Is Acupuncture Energy Medicine
More and more these days I’ve noticed people advertising or discussing various forms of “energy medicine”. It seems like every few weeks I learn of some “amazing” new form of energy healing that involves fancy devices, laying on of hands, crystals, sounds, colors, smells, elixirs and so forth. As many of us find ourselves frustrated with what is missing from modern “western medicine” new alternative therapies continue to appear to meet those needs. The latest and greatest energy medicine modality can sound very attractive.
Crystals and Incense and Auras… Oh My!
Sadly there are many charlatans out there willing to take advantage of the sick and desperate. I would go so far as to say that most of the “latest and greatest” energy medicine modalities out there amount nothing more than a simple placebo. It is a strange and amazing universe in which we live, of course. Simply being different, strange, unconventional, or difficult to explain does not rule out effectiveness or truth. Likewise, simply falling under the label “energy medicine” does not make a particular healing practice a sham.
Mainstream Energy Medicine
One could certainly call electronic defibrillation a form of energy medicine, for instance. This therapy works time and time again and is as central to conventional western medicine as it gets. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cancer radiotherapy, electrocardiograms (ECG), phototherapy, laser vision correction (LASIK), nerve conduction studies, deep brain stimulation (DBS), among many others are all very mainstream therapies yet could all rightly be labeled as energy medicine. Indeed most of these would be considered science fiction or fantasy just a few decades ago.
Acupuncture – Energy Medicine or not?
So where does acupuncture fall? Is it energy medicine or something else?
Acupuncture relies on needles and heat (moxibustion) to cause various therapeutic effects on the body and/or mind. The foundation of acupuncture (or at least the kind of acupuncture I do – Classical Chinese Medicine) is the homeostatic functional balance between the various organ systems of the body. Acupuncture points are locations on the body that over thousands of years of observations have been empirically shown to cause a certain effect on the body and/or mind when stimulated. The relationships observed between these points ultimately lead to the theory of channels of energy or information linking these points.
It is pretty clear to me that acupuncture, as it is most commonly practiced, is a form of energy medicine. The functional and energetic effects on the body/mind are considered when selecting acupuncture points. Furthermore, moxibustion is a form of energy medicine involving the application of infrared energy to stimulate acupuncture points.
However you label it, energy medicine or not, acupuncture is a form of healing that has truly stood the test of time.
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.