Sep 03 2013

The 1996 WHO Acupuncture Report

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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “The 1996 WHO Acupuncture Report”

  1. Lumen2222on 03 Sep 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Has the WHO re-examined the issue of acupuncture at all since then? I’m curious if as an organization this kind of bias is common, as I’m not overly familiar with their recommendations.

  2. evhantheinfidelon 04 Sep 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Old studies are always so hard to deal with. If they’re good, I’d like for them to be referenced. Is there an easy way to check and see if research is outdated?

  3. TheFlyingPigon 04 Sep 2013 at 7:25 pm

    “They keep rising from the dead and have to be staked all over again.”

    You “stake” vampires. Zombies, you shoot them in the head. The next line has them “haunting” online discussions. I’m reeling from the mismash of metaphors.

  4. Bruce Woodwardon 05 Sep 2013 at 4:39 am


    I actually think Vampire is more accurate in that they do rise from coffins… this and other stories (Wakefield and Flouridation are doing the rounds on my ‘friends’ walls at the moment) get nailed down and buried. We hammer the nail in the coffin and a year or two later there they are again sucking the intelligence out of our lives again.

    But yeah… bad Steve for mixing undead metaphors. Bob would never have made such errors.

  5. PharmD28on 05 Sep 2013 at 4:51 pm

    oh, I got to do my first alt med skepticism talk at a local skeptical meetup in my area last night….a couple folks were pro-acupuncture – not knowledgeable about the research but on their experience for some sholder pain after a surgery they reported good results…much discussion about the problems of anecdotal evidence….defining placebo effects…it was pretty productive.

    I have gotten into long debates with some members of the local atheist meetup on the subject of acupuncture and had to drag out all of the larger more quality RCT’s and some of the meta-analysis to hammer down my point…

    WHO when that was debated was brought up…as was the NYT science writing in favor of acupuncture (jeez, if NYT writes about positive evidence consistently then….argument from authority…had to shoot that down)….

    Having to discuss with someone that already thinks it works and nuance our discussion about the WHO 1996 statement…about “pragmatic research” in the area of acupuncture and how that is screwy….it can take a while for folks that have no background in science/medicine….

    When it comes to the topic of medicine…the term “skeptic” in general does not guarantee a properly skeptical view about CAM for example or how we figure out what works in medicine….they are do not deny evolution, the big bang, but somehow it tends to take me alot of work to explain why I need RCT’s of good quality and repetition to reach a conclusion of “it works”…

    Based on my review of the acupuncture studies….I honestly think they should just move on….nothin’ to see here folks…some argued I was too close minded with this suggestion….

  6. Eric Tergersonon 10 Sep 2013 at 3:33 am

    Funny, this just came up days ago in our local skeptics in the pub Facebook page. Someone (troll, mostly) was pointing to the WHO report, and no one had taken the time and/or had the expertise to parse the details of the study and it’s background.

    Thank you again Dr. Novella-

    I don’t mean to spam, but PharmD28 and any others, if you wanted to get in contact with me, look up “PDX Skeptics in the Pub” on Facebook or “Portland Skeptics in the Pub” on

    I’d love to collaborate with some other groups, and share your experiences with presenting topics and such-

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