Astana used acupuncture

by leqin   July 29, 2014  

Vincenzo Nibali attributes at least part of his TDF success to be as a result of the Astana team using acupuncture.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/820361-acupuncture-helped-vincenzo-nibal...

So - is this marginal gains, or is it a unfair advantage similar to those of some other blokes who won this race in the past?

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I remember a Chinese Acupuncture doctor from France. She felt my wife's pulse and told her that she was pregnant, and indeed she was (she wasn't showing any visible signs of being pregnant at that time).
In Chinese medicine the pulse is measured in a different way, not just bpm. I was at the clinic to be treated not my wife at that time, the doctor was just being friendly.

In martial arts, methods were developed to target certain areas of the body with certain force. Knowledge of human body mechanics and manipulation of nerve function and blood flow. Just as acupuncture does but for beneficial function. Not really complicated, if you have the knowledge.

In essence, learn to cure first before you learn to harm. That is much harder.

That's all for today Big Grin

posted by ronin [164 posts]
30th July 2014 - 22:56

2 Likes

ronin wrote:
I remember a Chinese Acupuncture doctor from France. She felt my wife's pulse and told her that she was pregnant, and indeed she was (she wasn't showing any visible signs of being pregnant at that time).
In Chinese medicine the pulse is measured in a different way, not just bpm. I was at the clinic to be treated not my wife at that time, the doctor was just being friendly.

Do you also believe that fortune tellers can see the future? It's easy to trick people in to believing you can do things you can't. See: any magician. Traditional Chinese Medicine is not rigorous and does not produce consistent diagnoses between practitioners. A stronger pulse can indicate pregnancy, but it can also indicate lots of other things. Which is why in modern medicine, it is not used as a diagnostic test for pregnancy.

ronin wrote:
In martial arts, methods were developed to target certain areas of the body with certain force. Knowledge of human body mechanics and manipulation of nerve function and blood flow. Just as acupuncture does but for beneficial function. Not really complicated, if you have the knowledge.

In essence, learn to cure first before you learn to harm. That is much harder.

That's all for today Big Grin

How is martial arts relevant to acupuncture? Martial arts (and I mean real the stuff, not harnessing your chi to one-inch-punch) is the application of force in order to disable an opponent. You'd be more accurate in describing it as the opposite to physiotherapy (which actually works, unlike acupuncture).

posted by faceplant [10 posts]
31st July 2014 - 7:46

1 Like

Firstly, there have been many studies that have proven something, that have later been disproved or found to be fraudulent, the best so far is the MMR study by Dr Andrew Wakefield, as a result of this study it is approximated that over 100,000 children have dies as a result of not being vaccinated, and millions have suffered from conditions that were easily prevented.

Secondly, the 2009 study is contentious as the control results were quite high and close enough to the acupuncture results that it was concluded that where the needles were placed may not be relevant, however acupuncture is based on needles being placed in certain areas to achieve a result.

Thirdly, the Cochrane meta analysis of acupuncture shows overwhelmingly that acupuncture does not work, if you are unaware of what a Cochrane review is, I suggest you find out, in basic terms, this is the go-to organisation for medical research and data analysis.

Fourthly, I have suffered for 20 years with chronic back pain as well as sever pain in most of my joints as a result of doing silly things like joining the Army and getting blown up and shot at a lot, I also have lots of tattoos. If you consider getting a tattoo is the equivalent of getting acupuncture at a gamma scale, not only should I never feel pain again, neither should the next 10 generations of my offspring.

Finally, as much as the placebo effect is real and largely not understood, you must remember that people get better, there are several quality studies that even show the color of a tablet increases the perceived response from a patient, but this is all self reported, there are no studies that show a placebo response to anything that can be measured by an isolated observer or by instrumentation, for instance a broken bone or open wound, so it is clear that the placebo response is controlled in the brain, not at the location of the injury or pain.

Finally-Finally, that attitude of "well whatever works" is a pile of crap, as I have said, the placebo effect is real, and is the corner stone of Alternative Therapy. The bigger problem is when celebreties or high end sports people use such treatments, the general pubic take this as an endorsement and end up wasting there hard earned cash on treatment that does not work, or works just as well as mind over matter, have a look back over the past few years, and especially the past 2 Olympic Games with the use of Kinesiology Tape which as been proven time and time again to do absolutely nothing, however more and more people are using it.

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 8:23

3 Likes

farrell wrote:
Al__S wrote:
It's quackery, pure and simple. Even supposedly "scientific" Garmin-Sharp employ a chiropractor. So much quackery and magical thinking going on.

Having used acupuncture and been treated by the NHS with it in the past I'd strongly disagree with calling acupuncture "quackery".

I am more willing to be proved wrong and hold my hands up to it just being a placebo effect if you can point me in the direction of such evidence?

410 meta studies here showing no measurable effect http://www.cochrane.org/search/reviews/acupuncture

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 8:29

4 Likes

I have some protection rocks for sale for £20 that I guarantee with keep you safe from wild North American Brown Bears, but you must keep it on your pocket at all times, and never take it out of the UK as the chi in other regions is not powerful enough to trigger the anti North American Brown Bear defence aura

If at any time you are attacked and killed by a North American Brown Bear in the UK I will happily refund your £20

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 8:43

2 Likes

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
Farrell wrote:
I am more willing to be proved wrong and hold my hands up to it just being a placebo effect if you can point me in the direction of such evidence?

410 meta studies here showing no measurable effect http://www.cochrane.org/search/reviews/acupuncture

That's hardly irrefutable evidence, that's a merely link to a list of 412 studies relating to acupuncture, for a multitude of different reasons. Reasons which include, from a quick glance:

Acupuncture for induction of labour,
Acupuncture for mumps in children,
Acupuncture for people with autism spectrum disorders
Acupuncture and assisted conception

So even if those studies/reviews showed that there was absolute zero value in acupuncture for those treatments (and I don't even know if that is the case as I've not had the time to read them), you'd be comparing apples and oranges.

The first study I found that is related was Acupuncture for neck pain, which appears to conclude:

Quote:
Individuals with chronic neck pain who received acupuncture reported, on average, better pain relief immediately after treatment and in the short-term than those who received sham treatments. Individuals with chronic neck pain with symptoms radiating to the arms who received acupuncture reported, on average, better pain relief in the short-term

So even though you condescended people about Cochrane reviews whilst comparing acupunture to having tattoos, it appears that that even they are inconclusive, although still leading to the positive for acupuncture for that particular study.

That's hardly the same as magic anti-bear rocks now is it?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 8:59

2 Likes

For a couple of years I had regular acupuncture sessions followed up with a massage to help release tension in my shoulders and back. It was cheap, low-risk and I always felt much better afterwards - I wouldn't have continued so long had I not. I really don't care in the slightest if the benefits were physical or just psychological. Why would I? All the folks on a desperate crusade to point out that it's all bunk are missing the point that the man who just won the TdF (what races have YOU won btw?) is also receiving some benefit and nobody is forcing you to have pins shoved in you so what's the big f%#king deal?

posted by LinusLarrabee [78 posts]
31st July 2014 - 9:09

3 Likes

LinusLarrabee wrote:
For a couple of years I had regular acupuncture sessions followed up with a massage to help release tension in my shoulders and back. It was cheap, low-risk and I always felt much better afterwards - I wouldn't have continued so long had I not. I really don't care in the slightest if the benefits were physical or just psychological. Why would I? All the folks on a desperate crusade to point out that it's all bunk are missing the point that the man who just won the TdF (what races have YOU won btw?) is also receiving some benefit and nobody is forcing you to have pins shoved in you so what's the big f%#king deal?

