Does acupuncture work ?
When looking at a concept like acupuncture, it’s important to see it through the lens of its own cultural filter. Acupuncture is an ancient science that has evolved over thousand of years. It started within the paradigm of a warrior / agrarian society, which had it’s own rules and ethos making up it’s foundation.
Interestingly, many of the terms first used in acupuncture are still in use today. In their literal translation, the terms make little sense in the modern world. However, the trick is to understand the crossover in it’s language into western science and it’s corresponding mental model.
As a practitioner, I often thought such Chinese medical concepts as yin / yang and hot / cold seem strange to the average health professional or patients. They sound more like Mumbo- Jumbo than a true science. But, once you realize that yin / yang corresponds to sympathetic / parasympathetic and hot / cold translates into acid / base then it’s more easy to wrap one’s head around ancient medicine and how it works.
The body is still the body.
There is nothing new in physiology that wasn’t around thousands of years ago. The confusion is how the terms are defined and applied. There is also no new metabolic process that occurs in western medicine when a disease manifests.
Things either are running too fast or too slow and the body is forced to make adaptations. This is a key concept in acupuncture. So, it’s not to say that acupuncture is not scientific, it just has different axioms that make up it’s science.
As with any healing modality, once treatment trust has been established, success depends on following the rules.
Granted healing is as much as an art as it is a science. But, whether a surgeon or an acupuncturist practitioner is effective, relays on consistency in what they do.
In recent years, acupuncture has found a wide degree of acceptance in it’s reliability and validity in the western community. As a result, acupuncture is recognized more completely by such organizations by the AMA and the NIH.
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