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January 2022

S Afr Med J. 1984 Jan; 65(1): 19-23.

In search of a status for acupuncture.

le Roux AG, Chung C, Sim CB.

Acupuncture treatment is currently generating increased interest in various parts of the world. The effectiveness of this quasi-medical procedure, which has survived for almost 5 000 years, is considered on the strength of statistical data obtained at an institution where such treatment is applied under acceptable scientific circumstances. Explanations are sought for the encompassing extent of treatment claims and the continued support for this technique which is often subjected to severe criticism in modern contexts. The roles of literacy, tradition and convention, a placebo effect and psychological factors as explanatory agents are discussed. The procedure also has possible psychophysical and physiological foundations which sufficiently warrant further scientific effort to find an explanation for this phenomenon.


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