Go on, you deserve it. Slap yourself with a Healing Broom

Following on from my last post about whether the people that run quack web sites are deeply deluded or just plain old frauds, I had to share this gem with you. For all aficionados of quackery, this is truly a collectors item to be savoured. Thanks to whoever entered the healingbroom.com web site into the quackometer. It is a treat and scores a perfect 10 canards.

The healing broom looks like a metallic cat o’ nine tails with which to whip yourself. Apparently, you should not use it if you bleed easily. However, the claim is that this 21st century self-flagellation device will stimulate qi, your meridians and cause your cells to vibrate. It breaks up toxic accumulations and will stimulate your bone marrow, depending on how hard you flail yourself, no doubt. If you survive this self-imposed scourging, the healing whip also comes with a separate sharp metal stick thing that you poke yourself with. The stick is magnetic, thankfully, and so the magno-acupressure produced will dull the pain from your whipping, I guess.

What can healing broom treatment do for you? Well, it can ‘return your cells to their normal position’. So, if you notice huge groups of cells in places they should not be, say, several feet to the left, then whip them back into position with the broom. Oh, and slapping is good exercise too.

Naturally, no evidence is given for any of these claims – bar the usual testimonials. The site looks like they have swallowed the woo dictionary. It appears to cover the whole gamut of quack words – hence the high Canard score.

Fortunately, safety is obviously at the top of the company’s concerns. Apparently, you must not use the flail on your body between 11am and 1pm, or on a full stomach, although a reason is not given for this advice. More sensibly, you should not share your implements with someone else. I guess there is large chance of transmission of bodily fluids which could be a source of blood-borne disease. Light coloured clothing should be avoided. I guess blood stains easily.

There is a small bit of me that delights in the fact that people who fall for this scam will administer their own punishment, albeit a sort of punishment that was last seen during the height of British naval power and the Napoleonic wars. As for the sellers? Flogging is too good for them.

Hey, healingbroom.com! Do you believe any of this horse shit?

73 comments for “Go on, you deserve it. Slap yourself with a Healing Broom

  1. EoR
    February 28, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Well, I’d be willing to help out a True Believer or two by giving them a few whacks…

  2. Lucy Jr.
    March 1, 2007 at 10:21 am

    This spot of woo really is top rate.
    Can’t help admiring these quackery generators. They are always pushing the envelope (or in this case, the broom).

  3. JC
    March 2, 2007 at 12:48 am

    As I’m feeling uncharacteristically generous today I’ll note that whipping yourself will increase the blood flow to the whipped area which might help with… I don’t know, something.

    Admittedly it would be more comfortable to just give the same area a quick rub, but that could play havoc with your quantum rah-rah lay lines.

  4. Maggie
    March 11, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    When I accessed this post today I found the google ad was for Quantum North Biofeedback…
    http://quantumnorth.com/

    Jackpot! 10 canards! :-)

    I’ve been having a lot of fun with your Quackometer, thank you so much for providing it.

  5. Cal
    March 14, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Hilarious!! But very worrying for those who take this kind of stuff seriously…

  6. The Angry Medic
    March 23, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Someone should tell Dan Brown about this. He could use it for his next novel. Imagine, Opus Dei upgrading from whips to healing brooms. That’ll go down better with the general public, oh yes.

  7. Anonymous
    March 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    It’s actually a Qigong exercise with about, I don’t know 7000 years of history per the Chinese Medica.
    But, enjoy being cleverly ignorant!
    Blessings

  8. Le Canard Noir
    March 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    You really have been taken in by this claptrap haven’t you? QiGong 7000 years old? Ha Ha Ha. More like 50 years old.

    Ignorance can be easily corrected. Being a gullible buffoon less so.

  9. takata suzuki
    April 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    shaolin monks do these exercises for many thousand years. they make you feel, look and be strong. feels good and good for you. silly.

  10. hong kong fuey
    September 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    As surprising as it may seem, healing brooms or wire hitters as they can be known are used in a taoist practice and basically detox the body. Again check out Mantak Chia and see if hes a quack. He just happens to be a well respected taoist and sells this stuff on his website too. He was taught by monks and this sort of thing has a historic practice. Much Taoist practices were considered quackery until science proved the existence of auras and meridians. Its a shame how our western science which mocked such practices involving meridians took thousand of years to catch up with the chinese i think the real quacks have to be the ignorant ones in this case. quack quack…

  11. lecanardnoir
    September 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Thanks. I did check out Mantak Chia and indeed it does look as if he is a quack. And, unless I missed the news story, science has not shown that auras and meridians are real.

