deactivates brain'

Acupuncture works by deactivating the area of the brain governing pain, a TV show will claim.

Tuesday's programme - the first of three on complementary medicine - will show researchers carrying out brain scans on people having acupuncture.

I think you'll find that acupuncture only 'works' for people who deactivate their brains beforehand.

Note how the opening sentence of this story might mislead you into thinking that there really is something in acupuncture over and above the placebo effect. The truth is buried away right at the end of the story:

Professor Tony Wildsmith, a pain relief expert at the University of Dundee, said he thought the findings were possible. But he added: "The thing about acupuncture is that it does not work on everyone. It is more likely to be effective if you believe it.

The placebo effect is a genuine and interesting phenomenon, but let's drop the nonsense with the needles, why don't we? Rixology is far less invasive.

See also:

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

One comment

  1. "We have found something quite unexpected - that acupuncture is having a measurable effect on the human brain."
    A kick in the knackers would also probably have a measurable effect on the brain. It doesn't mean it's a good thing. Mind you, it'd take your mind off your bad back.

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