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Acupuncture Anesthesia: A proclamation from Chairman Mao

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Kimball C Atwood
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May 15

PainSci notes

An extremely thorough and articulate debunking of acupuncture (in four parts). Putting it in historical context, Atwood presents a strong case not only that acupuncture has failed decades of fair scientific tests of efficacy, but that the “acupuncture anesthesia” promoted from about 1958 through the mid-1970s by the People’s Republic of China — and becoming a powerful myth in North America and Europe — was faked. Most patients who underwent acupuncture for surgery were given sedatives, narcotics, and local anesthetics. Statistics about the use and effectiveness of “acupuncture anesthesia” were grossly exaggerated. During the Cultural Revolution, patients were under extreme pressure to please their physicians and other authority figures, which meant they were unlikely to complain. In the late 1970s, when criticism became safe, knowledgeable doctors began speaking out publicly about the fakery, and use of and respect for Traditional Chinese Medicine has been declining in China since that time. There is no longer any acupuncture anesthesia or analgesia — at least not to an extent that is either humane or clinically useful for surgery.

~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher

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