  12. Andrew
    September 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    You guys are so immature posting such an ignorant bad quality “article”. This form of massaging the body is a famous chi Kung (Qi Gong) exercise. It’s for massaging the body (not to hurt yourself, and no it’s not gonna bleed). No harm in using it softly. / The main question is: does it work? As I said its a massage equipment, great health improvements can be achieved from any type of massage. Take your medicines (if a Doctor prescribed it), exercise regularly, eat healthily and use this equipment to massage your body. Nothing wrong with that. And stop been racists guys, things like: Chi (Qi), Chi Kung (Qi Gong), Meridians, Acupuncture Points, etc. Are all fundamental parts of Chinese Culture. If you don’t respect their culture, that’s fine – but at least don’t be racist and childish.

    • Andy Lewis
      September 2, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Do you have any evidence that Chi etc are in anyway specific to ‘Ancient Chinese Culture’? And do you have any evidence that specific acupuncture points date back more than a few hundred years or even a few centuries?

      What I am discussing here is not ‘racist’ but rather whether healing claims based on such ideas have any merit.

    • Nash
      September 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Father Christmas and Fairies are part of English culture, but that doesn’t make them real.

  13. Andrew
    September 3, 2014 at 2:01 am

    I didn’t say that you were disrespectful to “Ancient Chinese Culture”, you are just been picky and maybe racist to their actual Culture.

    PS. This is a great conditioning tool. If you doubt the efficacy, and evidence. Then fight a muy tai fighter, they also use the metal and bamboo brooms to condition the body. Go on city boy, get us ass kicked by a broom user.lol

  14. Andrew
    September 3, 2014 at 2:04 am

    *Get Your ass kicked.. sorry for misspelling, laughing and typing at the same time..lol

    • Andy Lewis
      September 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Perhaps you ought to stop laughing and start thinking instead. I see you did not answer my questions. Nor did you address this issue of whether it was ‘racist’ to question the claims of people who use healing brooms.

      • Andrew
        September 3, 2014 at 8:13 am

        Why can’t you just admit that you done a big mistake writing such rubish and give yourself a 10 ignorance score.

        Did you go to a Muy Tai class and got a kick evidence on the efficacy of this equipment in hardening the practitioner’s bones? Tell them to kick you, as hard as they can, as you think their training is quack and that you don’t believe in the broom thing.

        PS. You have some valid articles, specially with regards to homeopathy, but this one is not one of them.

        I did answer your stupid questions (that by the way – these questions are so dum and have nothing to do with my comment)
        – I have not claimed that Chinese Culture means “Ancient Chinese Culture”. (You are so dum, when someone tells you “American Culture” – Do you think about ancient Native Indian’s American Culture”? (Seriously, what kind of drugs are you on?)
        – There is also nothing related to acupuncture point’s “age” on my initial comment. (Slippery boy, keep trying to divert the discussion to irrelevant areas. What low quality philosophy course have you done?)

        With regards to be racist, you are obviously arrogant and disrespectful towards Chinese Culture believes, you could grow up and stop doing that.

  15. Andy Lewis
    September 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

    The word is ‘dumb’, not ‘dum’.

  16. Woo Fighter
    September 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Most Chinese think all that TCM is crap and go to real doctors who use real medicine.

  17. Andrew
    September 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Let me open your eyes “Woo Fighter”.

    TCM is extremelly popular in chinese villages and it is still popular even in big Cities. Nowadays, TCM is used in China alongside western medicine on most Hospitals.

    If you are still skeptical about TCM: Google a BBC documentary called “The Science of Acupuncture” you will see acupuncture used in Chinese Hospitals – as anaesthetic option for surgeries. (Go there and tell that Acupuncture is placebo, common – do it. Tell that to someone having a heart surgery using ONLY Acupuncture to block the pain instead of using a general anaesthetic)

    Peace

    • Andy Lewis
      September 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      I also suggest you google the BBC Trust about that acupuncture programme where they were slapped very hard for misleading the viewers about the use of acupuncture for anaesthetics in surgery. The patient had been dosed up to the eyeballs with sedatives and local anaesthetics which was not disclosed to viewers. The acupuncture was just theatre – not doing a damn thing.

    • Woo Fighter
      September 4, 2014 at 12:28 am

      That video has long been shown to be a hoax.

  18. Andrew
    September 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Acupuncture has been used as an anaesthetic option for many different medical procedures.

    Thats what the BBC and Doctors from the Royal Society had to say about those claims:

    “Despite the criticisms, the BBC is understood to be considering commissioning a second series. A spokesman said yesterday: “We take these allegations very seriously and we strongly refute them. We used two scientific consultants for the series, Prof Ernst and Dr Jack Tinker, dean emeritus of the Royal Society of Medicine, both of whom signed off the programme scripts. It seems extremely unusual that Prof Ernst should make these comments so long after the series has aired.”