I think you're missing the point. Acupuncture is not without risk. They include local hematoma (due to bleeding from a punctured blood vessel), pneumothorax (punctured lung), convulsions, local infections, hepatitis B (from unsterile needles), bacterial endocarditis, contact dermatitis, and nerve damage.

Furthermore, these risks are being undertaken and paid for under the false pretence that the treatment is effective, when it has been objectively shown that it is not.

So in essence, your position is that we should lie to patients if it makes them feel better?

posted by faceplant [10 posts]
31st July 2014 - 9:34

0 Likes

faceplant wrote:
When it has been objectively shown that it is not.

Where and when?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 9:44

1 Like

I want my magic anti-bear rocks.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3476 posts]
31st July 2014 - 9:50

3 Likes

The busiest and most requested GP at my surgery before he left was a family man with who felt there is a place for complementary therapies alongside pills and potions.

My parents' GP, who recently retired from running his NHS practice, used acupuncture where he felt it would help. He too would prescribe all the usual drugs that doctors dish out.

For each of these trained and very experienced professionals you can decide if he is:
1. a ' real' doctor (whatever you think that is)
2. a drug-pushing stooge paid to boost Omega Pharma's vast profits, or
3. a self-appointed guru or quack selling snake-oil to gullible celebrities.

Tony Martin was wearing kinesiology tape during the Tour, not the first time, I believe. I know the sports therapist that works with the Atherton siblings in the GT racing team and he uses kinesio tape on the athletes. I don't know how (or whether) it works as claimed but these professional athletes are still winning races at the highest level so I remain open-minded. I will quiz him next time we meet.

However, I always felt that Power Balance bands, as worn by numerous athletes, are a complete ripoff.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2063 posts]
31st July 2014 - 10:38

1 Like

faceplant wrote:

I think you're missing the point. Acupuncture is not without risk. They include local hematoma (due to bleeding from a punctured blood vessel), pneumothorax (punctured lung), convulsions, local infections, hepatitis B (from unsterile needles), bacterial endocarditis, contact dermatitis, and nerve damage.

Furthermore, these risks are being undertaken and paid for under the false pretence that the treatment is effective, when it has been objectively shown that it is not.

Ok, I bite... I'll accept the local hematoma, but I can't see many folk suffering from a punctured lung from acupuncture, convulsion or infections... the needles are single use and come pre-sterilised and individually wrapped... everything you are talking about is acupuncture practiced badly... and in that situation yes, seeing someone incompetent/unscrupulous is dangerous... but honestly, how many of us would let randoms stick needles in our body?

The treatment is effective.

Now whether that effectiveness translates into long term solutions/fixes is a different matter... much in the same way that paracetamol is not going to fix the cause of repeated headaches.

Does it have an effect? Absolutely... does it help people feel better? absolutely... is that real or placebo? it doesn't really matter... should people forgo other standard medical practices for acupuncture and chiropractic treatment? Hell no... Should these practices be explored as an option for certain problems? Hell yes.

I've struggled long and hard with lower back pain over the years, caused by a mixture of poor posture and hypermobility of certain joints... Anyway, at 30, years of ignoring the challenge, and seeing the osteopath occasionally caught up with me and I became properly scuppered. The GP prescribed pain killers and put me on a waiting list.

I went to see a chiropractor whilst waiting, and over a period of three months, he sorted me out. Now, I am happy to admit that some of the long term fix was his guidance on core strength and general conditioning, but certainly in the short to mid term, he got me up and running in a way that nothing else had... and certainly better than codeine and sitting on my arse.

I guess what I am saying is that I am a believer... not an evangelist, but from personal experience, I suggest that there is good to be had from these treatments.

Final point.. placebo effect. I see the term 'placebo' used a lot in these studies, and I can't help feeling that the interpretation of the term is not always strictly accurate.

