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Clinical trial of acupuncture for pain relief
Courtesy of the Daily Grail, positive results have been reported in a clinical trial of the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving pain caused by aromatase inhibitors used to treat breast cancer.

"Hershman and her team enrolled a total of 226 patients from 11 cancer centers nationwide and randomly assigned them to one of three arms. One group received true acupuncture. Another received sham acupuncture, a method of superficially inserting needles in different, non-therapeutic locations on the body. Finally, another group received no treatment at all.
Results showed that, on average, patients experienced less pain on the acupuncture arm compared with the sham and treatment-free arms. Patients experienced relief for 24 weeks."

However, I can't see any indication of the size or the statistical significance of the effect.
"There are more things in philosophy than are dreamt of in heaven and earth."
Someone has sent me privately a link to a video of the presentation of theses results, according to which the effect is large (nearly twice as many acupuncture subjects experienced a change considered to be clinically meaningful, compared with the sham acupuncture and untreated groups), and highly statistically significant (p<0.009 for acupuncture versus sham acupuncture, and p<0.004 for acupuncture versus untreated):

[Image: hershman.jpg]

The only potential flaw that struck me was that the sham acupuncture technique used not only non-standard needle locations, but also shorter and thinner needles, and that 22% of the sham acupuncture group had experienced real acupuncture before. So they may have been able to tell it wasn't the real thing. But given that the sham results are much closer to the untreated ones than to the acupuncture results, it's difficult to see how this could explain things.
"There are more things in philosophy than are dreamt of in heaven and earth."
If you are interested, the whole thing is worth watching. If not, skip to her closing comments at the end.

"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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