    The spokesman said Dr Tinker said he remained happy with the tone and content of the films, stating: “Fellow medics at the Royal Society, including one eminent professor, said it was the best medical series they had seen on television.”

    The BBC had consulted other medical experts to ensure the series’ integrity: “There was no pressure from anyone to distort the evidence. The results of the acupuncture experiment were not sensationalised. It was Prof Lewith who, in the programme, described the results as ‘quite special’ and ‘something unique to acupuncture’. The results were not edited to give a distorted picture, any reservations scientists did have were fairly reflected in the programme.” (The Guardian, March 2006.)

    • Andy Lewis
      September 3, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      Deary me.

      “The Committee was concerned that the programme had overly sensationalised the effects of acupuncture as a pain inhibitor and as such it felt the audience could have been misled. It found that the introductory remarks were misleading and inaccurate. It noted that the operation was of interest for the points raised in the anaesthetist’s report, that is, the probable psychological benefit, and as such the programme
      should have been clearer as to what acupuncture might have been adding to the treatment of the patient. The Committee therefore felt that the programme was in breach of the guidelines on due accuracy and also felt that the programme misled the audience by failing to make the position clearer.”

      The acupuncture was doing bugger all. Find a better example.

      • Andrew
        September 4, 2014 at 12:18 am

        WOW you are definitely not intelligent. You didn’t actually watched the program, did you? Let me help you then.

        Firstly: thats from the BBC commissioners (are you blind, or you just missed this part?)

        MRI Scan Experiment on Acupuncture: “As to whether the programme over hyped the results of the brain-imaging experiment, it was satisfactory that the statements made by the scientists were a true reflection of their views and an accurate presentation of the experiment” (BBC Commitee February 2006)

        There were no complaints regarding the scientific studies conducted in UK and USA – shown in the program.

        No one complained when Dr Brian Berman (MD) from “University of Maryland” conducted the first Placebo controlled (large scale) clinical study on Acupuncture, stating that “Acupuncture works for OA (Osteo Arthritis) of the knees”.

        It’s been scientifically proven that acupuncture deactivate areas of pain sensation during the MRI scan experiment. And also proven that Acupuncture works for Osteo Arthitis during a controlled clinical trial.

        The documentary is well made and widly accepted by the “Royal Society of Medicine” (Guardian 2006) You will need to conduct your own experiments to try denying these facts.

        • Andy Lewis
          September 4, 2014 at 6:34 am

          Lots of people have done acupuncture experiments. You quote a couple. There are about 3000 in total. When these 2000 are reviewed together, the evidence that emerges is that there is little convincing evidence acupuncture is nothing more than a theatrical placebo.

          This paper appeared in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia. You ought to read it.

          http://www.dcscience.net/Colquhoun-Novella-A&A-2013.pdf

          • Andrew
            September 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

            Do you have Learning dissabilities? As I said, acupuncture has been proven for osteo arthritis on a large scale controlled clinical trial.

            When something is clinically proven to be effective in a large scale trial, it’s extremely hard to disprove it.

            Reviewing hundreds or even thousands of bad quality researches don’t actually clinically prove or disprove anything.

            You will need to find a Large Scale Clinical Trial that disprove the efficacy of acupuncture on OA (Osteo Arthritis) of the knees. At this point in time Acupuncture is clinically proven as a scientific and effective treatment for OA of the knees.

  19. September 5, 2014 at 8:32 am

    No I do not have learning disabilities. Thank you for your concern.

    However, it is clear to me you do not understand clinical research. One study does not ‘prove’ anything. it may be a flawed study. Underpowered. Not properly controlled. (Controls in acupuncture trials are hard). It may use poor statistical techniques or over interpret them. Have you critically appraised the paper to ensure that it is robust?

    Actually, have you even read the paper? A yes or no will do.

    A meta-analysis of 3000 papers will always have more weight than a single study. And if that study shows that most of poor quality, what does that tell you about the field of acupuncture research?

    Let me answer that for you. It is cargo-cult science, With people doing shoddy research to try to prove what they already believe so that business increases. Acupuncture is a theatrical placebo.

    • Andrew
      September 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      You must have a low Intelligence level then.

      Firstly meta-analysis of low quality researches don’t have any scientific value against a large scale clinical trial.

      All researches on acupuncture have been analysed and failed in providing relevant scientific methodology (apart from the clinical Trials)

      Most of these mentioned bad quality researches didn’t have a control group, others didn’t have scientific methodology at all, others were too small, most were not verified. (Anyone do a research at their garage, an write whatever they want in it. This is not gonna prove anything)

      A “Large Scale Clinical Trial” can prove or disprove medically the efficacy of a treatment. Up to this point in time Acupuncture is proved to be more effective than the control group and therefore it is considered to be an effective treatment method for Osteo Arthritis of the knees.

