Posts Tagged NICE

NICE work: acupuncture coming to a primary care trust near you

When I first set up Merseyside Skeptics, I had only one real rule in mind – “no sacred cows”.

I’m always fascinated by which ideas people hold as their metaphorical cow.  A few years ago, when I first started getting enthusiastic about skepticism, I was ranting in the pub with a doctor friend of mine about homeopathy, crystal healing, iridology, and their friends.  We laughed and joked together about the implausibility of it all and the lack of credible evidence, until I mentioned acupuncture.  Suddenly, his face fell and his tone became more stern. “Actually, acupuncture is effective and there are good scientific reasons for that.”

I was briefly taken aback by this.  My friend is one of the most fiercely scientifically-minded people I know, to the point where he has been accused of bringing down a fun, but daft, conversation by pointing out how daft it is from a scientific stand point.  He was the last person I would have expected to claim efficacy for a pseudomedical practice like acupuncture and looking back now, I should have asked him to explain.  Instead, the subject was dropped, glasses were refilled and conversation breezed on to something else.

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