Monday, June 8, 2009

"I Don't Believe In Acupuncture"

Beach Community Acupuncture
has a good piece today on people who think you have to "believe in acupuncture" for it to work. In my opinion, you do have to believe in acupuncture for it to work, just as you have to believe in any other medical treatment for it to work. In the dominant scientific-technological paradigm of the 21st century, most of us are brought up with a specific set of unquestionable beliefs. In fact, to question some of these beliefs is considered completely unexplainable and therefore "crazy."

For instance, everyone "knows" that when taking antibiotics, you have to take the full course, or utter mayhem will ensue.

Everyone "knows" that slipped disks, pinched nerves, muscle strains and other physical abnormalities are the cause of back pain, not an associated symptom (except this guy, I guess).

Everyone "knows" that HIV causes AIDS, and everyone "knows" that AIDS came to the U.S. accidentally from a guy who was bitten by a monkey in Africa.

For treatment to be successful, patients must accept acupuncturists into their established belief system. That's why all TCM schools in the U.S. require their student interns to wear white coats and take blood pressure readings - we wear a costume to create the association in a patient's mind to the established image of a doctor with the power and authority to heal their sickness. That image is incredibly powerful.

Your self has a natural tendency towards health. The body, mind and spirit are incredible organic systems that work in harmony with the inner and outer world. Medical systems are designed to remind you of that, to nudge you back towards health when you forget your own power. What have you forgotten?

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