Alternative medicine doesn’t exist; acupuncture is useless

Reyhan Harmanci in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Screenhunter_2_10While his views may not be popular in Northern California, Wallace Sampson, clinical professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford University and editor in chief of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, is frank about his thoughts about alternative medicine. “It doesn’t exist,” he says. “We’ve looked into most of the practices and, biochemically or physically, their supposed effects lie somewhere between highly improbable and impossible.”

There are two major misconceptions about acupuncture, Sampson says, and both contribute to the misunderstanding of its worth as medical treatment. First, most people assume that it’s an ancient Chinese cure that has existed, unchanging, for centuries. Not so, says Sampson, noting that “acupuncture was formalized in a complex way over the past 100 years, mostly in Europe and France and after the Communist takeover in China. Before that time there was no consistent formalization of acupuncture points or what each place was supposed to do. It was largely regional, and the thinking varied from city to city.”

More here.