The most frequent question I get as I’m treating patients is how does this work? It’s a difficult explanation as their is no direct Western medicine equivalent to the concept of Chi or life energy. However, we do know that there is an energy source within our body. In an oversimplification, we can ask. What makes the blood flow? You may say, the heart pumping. Ok. What makes the heart pump? Electrical impulses. What makes the electrical impulses? You get the idea. There has to be something to set it all in motion. And that is your Chi. Some people liken it to a biolectrical field. It doesn’t matter the words, it is what it is.
If you want to get an idea of your own Chi. Try this exercise. Put your hands up with fingers apart and without touching the other hand, pump the hands together. There is a kind of resistance or pressure you can feel between your fingers as you slowly pump your hands together. The stronger your Chi, the more you can feel the energy being created as you move your hands together.
The article I quote and articulates that because the concepts behind acupuncture have been so difficult to understand, it has “taken quite a long time for Western medicine to embrace acupuncture even though it was introduced in the early 1970’s after contacts with China improved.”
Dr. Richard Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPh is a physician who is trained in acupuncture. (I actually had the opportunity to train with him many years ago using a protocol for macular degeneration). He has developed a technique called “Battlefield Acupuncture” and has been teaching American Air Force physicians serving in Iraq and Afghanistan (2009) to use this for pain relief. His technique uses points in the ear that blocks pain signals from reaching the brain.
“This is one of the fastest pain attenuators in existence,” said Dr. Niemtzow, who is the Consultant for complementary and alternative medicine for the Surgeon General of the Air Force, and is affiliated with Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda. “The pain can be gone in five minutes.”
In the article Professor Tsuei mentions: “In 1972 the respected New York Times columnist James Reston underwent an emergency appendectomy while in China. He later wrote about acupuncture treatment for post-operative pain that was very successful. This report attracted attention and many American physicians and researchers went to China to observe and learn acupuncture techniques.”
There continues to be an interest in research to help understand the mechanism of action with acupuncture. Of note was a North Korean researcher, Kim Bonghan, who published papers in the early 1960’s and his research was confirmed by the Japanese researchers Fujiwara and Yu in 1967. Unfortunately his research took almost 40 years to be confirmed through studies done on rats, rabbit and pigs with Stereo-microscope photographs and electron microsopy. If you click on the link for this article below you will be able to see the amazing photo showing the stereomicroscopic image of acupuncture meridians.
Although many of these studies are old by our standards, they are significant as they are some of the first studies to be published outside of China. “Russian researchers in 1991 at The Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Novosibirsk, USSR, in a research project lasting several years, discovered how the human body conducts light. They found that the light conducting ability of the human body exists only along the meridians, and can enter and exit only along the acupuncture points. Dr. Kaznachejew, a professor of physics said:
“This seems to prove that we have a light transferal system in our body somewhat like optical fiber. It appears that the light can even travel when the light canal is bent, or totally twisted. The light appears to be reflected from the inner surface, appearing to go in some sort of zigzag track. You can explain this through traditional electromagnetic light theory as it is used in optical fiber communications.”
“This finding has been confirmed by a 1992 study in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a 2005 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine where moxibustion and infrared thermography were used to trace meridian pathways.”
“There might be a “light body” after all.”
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Auricular Acupuncture for Cocaine Dependence.S. Kelly Avants, PhD; Arthur Margolin, PhD; Theodore R. Holford, PhD; Thomas R. Kosten, MD Arch Intern Med. 2000;160:2305-2312.
Immunomodulatory Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Study.Stefanie Joos, M.D. Department of Anaesthetics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Meridians conduct light by Dr. Sergei Pankratov, Moskow, Published by Raum and Zeit, Germany,1991.Translated from the German by Wolfgang Mitschrich
Bonghan Channels in Acupuncture By David Milbradt, LAc, Acupunture Today
Bonghan Duct and Acupuncture Meridian as Optical Channel of Biophoton
Curtin University of Technology These C fibres transmit low-grade sensory information over very long distances by using Merkel cells as intermediaries.
Scientific Evidence in Support of Acupuncture and Meridian Theory Professor Julia J. Tsuei M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Medical acupuncture gaining acceptance by the US Air Force
Acupuncture is promising treatment for cocaine addiction, Yale researchers find