Acupuncture nightmare: It’s not all “safe” or effective.

Here’s the bottom line: Acupuncture DOES NOT WORK as a treatment and it can be dangerous.

Kim Ribble-Orr’s ‘nightmare’ after acupuncture needle collapses lung | Canada | News | National Post.

As a world-class judoka, Kim Ribble-Orr weathered an extraordinary amount of adversity – not to mention battered limbs — to achieve her dream of competing in the Olympics.

When a massage therapist tried to treat the headaches she suffered after a 2006 car crash with acupuncture, however, he set off a cascade of health problems that would shatter Ms. Ribble-Orr’s sports-centred life — and raise questions about the popular needle therapy.

The article calls this situation “a rare but well-documented side effect of acupuncture.” Ribble-Orr’s left lung was pierced during acupuncture treatment causing the lung collapse. The therapist who performed the “treatment” was suspended for a year. His appeal was rejected.

Not only was the practitioner off base for using acupuncture on her chest, he adviser her that nothing was wrong when she complained. This information, brought out in the tribunal to discuss the case, also revealed that he feels he WAS in the right and the injury could have been caused by something else. Excuses, excuses.

She ended up with permanent lung damage from an infection and a subsequent blood infection.

The article notes that a report showed that five similar cases had also previously been reported.

We cover acupuncture a lot here on Doubtful News. It’s important to make the point that acupuncture DOES NOT WORK. If I keep saying it, maybe people will get the hint. There is NO good reason to use it and even this small risk does not outweigh the benefit, which is NONE. Medicine does not move forward based on “it worked for me”. It moves forward based on clinical trials and science.

The decision on acupuncture is in. Don’t bother, it may cost you in more ways than one.

If you want to know more about acupuncture, PLEASE, consult this guide written by physicians who have medical training and who point out what they don’t tell you about the foundation and efficacy of acupuncture.

Tip: @skepinquiry on Twitter

  10 comments for “Acupuncture nightmare: It’s not all “safe” or effective.

  1. Chris Howard
    July 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    It’s really scary. The acupuncture clinic in San Marcos, Texas also does blood letting! Seriously! Blood letting!

    I don’t know if they use a medical sterilizing unit or if they use the “traditional” method of sterilizing their needles?

    They come across as pretty airy-fairy, so I’m guessing its the unhygienic traditional method.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of New Agers in San Marcos who don’t really care about the evidence. It’s a lifestyle for them that borders on religious conviction.

  2. July 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I would say I am reminded of what my friend Jay says, “I think acupuncture works, as sticking needles in people always makes me feel better. Especially people I don’t like much.” Sorry Jay stick with a voodoo doll. I know people in town that are on the waiting list for the only person that does acupuncture, most of them have cancer. They want relief from the pain. Sadly, pain management is tough.

  3. Nigel
    July 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    How did the needle do that? Was it push in perpendicular to the skin? Holy Moly.

  4. One Eyed Jack
    July 5, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    The acupuncture clinic in San Marcos, Texas also does blood letting! Seriously! Blood letting!

    Therapeutic phlebotomy is a valid treatment for certain hematologic disorders (hemochromatosis, polycythemia, porphyries), but I have a feeling this is not what they’re doing.

  5. Chris Howard
    July 5, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Yeah, they’re doing old school blood letting, and basing it on medieval (read “traditional”) principles.

  6. BobM
    July 5, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Sticking needles in people might work for some things. There’s a study on it. Don’t matter WHERE you stich ’em though :-).

  7. Nos482
    July 6, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    “Ribble-Orr’s left lung was pierced”
    I mean, how in Cthulhu’s name can this even happen?
    Did that guy use a nailgun or what…iirc there’s quite a bit of muscle tissue between lung and skin, especially on an athlete.

  8. July 6, 2013 at 2:56 AM

    Acupuncture is recognised as part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO. It sometimes works for people who want it to, in the same way as other placebos. Some humans have ‘believed’ in this treatment for thousands of years, but then, most of our ancestors have also thought they could make up their own minds for at least two million years.

  9. July 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    I know a registered nurse (and nursing manager) who extolls acupuncture. (She is not a practitioner, but a patient.) She undergoes acupuncture, has her family members undergo it. I have no medical training and no credibility next to her at social gatherings. Any specific info I find on acupuncture’s poor efficacy is dismissed as “nothing is 100%” or (more likely) “that study was not on real acupuncture.”

  10. Nos482
    July 6, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Well Kate, as long as (they think) it helps, let ’em turn themselves into pin cushions. It IS a placebo after all.
    But maybe you could tell ’em about the risks anyway.

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