Is acupuncture's effectiveness just a placebo effect?
No. Acupuncture has been widely used to treat a variety of domestic animals. In Japan, it is regularly used with success to treat racehorses. These animals are immune to the placebo effect and to the psychosomatic element of therapy. This means that it is the insertion of needles into specific points, itself, that works. Any form of medicine has a placebo component, including modern medicine. The placebo effect is just a small part of acupuncture's effectiveness. While a positive attitude may enhance it, a negative attitude will not block the effects of acupuncture.