Category Archives: Acupuncture

The University of Florida’s Integrative Medicine Service: Good Science or a CAM Trojan Horse?

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF) recently announced the winner of their 2014 education grant. The University of Florida will receive the $10,000 award for demonstrating “their intent and ability to become a force in integrative veterinary medicine.” I … Continue reading

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Evidence Update-Chinese Studies of Acupuncture Are Always Positive: Perfect Medicine or Hidden Bias?

What many people don’t realize about scientific studies is that since they are designed, conducted, analyzed, and reported by fallible human beings, they are prone to all sorts of bias and error. They often contain mechanisms to minimize these sources … Continue reading

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Finally, A Journalist Takes a Skeptical View of Claims for Veterinary Acupuncture

I am occasionally interviewed by journalists writing articles about alternative medicine for pets. Many of these articles deal focus on acupuncture, and they tend to follow a pretty consistent pattern: 1. Story about a dog or cat with some pain … Continue reading

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“Electroacupuncture” as a Treatment for Nausea & Vomiting Caused by Morphine in Dogs

A study was recently published investigating the possible effects of “electroacupuncture” on nausea and vomiting induced by morphine in dogs. This study illustrates some of the challenges of evaluating acupuncture in general, and it shows how the ambiguity in study … Continue reading

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How Important Was Acupuncture in Ancient China?

Acupuncture is arguably one of the more popular alternative therapies, after dietary supplements and chiropractic. The mystical explanations for its supposed benefits, such as balancing the mysterious energy force known as Ch’i, are not generally accepted in the mainstream medical … Continue reading

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The Problem with Systematic Reviews of Acupuncture in China

One of the highest levels of evidence in the system of evidence-based medicine is the systematic review. Unlike narrative reviews, in which an author selects those studies they consider relevant and then summarizes what they think the studies mean, which … Continue reading

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Veterinary Acupuncture

What is it? Because of the wide variety of theories, approaches, and specific practices acupuncturists use, it is difficult to find agreement as to what exactly acupuncture is. At its core, acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the … Continue reading

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Acupuncture Points: Do They Exist?

There are many levels at which one can, and should, evaluate a proposed medical treatment. Certainly, high level and high quality clinical trial research is likely to be the deciding factor for many interventions. But another important thing to look … Continue reading

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Acupuncture vs Opioids for Surgical Pain in Dogs: Which is Better?

My attention was recently drawn to a veterinary acupuncture study which appears, superficially, to show acupuncture to be equivalent to opioid analgesia for post-operative pain in dogs. Unfortunately, especially for the research subjects, the design of the study was deeply … Continue reading

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Acupuncture–Still a Placebo After All These Years

The scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture is far weaker than is widely supposed, even among those committed to science and science-based medicine. It has been repeatedly shown that the measurable physiological effects and apparent clinical benefits of sticking … Continue reading

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