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Wikipedia classifies acupuncture as pseudoscience, provokes public wrath

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online)    16:42, January 17, 2017

Recently, the entry for acupuncture on online encyclopedia Wikipedia defined the treatment as "pseudoscience," which led many netizens to become outraged, the Beijing News reported on Jan. 17. 

The Wikipedia page said traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory and practice are not based on science, and acupuncture is merely a pseudoscience. After the news came to light, an acupuncture foundation launched an online petition to Wikipedia to correct the error, supported by TCM doctors, patients and many others.

As for why TCM has been subjected to so much doubt, Du Lin, director of the Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Dongzhimen Hospital, pointed out that TCM can help to alleviate unpleasant symptoms in many patients. In the same circumstances, Western medicine is often powerless to help patients whose tests come back normal but who still experience pain. Du added that pain is subjective, and since traditional Chinese cupping therapy works on microcirculation, its effects are hard to detect and quantify.

Nowadays, TCM has spread to 183 countries and regions around the world. Acupuncture has been recognized by 103 WHO member countries and legalized in 44 states across the U.S., where there are 45,000 acupuncturists, according to a 2016 white paper on TCM. In addition, relevant industry standards have been gradually formulated to standardize research, clinical application and TCM procedures. 

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