      • Andrew
        September 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        Just answering your question on “why there are so many bad researches on acupuncture?” Because clinical trials are expensive, isn’t that obvious?

        Clinical trials are also Specific and so each research can only proof that acupuncture is effective for a specific condition. Acupuncture efficacy on the treatment of Osteo-Arthritis of the Knees is been clinically proven.

        Because of the growing clinical evidence, more and more Doctors and other medically qualified professionals are using acupuncture as part of their treatment. The post graduation in this field is called “Medical Acupuncture” and only includes the treatment of some specific conditions that acupuncture has clinical evidence to work effectively.

        Clinical trials are been funded and are proving that acupuncture has other scientific applications in treating other conditions.

        That’s how science works, if you want to disprove each clinical trial. Please do so, getting enough funding and leading the researches yourself.

        • September 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

          Let me repeat my simple question to you: have you read the paper on acupuncture and “Osteo-Arthritis of the Knees”?

          Can you reference it?

        • September 6, 2014 at 12:10 am

          Andrew said:

          Just answering your question on “why there are so many bad researches on acupuncture?” Because clinical trials are expensive, isn’t that obvious?

          How much does a clinical trial of acupuncture cost?

  20. Andrew
    September 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    If you want to read it, search for “Effectveness do Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Knee – a randomised, controlled trial” Brian Berman (MD)

    PS. This will make you smarter

  21. Andrew
    September 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    “Effectiveness Of Acupuncture.. “

    • September 5, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      I see you are not used to citing.

      Anyway, I guess you mean this one…

      The paper that appears to be most often quoted by acupuncturists for OA of the knee is this one by Berman et al from 2004…

      Effectiveness of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15611487

      It’s conclusions say there there was no pain reduction after 8 weeks of treatment, but some ‘significant’ reduction after 26 weeks.

      What does this mean? Firstly, if true, it takes HALF A YEAR of weekly treatments to get a result. Secondly, the level of pain reduction is -2.5 on a scale of 0 to 20 – so, I would guess barely noticable for most people – ibuprofen would probably do better. Also, the study had many drop outs and after had to conceal the sham therapy for 26 sessions – which I would say was impossible. Any leakage of the sham nature of the control would distort the result and easily result in the difference of 2.5 on a 20 point scale.

      But, oh wait.

      The same author did a meta-analysis later of this trial and 10 others and concluded when looking at all the trials…

      Ann Intern Med. 2007 Jun 19;146(12):868-77.
      Meta-analysis: acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee

      “Sham-controlled trials show clinically irrelevant short-term benefits of acupuncture for treating knee osteoarthritis. Waiting list-controlled trials suggest clinically relevant benefits, some of which may be due to placebo or expectation effects.”

      Which is what I would have concluded from that one trial alone. Clinically irrelevant, by the way, means that the pain reduction had little effect on the patient and they probably would not have really noticed it.

      Your move.

  22. Andrew
    September 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Now ask yourself. Why there are over 4000 Physiotherapists who practice acupuncture on the NHS (UK’s National Health System)?
    Homeopathy didn’t survive the NHS evidence base system even with. Royal Family help. Ask yourself why acupuncture survived the scrutiny?

    There are conditions that Acupuncture has not been shown to be effective as as listed by the NHS 2014:

    asthma
    glaucoma
    schizophrenia
    depression
    shoulder pain
    elbow pain
    rheumatoid arthritis
    Bell’s palsy
    restless legs syndrome
    insomnia
    vascular dementia
    stroke, stroke rehabilitation and swallowing problems caused by stroke
    More research is needed to establish whether acupuncture is better or worse than best standard treatments for these conditions.

    However the NHS has listed some conditions that have shown some evidence of efficacy in medical treatment of these conditions as listed:

    “Systematic reviews carried out by The Cochrane Collaboration have found there is some evidence acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on the following conditions:
    chronic lower back pain
    tension-type headaches
    migraines
    nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy
    nausea and vomiting after surgery
    osteoarthritis
    neck pain
    irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

    For example, one large meta-analysis (a type of systematic review) not carried out by The Cochrane Collaboration included data from more than 17,000 patients. It compared acupuncture to sham acupuncture or no acupuncture without patients being aware of whether they had received real or sham treatment.
    This review found acupuncture to be superior to both sham and no treatment for headaches, osteoarthritis, back pain and neck pain.”

    (NHS – Choices – Evidence 2014)

    Saying that Acupuncture has no effect or that there is no evidence on its efficacy is ridiculous. And shows a high level of ignorance.

