Controversial Research Sparks Heated Acu Debate in China

Acupuncture is an ancient practice that originated in China millennia ago. It is an incredibly popular form of medical treatment in China, not only because of its effectiveness for treating a number of ailments, but because it is an important part of Chinese culture.

Perhaps there’s no better sign of how important acupuncture is to Chinese history and society than the reaction to a recent study in one of China’s most respected medical journals.

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Last year, the journal Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion published an article written by three respected doctors from Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing. The article claimed that a new study conducted by the doctors that acupuncture that is administered to a parent could benefit that parent’s child. That is, if I a child is feeling ill, the parent undergoing acupuncture—not the child—could help treat the child’s illness or pain.

The doctors claim that the concept of “quantum entanglement” is responsible for this phenomenon. Quantum entanglement says that “two particles, no matter how distant from each other in space and time, can be inextricably linked, in a way that defies the rules of classical physics.” 

 

The authors backed up their theory with an experiment of 15 patients with pain symptoms and their direct relatives. Fourteen of the patients were in the room alongside their relative who was receiving acupuncture, while one patient was in a separate room. The study claims that all 15 subjects reported a decrease in pain, while four subjects said their pain disappeared altogether.

 

The article has caused a wave of backlash, with many doctors coming out and disavowing its conclusion. One doctor said he was “speechless” after reading the article…and not in the good way. On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, one popular comment read “The only thing that the researchers of this paper prove, is that they themselves need to be treated,” and one hashtag around the controversy received over 4 million views.

 

While we know acupuncture is an effective treatment for numerous ailments and pain management—for adults and children alike—we’re holding off on the whole “quantum entanglement” idea…for now!

 

 

Acupuncture Helping Those Who Respond to Natural Disasters

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The past year has seen a number of devastating natural disasters in our country. Hurricane Harvey caused massive destruction in Texas, primarily the Houston area, while Puerto Rico is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria. Right now in Northern California, the Carr Fire continues to cause massive damage, the 6th most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.

In all of these situations, first responders come to the affected area to provide the area with crucial services, including help to the victims and those who need to be evacuated. That work is incredible demanding on the body, and in such a high-pressure, stressful and fast-paced environment, first responders aren’t easily able to remember to take time to care for their bodies. And waiting months after the incident to treat injuries and pains makes the road to recovery that much more difficult.

Thankfully there are organizations out there that head to disaster areas with the goal of helping those in need and the first responders who are working to provide aid, such as Acupuncturists Without Borders and the Disaster Acupuncture and Massage Project. And new research shows that this type of treatment is very beneficial to its recipients. The study looked at over 1,000 victims and first responders in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Joso City Flood.

The victims were suffering all sorts of injuries and the first responders were frequently dealing with back, shoulder and knee issues brought about by the intense physical work of disaster relief. The study found significantly decreased pain in those who were administered massage and acupuncture.

Acupuncture helps folks recover from pain brought on by all sorts of situations. It’s great to know that it’s helping those who put their lives on the line in response to natural disasters.