My personal position on acupuncture.
Acupuncture, is a science and art that has evolved from its origin in China over 3000 years ago. The fundamental belief is there is balance in polar forces of nature, i.e. light-darkness (Gen 1:3-5), water and sky (Gen 1: 6-8), male-female (Gen 1:27) which is God-derived. Any imbalance in these forces causes an imbalance of a system, notably the human body. Qi, is a term used to describe a natural “life” energy in nature, in chiropractic I believe it is called vitalism1.
Qi in the human body, in my opinion, is electrical potential energy of the body. This aspect of qi was quantified by Dr. Nakatani2, who discovered electrically active points in the body which corresponded to acupuncture meridian systems. He in effect made early prototypes of the AcuGraph machine that we currently use in this office that is used to measure the acupuncture potential energy. Analogous to this qi energy is the nerve axon which there is an ionic gradient of Na+ and K+ with Cl- with the resultant electrical potential which allows the conduction of the nerve impulse. Qi flows through channels called meridians. Dr. Voll, in Germany, also independently verified these findings3.
This concept of acupuncture may be far-fetched for some people to understand. Fortunately, research has quantified the acupuncture systems. A study involved microdissection techniques in mapping out the meridians4. In the 1960s, Professor Kim Bong Han, working in Korea, found evidence using microdissection techniques of an independent series of fine duct-like tubes corresponding to the paths of traditional acupuncture meridians. The fluid in this system sometimes traveled in the same direction as blood and lymph and at other times in the opposite direction. Kim concluded that the meridians might exist within these duct-like tubes. French researcher Pierre de Vernejoue5 corroborated these findings in 1985, by injecting radioactive Technicium-99 isotopes into the known acupoints in humans and tracking their movement. vs non-acupuncture areas. In the former, the Tc-99 migrated, following a pathway consistent with established meridians whereas the latter did not migrate significantly.
When stimulated with an acupuncture needle, electric stimulation, laser stimulation, or even manual stimulation, a physiological change in the body occurs. Acupuncture has been widely known to block pain, and there is a pharmaceutical inhibitor that abolishes the effect of acupuncture. In a 1979 study published in Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine. A nociceptive facilitating stimulus was performed on rats. Electroacupuncture was given to sucessfully provide analgesia, and morphine mimicked acupuncture’s effects, while the pharmaceutical nalaxone obliterated all analgesic properties of acupuncture6.
The evidence demonstrated shows that acupuncture is not as mysterious as it was originally intended to be. Science has been able to elucidate and validate acupuncture as a true system that can be used to alleviate human suffering.
There is much more I can expand on in reference to the scientific nature of acupuncture over the spiritual concept that in the limited time and scope we shall discuss in the future.
Growing up in a non-practicing mixed religion non-Christian home I developed the scientific mindset which carried over into adult life. After finding Jesus I see things in a different perspective, allowing acceptance of the scientifically unexplainable, attributing it to divine providence from God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
A. The Holy Bible, (NIV)
2 Oda H (1989) Electropermeable Points on the Human Skin. Ryodoraku Textbook. Naniwash Publishing Inc. 5-19
5 Darras JC, Vernejoue P. Albarede P (1992) Nuclear Medicine and Acupuncture: A Study on the Migration of Radioactive Tracers after Injection at Acupoints. Am J Acup. Vol. 20. 3:245-256.