I am actually an Acupuncture and Traditonal Chinese Medicine student (who also happens to suffer from social anxiety). Acupuncture is very effective, and does have a biochemical basis. You don't need to believe in "energy" for it to be effective. In fact, we get lots of patients who tyr Acupuncture as a last resort, because nothing else has worked for them, not even standard biomedical treatments. In fact, these patients are often the most skeptical. Yet, they are consistently amazed by how effective it is. And "the placebo effect" simply refers to the mechanism which allows the to the body healing itself. It does not mean that the treatment is ineffective. Quite the contrary. I persoanlly have no problem with a treatment that allows the body to heal itself naturally. SSRI antidepressents have been proven by the Journal of the American Medical Association to be no more effective than a placebo, in most cases. But doctors still continue to prescribe them and they are still the "standard" treatment for depression, precisely because of the placebo effect they induce. Personally, I prefer a treatment that induces a placebo effect with NO side effects (like Acupuncture), as opposed to one that produces weight gain, metabolic changes, inorgasmia, and a host of other side effects. Just an opinion.