The Worst Quackery of 2011: Battlefield Acupuncture – Forbes

So: the 2011 winner of the worst quackery award is: battlefield acupuncture. This bizarre practice, invented just 10 years ago, offers a trifecta of ills:

It offers no medical benefit and carries a real risk of harm for some patients.

The U.S. government is wasting tens of millions of dollars per year on it, and plans to increase its spending next year.

The patients are wounded combat veterans who have no choice about where to get treatment.

In battlefield acupuncture, the “doctor” (no competent doctor would do this) sticks needles into the patient’s ear to relieve pain.

via The Worst Quackery of 2011: Battlefield Acupuncture – Forbes.

Incredible. And infuriating.

(Found on Twitter, but I cannot recall who tweeted it).


  1. Jim in Texas says:

    These quacks better make damn sure their patients are unconscious and/or unarmed!!!!!


  2. Maybe they should try equipping the soldiers, sailors, and marines with high quality gear rather than the (mostly) one-size-fits-all junk manufactured by the lowest bidder before they waste everyone’s money on things that have been proven to be useless.

  3. Dan Spinato says:

    What recession can do to people these days. Even resorting to trickery and tomfoolery. I hope they realize the money people pay them with are from those people’s hard earned jobs.