Tourette bunny cured by acupuncture?
A story that's worth following a bit more....
A rabbit kept at a museum in Durham, NC was exhibiting some Tourettish symptoms such as head-twitching and walking in circles. (No, he wasn't saying things like "Eeeehhhh, what's up, DICKWADBITCH?") Vets checked him for infections, found nothing. A vet who had been using acupuncture on domestic animals tried a few sessions, and the twitching and circling disappeared.
The rabbit is what makes it interesting. With humans, it's just about impossible to tell whether acupuncture is doing anything physical or simply serving as a placebo. You can't do a double-blind or substitute a more
placebo-like therapy that would feel the same. Dogs wouldn't prove anything either, since dogs clearly share the human values of helping and being helped. Rabbits are more likely to test the real physical effects, because they lack the tight links of empathy that bind humans and dogs.
There's nothing wrong with using the placebo effect. Modern medicine would cure more people if it paid more attention to the value of trust and the innate "healer mechanism".
But it would be useful for neurology to know if acupuncture belongs in the placebo category, or if it's directly causing physical changes in the various reflex arcs and ganglia. Would open the door to a wider set of related therapies, and might improve the practice of acupuncture and acupressure.... though a therapy based on thousands of years of experience and testing is likely to be optimal by now.