If someone goes to see someone with a chronically sore knee and after acupuncture treatment that knee is better... that needs to be explored further than simply written off as the placebo effect.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [354 posts]
31st July 2014 - 12:06

0 Likes

farrell wrote:
jason.timothy.jones wrote:
Farrell wrote:
I am more willing to be proved wrong and hold my hands up to it just being a placebo effect if you can point me in the direction of such evidence?

410 meta studies here showing no measurable effect http://www.cochrane.org/search/reviews/acupuncture

That's hardly irrefutable evidence, that's a merely link to a list of 412 studies relating to acupuncture, for a multitude of different reasons. Reasons which include, from a quick glance:

Acupuncture for induction of labour,
Acupuncture for mumps in children,
Acupuncture for people with autism spectrum disorders
Acupuncture and assisted conception

So even if those studies/reviews showed that there was absolute zero value in acupuncture for those treatments (and I don't even know if that is the case as I've not had the time to read them), you'd be comparing apples and oranges.

The first study I found that is related was Acupuncture for neck pain, which appears to conclude:

Quote:
Individuals with chronic neck pain who received acupuncture reported, on average, better pain relief immediately after treatment and in the short-term than those who received sham treatments. Individuals with chronic neck pain with symptoms radiating to the arms who received acupuncture reported, on average, better pain relief in the short-term

So even though you condescended people about Cochrane reviews whilst comparing acupunture to having tattoos, it appears that that even they are inconclusive, although still leading to the positive for acupuncture for that particular study.

That's hardly the same as magic anti-bear rocks now is it?

it actually is irrefutable evidence, these are not studies, they are meta analysis of ALL the available research, this is not cheery picked information from a part of a study, how can you even say that without reading the research, or understanding what inconclusive or significantly significant actually mean in scientific terms. I can find thousands of pages of information that 'proves' acupuncture works, but until it has been through the peer review process or compared to other similar results and then duplicated, it is worthless.

I can write a paper that (using someone else's post) shows drinking a bottle of scotch cures the common cold, I have the appropriate qualifications, and the contacts to have this published, it wont go into a reputable journal, I will have to pay a small fee, and dodge the peer review process, but it will be published, and if I am a true scum bag I will send it to the print media as a press release first.

If you don't believe this is what happens read Bad Science and Bad Pharma, its all in there and all backed up by actually experts in medicine and science, not just some guy with a blog on the internet

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 13:00

2 Likes

if you want to know if its harmless or not, have a look at this http://whatstheharm.net/acupuncture.html and its true people do have reactions to medication also, but medication is studied and reviewed, doctors have regulatory authorities and bodies that keep them (or try to) in line, CAM practitioners do not

Also, someone mentioned a good point about Drug pushing Omega-Pharma Quickstep stooges, yes there are many of them, to many and I know quite a few personally that don't have any moral issues with taking "loyalty" from drug companies, and a few that lend there qualifications to the Big Pharma in return for , well anything from research money to cushy jobs, but whats important to remember, the people carrying out the meta analysis are not are generally employed by a research institute they get nothing more if the results are positive or negative.

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 13:17

1 Like

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
it actually is irrefutable evidence, these are not studies, they are meta analysis of ALL the available research, this is not cheery picked information from a part of a study, how can you even say that without reading the research

Have you read it all? I very much doubt you have even clicked on the link because its just a list of summaries of studies.

I'm sure that by shoehorning in technical sounding language you're making yourself feel very intelligent, but all you've really done is gone to the Cochrane website and searched for the word "Acupuncture" and provided a link to the search result.

Using your logic, I can prove that Ghosts exist:
http://www.cochrane.org/search/site/ghosts

and also magic:
http://www.cochrane.org/search/site/magic

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 13:22

1 Like

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
If you don't believe this is what happens read Bad Science and Bad Pharma, its all in there and all backed up by actually experts in medicine and science, not just some guy with a blog on the internet

So, if I don't believe you then I must be listening to "some guy with a blog on the internet", but you must be correct because you've referenced some guy who is a columnist for the Guardian?