  23. Andrew
    September 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Go on home boy, go against the NHS evidence base system, Large Scale Controlled Trials, MRI scan evidences and all other researchers that are making Acupuncture part of our Western Medical System.

    • Andy Lewis
      September 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Before we go on, are you intellectually honest enough to now acknowledge that you were wrong on about acupuncture for OA of the knee?

      Changing the subject as if nothing has happened is a classic trick. I just want to see if you have the balls to acknowledge you were wrong?>

      • Andrew
        September 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm

        You dont even read my comments… Oh Gosh… thats answered in my last comment.

        Even the NHS acknowledge the efficacy of acupuncture as an effective method of treatment for OA of the knees in 2 different parts of their website about Acupuncture Evidence:

        AGAIN:

        “For example, one large meta-analysis (a type of systematic review) not carried out by The Cochrane Collaboration included data from more than 17,000 patients. It compared acupuncture to sham acupuncture or no acupuncture without patients being aware of whether they had received real or sham treatment.
        This review found acupuncture to be superior to both sham and no treatment for headaches, osteoarthritis, back pain and neck pain.”

        (NHS – Choices – Evidence 2014)

    • Andy Lewis
      September 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      And then when you have done that, perhaps you can tell me why you have selectively quoted the NHS pages missing out all the caveats and cautions about accepting that evidence and that for most things there is no evidence.

      Do you think selective quoting is intellectually honest?

      • Andrew
        September 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        You can answer this question yourself, selecting areas of ONLY no evidence, is what you do. (Not intelligent to do that)

        • Andy Lewis
          September 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          That is obviously not true. You suggested a study on OA that was positive. I looked it up, appriased it, and pointed out to you it was rubbish.

          As soon as it was obvious it was obvious, YOU IGNOIRED IT and have since pretended it does not exist.

          To repeat: do you now admit you are wrong about the OA study?

          Are you intellectually honest enough to do that?

    • Andrew
      September 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      AGAIN: READ

      “Systematic reviews carried out by The Cochrane Collaboration have found there is some evidence acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on the following conditions:
      chronic lower back pain
      tension-type headaches
      migraines
      nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy
      nausea and vomiting after surgery
      OSTEOARTHRITIS
      neck pain
      irritable bowel syndrome”
      (NHS – Choices – Acupuncture 2014)

      • Andy Lewis
        September 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        Perhaps you would also like to cut and paste the very big caveats that NHS Choices follow that with and then tell me if you think the evidence is strong.

        Can you do that?

  24. Andrew
    September 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Thats not factually correct, as most of what you write.

    Thats the actual report:

    “Conclusion

    Acupuncture seems to provide improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee when compared with credible sham acupuncture and education control groups.”
    (NCBI)

    Read the research again. Why are you misleading your readers..

    • Andy Lewis
      September 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      You are the king of selectiveness. I actually looked at the results – not the editorial conclusion. And you ignore the meta-analysis which looked at a much wider of set of studies of OA of the knee.

      You grasp at straws by selective quoting and ignore the totality of research.

      And are not intellectually honest enough to admit you were wrong.

      Let us go back – you chose this study because you thought it was the best at supporting your belief in acupuncture. When examined – the study collapses as just one more piss poor acupuncture study that has been over-hyped.

      You are a True Believer – unable to let it go – and have to bluster and twist and turn to hope no-one notices your castle is built on sand.

      • Andrew
        September 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        I’m actually impartial, you are the true believer of wrongly branding Acupuncture as non effective. The research says that Acupuncture is effective for OA of the knees as other researches also found relevant efficacy for other treatments.

        The NHS also acknowledge the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of many conditions, as listed above.

        If you wanna just ignore that and only see one side of the coin. Go for it. Brand Acupuncture as non-effective. ignore the researches, ignore the evidences, ignore the NHS evidence base system using acupuncture, specially on pain clinics.

        • Andrew
          September 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm

          This trial, and other few good quality trials that I’ve seen looks legit.

          “Effectiveness of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial.

          AuthorsBerman BM, et al. Show all Journal
          Ann Intern Med. 2004 Dec 21;141(12):901-10.
          [edited: cut out copy and paste]

          • Andy Lewis
            September 7, 2014 at 9:44 am

            This is precisely the trial we are discussing. Please try to keep up.

        • Andy Lewis
          September 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

          I can explain things to you but I cannot make you understand them.

          The trial clearly is not good evidence for the effectiveness of acupunture on OA of the knee for the reasons I have given you.

          Acupuncture is an implausible treatment where strong claims are made. The clinical trial evidence does not match the strength of the claims made. The trial we looked at showed marginal, non clinically significant results after SIX MONTHS of treatment – and the authors state these may be due to placebo or expectation effects. We are safe to conclude that acupuncture has not been proven for this treatment – and indeed, the evidence would suggest quite strongly that it is a waste of time and money.

          As for the NHS pages page, it does not say that acupuncture is effective. It says their is “some evidence acupuncture may have a beneficial effect”. Note the emphasis. Then note their very large caveat, “However, because of disagreements over the way acupuncture trials should be carried out and over what their results mean, the existence of some positive evidence does not mean acupuncture definitely works for these conditions.”

          You have chosen to ignore this statement and selectively (mis)quote what the page says. You will not admit this or your other errors. I asked if you were intellectually honest enough to do so. And it looks like you are not. You accuse me of only seeing “one side of the coin” whilst blatantly doing this yourself.

          And as for acupuncture spending on the NHS? It is only approve by NICE for chronic lower back pain – and that is currently under review. So little for such grand claims.

          • Andrew
            September 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

            Thats great that you are slowly learning :)

            Its sad that you are still misleading the public.. Did you just say that NICE recommends acupuncture only for lower back pain?
            Did you forget to mention: chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. (These have been scientifically proven)
            According to NICE there are many other applications that Acupuncture “shown some evidence” to be effective “including” neck pain and post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.

            Do you want to read it again?

            “Currently, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) only recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. NICE makes these recommendations on the basis of scientific evidence.
            There is also some evidence that acupuncture works for a small number of other problems, including neck pain and post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.” (NHS – Choices – Acupuncture 2014)

            Where is your quote stating that “Acupuncture is no more than a placebo?” Are you using pseudo-science to conclude that?

          • September 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

            Andrew – you need to learn the difference between these two statements…

            1) There is some evidence…

            2) There is sufficient robust evidence to accept that…

            There is some evidence that little green men visit us in UFOs.
            But it is not good and sufficient evidence to accept they do.

            There is some evidence to think that 9/11 was an inside job.
            But not good enough evidence to accept that it was instead of it being the work of Islamic extremists – for which there is overwhelming and sufficient robust evidence.

            There is some evidence that acupunture works for XXX, but not sufficient good evidence to accept that it does given its extreme implausibility?

            Are you getting it yet?

          • Andy Lewis
            September 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm

            Or Andrew, let me put it another way…

            Let’s say you about to do a bungee jump over a 400ft drop. You are the first person to ever do this leap. You ask, how do I know that I will not die?

            The owner says, “There is some evidence it may be OK and it will work”.

            How do you feel about that?

            Would you not prefer,

            “We have extensive data from many tests on the rope and supports that we will be operating well within the engineering limits of the system. There are many other systems that work like this one that are very well proven with an extensive safety record. We take this very seriously and are very confident it will work.”

            I am jumping with the second crew. How about you?

          • Andrew
            September 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm

            I see what you are trying to say basically the first group:
            “Some evidence of efficacy”

            “There is also some evidence that acupuncture works for a small number of other problems, including neck pain and post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.” (NHS – Choices – Acupuncture 2014)

            Second Group: “Suficient Scientific evidence of Efficacy”

            “NICE only recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. NICE makes these recommendations on the BASIS OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE” (NHS – Choices – Acupuncture 2014)

            I like the Interesting examples that you used trying to distract the readers :)

            Bare in mind the OA trial mentioned is Conclusive. Your arguments are just non-sense. Acupuncture had a significant clinical results in both Pain and Functional skills test. If you were right and the trial didn’t find RELEVANT clinical results the conclusion would reflect that.

            Read the trials and the NICE recommendations again. “You will learn a lot”. :)

          • September 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm

            It is interesting that you think the trials of OA of the knee are conclusive when the authors of that paper came to the exact opposite conclusion to you. As I have pointed out – but you have ignored.

            You clearly fail to appreciate that a significant result in a clinical trial is a long, long way from being robust evidence. It is a statistical measure – that is all. Many reason why that could be misleading. I have pointed these things out to you, but you fail to take them on board. I can do no more.

            If you have the slightest inkling to learn something, then this is a very accessible introduction as to why you can so easily be fooled by ‘significance’ in a paper.

            http://www.dcscience.net/?p=6518

            As for the NICE recommendation – all I can say is watch this space – the latest evidence is likely to ensure NICE reverse their recommendation. NICE are also not faultless when it comes to mistaking significance in trials for evidence of effectiveness.

  25. Andrew
    September 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Did you just say that a clinical trial is not a “robust scientific evidence”? Seriously? Let me just enlighten you with some obvious information…Clinical Trials in Medical related fields are the most significant scientific evidence that there is at the moment.

