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How do we feel about Acupuncture?

Oct 25, 2017
6,865
#1
I know that chiropractors are considered quacks and the science behind their technique consider unsound.

What do you feel about acupuncture? I am seeking treatment for a slipped disc in my lower back over the past year and my doctor at Kaiser wants to basically try various forms of treatment before we move on to the more elaborate solutions.

Currently I’m going to group acupuncture sessions. I’m very skeptical but I don’t want to come across as disbelieving - but I’ve seen MRI images of my spine-and the tissue is being basically pinched which is causing my pain.

When I go into the group Accupuncture sessions (they want you to start with group before you move onto individual Accupuncture, if necessary) I’m sitting upright in a chair with about 10 other people. The acupuncturist then comes along and sticks 5 needles in each ear. Then we remain still and seated. The lights go out and soft music plays.

After 30 minutes the needles are removed and I’m on my way. And I feel...no change. I’m not clear on why I even would. I understand there are various blood vessels in my ears but how does that affect the spinal tissue in the lumbar area being pinched and producing intermittent pain?

Edit: here’s a picture I sent my wife today from the session. My ears felt red hot.

 
Last edited:
Jan 23, 2018
1,062
#3
I tried this same ear one in rehab and it didn't do a thing for me either, however my roommate tried it and according him it helped him sleep
 
Oct 27, 2017
18,486
Northern Ontario
#7
I'm still not completely sure of what I think of it overall, but it seemed to help when I had it done last spring. I attended a course where they offered ear acupuncture, and would stick several small needles into each ear. I said no for a while but eventually tried it and actually liked it and felt a bit better afterwards.

A couple of the needles hurt and a couple also didn't stay for long, each time. The same ones would pop out and fall on the floor.

I don't know if it was a placebo effect that I was feeling, and have never done true acupuncture elsewhere, so I don't want to make a blanket judgement.
 
OP
OP
Dalek
Oct 25, 2017
6,865
#8
Bullshit. I'm honestly starting to lump all TCM into the same bucket as tiger penis supplements.
The technician was saying to the room “how this works is there are all sorts of systems in your ear-there’s a system connected to your hands, there’s a system connected to your organs, etc.

Sounds a lot like reflexology to me. If reflexology is considered bullshit why isn’t acupuncture?
 
Oct 26, 2017
873
#12
Like Chiropracty, there is some anecdotal evidence that suggests some very mild benefits, likely mostly placebo effect.

But if you actually read the theoretical mumbo jumbo they use about meridians and energy flows etc it’s laughable.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,226
MD, USA
#16
The technician was saying to the room “how this works is there are all sorts of systems in your ear-there’s a system connected to your hands, there’s a system connected to your organs, etc.

Sounds a lot like reflexology to me. If reflexology is considered bullshit why isn’t acupuncture?
The most annoying thing to me is insurance will pay for me to go to a chiropractor, but not necessarily pay for massage...
One is based on made-up shit, the other on kinesiology/sports medicine...
 
Oct 26, 2017
873
#17
The most annoying thing to me is insurance will pay for me to go to a chiropractor, but not necessarily pay for massage...
One is based on made-up shit, the other on kinesiology/sports medicine...
Yeah my insurance only covers a fraction of my ophthalmology appointments to monitor a lesion at the back of my eye yet offers significantly more coverage for quackery like homeopathy and acupuncture.
 
Oct 25, 2017
951
#19
It’s completely bs. Though I remember the guy who I did it with was calming and the room/atmosphere was soothing. It works well as a stress reliever in that scenario.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,258
#26
Oct 27, 2017
1,047
#29
Ask yourself: How are needles barely piercing your skin going to heal your spine?

It's bullshit. Go to PT.
Funny enough, my 2 PT relatives use it in their therapy, though it might be a slightly different technique than traditional acupuncture. They just call it needling, I believe
 
Dec 13, 2017
3,613
#33
When I go into the group Accupuncture sessions (they want you to start with group before you move onto individual Accupuncture, if necessary) I’m sitting upright in a chair with about 10 other people. The acupuncturist then comes along and sticks 5 needles in each ear. Then we remain still and seated. The lights go out and soft music plays.

After 30 minutes the needles are removed and I’m on my way. And I feel...no change. I’m not clear on why I even would. I understand there are various blood vessels in my ears but how does that affect the spinal tissue in the lumbar area being pinched and producing intermittent pain?
That is not acupuncture. For real. It's more than just five needles in the ear.

If you want a recco, just give a shout. My SO knows a place in SF that's solid.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,470
#36
Worst case scenario, all it does is make you feel better for having tried something and you're out some money. Best case it actually helps. If you've got the cash or, even better, can get insurance to pay, go for it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
192
#41
Considering that the acupuncture is not likely to cause issues and exacerbate things it cannot hurt for you to try since your doctor said to try other methods.

I would still however speak with a neurologist. A discectomy or laminectomy may be required if things are severe enough to pinch your nerves that badly.

Honestly, I personally would seek a neurologist’s opinion myself as simply talking to them about the issue and possible remedies is likely to lead you to faster overall recovery in comparison to acupuncture.
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,086
#42
are you an adult that believes in magic?

It's bullshit
Meridian lines are real. Needles/accupuntuire is bullshit
There are a lot of weird interactions you get from the body that a lot of martial artists noticed.
We are wired very weirdly.
 
Oct 25, 2017
473
#46
Needling is just a different name for acupuncture. Placebos are a hell of a drug though.
Sort of, but not really. I'm a physical therapist but not one that practices or is particularly supportive of dry needling. However, dry needling isn't the same thing as acupuncture. Dry needling doesn't involve magical meridian lines from your ear to your organs. The needles go directly into the affected tissue.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,142
Behind my desk.
#47
I think PT will help a lot more, I have a slipped disk and it almost never bothers me, maybe once a year, and the only thing that helped me is exercise, getting your core stronger.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,742
Fiddler's Green
#50
There's not much scientific support for it, and the mechanisms by which it claims to work are bullshit. There's almost certainly a mix of placebo effect and the fact that poking pins into your body causes a short term rush of endorphins.