It's a long one:
The only value woo woo like accupuncture offers is that it serves as a measure of how comfortable/disaffected patients are with science-based medicine. I watched Dawkins' "Enemies of Reason" series and was struck by the point he made, namely that "alternative" medical practitioners spend a full hour with their "patients" and palpate them, ask them lots of questions, pay them attention and generally make them feel special and important. Contrast that with a visit to a real doctor, and it looks like medical costs, dealing with insurance paperwork, and poor bedside manner has a lot to do with what makes woo attractive.
If I were puking with chemo, I'd hire a hot 19-year-old to wear a cheerleader outfit and massage my feet while showing me lots of cleavage. My guess is it would cost about the same and it'd be an equally effective course of therapy. Perhaps services like that could be offered under the alternative therapy banner. Having a crowd of people keening, wailing, and rending their garments outside my death-chamber would be kinda cool, too. If I still have a memory when I'm getting close to going, I'll see if I can do that one. That might be fun. "What's going on?" "the prophet is dying!!! *wail*" "Huh?"
- Marcus J. Ranum