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Acupuncture Today:

Medicine or Folklore?

Acupuncture medical theory is different than what we are used to and the medical terms sound like folklore but actually represent sound medical concepts which have stood the test of time. Ancient cultures experienced disease as a result of exposure to the 'elements' , eg extreme climatic factors — these external elements of wind, cold, hot, damp, etc. were translated into patterns of internal climatic factors of the disease in the body — our internal climate of health and balance.

Except for our harsh New England winters, most of the time we are fortunate not to have this same exposure to the outside elements. However, our INTERNAL climate is bombarded with storms and upheavals of STRESS instead — the hurried pace of our lives, overstimulation of ourselves and our children, worries about finance, health, employment---and I liken this to the internal weather patterns of our body, and for most of us, our pattern is out of balance.

Because acupuncture was developed without the study of internal anatomy and before the use of microscopes, it is a totally different paradigm to view health and disease, and emphasizes 'function' rather than 'form'. Where Western medical theory begs the question: 'what specific thing X is causing Y disease or symptom', Chinese medicine instead asks 'what is the relationship, the imbalance, the dysfunction between X and Y?'  And then works to bring the imbalance back into balance.

Quaint terms, powerful medicine!

Amazingly, even without the use of a microscope, the ancient acupuncturists developed a concept of infectious disease — where by 'tiny insects were carried on the wind' and then this 'external wind invasion' is what we know today as a respiratory infection by the cold virus.

So 'catching a cold' is amazingly the same as 'external wind invasion'.  But 'wind' can also be 'internal' — the radiating nerve sensation of sciatica is known as 'internal wind'--which makes sense to anyone who has ever had sciatica, as the sensation moves like the wind down our leg. Quaint terms, powerful medicine...indeed.

Ancient Chinese also considered our human emotions as powerful influences of  health and a balanced life-- inseparable from our overall health and inherent with our well being — and thereby recognizing the entirety of the human condition within its medical theory and clinical practice.

Body, mind and spirit are all included within the compilation of Chinese medical theory and practice,
and that is what I mean when I say that acupuncture addresses the entirety of the human condition.
Spirit is not the same as religion — it is the expression of our individual vitality and our connection to ourself, others and the world around us. Think of yourself on your very best day — your body, mind, spirit are approaching balance and you feel wonderful, relaxed and energetic.

Getting that 'best day' feeling is very common with gentle acupuncture — experience it for yourself with Peri!

Acupuncture: Is it a real science?

Being a scientist myself,  the medical theory behind acupuncture is truly fascinating—and may be considered a true science because it is built upon the same pillars of sound scientific principles as the modern day medicine we are more used to:

  • acupuncture is a fully developed body of medical theory, knowledge and clinical practice
  • acupuncture is a rational science not a belief system  (logical, consistent, consequencial, etc)
  • acupuncture is an empirical science (acupuncturists are clinicians who make precise observations, verify assertions, make a diagnosis, prognosis and treatment strategy)

In other words, YES!



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