Leaving Islam





For the complete debate with materialists see this list

Sina's 2nd response to Truthspeaker 


It is very good that someone is doing some serious studies on this subject and does not merely dismiss it as placebo effect. The recognition that acupuncture works after so many years of bald face denial that it does not, is heartwarming.

However, it must be noted that the acupoints fall neither on the nervous system nor on the veins. In fact if the needles rupture a vein it causes bleeding and if it touches a nerve it causes pain. While acupuncture if correctly performed should not cause neither bleeding nor pain.

We should also remember that needles are not the only way one can stimulate the acupoints. Shiatsu, moxibustion, electric charge and even laser applied on these points can have the same effect.

So the theory that acupuncture blocks the flow of blood to certain parts of the brain and thus stops the pain, although not conclusive could be true. If true it does not eliminate the concept of qi.

According to Chinese medicine qi is what regulates the function of the body including the blood circulation. So if with acupuncture the follow of the blood to the brain is reduced that is caused by the manipulation of qi. Since the acupoints do not fall on the veins this is a very plausible theory.

Qi is very much the same as my idea of the Single Principle as presented in Rational Spirituality. It is not only the vital energy that gives life to the living but it is the essence of everything. See few definitions of qi by ancient Chinese philosophers:

Zhuangzi writes: "Everything under heaven is a single qi."

Wang Chong writes: "The generation of the ten thousand things, all are endowed by the original qi."

Luo Qinfeng writes "Throughout heaven and earth, from ancient times to the present, everything is a single qi. The qi is originally one, but now moving now still, now coming now going, now opening now closing, now ascending now descending, circulating ceaselessly, accumulation of subtlety becomes manifest, this is the four seasons of warm, cool, cold and hot, this is the generation, growth, gathering and storing of the ten thousand things."

In the Song Era, Neoconfucian philosophers elaborated a cosmology in which all entities are composed of li (principle or pattern) and qi (the driving force of li).

Qi was also conceived as the medium through which heaven, earth and the ten thousand things interact. The idea of "resonance" or "induction" (ying), inspired by magnetic phenomena and resonance of musical instruments, was generally considered to occur through the medium of qi.

The existence of qi is debated passionately. Naturally the western materialistic ethos is not comfortable with the idea of something ethereal and immaterial regulating the functions of the body.

Don F. Gates writes:
Scientists can measure a difference in electrical conductivity on the surface of the skin at acupoints, but they cannot yet account for the pathways of the meridians nor, with any certainty, for the effects of acupuncture or moxibustion on areas distant to the points stimulated. (For instance, moxa on the point UB-67, Zhiyin, located beside the fifth toenail, is often used successfully to correct a malposition of the fetus, breach presentation, prior to childbirth.) Whether or not Qi exists as it was explained by the ancients—an uncertainty that leads TCM researchers and philosophers to use the term "TCM theory," rather than "the Laws of TCM"—the venerable, somewhat mystical-sounding-to-Western-ears explanations of the earliest Chinese philosophers still serve to guide practitioners of this medicine in directions that prove clinically useful. Until a better theory is introduced or (more likely, I believe) the current theories are scientifically validated, the ancient theories of Qi, its movements, and its meridians will continue to guide us in (and the martial artists, and meditators, and massage therapists) our practices.







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