In the United States, Franlin Bache, M.D. a great grandson of Benjamin Franklin, wrote an article, "Case illustrative of Remial Effects of Acupuncture" showing the benefits of the art, and in 1916, Sir William Osler, M.D. wrote an article recommending acupuncture for treatment for lumbago in the "Principles and Practice of Medicine". Despite an occasional article, Acupuncture remained rare until 1971 when James Reston, a reporter for the New York Times accompanied President Nixon on a trip to China where they witnessed an appendectomy using Acupuncture Anesthesia. There are mountains of anecdotal evidence that Acupuncture and Acupressure is effective on various different types of illness. But despite many efforts, Western science has never been able to reconcile how Acupuncture works. They can prove "that" it works, but not "how" it works... so many doctors an researchers remain skeptic. Since Acupuncture is based on Daoist (Taoist) oriental theories like "yin" and "yang" and "the five elements", a Chinese diagnosis may seem strange and unprofessional to Western physicians. The Chinese have less problem understanding how Acupuncture works because their culture, philosophy, and even their language makes explanations of "vital energy" or "Qi" within the body plausible, and for the most part, unquestioned. For the Chinese, "Qi" is no more mysterious than electricity. Anything that helps "move" this vital energy when it is stagnant will help bring the body back into balance or homeostasis, thus allowing it to heal. It is important to understand that Acupuncture (and Traditional Chinese Medicine in general), is not "folk medicine". It is a highly developed, systematic, recorded, researched, and peer reviewed form of medicine with several disciplines that continues to evolve. It has a massive amount of real-world data to justify the application of techniques based on several thousand years of human trials. Throughout the world, lay-persons have adopted the techniques far more readily that scientists because they do not have to understand how it works to take advantage of it.
Introduction | History | Acceptance | Theory | Meridians | Clinical Visit