"You Know I Don't Believe in This"

"You Know I Don't Believe in This"

I hear those words often.    While acupuncture has become more mainstream in the recent years, I heard "You know I don't believe in this" often in my 23 years of practice.  My response is always the same:  "You don't have to believe in it for it to work; you just have to be willing to come in the door."

Acupuncture has become so common that it's extended into the animal kingdom, with racehorses and even show dogs becoming walking testimonials to its effectiveness.  Animals don't have a belief system; they just allow it to work.  That's all humans have to be willing to do.

In 1997, my first year in practice, I worked with a holistic MD in Clearwater.  His office manager came in one day and asked breathlessly if I'd seen the news the previous evening.  I hadn't.  He explained that a group of scientists had mapped out everywhere on the body that an electro-magnetic pulse could be detected.  When they were finished, they laid it over a 3,000-year-old acupuncture chart, and found it was an exact match.

No one seems to know for sure how the acupuncture channels were discovered.  There's a theory that it was discovered on the battlefield, with warriors using sharp-tipped spears that would land in the shin and relieve the opponent's shoulder pain.  There's a theory that the ancient masters discovered the channels, or meridians, after years of meditation.

The truth is that no one seems to know how they were discovered, but they haven't changed in over 3,000 years that we can document, and some suspect, more than 5,000 years.  When Otzi, the 5,300 year old Alpine mummy was discovered, there were 61 tattoos on his body that corresponded with acupuncture points.  We know he had heart and gum disease, gallstones, parasites, and arthritis.  The tattooed marks on his body seem to indicate he was being treated along the same acupuncture meridians that we use today.

Whether Otzi believed in acupuncture or not, I can't say.  But he certainly was willing to try it.