The randomised control trial (RCT) was designed mainly for use within the pharmaceutical research. Simplified, an active pill and a dummy or ‘inert’ pill are compared for effectiveness. The active pill has to perform significantly better than the dummy pill for the effect not to be considered a placebo.
This RCT model suits the pharmaceutical industry because it’s easy to create a dummy pill. But when the RCT is applied to medical acupuncture, how do you create a credible dummy needle?