#repost from @acupuncturemediaworks:
Over the past decade, scientific studies have come a long way in disproving this claim. Most studies today test the efficacy of acupuncture treatments by performing correct acupuncture on a portion of the study participants and sham acupuncture on another group. The sham acupuncture, placing needles in people at random points rather than known acupoints, is meant to test the strength of the placebo effect in acupuncture. Several studies have found that while people in both groups report some change in symptoms, the group that receives real acupuncture consistently reports more significant results. They say that the treatment results linger longer, and feel a system-wide difference rather than localized effects where the needles are inserted. In May 2018, the Journal of Pain published a study that looked at acupuncture and chronic pain using data from nearly 21,000 patients. In their study, patients who received sham acupuncture did not see significant changes in their symptoms, compared to those who received real acupuncture did. This adds to the body of evidence showing acupuncture cannot be explained away by the placebo effect.
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