Is acupuncture a pseudoscience? An interesting question! It was used as the title of a recent article. Knowing who authored it, the question unfortunately promised to be rhetorical. Dr Mike Cummings is (or was?) the ‘Medical Director at British Medical Acupuncture Society’ – hardly a source of critical or sceptical thinking about acupuncture, I’d say. The vast majority of his recent publications are in ‘ACUPUNCTURE IN MEDICINE’ and his blog post too is for that journal. Nevertheless, his thoughts might be worth considering, and therefore I present the essence of his post below [the footnotes refer to my comments following Cummings’ article]:
…Wikipedia has branded acupuncture as pseudoscience and its benefits as placebo . ‘Acupuncture’ is clearly is not pseudoscience; however, the way in which it is used or portrayed by some may on occasion meet that definition. Acupuncture is a technique that predates the development of the scientific method  … so it is hardly fair to classify this ancient medical technique within that framework . It would be better to use a less pejorative classification within the bracket of history when referring to acupuncture and other ancient East Asian medical techniques . The contemporary use of acupuncture within modern healthcare is another matter entirely, and the fact that it can be associated with pre-scientific medicine does not make it a pseudoscience.
The Wikipedia acupuncture page is extensive and currently runs to 302 references. But how do we judge the quality or reliability of a text or its references? … I would generally look down on blogs, such as this, because they lack … hurdles prior to publication . Open peer review was introduced relatively recently associated with immediate publication. But all this involves researchers and senior academics publishing and reviewing within their own fields of expertise. Wikipedia has a slightly different model built on five pillars. The second of those pillars reads:
Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view: We strive for articles that document and explain major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence in an impartial tone. We avoid advocacy and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them. In some areas there may be just one well-recognized point of view; in others, we describe multiple points of view, presenting each accurately and in context rather than as “the truth” or “the best view”. All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors’ personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong.
Experts within a field may be seen to have a certain POV (point of view), and are discouraged from editing pages directly because they cannot have the desired NPOV (neutral POV). This is a rather unique publication model in my experience, although the editing and comments are all visible and traceable, so there is no hiding… apart from the fact that editors are allowed to be entirely anonymous. Have a look at the talk page behind the main acupuncture page on Wikipedia. You may be shocked by the tone of much of the commentary. It certainly does not seem to comply with the fourth of the five pillars, which urges respect and civility, and in my opinion results primarily from the security of anonymity. I object to the latter, but there is always a balance to be found between freedom of expression (enhanced for some by the safety of anonymity) and cyber bullying (almost certainly fuelled in part by anonymity). That balance requires good moderation, and whilst there was some evidence of moderation on the talk page, it was inadequate to my mind… I might move to drop anonymity from Wikipedia if moderation is wanting.
Anyway my impression, for what it’s worth, is that the acupuncture page on Wikipedia is not written from an NPOV, but rather it appears to be controlled by semi professional anti-CAM pseudosceptics . I have come across these characters  regularly since I was introduced to the value of needling in military general practice. I have a stereotypical mental image: plain or scary looking bespectacled geeks and science nuts , the worst are often particle physicists … Interacting with them is at first intense, but rapidly becomes tedious as they know little of the subject detail , fall back on the same rather simplistic arguments  and ultimately appear to be motivated by eristic discourse rather than the truth .
I am not surprised that they prefer to close the comments, because I imagine that some people might object rather strongly to many of the statements made in this text.
Here are my short comments: I should perhaps stress that I am not the author of nor a contributor to this Wiki (or any other) page.  Is this an attempt to employ the ‘appeal to tradition’ fallacy?  The Wiki page does by no means classify the ancient history of acupuncture as pseudoscience.  I have always felt that classification of science or medicine according to geography is nonsensical; they should not be classified as Western or Asian but as sound or not, effective or not, etc.  As we have often seen on this blog, the ‘hurdles’ (peer-review) are often laughable, particularly in the realm of alternative medicine.  This article is essentially trying to show that the Wiki page is biased. Yet it ends with a bonanza of insults which essentially reveal the profound bias of the author.
IS ACUPUNCTURE PSEUDOSCIENCE? Cummings’ article promised to address this question. Sadly it did nothing of the sort. It turned out to be an incompetent rant about a Wiki page. If anything, Cummings contributed to the neutral reader of his text getting convinced that, indeed, acupuncture IS a pseudoscience! At least Wiki used facts, arguments, evidence etc. and it went a lot further in finding a rational answer to this intriguing question.