Friday, March 03, 2006

Fake acupuncture works too: "Belief may be more important than medication in treating pain, according to a study which found migraine sufferers who get fake acupuncture treatment recover as quickly as people who take painkillers. A German study of more than 1200 people found medication, real acupuncture and fake acupuncture were equally successfully in reducing the number of days in which patients suffered from migraine. Researchers from the University of Essen were at a loss to explain why the fake treatment was so effective. Lead researcher Hans-Christoph Diener said it was unclear whether the bogus treatment - which involved inserting needles into non-acupuncture points - had a physical or psychological effect. "Needling at non-acupuncture points could exert biological effects similar to ones achieved when needling specific acupuncture points," Dr Diener said. "Another possible explanation of the mode of action of acupuncture is a powerful placebo effect. Placebo treatments exert powerful effects on pain modulating brain structures."

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