    Now you agree that the OA trial is legit, at last. Just to remind you the authors did not claimed that the “Real Acupuncture Group” had the same results as the “the educational group” and the “Sham Acupuncture Group” (the placebo group). The “Real Acupuncture Group” has shown 30% more results than the “Placebo Group” (Sham Acupuncture Group). PS. This was a “large scale control trial” using acupuncture as a complementary treatment with conventional medicine.

    • Andy Lewis
      September 8, 2014 at 4:43 am

      I am beginning to think you are simply trolling.

      A clinical trial can provide robust evidence. But it can also provide poor or misleading evidence – as you said earlier up this thread.

      Perhaps if you do not understand this, you can read this site and the associated book.

      But I get the impression you are a person who is not too interested in actually understanding something, only winning.

      http://www.testingtreatments.org/

  26. Andrew
    September 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    With Regards it NICE recommendations approving the use acupuncture for Chronic Back Pain, Migraines and chronic tension type head aches.

    The use of acupuncture for these treatment (specially at pain clinics) have only been approved based in strong scientific evidence.

    Did you just say that the use of acupuncture is under review by NICE? Yes, acupuncture is under review – AS IT IS EVERYTHING ELSE in the NHS (Including all jobs, medicines and treatments). Acupuncture passed the initial stage called “Pilot Treatment Trials” many years ago, at this initial stage acupuncture delivered the efficacy expected and its been proven it self ever since (even with NHS spending cuts Acupuncture is been effective AND Cost-Effective)

    Why don’t you start reading better quality websites? Small websites tend to only reflect the opinion of a person (or small group). Bigger websites from stablished Organisations or even government websites are more reliable and have better quality of (impartial) information – start reading the NHS, after that move on to the WHO (World Health Organisation) they have a great Scientific sections on Acupuncture.

  27. Andrew
    September 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

    That’s from your website recommendation, looks like you contradicted yourself again.

    “This website is NOT about whether particular treatments work or not. For up to date information about SPECIFIC treatments, we recommend:
    PubMed Health | TRIP database
    NHS choices | NHS evidences”

    Just to remind how science and medical science works:

    When a controlled trial concludes that a treatment is efficient in treating a disease, you can legally claim the medical efficacy of a treatment or drug.

    The OA randomised controlled trial mentioned is a “Gold Standard” medical (clinical) trial and it concluded that acupuncture is an effective method of treating OA. Anyone working with acupuncture can legally state that this treatment is effective in reliving the symptoms of OA.

    The WHO (World Health Organisation) lists over 10 clinically proven applications of acupuncture, based on scientific evidence from clinical trials.

    Can you convince me that a randomised controlled trial is wrong? Or that all other Controlled Trials that Acupuncture than shown efficacy were all wrong?

    PS. Acupuncture is not as good as people claim in TCM shops, scientifically speaking only clinically tested methods should be treated. WHO has a great list of conditions that a Acupuncture is effective on clinical trials, as well as a list of conditions that Acupuncture is not effective.

    Why don’t you pick on Homeopathy instead? There is literally no scientific evidence that homeopathy works, with regards to acupuncture there are too many successful trials (did you go to WHO website, they listed hundreds of good quality trials on Acupuncture).

    • September 8, 2014 at 8:25 am

      You are getting desperate now.

      The “Testing Treatments” site is an educational site based around a book where you can learn how to appraise a trial – that is read a paper and understand whether the evidence in that paper is good enough to conlcude a treatment works. You clearly do not want to do that.

      You ask me ‘can I convince you that a randomised control is wrong”? Well, quite obviously not. I have explained the weaknesses of the OA trial. I have explained why the same authors in a review paper think the significant result is meaningless. But you do not appear to be able to comprehend these things.

      I suggest you also look up “Dunning Kruger Effect”.

      In the silly hope that you might actually engage with an idea, let me ask you a thought experiment>

      Imagine there are two clinical trials of a treatment. One is shows ‘significant’ results and the authors conlcude that the treatment is effective. The other trial shows no such effect and the authors conclusions are much more negative.

      What do you do? How would you approach the problem of understanding if this treatment is effective given these two apparently contradictory results?

      By the way, with homeopathy, I could point you to many trials that appear to show a significant effect. Homeopaths flaunt them just like you do your OA trial for acupuncture. I still do not believe homeopathy works though. Why should that be?

      • Andrew
        September 8, 2014 at 9:26 am

        I love you man, even at your worst position in argumentation – you still manage to make me smile :)

        Firstly: Thanks for admitting that you cannot convince me that the OA “gold standard” trial results could possibly be wrong. (Very few researches reached the rigorous scientific methodology of a research of this magnitude).
        This research looked at short and long term results and concluded that Acupuncture is effective for OA.
        Are you claiming that the authors concluded something different after a few months? It doesn’t make sense!?!?!? Even if it was the case, it would not change the results and validity of this trial.

