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FRANCIA, Alejandro; KREINER, Marcelo; FERNANDEZ, Ignacio  and  MASSA, Fernando. Validation of a new placebo acupuncture method with potential for double blinding. Phase II: practitioner blinding. Odontoestomatología [online]. 2018, vol.20, n.32, pp.42-50. ISSN 0797-0374.

We present a new placebo acupuncture method with potential for double-blinding. In this phase, we evaluate the possibility of blinding the practitioner.


We conducted two experimental studies using the acupuncture point of the Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) as reference. In the first study (I), three practitioners used the device on the same patient. In the second experiment (II), a single acupuncturist used this device on 12 healthy volunteers.


In I, out of 30 needles used by the practitioners, they were able to correctly identify 7 needles (23%) (practitioner #1, 2/10; practitioner #2, 4/10; and practitioner #3, 1/10). In experiment II, success rates were around 50%, so there is not enough evidence to state that the acupuncturist recognizes the type of needle used.


The new device showed high potential for practitioner blinding, suggesting that it is useful to blind even experienced acupuncturists.

Keywords : acupuncture; placebo; double blind; LI 4; Chinese medicine.

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