Friday, 30 December 2011

What's The Harm?

According to a report in The Daily Telegraph (Tuesday 27 December 2011), acupuncture has failed to cure an unruly teenager and the hapless youngster has now received a second ASBO (anti-social behaviour order).

It will come as no surprise that the local Youth Justice Service agreed to pay for a course of acupuncture (at £45 per session), which of course is at the public expense. Let's not forget that after more research than this ridiculous healing modality actually deserves, no evidence has been found that it actually works (beyond some placebo effect in some conditions).

Now you might say, "Well, wasn't it worth at least trying? Isn't it worth trying anything?"

Not, I would argue, something that simply Does Not Work. Changing behaviour for the better is never easy, and lots of techniques which have shown efficacy will not work for every individual case. I have no objection to these being tried if it means avoiding custodial sentences, especially for the young person.

But acupuncture...?!