Research

Therapies that involve people can't be assessed in the same way as the 'golden standard' set by pharmaceuticals - so how much should we listen to research?

I have a friend on Facebook that I have known for years, we did our 1st degree together, and have since moved in different directions. That person seems to be obsessed with evidence and often posts seemingly negative reviews.

I took the time to read the one they shared the other day: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wheres-the-proof-that-mindfulness-meditation-works1/#. The title suggests to me that they haven’t found any ‘proof’ but having read the article they contend current research shows great support for mental health improvement.

The biggest issue I think with therapies that involve people is that they just can’t be assessed in the same way as the ‘golden standard’ set by pharmaceuticals! Even they get it wrong sometimes too – a tested anti depressant is now used for smoking cessation instead – so said vigorous research got it wrong.

I am not suggesting that all things shouldn’t be subject to scrutiny, but perhaps we need to learn to consider that we can’t test all things in the same way.

How can a counsellor assist you if they don’t know why you need assistance, how can an acupuncturist expertly choose points, insert and manipulate in just the right way if they don’t know what they are treating?

I think what I’m saying is they research is not the be all and end all, ¬†especially when it comes to the complexity that is a human being, but rather we should seek the truth for ourselves: one person may absolutely thrive on mindfulness, another not so – doesn’t mean the PRACTICE is wrong if it doesn’t fit all…

About Paula

Paula is a degree qualified acupuncturist, and full member of the British Acupuncture Council. As well as providing acupunture, aromatherapy facials, cupping and ear candling therapies, she also manages Health Rediscovered and writes for our blog.

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