By the way, I've attended Ben Goldacre giving a lecture on Bad Pharma and read a lot of his work so I'm not really intending to besmirch or discredit his or anyone else's work.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 13:28

1 Like

farrell wrote:
jason.timothy.jones wrote:
If you don't believe this is what happens read Bad Science and Bad Pharma, its all in there and all backed up by actually experts in medicine and science, not just some guy with a blog on the internet

So, if I don't believe you then I must be listening to "some guy with a blog on the internet", but you must be correct because you've referenced some guy who is a columnist for the Guardian?

By the way, I've attended Ben Goldacre giving a lecture on Bad Pharma and read a lot of his work so I'm not really intending to besmirch or discredit his or anyone else's work.

I am not asking you to believe me, am am asking you to look at the facts you can take my words and twist them out of context any way that you like, it does not prove anything, except for the fact that you wont let scientific and medically proven research sway your fixed ideas.

Also, just for your information, as much as Dr Goldacre does write for the Guardian, he is actually a Research Fellow in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I think he deserves a little more respect than being called some guy who is a columnist.

To be honest i'm not to sure what your agenda is, but you seem to like to form an argument out of misrepresenting what others have said, go ahead for all I care, i shall be ignoring you

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 14:57

2 Likes

farrell wrote:
jason.timothy.jones wrote:
it actually is irrefutable evidence, these are not studies, they are meta analysis of ALL the available research, this is not cheery picked information from a part of a study, how can you even say that without reading the research

Have you read it all? I very much doubt you have even clicked on the link because its just a list of summaries of studies.

Actually, yes I have, I am in the middle of writing a thesis on the dangers of misrepresenting or misinterpreting research. I have read more research information than most practicing MD's

Sooo, ummm there is that

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 15:02

3 Likes

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
To be honest i'm not to sure what your agenda is, but you seem to like to form an argument out of misrepresenting what others have said, go ahead for all I care, i shall be ignoring you

I have no agenda. I have an open mind. I'm not extolling the virtues of anything to anyone or trying to sell anything. I've just asked for this evidence that acupuncture is quackery they everyone seems to have.

The two things that have been posted are:

A study where one group was given acupuncture in specific locations and the second was given acupuncture is non-specific locations. The patients reported an improvement in their back pain. My reasoning is that the patients still had needles put in them. Surely the test should have that been one group has acupuncture, one group doesn't?

And the link you provided, which was a simply a list of reviews of studies. When I went through the list (that you provided) and found a review relating to neck pain (chosen because that was more relevant in a conversation regarding back pain than autism or trying to conceive) it showed acupuncture in a positive light in terms of pain relief. Remember, you provided the link so it was your evidence, so it strikes me as odd that you would provide that as proof it doesn't work.

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
Actually, yes I have, I am in the middle of writing a thesis on the dangers of misrepresenting or misinterpreting research. I have read more research information than most practicing MD's

Sooo, ummm there is that

You've read every single one of those 412 reviews that you linked? If so, why didn't you notice that a huge chunk of them had nothing to do with back pain? Some are nothing to do with pain at all. Some show acupuncture in a positive light, as far as proof that acupuncture as a treatment for back pain is hogwash that doesn't seem to make sense.

I do hope that your arguments in your thesis are better and more clearly presented than your arguments here.

Again, I have no agenda or vested interest in acupuncture (or any other complementary/alternative treatments for that matter), I'm just interested to see this, if any, evidence that the acupuncture I felt worked for me was in fact the product of my own mind.

I fear we are going round in circles though so I'll just wish you the best of luck with your studies and leave it at that.

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 15:33

1 Like

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
if you want to know if its harmless or not, have a look at this http://whatstheharm.net/acupuncture.html and its true people do have reactions to medication also, but medication is studied and reviewed, doctors have regulatory authorities and bodies that keep them (or try to) in line, CAM practitioners do not

There are sharks in every are of life where money can be made, but that link proves nothing. What about GPs and surgeons who have killed patients, by a genuine prescription error, with a needle or scalpel, either through incompetence or even deliberately?

