"There's no scientific proof that acupuncture actually works, the whole idea is rubbish!"
*Study is done, finds correlation between acupuncture and hormones / stress*
"What is this shit study? We all know acupuncture doesn't work, why waste time studying this rubbish"?
That's a nice no-win situation there for anyone trying to discover validity in acupuncture.
"The real test, if these woo believers wanted to test the magic scientific meridian whacko superpoint stomach meridian point 36 (St36) [help me stop laughing], is to do the magic at various points on the poor bloody rats and see what happens (including the little itty bitty points close to the magic St36)."
If you real the actual article (I know, crazy request for a slashdotter!) you'll see that "The study, reported in the journal Endocrinology, compared stressed rats given electroacupuncture,[to] a sham therapy in which needles were not inserted in a meridian point, or no treatment. A fourth group of rats were not exposed to stress and did not receive acupuncture. ". Hey look, they actually did that thing you said they would have to to be considered *real* science. And they still found a correlation. The whole purpose of the sham acupuncture was to eliminate the possibility of the placebo effect (which apparently can be seen in animals too) or to eliminate the possibility that random needling produces the same results
Acupuncture isn't homeopathy or healing crystals (concepts that contradict our entire understanding of physics and biology). I'm no medical expert, but the basic concepts are at least believable. You stick some needles in you, get relief from physical pain in the area. What's so "mystical" or "voodoo-like" about that? Nothing. Maybe the neurons from the specific area of pain can't transmit that information properly to the brain if there's pain from a meridian point (or elsewhere) that jams that connection. Or the scraping ("Gua-sha" or something) practice doesn't seem so far fetched either, and quite medically plausible. You move waste material from deep inside your body towards the skin, and you end up sweating it out faster. Nothing quacky about that, at least from an initial perspective. Now if your acupuncturist can claim to cure cancer or other nonsense like that, then I might have a hard time believing that crap. But some of these specific techniques don't seem so far fetched, and may be plausible.