Acupuncture Is Theatrical Placebo

Anesthesia & Analgesia Magazine:

Curiously, given that its alleged principles are as bizarre as those on any other sort of prescientific medicine, acupuncture seemed to gain somewhat more plausibility than other forms of alternative medicine. As a result, more research has been done on acupuncture than on just about any other fringe practice.

The outcome of this research, we propose, is that the benefits of acupuncture are likely nonexistent, or at best are too small and too transient to be of any clinical significance. It seems that acupuncture is little or no more than a theatrical placebo. The evidence for this conclusion will now be discussed. [...]

We found evidence that these responses seem to follow a common trend of early rapid improvement in symptoms that slows down and reaches a plateau 6 months after the start of treatment, although the size of response varied widely. We found a similar pattern of improvement in symptoms following any treatment, regardless of whether it was index, active comparator, usual care, or placebo treatment. [...]

Since it has proved impossible to find consistent evidence after more than 3000 trials, it is time to give up. It seems very unlikely that the money that it would cost to do another 3000 trials would be well-spent.

I had acupuncture years ago as treatment for RSI, and my experience was exactly this: early rapid improvement in symptoms that slows down and reaches a plateau. Also, it involved electroacupuncture, which they characterize as "essentially transdermal electrical nerve stimulation masquerading as acupuncture."

Pull the wool over your own eyes!

Also, tuttles.

About a year ago the dedicated folks at the Marine Stranding and Rescue Center in Virginia Beach, VA brought two sea turtles in to a clinic where I was working for evaluation and possible acupuncture treatments. Both turtles had problems with mobility.

Amazingly, we found references to a few acupuncture points in turtles, so myself and a second acupuncture trained veterinarian began with these. I coupled these treatments with chiropractic adjustments on their necks. [...] I finally added some Chinese herbals into his protocol, and we began to see the improvements that we were looking for.

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How does world's oldest water taste? Terrible.

Nearly 1.5 miles beneath Earth's surface, scientists have found pockets of water that have been isolated from the outside world for 1 billion to 2.6 billion years.

What is very, very old water like?

What jumps out at you first is the saltiness. Because of the reactions between the water and the rock, it is extremely salty. It is more viscous than tap water. It has the consistency of a very light maple syrup. It doesn't have color when it comes out, but as soon as it comes into contact with oxygen it turns an orangy color because the minerals in it begin to form -- especially the iron.

So you've tasted it?

I have to admit I have tasted it from time to time. It tastes terrible. It is much saltier than seawater. You would definitely not want to drink this stuff.

We are interested in the saltiest waters because they are the oldest, and tasting is the quick-and-dirty way to find which are the most salty. I don't let the students do it, though.

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Current Music: EMA -- Marked ♬

Youtube scaling, again

Something broke recently, and my Youtube embeds stopped working in Firefox. The Play button does nothing, though the image is the right size.

Dear Lazyweb, please tell me how to fix this.

  • Safari 6.0.3, OSX: Works.
  • Safari, iOS 6.1.4: Works.
  • Chrome 24.0, OSX: Works.
  • Firefox 21.0, OSX: Play button fails.
  • Opera 12.15, OSX: Wrong size: only top left quarter is visible. Play button works.

Weirdly, the Firefox Play button animates when you click it, so it's receiving the event! It just does not then play.

Any ideas?

Update: Well, no, nobody had any ideas. So I've reverted it back to the Old Way, where the video is not scaled, but half the time people will see the "Window is too small" bullshit when they hit play. God dammit.


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