Compare the number of people infected by acupuncture needles with those by health professionals.

Compare the side-effects of CAM to that of pharmaceuticals.

My boss died of cancer last year. Billions of dollars have been spent on cancer research yet the horribly toxic chemicals they pumped into him still didn't help. He's not the exception, yet we are led to believe that it's black and white, that Chemo is a good thing but Chiro is snake oil. The human body is not that simple.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2063 posts]
31st July 2014 - 15:55

1 Like

faceplant wrote:
...So in essence, your position is that we should lie to patients if it makes them feel better?

No. I never said anything about lying to anybody. If my simple comment above is open to such misinterpretation I hate to think what happens when people read research papers! In "essence", my position is that if it is voluntary, low-risk, affordable and a person derives some benefit where's the harm?

posted by LinusLarrabee [78 posts]
31st July 2014 - 16:06

0 Likes

Again, yes I have read them all, but thanks far asking for the clarification, if you are interested I have also read over 600 reviews of Homeopathy and about the same on TCM...

You are saying that you have no agenda, but you asked for

Quote:
Farrell wrote:
I am more willing to be proved wrong and hold my hands up to it just being a placebo effect if you can point me in the direction of such evidence?

So I posted a link to the most respected repository of the information you asked for, I did not say at any time that this was information only on back pain, it is however a brilliant start point for evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture, I could have sifted through them, or I could have posted 100's of other links that have similar information, but I am sure you would have come back with the same response, without reading the information provided any way. So you asked for the information, I provided it, you did not read it, rather you looked for some information that you though may have helped prove your point.

I have read the review on the neck pain, as I said, I have read them all, what you will find is most of the reviews do go along a similar line, they will either out and out disprove the research or say at best, as it has on the neck pain

Quote:
The trials were of moderate methodological quality

the number of participants in each trial was relatively low

so we could not combine the results of the trials to get an overall picture


However, a large proportion of the reviews will state along the lines of
Quote:

Further methodologically robust studies are needed to generate evidence-based conclusions.
There is no reliable proof of effectiveness of xxxxx for xxxx due to lack of randomised controlled trials up to now.

these are red flags straight away, I am looking for the words Statistically significant, not moderate. why? well If I were trying to get a drug to market and the results were moderate, I would not get approval at all, so why would you want to use a lower standard for any treatment.

Back to the neck review, it says

Quote:
We did not find any trials that examined the effects of acupuncture for acute or subacute pain, but we found 10 trials that examined acupuncture treatments for chronic neck pain. Overall, methodological quality had a mean of 2.3/5 on the Jadad Scale.

Unfortunately not a lot of people understand this last part, anything under a JS of 3 is considered to be a low quality trial, generally as its not been correctly blinded or randomised, and importantly, the drop out rate, if the drop out rate is high, the trail needs to be completely ignored as pts will drop out of they don't feel better, so if 100 people start, 50 drop out because they are getting worse or not seeing improvement, and out of the 50 that stay, 25 report vast improvement but the other dont, the result will incorrectly show as 50% showed improvement as the pts that drop out do not measure in the end result, I havent looked at the drop out rate for this review as it is not really significant given the JS score, unfortunately they do not always use a JS,.

Back to the review

Quote:

Authors' conclusions:
There is moderate evidence that acupuncture relieves pain better than some sham treatments, measured at the end of the treatment. There is moderate evidence that those who received acupuncture reported less pain at short term follow-up than those on a waiting list. There is also moderate evidence that acupuncture is more effective than inactive treatments for relieving pain post-treatment and this is maintained at short-term follow-up.

