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Acupuncture - Science or Sorcery?

Article by:

Eric Wilson |

13 min read

Acupuncture - Science or Sorcery?

 And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel (messenger) of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers (servants) also be transformed as the ministers (servants) of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) 

The Question of Acupuncture 


The Harvard Gazette reports that a team of researchers led by neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School, found that acupuncture has been successfully used to “tame systemic inflammation in mice.” The article states:


"Acupuncture, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, has recently grown more integrated into Western medicine, particularly for the treatment of chronic pain and gastrointestinal disorders. The approach involves mechanical stimulation of certain points on the body’s surface — known as acupoints. The stimulation purportedly triggers nerve signaling and remotely affects the function of internal organs corresponding to specific acupoints. 

"Yet, the basic mechanisms underlying acupuncture’s action and effect have not been fully elucidated."

Today, many techniques and healing practices known to be occult in origin, are now finding open acceptance by many in the Western world. Practices such as acupuncture, reiki, applied kinesiology, homeopathy, muscle-testing, ayurveda, reflexology, yoga, and others, are being subtly introduced into Christian lives and homes under the classification of “integrative medicine.” 


But regardless of their updated, scientific-sounding names and growing acceptance, practices like these must be tested according to the Word of God, and their spiritual roots need to be prayerfully examined. For each of us, along with Timothy, are admonished by the apostle Paul to  “keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20). 


The Roots of the Tree 


Acupuncture, as well as many of the other “holistic” healing practices, finds its roots in the spiritual philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The oldest reference to the use of needles in treating disease is found in the almost-5000-year-old book on health and disease, called  The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine


This book was originally an account of the discussions between the legendary Chinese “Yellow Emperor” and his ministers (priests), concerning the cause and treatment of disease. All of the diagnoses and remedial cures are based solely upon the Taoist concept of yin and yang, meridian theory, and the five elements. Later medical works which include the practice of acupuncture are The Jia Yi Ying - Systematic Classic of Acupuncture by Huang-fu Mi (265-420 AD), and The Pharmacopoeia by Li Zhen (1518-1593). 





These works reveal that the practice of insertion of the needles and the “opening” or clearing of the meridians, is a spiritual act, not a physical one, for the needles themselves are said to act as small antennae to receive the subtle vibrations and energy of the cosmos (Dao). 


According to Dr. Scott Greenapple, a member of the International Academy of Acupuncture:


 This ancient system is based on the concept that disease results from disruption in the flow of Qi, or “Chi,” and the imbalance in the forces of yin and yang. 


Traditional Chinese Medicine uses practices such as herbs, meditation, massage, and acupuncture (to) seek to aid healing by restoring the yin-yang balance and the flow of chi. 


Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body by . . . the insertion of thin metal needles though the skin. . . . to remove blockages in the flow of chi and restore and maintain health. The needles are solid, and contain no chemicals, as in western medicine. These disposable needles serve only as an antennae to allow transfer of energy through a point in the body.



The Power of Acupuncture

Many scientists, as well as physicians today, are seeking to give a scientific explanation for the “apparent” results obtained through acupuncture, primarily through the central nervous system. However, according to ancient Chinese literature and practitioners, the healing power of these arts does not lie in science at all.  


In an article from the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture is said to be based on the idea that living beings have an inner energy, known as Qi (pronounced chee), and it is the flow of this inner energy that sustains them. According to traditional Chinese medical philosophy, balanced Qi is vital to optimal health; illness and disease are caused by the imbalance or interruption in the flow of Qi.” 


Traditional Chinese medical literature teaches that there are 12 “subtle channels” or meridians, through which this mystical energy they call Chi (Qi) is said to travel throughout the body. And although these mystical pathways have never been located, nor proven by medical and scientific evidence to actually exist, many of those who teach and practice integrative, complementary and holistic medicine base the very foundation of their diagnoses and healing techniques upon this theory. 






The question must be asked, If we are dealing with actual electrical energy, then how can anything within the human tissue and body present a “blockage” to that energy? Considering that the human body is one of the most readily available conductors of electrical energy, exactly how can the “insertion” of a needle into human tissue, open and clear these said blockages? 


In answer to these questions the most common response by practitioners of these arts, is that the “blockages” are typically said to be emotional, or trauma-based; and that the energy which is being balanced, released or directed, is said to be a subtle “universal energy,” distinctly different from the electrical current we’re familiar with in our modern world. 


It is this same power that is known and used by many non-Christian cultures and religions around the world. In China, this esoteric energy is known as Chi (Qi), and is used in the martial arts, as well as the healing practices of Tai-chi and Qigong. To the Japanese practitioners of Reiki, Judo, Kyudo and Aikido, this mystical power is known as Ki. Within the Hindu faith and art of Ayurveda, this subtle elusive energy is known as Shakti and Prana. And to many European and American New Age devotees, this same mystical power is known as Orgone, or universal energy. 


Regardless of their names and uses, all of these powers have but one and the same source. 


