Well said Pete! Who said satire has no place in paramedical discussion forums? Probably all the people who can't spell "satire"... and as for "Crazy Carole" - sorry Carole, your decades of experience practising, teaching and researching acupuncture donâ€™t lend you any credibility here. An anonymous poster has labelled you, so your sanity is hereby revoked along with ours. For God's sake, woman - you believe in Qi! You must be loony!!
Nevertheless, in the interests of preventing further aspersions being cast on the soundness of posters, I remind my fellows that "This particular forum is for posting and discussing critical evaluations of published acupuncture research" (or so the sticky I wrote when starting this forum continues to state). We seem to have taken a detour and ended up in Stupidville.
That notwithstanding, there really need not be such a divide between those who believe research, particularly the clinical trial, is a worthy and valuable pursuit, and those who practice acupuncture, be it for profit or otherwise. Indeed there are people who tread in both camps. If we're going to squabble over different understandings of the need and design of research, someone really has to have a go at these 'fence sitters'! They're getting away scot-free!!
I am of course joking. However, the alacrity with which some antagonistic comments have been made on this forum is really not a huge surprise - I remember the difficulty I had practising acupuncture for a living when I was simultaneously questioning the same practice in the lab. It's a difficult line to walk, and to my discredit or not, I was unable to balance both views, and made a choice about which mindset to lock-in. Had I chosen to be a practitioner rather than a researcher, I would have had difficulty listening to people such as me questioning the fundamental theory and techniques (I still don't believe people can find acupoints with any consistency using the techniques I've tested, and I don't believe qi is real). I might, however, have skipped this forum if I wasn't prepared to have my beliefs challenged.
As I have already reminded all, this forum is to discuss research. So the views expressed by researchers were really intended for those educated in research, or the very least those interested in research findings. If one does not believe sensible research in this field can be carried out, I don't think one can contribute sensibly to the Research Critiques forum. I doubt many of my views about acupuncture theory and practice would be welcome, nor appropriate, in some of the more treatment-oriented fora...
Ultimately, everything we know and/or believe about acupuncture is the result of research. Techniques may differ over time - we'd like to think contemporary research design allows us to develop theories without spending several hundred years observing reactions, and killing the odd patient - but research is what informed our classical and traditional resources. Practitioners who choose to ignore advances in knowledge do so not only at their own peril, but also to that of their patients, the practice of acupuncture, TCM, and perhaps all complementary and alternative methods.
The next time a patient comes into your clinic and asks "What can acupuncture do for me?", are you going to be able to give your opinion based on all the resources available to you, or will you decide for him that he can only be informed according to the views of your favourite text book or guru?