You need to pay attention to the term moderate evidence, under the Cochrane guidelines this means

Quote:
Moderate evidence denoted findings in a single, high quality RCT or consistent findings in multiple low-quality trials.

being that there is a review of 10 trials, there is a fair assumption that this score is given due to consistent findings in low quality trails (low JS scores)

So let me ask you this, if I offered you a treatment that I have proven with 10 trails, but the trials were of poor quality, there was a high proportion of drop outs, blinding and randomisation was in question, but the results I publish are ok...would you actually pay me for the treatment?

either way, you asked for proof, and I have provided not only the resource, but now a very brief introduction on how to understand and rate the results of the reviews, if you take the oppertunity to read through these reviews, and happen to come upon a Meta anaysis with a >4 JS or one with Strong evidence under the Cochrane Qualitative Analysis of Trial criteria, I would be more than happy to discuss

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 16:35

1 Like

Simon E wrote:

Compare the number of people infected by acupuncture needles with those by health professionals.

Compare the side-effects of CAM to that of pharmaceuticals.

My boss died of cancer last year. Billions of dollars have been spent on cancer research yet the horribly toxic chemicals they pumped into him still didn't help. He's not the exception, yet we are led to believe that it's black and white, that Chemo is a good thing but Chiro is snake oil. The human body is not that simple.

I have no doubt that there are very bad MD's out there, Google Dr Andrew Wakefield or Dr Mehmet Oz to start with.

My point was not that either was worse on side effects than another, I was replying to someone saying that it was harmless, even Homeopathy can have side effects (if you are diabetic)

I am sorry to hear about your boss, but I have a very close friend that has just been given the all clear after some quite intense chemo, and it is quite toxic, my friend told me at times she wished she was dead. Chemo is not good, but it can work

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 16:45

0 Likes

Quite a comprehensive response, so thank you for that.

what you're saying is its my lack of knowledge or understanding when reading these reviews that is holding me back? Thats is not a trick question by I'm the way, I'm genuinely willing to hold my hands up and admit ignorance.

Reading through the reviews, and im far from reading all of them, it seems to me to be contradictory and inconclusive, is that simply just down to me being a lay person as it were?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 17:46

1 Like

I think its fair to say that for most non academics, and even quite a few academics if Im honest, don't actually how to read the information, rather than saying they don't understand the information if that makes sense, I know many 'lay people' that have a better grasp on the meta process than some very clever Ph.D's

Take the word theory as the best example, to most people a theory means an opinion, so the Big bang, Evolution, Relativity all theories. The most used and most incorrect response to Evolution is its just a theory, that does not make it true, but the actual definition of theory is an explanatory framework for some observation. So if I do an experiment on my bike (this is a bike forum) I ride on the turbo trainer for 30 min rest, repeat, rest repeat....measure my heart rate, blood pressure speed cadence or what ever, get all the data, these are observations, if I repeat this over several days or weeks, and can take all the information, I then have my theory to roughly know what my results will be next time because of the data and proof that I already have.

Or I can hypothesise that by having some treatment or taking a supplement having a needle with or with out EPO etcetera that this will increase my output by 50%.

Nearly everyone will call this part a theory rather than a hypothesise....so Theory is an explanation of the observations, not a good guess based on what we think we know.

So in the research world, especially when it comes to meta analysis or systematic reviews, you may well see what looks at face value positive results, so for the neck pain it does look like it works, and the review panel can only say that the information provided indicates positive results as they only have that information to deal with, they cant say it was faked or false, but what they have done in this instance is used the JS to (not) say that the results are positive, however there are flaws in the trials that (probably) would alter the results if the flaws were not present.

Unfortunately as the information is presented in such a way, non academics will use the abstract of a review to show that something does work, Homeopaths are the best for this, but to be fair to them I really doubt they understand the information they are posting, they just see positive results and think its all good.

