Guardian misses the point of acupuncture

I am disappointed at this type of sensationalist reporting by the Guardian headline “dozens killed by incorrectly placed acupuncture needles”. Acupuncture must be one of the safest therapies around, think how many mortalities are caused by excessive or inappropriate use of prescription drugs. For starters, I would love to see some trials comparing acupuncture against some of the drugs commonly prescribed for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or arthritic joint pain. Let me repeat: acupuncture is extremely safe.

Look at the figures Ernst quotes, 86 patients died over 45 years, from injuries to areas no sane acupuncturist would ever put needles. That’s less than two a year, And incidentally none in the UK. How does this make the case for more regulation? This is a “non-story”. It must be a quiet time for the news desk.

Acupuncture Graphic