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November 24, 1975

Treatment of Chronic Pain by Acupuncture

Author Affiliations

San Jose, Calif

JAMA. 1975;234(8):808. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260210016009

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To the Editor.—  The article (232:1133, 1975) by Lee et al concluded that acupuncture is a placebo and that it is hardly worth the time to employ such a technique, since there is no lasting pain relief after four treatments. They did admit that there is an increasing degree of pain relief with each subsequent treatment.I would like to point out the fallacies of that study and its conclusion: (1) The so-called arbitrary distant points used in the study may not be arbitrary at all. The points employed were not published, and faulty technique is a possibility. (2) A course of four acupuncture treatments is hardly adequate for the average case, not to mention one involving rheumatoid arthritis. This was the reason for a low percentage of lasting pain relief in that study. (3) It is common practice for a physician to order physical therapy for three times a