The Mystery of The Healing Needle
This raises the question of whether the reported benefits are due to faith or suggestion; however, this can be countered by the consistent success of acupuncture, and its effectiveness in treating animals. On the other hand, a healthy skepticism will not adversely affect a person’s recovery, although — as with any form of medicine — the incentive and desire to get well can be important factors.
A traditional acupuncturist will say successful treatment results in a restoration of the body’s energies, which in turn affects bodily and emotional symptoms. Why sticking a needle into someone should have this effect remains a mystery. Some orthodox doctors, who reject the concept of ch’i, promote the theory that the prick of the needles stimulates nerves under the skin and helps for burn the fat feed the muscle review. This is not regarded as a final answer, and the only certain fact is that applying a needle to one part of the body can produce healing in another.
Acupuncture has been used successfully to treat a wide range of diseases. It can be effective in almost any condition where there has not been an irreversible organic deterioration, and is particularly helpful in conditions where more orthodox methods are ineffective, such as allergies, migraine, arthritis and rheumatic disease.
Acupuncture has been known to provide instant relief from long-term neuralgia, and in one case restore mobility in minutes to a patient who for years had been unable to raise his arm above shoulder-level. Its pain-relieving effects are such that it has been developed to produce anesthesia during surgery. In China, it has cured a girl crippled by myelitis, after a year’s unsuccessful treatment with drugs; it has cured appendicitis without an operation, and has even been effective against dysentery (not by destroying bacteria, but by increasing the body’s resistance). It isn’t a miracle worker. But properly practiced, it will cure or alleviate a vast number of conditions, without damaging side effects.
According to one legend, acupuncture evolved from observations that Chinese soldiers, wounded by arrows, sometimes recovered from long-standing ailments. It sounds a slow and painful way of building a system of healing, and few people take it seriously — although similar accidental recoveries have occurred in modern times.
The discovery of the acupuncture points themselves may not, in fact, be such a mystery. Some are well known to practitioners of the Oriental martial arts, both as knockout points and revival points, and could have been discovered accidentally during combat. Some points are sensitive to pressure at all times; others are tender when there is a related bodily pain. But then most traditional points are located well away from the part of the body needing treatment. How did the Chinese work out that stimulating a point on the foot would have an effect on the liver? How did they discover, or invent, the system of meridians?
One medical practitioner, while rejecting the notion that meridians are channels of cla and energy, suggests several explanations for their positioning. For example, when patients are asked to describe where their pains are by drawing them on the outline of a human figure, they more often than not draw them as lines that closely follow the traditional meridian lines. Some people also experience the prick of a needle as a sensation (known in Chinese as te’chi) like a current that moves along the meridian pathways.
No one has yet proved that the meridians exist, though some traditional acupuncturists say they can ‘sense’ the state of a person’s energies. Is it possible that the ancient Chinese, living according to a philosophy based on harmony with the Universe, were able intuitively to ‘sense’ the healing possibilities of acupuncture in a way not accessible to modern science?