Do Acupuncture Points Exist? Can Acupuncturists Find Them?

Acupuncturists do a systematic review and reveal they can’t reliably locate acupoints. No wonder: they don’t exist. Even acupuncturists themselves are beginning to wonder. A critical systematic review of accuracy and precision in acupuncture point location was recently published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies. They point out that “Accuracy of point location is essential for

Ebola: Science Is Making Progress

Good news! Research on Ebola has identified a 100% effective vaccine and medications that produce a 90% survival rate. The Ebola virus There have been 24 outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever) in Africa since 1976. It spreads through contact with infected body fluids. Case fatality rates have ranged from

What Does It Feel Like to Die?

We’re all going to die; we wonder what it will feel like. This book describes what typically happens during the period between diagnosis of a fatal illness and death. ca. 1882, Washington, DC, USA — Washington, DC.: President Garfield Lying Wounded In His Room At The White House, Washington. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS We’re

Vitamin D and Diabetes: Another Case Where Supplementation Sounded Like a Good Idea But Wasn’t

A new study shows vitamin D supplements don’t prevent diabetes. But there are still unanswered questions. This cartoon shows vitamin D killing cancer. It doesn’t. It doesn’t prevent diabetes either. Low vitamin D levels appear to be a risk factor for diabetes. Observational studies have found a correlation between a low blood level of Vitamin

American Family Physician Endorses Acupuncture

A CME article in American Family Physician misrepresents the evidence, claiming acupuncture has been proven safe and effective. An accompanying editorial gives despicable advice on how to manipulate patients to accept this theatrical placebo. The flagship journal of my specialty of family medicine is the American Family Physician. Each issue contains a quiz that qualifies for continuing medical

Vyleesi: New Drug for Hypoactive Sexual Desire in Women

New drug to treat hypoactive sexual desire in women, Vyleesi, is not very effective and has several drawbacks. It is NOT Viagra for women. The FDA has approved a new drug, Vyleesi (bremelanotide) that has been hyped as “female Viagra”. It is no such thing. Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men who

Bee Stings for Arthritis

Bee sting therapy may be somewhat effective for arthritis, but it can’t be recommended. Are bee strings [correction: stings, not strings!] an effective treatment for arthritis? Many patients with arthritis have reported that their symptoms went away after they were stung by bees. There are testimonials galore from beekeepers whose arthritis resolved after they were

Luminas: Unbelievable Claims About Pain Relief

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. The claims for the Luminas pain relief patch are not just unscientific; they defy common sense. It’s quantum quackery. This will be a short post about a product that doesn’t deserve even this much attention. Recently my Facebook feed has been bombarded with

Skin pH: Salesmanship, Not Science

People are being encouraged to worry about the pH of their skin and to try to change it. These concerns and interventions are not supported by scientific evidence. You have probably heard of the alkaline diet. Public knowledge of pH, the scale by which acids and bases are measured, is plagued by misinformation. People who

The Scientific Attitude, Not the Scientific Method, Is the Key

A philosopher of science argues that science is not characterized by a specific scientific method but by the scientific attitude. Scientists value empirical evidence and follow the evidence wherever it leads. They are open to changing their mind rather than stubbornly clinging to an ideological belief system. Science is under attack. The evidence for global

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