Sunday, March 13, 2011

Western and Chinese medicine studying acupuncture: Difference

For a long time, I've noticed one big difference betweeen traditional Chinese medicine and western medical science in studying acupuncture: the latter almost always fails to specify the acupuncture points. People with basic knowledge of acupuncture, in fact, both acupuncture and moxibustion (AM), know that different acupuncture points serve different purposes, much like different drugs treat different diseases. Since western science publications list herb names when they're used in the research, and names of the AM points are already internationalized, I don't see why the names are not generally listed in equally scrutinized research papers.


Yong Huang said...

Just as a record. Posting as a comment on Dr. Weil's Facebook message:

Almost all responses here are positive. But I imagine those with negative results are not Dr. Weil's fans anyway. I've been reading TCM and acupuncture for about 20 years as an amateur and doing acupressure or "point-specific" massage almost on a daily basis (did acupuncture on myself a long time ago, on non-fatal points of course; I systematically learned all points and used to remember most of them). There're lots of things TCM and acupuncture can't do. But hey, it does work on many others, especially when you're in sub-health condition. When my kids have tummy ache, I know where to press my finger. As to its scientific nature or lack of, more people in China come to the consensus that TCM is not science in its sense of proof by experiment, and the Chinese care less about that, than the belief that medicine should be measured by its effectiveness, not by its adherence to the definition of science in the said sense. That certainly is debatable. But for now, I enjoy its effectiveness.

Yong Huang said...

In the scimitar syndrome group on Facebook, somebody said acupressure helped her with the function of the lung. I asked what points of acupressure the doctor used. She told me, to my surprise, that all elevent points of the lung meridian were used. (Scimitar syndrome: heart is in the right or middle of the thoracic chamber, often accompanied by underdevelopment or failure of lung. Lung meridian: a small acupuncture meridian, with only 11 points in total)