The Science of Suffering

Monday, December 27, 2010

Melanie Thernstrom talks about pain throughout the ages—from ancient Babylonian pain-banishing spells to modern brain imaging—to reveal the mysterious nature of pain itself. In The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering, she reflects on her own battle with chronic pain, discusses the latest medical research, and gives insights on coping with pain from science, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology, literature, and art.


Melanie Thernstrom

Comments [4]

Jacob Godwin

Thanks for being a voice of reason!

Dec. 28 2010 02:40 PM
Fiamma Aaron Horvath from Highland Park, NJ

Regarding acupuncture efficacy: acupuncture may involve placebo, as does any therapy, but studies showing "sham" acupuncture being effective show just that...acupuncture being effective. Sham acupuncture is NOT a good scientific control group, so those studies are seriously flawed. Sham acupuncture is acupuncture. It does not matter that the needles are put in "non-acupuncture points." The entire body is alive and receptive to acupuncture. The brain responds to the body having acupuncture needles placed in it, and that is why "sham" acupuncture works, though not as well as using official points, which are just areas that are more receptive, or energetic. More definitive proof: acupuncture is effective in animals. Disclaimer: I am an acupuncturist! But I was a scientist first, and would not have gone into acupuncture had it not seemed valid to me.

Dec. 27 2010 12:42 PM

Typo on show page

[[Sum Up 2010 in Six Words
Submit your six-word summary of teh year]]

Dec. 27 2010 12:35 PM
Joyce from Manhattan

acupuncture: My cat had acupuncture to stop incontinence (from diabetes caused nerve damage) She went from 4 accidents per day to NONE and stayed that way for 8 months with weekly acupuncture treatments. I don't think it was the power of suggestion for her...

Dec. 27 2010 12:34 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.