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Much is published in Chinese journals that are inaccessible, much is of poor quality and thus unreliable, Chinese researchers almost never report negative findings, the evidence refers to diverse modalities ranging from acupuncture to Chinese herbs, and it also relates to many, many conditions.” So scaled back and poked around for systematic reviews (the soundest form of evidence) on the effects of alternative Chinese treatments for specific conditions.First, a popular one: acupuncture for headaches and migraines.In Canada, recent estimates put out-of-pocket spending on alternative-care providers at .6 billion—a substantial amount, even when compared to the .1 billion spent on pharmaceutical drugs last year.Governments have been making attempts to rein in the gargantuan industry.So while some studies report positive effects for certain symptoms, others conclude there just isn’t enough good evidence available.Meanwhile, there is one further point to take into account when considering acupuncture: the treatment is not harmless, and as one recent review noted, “serious adverse effects continue to be reported.” In a summary of complications reported since 2000, the study found ninety-five severe cases, including five deaths (four were due to a pneumothorax, or collapsed lung).“I would find it hard to say that this or that treatment has been proven to generate more good than harm for this or that condition,” he said.“I would estimate there are more than 10,000 studies and they are extremely diverse.
“Strong evidence in support of other herbal formulae for the treatment of PMS is currently lacking.” Herbal medicine for esophageal cancer (as an addition to treatment with radiotherapy of chemo) called for more trials since “there is no evidence that herbal medicines are effective or not in this role.” Alas, if you’re considering an alternative treatment, be sure to check the Cochrane reviews yourself to see what the evidence shows about the therapy you’re considering.
A brand new study published in the on acupuncture for pain in endometriosis found the evidence to support this treatment was limited and was based on the results of a single study.
A review of studies on acupuncture for depression also concluded that the evidence was too sparse to draw any correlations.
People can usually tell whether or not you are sticking needles in them.
Various controls have been devised, such as comparing ‘true’ acupuncture points to ‘false’ ones.