Cranial epidural abscess

Inspired by Priola et al 2019.[1] This is the first reported case of a cranial epidural abscess as a likely complication of acupuncture treatment. The report was written by the specialist neurosurgical team under whom the patient was admitted. This is often the case in such unusual and serious adverse events, but it also limits … Continue reading Cranial epidural abscess

Too Earnest about Evidence

Inspired by observation and inequity… and a question from a patient in my clinic yesterday. In 1996 Sackett et al wrote an editorial in the BMJ titled:[1] Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. The subtitle ran thus: It's about integrating individual clinical expertise and the best external evidence. Note that individual … Continue reading Too Earnest about Evidence

The problem with sham

Inspired by an invitation to present on the topic to politicians in Madrid who apparently want to stop the practice of acupuncture by doctors in Spain - 18 January 2019. I have been lecturing on the scientific perspectives of acupuncture around the globe for over two decades. I have numerous PowerPoint slides to call upon, … Continue reading The problem with sham

EA vs conventional Rx in MUI

Inspired by Liu et al. Mayo Clin Proc 2019.[1] Another huge trial from the team at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. This follows on from two previous large multicentre trials,[2,3] both of which I have reported on in this blog: https://bmas.blog/2018/10/05/ea-for-chronic-severe-functional-constipation/ and https://bmas.blog/2018/10/11/ea-for-stress-urinary-incontinence/ Having established specific effects of electroacupuncture (EA) in … Continue reading EA vs conventional Rx in MUI

CHD incidence in RA and acupuncture

Inspired by Wu et al. BMC Complement Altern Med 2018.[1] The title of this paper is rather eye-catching for the Western medic: Acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Taiwan… Really? Are you suggesting that acupuncture is the next statin? Surely not! Well, let me start by saying … Continue reading CHD incidence in RA and acupuncture

Gastroparesis 2018

On the 18th December another Cochrane Review popped up on my daily PubMed search: Acupuncture for symptomatic gastroparesis.[1] Cochrane reviews are substantial pieces of work, with numerous peer and editorial review stages built in to the process. The rigorous approach to assessing bias and the adoption of the GRADE system to summarise findings often results … Continue reading Gastroparesis 2018

Hypertension 2018

The Chinese Cochrane Centre in Chengdu. In March 1999 the Chinese Cochrane Centre opened in Chengdu. Now that it has been established for some time, we are starting to see reviews on acupuncture that include the Chinese literature. I remember reviewing one on neuropathic pain for Cochrane,[1] but this one on hypertension was a surprise … Continue reading Hypertension 2018