by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.
In trying to find ways to unite or just bring closer the mysterious transformational techniques of the East to the reductionism theories of the West, our Western medical science has tried to organize a logical explanation of how the insertion of tiny acupuncture needles can reduce and even dissolve pain in the human form.This research takes a look at the different approaches the Biosciences have attempted in explaining the way holistic acupuncture works in healing. This research will take a look at the biochemical, biomechanical, as well as bio-electromagnetic theories that have been developed in trying to explain the healing aspects of the Ancient Art of Acupuncture.
Acupuncture, Biomechanical, Biochemical, Electromagnetic, Biosciences, Healing, Meridians, Channels, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Analgesic, Connective Tissue, Cellular Biology, Health, Eastern, Western, Medical, Paradigm, Physiology, Physics.
The Ancient Art of Acupuncture is the needling of specific points along "meridians" or channels that run throughout our body. Acupuncture can be traced back as far as the Stone Age in China, when stone knives and pointed rocks were used to relieve pain and diseases. "These instruments were known by the ancients as "bian" In the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) an Analytical Dictionary of Characters "Shuo Wen Jie Zi" describes the character "bian" as meaning a stone to treat disease."(1) Later these stones were replaced by needles made of bamboo and slivers of animal bone, then finally in the Shang Dynasty bronze casting techniques made metal needles possible, which conducted electricity and Qi. This led to the mapping of the meridian system or channels of energy within the body.
Acupuncture remained relatively unheard of until 1974 when James Reston, a reporter for the New York Times accompanied President Nixon on a trip to China where they witnessed an appendectomy and several demonstrations of serious surgeries being performed with acupuncture as the only anesthetic using Acupuncture Anesthesia. Despite many efforts to prove it's efficiency, Western science has never been able to reconcile how Acupuncture works. They can prove "that" it works, but not "how" it works.
Most of the scientific studies of acupuncture have been centered on the analgesic aspects of pain relief. Acupuncture is definitely effective in treating pain; it works 70% to 80% of the time, far greater than the placebo, which only has about 30% efficiency. (2) The problem with attributing all of acupuncture's effects to the placebo effect, which is based on a "suggestive way" or the fact that one just wants to believe that it works, was the fact that veterinarians in China have used acupuncture successfully to treat animals. (3)
Dr. Bruce Promeranz, working at the University of Toronto, was very involved in research done on acupuncture analgesia. By activating small myelinated nerve f