World Health Organization endorses TCM

expect deaths to rise

I’ve heard a couple of viewpoints on this. The skeptic community thinks we’re all bullshit and sees this as the WHO endorsing faith healing. On the opposite side, practitioners are up in arms about “standardization,” because they don’t want to be told how to practice by some organization. (If you follow the first link in the “expect deaths to rise” article, you’ll see it contradicts…the entire rest of that article. This is not the WHO endorsing every crazy eat-endangered-species-to-promote-virility idea. This is trying to get a broad idea of what generally works1 and what is esoteric nonsense.)

My viewpoint is that in order to have an endorsement, there must be a definition. I don’t want the pangolins to become extinct, and I think bile farms are cruel and disgusting. I don’t want to be told how to practice, but even without regulations, I tell patients that acupuncture, like any therapy, works better on some people for some things, is not the right thing for every condition or every person. Basically, there are going to be die hards on either extreme, but in reality, I think it’s not such a big deal.


1”Nothing!” yells the skeptic. “Folk medicine that works is eventually called ‘medicine!’ Show me double blind studies with acceptable placebo design!” Okay, but placebos are very difficult to design for procedural based therapies like acupuncture and surgery. I am a big fan of both of those things when appropriate.