Monday, April 17, 2006

Science Meets Woo. Woo Wins.

EoR is always pleased to advance his knowledge and, in order to do so, he feels it is always best to seek the advice of those qualified to do so (rather than self-educated, tripping hippy types). The West Boulevard Veterinary Clinic therefore warmed the cockles of his heart, with its scientific approach to acupuncture, homeopathy and chiropracty.

He was, for example, fascinated to learn that
It is said that veterinary acupuncture was first discovered when lame battle horses were found to become sound after being hit by arrows at distinct points.

EoR had never heard this theory of origins before, but it makes him wonder why vets don't just shoot arrows at horses today. He guarantees that any lame horse, shot with arrows, would suddenly suddenly become sound and race off. There may, however, be a certain attrition rate.
There is evidence that veterinarians practiced acupuncture during the Zang and Chow Dynasties around 2000-3000 BCE.

Ah yes, 'evidence'. EoR wonders which veterinary school the Ancient Chinese Woo Vets graduated from.
The placement of needles causes very little, if any, discomfort. Once situated they are painless. During a treatment most animals become very relaxed, they may become sleepy and yawn.

As EoR feels compelled to point out again, such a reaction is normal behaviour for a relaxed horse, needled or not.
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment for animals when it is administered by a properly trained veterinarian.

It's also pretty safe when administered by untrained individuals, assuming necessary infection controls are maintained. That's the beauty of the placebo effect - anyone can do it (though the effect is usually stronger when a white-coated individual with letters after their name practices it).
Occasionally an animal will appear to be worse for up to 48 hours after treatment and some will be drowsy for up to 24 hours after acupuncture.

So absolutely any reaction is a sign the magic is working? This is such powerful stuff, it's no wonder there's no need for evidence - the results of any studies are already predetermined.

Acupuncture points seem to exist pretty much everywhere on the horse. You can give specific anatomical locations, and even mix them up with magical "wood", "fire" and "ting" descriptions, but they're still imaginary.

Homeopathy, also, is extremely dangerous, playing as it does with hugely 'potentized' medications, and must be approached very cautiously.
In order to be ensure safety and effectiveness, Homeopathy, should be practiced by well trained veterinarians.

EoR would suggest that well trained veterinarians would understand that there is no basis to magic and/or homeopathy. He also disputes that you should take your animal to a vet just to give it a drop of water or a sugar pill. You could do that at home and ensure exactly the same level of "safety and effectiveness".

1 comment:

  1. I once heard about that arrow origin of accupuncture. Wonder how many cases of horses getting hit with arrows and not recovering he had to ignore.


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