You really don't need to spend a lot of time reading the full reviews, if I see inconclusive on a Cochrane report, I wont look to deep unless im looking for a specific claim. Something else thats interesting is that when looking at CAM treatments its quite common to see a comment such as "more detailed or further trails required" or "more independent data required". This is normally because the people doing the trails are not really qualified to do so, or if they are, do not have ethics committees supporting them, so its uncommon for the reviews to say flat out that there is no evidence that this treatment does not work, typically as there is little supporting evidence. However this nearly never happens when you look at reviews for modern medical procedures, a search for cancer is a good example of this as its probably the most studied disease/condition.

Finally, I don't like the term lay person as it makes out that a non lay person is superior, I know a bit about science, but I now next to nothing about plumbing, when my toilet is backflowing, the plumber is the smartest person I know, the reason that the reviews are contradictory and inconclusive, is that the are contradictory and inconclusive, none are positive or statistically significant.

Finally Finally, you dont need to be an academic to understand how it works, Read Bad Science and Bad Pharma (this goes deeper into systematic reviews) but have a read of http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/ or http://theness.com/neurologicablog/ they tend to pull apart bad research and explan how/why they are doing it

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 18:34

4 Likes

Again, thank you for a comprehensive response, I've skimmed the seemingly big points but will revisit when im not having a few beers before doing a gig.

As I said, I have no agenda, I may have appeared confrontational in a devils advocate way but I am genuinely open to being proved wrong. I find being proved wrong and told why is the best way of learning more.

I'll probably come back with more mithering in the future if thats ok?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 18:49

0 Likes

Bike forums, hey?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 18:50

1 Like

farrell wrote:
Bike forums, hey?

hahaha no problems

Now did someone say something about Road tax

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
31st July 2014 - 19:15

1 Like

That is definitely hokum...

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
31st July 2014 - 19:23

1 Like

faceplant wrote:
ronin wrote:
I remember a Chinese Acupuncture doctor from France. She felt my wife's pulse and told her that she was pregnant, and indeed she was (she wasn't showing any visible signs of being pregnant at that time).
In Chinese medicine the pulse is measured in a different way, not just bpm. I was at the clinic to be treated not my wife at that time, the doctor was just being friendly.

Do you also believe that fortune tellers can see the future? It's easy to trick people in to believing you can do things you can't. See: any magician. Traditional Chinese Medicine is not rigorous and does not produce consistent diagnoses between practitioners. A stronger pulse can indicate pregnancy, but it can also indicate lots of other things. Which is why in modern medicine, it is not used as a diagnostic test for pregnancy.

ronin wrote:
In martial arts, methods were developed to target certain areas of the body with certain force. Knowledge of human body mechanics and manipulation of nerve function and blood flow. Just as acupuncture does but for beneficial function. Not really complicated, if you have the knowledge.

In essence, learn to cure first before you learn to harm. That is much harder.

That's all for today Big Grin

How is martial arts relevant to acupuncture? Martial arts (and I mean real the stuff, not harnessing your chi to one-inch-punch) is the application of force in order to disable an opponent. You'd be more accurate in describing it as the opposite to physiotherapy (which actually works, unlike acupuncture).

Martial arts and acupuncture? Didn't you read what I wrote? If you have an understanding of the body as a doctor does, you an use that knowledge to cure or cause pain right. Martial arts is no different. You learn about the body in acupuncture.
Inch punch is more body mechanics, you must have seen Bruce lee do that right, but I once knew a man who told me that his teacher broke his arm, through his radius, with 2 fingers. In fact his teacher's son still makes a bruise rubbing medicine, it deals with bruises in 3-4 days. I always go to stock up when ever I'm in the area. Anyone can say placebo effect, but when you're training everyday, you need such things otherwise you just wouldn't be able to train. A bit like a Thai boxer breaking baseball bats with his shins, if you try, your shins will break, but with the proper training it's possible.
And as for magicians, believe what you want, but until you travel in the land, it is just opinion. But ultimately, nothing good will come out of it, and i am not talking of magic tricks. Science in 2014 cannot explain everything.

posted by ronin [164 posts]
1st August 2014 - 23:33

1 Like