Hehe - this is getting interesting. So, let me reiterate - I’m totally on the side of the ‘western’/scientific, controlled-experiment, proof-based approach.
BUT…I also know what I felt with those few sessions, as regards my sinuses. So, do I completely ignore my actual experience of acupuncture there? Write it off as a fluke (on 3 separate occasions)? Remember, I’ve never found anything that works for migraine/MAV - just those few sessions for my sinuses with a practitioner whom I haven’t seen before or since. :?
I also wonder what on earth would possess an insurance company (BUPA) to actually pay for some acupuncture treatments for migraine??? Insurance companies are often thought to be notorious for not paying out where they don’t have to! When has anyone here ever heard of an insurance company paying out like this - I’d love to know what ‘evidence’ they have or were ‘sold’ to convince them to fund sessions for acupuncture for migraine - I can only assume someone has satisfied them somehow of acunpucture’s effectiveness with regards to migraine - else why would they have funded some sessions for me - answers anyone…?? :?:
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I completely take on board what Scott is saying about the placebo affect, and western medicine, etc! I like to think I’m as aware as the next person, in terms of not being duped, etc…
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Ah, but the beauty of the placebo effect is that it works on everyone, not just people we would think of as gullible. It’s an absolutely fascinating topic in its own right (says Mrs Science Geek ) . If anyone’s interested, here’s a link to Ben Goldacre talking about it: scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010 … ebo_ef.php
Also, another thing to consider is that a lot of conditions are self-limiting (ie will get better on their own) or naturally wax and wane in severity (MAV, IBS, bad backs etc), so just because something improves shortly after acupuncture it doesn’t mean acupuncture is the reason why.
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Hi beechleaf! I totally get the ‘duped by a placebo’ argument - hell, I’m probably more gullible than most!
But let me say this - the amount by which my sinuses were/are blocked certainly varies or ‘waxes and wanes’, but they were never, ever, ever completely crystal clear like they were after those 3 sessions - before or since! I get that people will just doubt what I’m saying - that’s fine. I couldn’t believe it myself! What interests me is just how negative I was about the acupuncture - I told her straight: ‘I don’t believe that this will make any difference…etc…’. I would have expceted a ‘nocebo’ effect if anything, since I didn’t really trust the acupuncture concept at all, and hadn’t tried it before…? After each session, my sinuses went from being their usual ‘x%’ blocked, to being 100%, completely clear, in a ‘the air is so fresh and I can breathe so clearly through my nose that it’s beginning to hurt my nose lining’ kind of way!! It was a real, physiological result, 20mins after the acupuncture started - consistently, each time. As I said, the only issue (and let’s face it, it’s a fairly major one) is that the effect only lasted a day or two each time - the effect consistently wore off each time.
Now, it might be that people still say that the ‘physiological’ changes I had were still down to a placebo effect. Well, that’s fine, but in that case, I’m not sure I understand the difference between these scenarios:
- Have acunpuncture >>> placebo effect >>> result = totally clear sinuses
- Take western-based, scientifically proven medicine >>> result = totally clear sinuses
- See latest bizarre pratitioner promising a cure >>> wave a kipper above your head 3 times before retiring to bed >>> placebo effect >>> result = totally clear sinuses :lol:
I guess what I’m saying is, I know the effect I had was a ‘real’, physiological effect, etc. Now, if people are saying that’s a placebo effect, that’s fine - we can stick that label on it. But if the ‘placebo effect’ results in real physiological changes, what’s the difference…?
The big downside was that the effect didn’t last, so perhaps the whole argument is moot. :shock:
I think I’m more confused than ever! :lol: