If you search acupuncture in Google, one of the first pages that comes up is Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s first two sentences say ‘Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)’. 

So far so good.

However the next sentences read ‘TCM theory and practice are not based upon scientific knowledge and acupuncture is a pseudoscience’.

This is misleading and inaccurate and the Acupuncture Now Foundation (ANF) has set up a petition and written an excellent article called  ‘Clean up the Wikipedia Acupuncture page to reflect medical and scientific consensus’.

For the acupuncture page on Wikipedia to state that “acupuncture is pseudoscience” is not an evidence-based statement, and is part of a systematic editorial bias against acupuncture. It constitutes a violation of Wikipedia’s Neutral Point of View Policy, which states, in a nutshell, that: “Articles must not take sides, but should explain the sides, fairly and without editorial bias. This applies to both what you say and how you say it.”

The ANF goes on to say ‘Wikipedia, which is a highly accessed source of medical information by medical professionals and patients alike, has a responsibility to ensure that articles accurately reflect the balance of information available and the appropriate participation of the editorial community through enforcing its guidelines. In the case of the acupuncture article, this process has clearly broken down. Valid, appropriate, evidence-based and referenced perspectives are being systematically silenced so that administrators can present their narrow opinions as scientific consensus’.

It would be great if you felt you could encourage Wikipedia to clean up its act by signing the petition.   In order to have any worth the petition needs to reach 5000.

In response to this petition, Dr Mike Cummings has written an interesting Blog on the BMJ Blog and it is well worth a read.

York Clinic has offered acupuncture and other complementary therapies for many years and all the practitioners are regulated by their professional bodies.  There are several Blogs on the Clinic website which highlight the scientific research into acupuncture.

To learn more about the therapies offered at York Clinic go to www.yorkclinic.com  To book an appointment at York Clinic, phone 01904 709688 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays, or between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays.  Alternatively, email us at email@yorkclinic.com, or use our contact form.  We will respond to you as quickly as possible.