Dr. Francis V. Clark, who wrote her Ph.D dissertation on “Approaching Transpersonal Consciousness Through Affective Imagery in Higher Education,”  refers to our culture’s modern fascination with occult energies, and says, In recent years we have learned much about releasing energy, raising energy, transforming energy, directing energy, and controlling energy flow. Yet the energy we are talking about remains undefined”  (Exploring Intuition: Prospects and Possibilities, The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, vol.5, no.2, 1975, p.163). 




An amazing statement from the late Erle Montaigue, a renowned Internal Martial Arts master sheds great light upon the question of these subtle energies:


Some call this the power of God, others call it Universal power, and many a genius has talked about the illusive other 90 percent of the brain that we never use. It is my belief and experience that the “power”comes from other sources, from around the body but very close to it, and attached to it. 


In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), this is called the ‘Shen’, or spirit. And this is the power that we are able to tap into, to change our physical circumstances, stop others from attacking us, and cause others to do what you wish them to do, just as long as it is positive and good. 




Needle-free Acupuncture?

According to a study done in 2008 and reported by Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council), “Acupuncture works - but it works equally well with or without needle penetration. This conclusion can be  drawn from a treatment study involving cancer patients suffering from nausea during radiotherapy.” 

In the study which involved more than 200 patients who were undergoing radiation treatment, roughly half received traditional acupuncture with needles penetrating the skin, while the other group of patients received “simulated” acupuncture instead, in which researchers used a telescopic, blunt placebo needle that merely touched the skin, rather than penetrating it. 


After the study was completed, 95 percent of the patients in both groups said that they felt that the treatment had helped relieve nausea, and 67 percent reported that they had experienced other positive effects such as improved sleep, brighter mood, and less pain during the treatments. Both groups felt considerably better than a separate control group that received no acupuncture of any kind. The treatments, both with needle penetration and without, were performed by physiotherapists two or three times every week during the five-week period of their radiation treatment for cancer. 


In another eye-opening statement on this study, Dr. Joseph Mercola, a graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, says: 


This study confirms the effectiveness of techniques I’ve been advocating for quite some time. While acupuncture has proven to be an effective treatment for pain, high blood pressure, nausea, morning sickness, and a variety of other problems, the secret to acupuncture has never been the actual penetration of the needles; rather it is the principle of your body’s meridians.

According to the testimony of many of the ancient Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners and shamans, once the healer reaches a certain level of initiation, the needles are no longer necessary. The very same results can be achieved by merely the intent of the will, and often at great distances away from the patient being treated. This is only possible by the direct intervention of spirit entities which exercise their power on behalf of the believing physician. 



Acupuncture’s Real Source of Power

I will never forget one of the last times that I went to train with the grandmaster I was under. He had been teaching me in both Shaolin kung-fu as well as martial and medical Chinese Qigong. That day as we were training, I was led to ask this man a question, the answer to which I will never forget. 


“Sijo,” I said, “if all the Asian arts find their origin at Shaolin, then why do they all appear so different in their methods and practice?” 

This man, who was recognized as a tenth dan in the Chinese fighting arts, and a master instructor in Chinese Qigong, answered, 


All of the fighting and mystical arts are manifestations of that one principle that was taught at Shaolin temple in Hunan, China. And that principle is “ENERGY.” To the beginner this energy is called Chi, and is explained as “internal strength.” To the initiated, this subtle energy is said to be “breath,” which is the reason for the Asian arts’ focus on the practice of correct and deep breathing. 


But to the master, this energy and power is revealed to be “Spirit.” And it is union with this spirit, which yields the power and abilities witnessed in the disciples and teachers of these arts. 





A Christian writer identifies the true source of the power behind the Eastern mystical arts. 


Today the mysteries of heathen worship are replaced by the secret associations and séances, the obscurities and wonders, of Spiritualistic mediums. The disclosures of these mediums (teachers) are eagerly received by thousands who refuse to accept light from God's Word or through His Spirit. Believers in Spiritualism may speak with scorn of the magicians of old but the great deceiver laughs in triumph as they yield to his arts under a different form. 


There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism. . . . Still others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of theosophy and other Oriental religions


The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have power to cure the diseased. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called “sympathetic remedies,” or to latent forces within the mind of man. 


And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified Christian physicians. The mother, watching by the sick bed of her child, exclaims, “I can do no more! Is there no physician who has power to restore my child?” She is told of the wonderful cures performed by some clairvoyant or magnetic healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge, placing it as verily in the hand of Satan as if he were standing by her side. In many instances the future life of the child is controlled by a satanic power, which it seems impossible to break. 



Room for Only One God in the temple

The Lord Jesus Christ came for but one purpose — to set every captive free. And this freedom is made a living reality to every man, woman, and child who is willing to surrender the throne of their heart to Christ’s sovereign reign, and in living faith, claim His shed blood and the promises of His unfailing Word.





The things which the Gentiles (unbelieving) sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: And I would not that ye _______ (your name) should have fellowship with devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20) 


What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living (life-giving) God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God . . . and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:16-18) 


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