Another Look at the Placebo Effect

For the last 50 years, the placebo effect has been a dirty word.  Real interventions make a physiological change in the body.   Placebos do nothing but convince the patient that something is different.

Reality states otherwise.  Ted Katpchuk, an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine doctor who focuses on the placebo effect in his research, wants to change all that.

In last week’s New Yorker, an article focuses on the placebo and the scholars who think about and examine the placebo.

What is a Placebo?

One of the difficult and fundamental questions is what is a placebo?  We’ve come to believe … Read More

Understanding Acupuncture

The National Institutes of Health just published a very good short article on acupuncture, acupuncture research, what we know and what we don’t.

It features a number of  excellent acupuncture researchers discussing the positive work and challenges in acupuncture research.

One of my favorite researchers is Karen Sherman, who researches discusses the challenges of a placebo acupuncture needle and questions if it is possible to create a reliable placebo for acupuncture.   Richard Harris also discusses the placebo needling and how placebo studies may reveal some mechanisms of acupuncture.  His studies have looked at the physiology of acupuncture and placebo … Read More

Acupuncture and Pain Relief

For many years now, researchers have been looking at how acupuncture works for pain relief.  Often these acupuncture studies will use an fMRI scanner that tracks activity and blood flow in the brain.

A recent study coming out of Germany, which was presented yesterday at the Radiological Society of North America, at the showed that acupuncture regulates the pain mechanism in brain as well as the expectation of pain relief in the brain.

Normal people without pain received electric shocks on one of their feet.    On the other foot, they used acupuncture to try to block this pain reaction.  Looking … Read More

Acupuncture Stimulates the Body to Heal Itself

Health ImageAcupuncture believes in the body’s power to heal itself. As acupuncturists, we remove the imbalances that are keeping you from being healthy.

Acupuncture research is beginning to show how acupuncture stimulates the body’s own power to heal itself. The acupuncture needle does not inject any medicine, nor is it coated. It is simply reminding the body to be healthy again.

The research is still young and we don’t know everything. It is probably a complex series of events which occur in many systems across the body. But we do know that it works to regulate the nervous, endocrine, and the … Read More