More and more people address complimentary medicine in general, and Chinese acupuncture in particular. Chinese acupuncture is perceived to be effective for many chronic medical problems, back ache, pains and more.
Chinese acupuncture, as a dominant factored in the Chinese medical way, is based on a model of the energy of life that flows within the human body in special channels of energy, called meridians. These channels of energy need to be clean and open for the energy to flow, otherwise, implications will appear in terms of aches, and sickness and so on. (I read some where that there are 12 major meridians, and 8 special meridians, and there are about 2000 acupuncture locations that relate to these meridians).
The role of the acupuncture is thus to detect the root cause for the sickness, open up and clear out the meridians channels, and to bring about a clear and smooth flow of the internal energy, and eventually to regain the needed balance.
Well, is there anything behind the Chinese meridians’ model? Is there anything behind the Chinese acupuncture?
Naturally, one can not prove the existence of the meridians themselves, as they are invisible. But, is the model itself a successful one? Will we achieve fruitful treatment if we follow the location of the meridians? If we do, it does not really matter whether the meridians do exist or do not exist, as long as we can treat successfully sick people and help them, when we follow the Chinese meridians.
Clinical researches and treatments found that acupuncture do have positive impact on human body, but did not really succeed to clearly explain in western phrasing and tools how this is done. One of the suggested explanations was that the acupuncture impact is achieved by some adjustment of the neural system, by which bio-chemical substances, such as endorphins are produced, and which neutralize pain…
However, and this is actually the point we want to underline here, it is found in various experiments, that it is not the “Chinese acupuncture” itself, i.e. the acupuncture that is based on the meridians model, that makes the difference and provides relief to people, rather it is the acupuncture method, even a random one.
In a column published recently, it was reported about two big experiments, with 1500 patients, which took place in the USA recently. In these medical experiments, the effectiveness of acupuncture to reduce some chronic pains, was analyzed. The patients were split into two groups. One group was treated for several months by a random acupuncture (i.e. with no relation to the Chinese meridian model), while the second group was treated “by the book”, i.e., in full accordance to Chinese meridians model. Needless to say, the patients themselves, of course, were not aware of any distinction between groups.
Eventually, it was found that there was no difference between the groups in reporting on pain relief, or in gaining progress in the reported sickness. It was also found that therapist, from both groups, who were assertive and promised success in treatment gained better results, than therapists that did not set high expectations.
We can summaries this by stating that Chinese acupuncture is another method that make use of the placebo effect, i.e. the one who believes in it, will gain higher success. This is merely a psychological impact.