Where Does Acupuncture Come From?
Acupuncture comes to us from the foundation of Daoist (Taoist) philosophy that originated in China. Since Daoism is also a religion, this has led some people to ask me (and others) if acupuncture is compatible with their particular religious beliefs.
I am not a clergy member of any religion: I’m just an acupuncturist. As such I can not speak authoritatively for any particular religion. I can make some observations that I hope will put some people’s minds at ease, however.
Philosophy and Religion Are Different
The first observation is that while the foundation of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is Taoist philosophy, the foundation of “western medicine” is Greek philosophy. I have yet to hear of anyone concerned about going to a medical doctor and being asked to worship Zeus or other ancient Greek gods. Both the eastern and western systems of medicine have been secular for centuries. No particular belief systems are required.
People of All Faiths Get Acupuncture
The second observation is that acupuncture is practiced on billions of people around the world on (and by!) people of many different faiths. Even in China people of diverse faiths receive acupuncture.
As for my practice, I don’t ask my patients about their religion. Still, I am fairly certain I have treated people who were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Quakers, and other religions. I also know for certain that I have treated Christian clergy members of different denominations. In the Durham area, many people have deep religious conviction which is a wonderful principle to live by. Acupuncture does not go against that ideology.
If you have doubts, ask your clergy member if acupuncture is okay. I think it is important that you feel comfortable with whatever health care you are receiving.
To see if acupuncture might be right for you, give us a call at our Durham location or you may call us at 919-228-8448. If you find it easier to make an appointment online, you can simply click here to use our online schedule to set up a free face-to-face consultation.
I hadn’t really tied in religion to acupuncture in the past, but can see how it can be a debate and discussion. Nice points and good resource
Thanks for your comment, Molly. I’m not sure how much of a debate there is, if any on this topic. Still, it does seem to be a concern to some. I’ve heard similar concerns voiced by people with regards to studying martial arts. I think it mostly just stems from unfamiliarity. These kinds of concerns are certainly understandable.