        Secondly according to the NHS: Homeopathy has not shown to be more than a placebo on any clinical trials, there are only “non-clinical trial researches” that have shown any evidence of this therapy in been more effective than a placebo.

        Therefore the NHS can easily state “There is no evidence on the efficacy of homeopathy in treating any disease.” (NHS – Choices – Homeopathy)

        – Thirdly: I’m worried about your approach to trying to understand and interpret clinical trials using a website explanation. Wouldn’t it be bette to consult a group of medical professionals specialised in interpreting researches like NICE/NHS?

        PS. Are you one of these people that read a book (or website) and pretend to be an expert in the field studied? WOW at least you are entertaining :) keep it up man

        • Andy Lewis
          September 8, 2014 at 10:41 am

          Did you look up Dunning-Kruger?

          In fact, I am not sure you have read anything I have posted. For example, you ask “Are you claiming that the authors concluded something different after a few months?”

          If you had actually read what I have written you would know the answer.

          Let me give you a ref to their review paper again.

          Ann Intern Med. 2007 Jun 19;146(12):868-77.
          Meta-analysis: acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee

          Now, you have failed to answer any question I have put to you. The sure sign that someone cannot bear their beliefs being tedted.

          So again, what would you do if two clinical trials showed different results?

          You do not have to answer in detail, just broad approaches would be fine.

        • Andy Lewis
          September 8, 2014 at 11:07 am

          Oh and by the way, lots of authors of homeopathy clinical trials claim that their results show homeopathy to be effective.

          For example, see http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Homeopathy-the-Evidence-March-2012.pdf

          Nonetheless, we can still safely say that no good evidence exists. What is different about acupuncture?

          • Andrew
            September 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm

            I already answered your questions, and destroyed it. You got Multiple KOs, but you still stand up for more punishment. WOW :)

            Why don’t you start answering my questions, instead of misleading the public with nonsense?

            Are you saying that a meta-analysis made by an individual or small group are more “valid” than, a meta-Analysis conducted by highly respected Institutions (that recommends acupuncture) like: NICE (NHS) and WHO (World Health Organisation)?

          • Andy Lewis
            September 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

            NICE and WHO have not published any peer reviewed meta analyses.

          • Andrew
            September 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

            If there is any Homeopath here, I would say “I support you and I believe in you. I can’t say that The scientific studies satisfy my critical thinking, however I do believe Homeopathy works for some conditions, however this is based on friends and family experience using it and achieving amazing results 100% of the time from their treatment. PS. If I get ill in the future, I’m gonna use it. I don’t care if its “just water or sugar”, I don’t care if its “just placebo” and I don’t care if the dilution left no “medical active principle” in it – I’m taking it, anywhere anytime.

          • Andy Lewis
            September 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

            Your ability to blithely carry on and ignore your own wrongness is first class. I point out your errors and you just charge on.

            Anyway. That question I asked you. Are you going to answer?

          • Andrew
            September 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm

            The only possible answer for your questions is: You are a quack-master 10/10 Canards to you for misleading the public using bad books/websites and ignoring the Government impartial reviews on Acupuncture. :)

  28. Andrew
    September 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    And so, “in your opinion” WHO and NICE didnt do a meta-analysis and/or consider any meta-analysis that already exist, reviewing then together to achieve a final decision with regards to recommending acupuncture for specific medical conditions?

    Did they consult a quack website instead?

    • Andy Lewis
      September 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      All you need to do if point to the published peer reviewed website they have done.

      If not, have the good grace to admit once again that you are wrong.

      • Andrew
        September 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

        Your comments are ALL misleading, you need to admit your mistakes and misguidances (home-nerd-boy).

        Example: Did you just say that NICE recommends acupuncture only for Low Back Pain?

        YOU ARE WRONG: NICE in 2009 only recommended acupuncture for low back pain, after many years of clinical success the current recommendation for 2014 includes not only Low back pain, but also Chronic Tension Type Head Aches and migraines. (NICE also recognise the efficacy of acupuncture for several other conditions, and the list is growing and growing AND GROWING)

        Reference:

        “Currently, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) only recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. NICE makes these recommendations on the basis of scientific evidence.
        There is also some evidence that acupuncture works for a small number of other problems, including neck pain and post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.”
        (NHS – Choices – Acupuncture – 2014)

        PS. Please keep your knowledge up-to-date.

        • Andy Lewis
          September 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm

          From your blustering answer, I will take it that you cannot show any review published by these groups.

          Just as you have failed to answer any significant question of mine

          Pure bluster.

          Busted I think.

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