Pseudoscience Directory: Acupuncture
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Pseudoscience: Consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method (unproven, not testable, or opposed to the consensus of traditional science).
Definition: Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
Reasoning: Research suggests that it can help relieve pain, however, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), there is limited evidence for its effectiveness in areas other than pain. There is also no evidence of the existence of body meridians.
- Research Casts Doubt on the Value of Acupuncture
- Does Acupuncture Work? We Debunk 5 Common Myths
- Acupuncture Doesn’t Work
Conclusion: Acupuncture is considered safe and potentially effective in reducing muscle tension, however, placebo studies have shown little benefit for larger claims such as controlling motion sickness and nausea.