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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  11:27:50  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My wife has been impregnated by somebody and is having severe nausea. She asked me to pick up some Sea Bands. These apparently control nausea by acupressure using pressure on the wrist. They state that they are clinically proven and give references on the site.

The first study listed was in Italy in 1990 and used 106 children from 2-15 years old that had sea sickness. They were given Sea Bands and a questionnaire. 88% said they helped. Apparently there was not a control used. Summary

The second study cited was on cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in 2006. It indicated that it helped the nausea symptoms but again no control population was used. Summary

What value are studies like this without a control? Does anybody know if acupressure is legit?

I e-mailed the company asking for more information.

The good thing is they have helped my wife feel better whether from science or placebo effect I really don't care, they were worth the $9.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  12:07:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My own remedy for nausea is weed followed by soda crackers.

Like acupuncture, acupressure is puedoscience and I suspect that the Sea Bands are strictly a placebo.
Criticism of TCM theory

Main article: Acupuncture#Criticism of traditional Chinese medicine theory

Clinical use of acupressure frequently relies on the conceptual framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which some scholars have characterized as pseudoscientific. There is no physically verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians.[1] Proponents reply that TCM is a prescientific system that continues to have practical relevance. Acupuncturists tend to perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than structural terms (e.g., as being useful in guiding evaluation and care of patients). [3]

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot to answer for.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


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Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  13:00:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot to answer for.
Not to derail the topic, but I recently read that TCM was Mao's answer to being unable to pay for universal modern health care in Communist China. In other words, that the commies promoted TCM beyond its due because they couldn't pay for real medicine for everyone. I'll have to follow up on that, sometime soon. [/hijack]

On topic, the Mythbusters thought ginger pills were awesome for sea sickness, but their tests also weren't controlled.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  14:22:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Robb.....

Try one of those SeaBandaids on the Roscoe of whoever that rascal was that has been messing around with your wife. If it's tight enough, it might do some good, at least it'll hurt like hell and serve the bastard right!
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  14:53:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Without controls, the research doesn't tell you much. Placebo effect might be a point here. So if they got better, there are two options:
1) they got better due to a real treatment effect of the bracelet
2) they got better due to a placebo effect

But as far as I can tell the research had no control group at all, not even a group that is not treated. So you also don't know the natural course of the complaints reported. Which opens up two other possibilities:
1) It didn't do anything. Without the bracelet the complaints would have stopped anyway (no real effect or placebo effect).
2) It did worse. People would have reported even less complaints without the bracelet, or their complaints would have been gone quicker.

Because you have no control group whatsoever, you don't know whether the group did better, the same or worse than they otherwises would have.

Now, currently the evidence there is, indicates that accupressure / accupuncture is pure placebo effect. But even from an accupuncture perspective this seems like a fishy product. Given that there are a number of accupuncture points on the wrist (I knew the whole kung-fu yin-yang stuff would come in handy one day), it would seem to me that the wristband would need to be carefully positioned. Having it slightly off shouldn't work (if accupressure would work). And these aren't trained individuals putting on the wristband.

So probably not a working product in the "actually treating anything"-department. But at least your wife feels better (or tells you she feels better ).

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  15:40:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Robb:
What value are studies like this without a control?

Well, no legitimate journal would take a study that lacked controls. So if the results were published it would have to be in an in-house journal or a journal for hire.

So to answer your question, it does the seller of the product good because it makes the product appear to have some science supporting the sellers claims. It's a marketing tool. It's also unadulterated bullshit.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  16:24:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From The New Zealand Skeptics

Bands of Hope

Naval Assessment
Enter the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM), who tested Sea Bands against the drug hycosine, sometimes known as scopalomine. (At sea, this gives good control of symptoms for some hours). But the INM also tested against two placebos. One was a dummy drug (Vitamin C), and the other was a dummy band (the Sea band with the plastic button reversed so that it didn't press against the wrist. Eighteen male volunteers were exposed to a "cross coupled nauseogenic motion challenge." In other words, they were blindfolded and rotated in a chair while they performed head movements to commands from a loudspeaker above them.
This may sound pretty innocuous, but in fact it's a fairly severe test. It will bring on the first symptoms of vomiting within 15 to 20 minutes on average. Each subject was tested on the motion challenge on four separate occasions, with at least a week between each. The results? The hycosine had an effect. But Sea Bands? No better than the dummy remedies. In fact, it emerges that the US Naval Aerospace people had tested Sea Bands back in 1982. The results then? No benefit.

You can browse through Gray's Anatomy until your thumb is sore, without ever finding any connection between your wrist and being seasick. So why on earth did anyone think there was anything in the idea in the first place?


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  16:51:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By the way, a search of PubMed reveals nothing published under the name "G Canova" regarding motion sickness or nausea (the first summary in Robb's post), so Kil can rest easy knowing that junk was never published, not even in the crappiest of journals (like Medical Hypotheses).

The second link happens to go straight to a Cochrane review of eleven studies on acupuncture and acupressure (both with and without electrical stimulation) on chemo-induced nausea and vomiting. Their conclusion is that acupressure can offer first-day reduction of nausea, but not of vomiting, and it doesn't work after the first day. Plus, the studies also gave the patients regular anti-nausea drugs in addition to the woo crap, so they weren't testing the woo by itself (whether the acupressure was with Sea Bands isn't clear).

Congrats on knocking up your lady, Robb!

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2010 :  18:01:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was about to congratulate also, but something about the wording made me hesitate...


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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  06:28:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.


Congrats on knocking up your lady, Robb!
Thanks, we are very happy. I have also learned that preventative to 99% means 1% effectiveness.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington
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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  06:57:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recieved a 5 MB pdf file from the Sea Bands the same one that is here. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/49504252/The-Sea-Band--Morning-sickness.

It has a study that pertains to my wife labled:

A double-blind cross-over study to evaluate the effectiveness of
acupressure at pericardium 6 (P6) in the treatment of early morning sickness (EMS).

J. Bayreuther, G.T. Lewith and R. Pickering,
Southampton University Medical School 1994.

Here is the summary:

SUMMARY
Background
Morning sickness affects at least 75% of pregnant women. Typically it occurs in the first 16-18 weeks of pregnancy. Theories as to the cause include psychological factors, metabolic and hormonal changes, but the precise aetiology is unclear. Due to the possible risk of foetal abnormalities the use of drugs in early pregnancy is no
longer widely acceptable. Acupuncture at P6 has been used to relieve morning sickness for over 4000 years in China. Recent studies show that acupressure might relieve morning sickness but more detailed investigation is required.

Aims
To assess by means of a blindly evaluated crossover study if acupressure at the P6 wrist point (active) is more effective than at the elbow (placebo) in reducing the nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
Method Women were contacted through various Southampton G.P.s and leaflets were given to pregnant women between 18-35 years. The women were randomly allocated to one of two groups, to wear Sea-Bands on both wrists for seven days and then on both elbows for seven days or vice versa. Symptoms were recorded on daily visual analogue cards. There was a questionnaire to be completed at the beginning and
end of the two weeks. The credibility of the placebo was also assessed.

Results
Results show a significant decrease in nausea with acupressure at P6 compared to the placebo. Women were initially equally hopeful of both treatments working. They were significantly more confident in recommending acupressure after treatment.

Conclusion
P6 acupressure is a good method of nausea control in pregnancy. A point further up the arm is a credible placebo.

There is a table on page 11 with the results. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/49504252/The-Sea-Band--Morning-sickness

Can anyone decipher the table or have any comments on the validity of the results?

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  07:52:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Robb, they are comparing accupressure at the wrist to accupressure at the elbow... and concluding that accupressure at the wrist was 75% more effective.

Junk writing to sell their junk product.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  14:34:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Robb

Originally posted by Dave W.


Congrats on knocking up your lady, Robb!
Thanks, we are very happy. I have also learned that preventative to 99% means 1% effectiveness.
Only 100% abstinence is 100% effective.
To get any good mileage out of a birth control measure, you need intimate knowledge of how it works, and it's Achille's Heel. For example, a rubber only works if you wear it...
Obviously, sometimes that isn't even enough. Which reminds me that I need to have a talk with my wife about what happens if preventatives doesn't work as expected.

Again, Robb: Congrats on the (unexpected?) gift.





Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  18:26:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Originally posted by Robb

Originally posted by Dave W.


Congrats on knocking up your lady, Robb!
Thanks, we are very happy. I have also learned that preventative to 99% means 1% effectiveness.
Only 100% abstinence is 100% effective.
To get any good mileage out of a birth control measure, you need intimate knowledge of how it works, and it's Achille's Heel. For example, a rubber only works if you wear it...
Obviously, sometimes that isn't even enough. Which reminds me that I need to have a talk with my wife about what happens if preventatives doesn't work as expected.

Again, Robb: Congrats on the (unexpected?) gift.


Thanks, it is unexpected but welcomed. It's funny because we just decided to go ahead and start the process to adopt a child but now we are questioning that descision.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington
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Lisento
New Member

1 Post

Posted - 10/22/2010 :  10:44:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lisento a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You should re-read the Cochrane Collaborative.

Some of the 11 studies pooled did use controls. Not all 11 studies had controls since they were comparing two (or more) different techniques, but some did have controls.

Cochrane Collaborative is very serious and well-known. They combine studies that look at the same thing in order to have a larger picture. It's very tedious work (and has to be done carefully). Not many organizations attempt to do it is my understanding.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2010 :  13:06:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The women were randomly allocated to one of two groups, to wear Sea-Bands on both wrists for seven days and then on both elbows for seven days or vice versa.

Doesn't this sound a bit strange? Both groups actually use acupressure wrists, albeit at different times. I can't read the full article, so I can't really comment on how they did their analysis, but as I said, it seems strange.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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