acupuncture

23rdwave

Triple-Digit Post Count
I took a walk through Chinatown today and there sure were a lot of old people. Herr and Samuel, let's see how you do when you are in your eighties. If you want to be walking upright at that age may I suggest t'ai chi, qi gong, a healthy diet and plenty of fresh air. If that does not work try acupuncture.

 
 

23rdwave

Triple-Digit Post Count
Chinatown not China, Bill. And you are correct. The Chinese must be the unhealthiest people alive.
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
Don't get me wrong people. I am a religious person and I have studied theology and doctrine very well. However, you do not see me suggesting on this site that faith and trust in God is the way to be the strongest one can be, or that healing comes from God and that prayer is efficacious. I believe that, but I also believe God created this natural world and within it, it is knowable according to our nature, with the senses and an exercise of reason.

And that is what I follow, doctrine according to what has been revealed, and knowledge of the natural world according to what has been scientifically determined.

For TCM, it is suggested either that natural sciences and the methods thereof are "simply not suited for studying everything". That is true, but they are suitable for studying the natural sciences. So, if TCM is not a natural science, what is it? I am left with nothing but a religious sort of thinking behind it, and my objection to it therefore is going to be a religious objection.

 
Ah, I love how the internet makes everyone who can type into an instant expert on everything. Herr makes so many basic errors of fact in his statements that it no longer is a discussion on TCM, but on some weird conception of it in his mind.
Before accusing me of having weird conceptions in my mind, can you explain how acupuncture works?
I took a walk through Chinatown today and there sure were a lot of old people. Herr and Samuel, let’s see how you do when you are in your eighties. If you want to be walking upright at that age may I suggest t’ai chi, qi gong, a healthy diet and plenty of fresh air. If that does not work try acupuncture.
Qi does not exist. I am not going to forsake reason, or my religious beliefs, for the sake of some fantasy. I believe we should take care of what has been given to us and use what we have for a good purpose, but we are mortal and there are higher purposes to everything.

If it is a useful metaphor for some people to accomplish some tasks, that is fine I suppose, but it is not the basis for any useful system.

 
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
Jason Ginsberg, what you do for your own business, your own beliefs, etc is really not my concern. You can live as you will, and do what you will. This is a forum, primarily for strength. And I think a scientific approach is best, and one based on results.

Your rejection of the scientific method for studying acupuncture, and your criticism of the studies of acupuncture seem to reveal a near religious basis for it.
There are lots of studies that show acupuncture isn’t helpful. There are also lots of studies that show it is.  The fact of the matter is, standard research methodology, while accomplishing many wonderful things, is simply not suited to studying everything. I can usually explain this to people who have actually studied it and done research themselves; people who just want to argue on the internet, not so much. I’m actually working on a long series of articles now on all the ways in which it fails as a tool in studying tcm; if anyone’s interested they can email me and I’ll send you links when they come out. The short version is, they do not replicate actual clinical practice and diagnosis.
It it works only within actual clinical practice, and it cannot be studied using the methods which are used to study and develop all other medicinal practices, then it is either fraud and trickery, or mysticism.

You state:
I don’t succeed with everyone, and I’m not always right the first time; and most things are not going to be fixed in one treatment.
So basically, it is a gamble and it takes multiple sessions. Good for business I imagine.

And you better not attack my position again or try to slight me when you are arguing from such a foundation. Yes, it is your practice and you have an interest in it, but if it is not suitable for scientific inquiry, then what do you expect me to believe?

And realize this: you are using the Internet too. It can be anarchy on the Internet, deal with it. You are a part of it, and you cannot attack others for using the Internet while you are using it. 

There is a lot of BS on the Internet, and much of it has to do with rejecting the scientific method and following some charismatic snake oil salesman.

The state regulates many things, that does not lend them much credibility. The state is probably more interested in licensing people who stick needles into the skin of people, than it is in determining whether it is a viable treatment or not. You have to get a license to be a tattoo artist as well, but that doesn't mean that the tattoos are a good idea or all licensed artists are good.
 

23rdwave

Triple-Digit Post Count
Herr, since it means so much to you why don't you prove that qi does not exist? Practice I Chuan daily for 20 -60 minutes then tell me what you think. I suggest you read Mantak Chia's "Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao". You don't believe in it because you know nothing about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu99GRUUN6Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHO6iGF6_nI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3RqT9mZCcM
 

Andrew Palmer

Triple-Digit Post Count
Interesting stuff. I personally don't believe nor disbelieve in these things. Remember, science can explain a lot, but there's also lots of things it can't explain either. I like to keep an open mind, otherwise it's easy to become blinded. You can either try it or leave it.
 

postnspread

Double-Digit Post Count
An unexpectedly enjoyable shootout!

@Nick Domich: asking for a disproof of the existence of qi is like asking an atheist to prove the nonexistence of God. Both objects are so vaporously defined, to the extent they at all are, that coming up with rigorous scientific tests to validate their existence is a priori a nonstarter. In the case of God, the best one can do is to point out the usually simple fallacies of the innumerable "proofs" of existence.

The situation in the case of acupuncture is much better in that one can test for effectiveness according to currently accepted standards regardless how inscrutable its theoretical foundations are. However, the principle that if something works (if only for some), why knock it, opens the way to the acceptance of arbitrary procedures. I've no doubt that the following possibly standard treatment (described here for entertainment value) prescribed by a medieval Christian healer benefitted at least a few individuals:

"Cut off the foot of a live rabbit and pluck a few hairs from its underbelly and then let it go. Of the hairs make a thread and with it tie the rabbit's foot to the diseased limb and you will find it a sovereign remedy. The rabbit's foot will be even more efficacious, if that is possible, if you should add to it a rabbit's anklebone found in the dung of a wolf, provided it has never been touched by a woman's hand. And, as a last bit of advice, after having taken its wool, say to the rabbit three times: 'Flee, flee, little rabbit, and take the sickness away with you!' " (Quoted in A.D. 1000. Living on the Brink of Apocalypse, Richard Erdoes, p.92, 1988).

The first video in your post conforms to the norm in this genre as far as I can tell. The "master" always demonstrates his "powers" only on his students and admirers, never on a complete outsider. One wonders why the spectacled dude wasn't put at the receiving end of the "qi". He was only made the "channel" with the master placing his hand on the dude's. Some mainland Chinese have attempted to expose this charlatanry but they are fighting against entrenched chauvinistic and business interests. See the article Traditional Medicine and Pseudoscience in China: A Report of the Second CSICOP Delegation. Btw, the fastest growing fitness trend among young Chinese seems to be yoga which suggests that they aren't buying this whole qi thing! I don't know what support the other two videos give your thesis.

I have several of Mantak Chia's books and with their intricate and sometimes bizarre procedures. His "proof" of the efficacy of his sexual technique for the procreation of superior children consists essentially in stating that his son has a lot of energy (just ask anyone who knows him!). As for his claims that it's possible to observe and direct the flow of "qi" and the consequent development of matchless health and arcane powers, I'm agog for any scientifically validated proof.

 
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
That first video is OMGLOL funny.  Those guys acted like junior movie stuntmen on day one of training.  I particularly liked when Blue Guy the Assistant did his prolonged "I'm Being Shocked!!" impression.

The the "spectacled guy" is Bill Moyers who may or may not still be with PBS, I dunno.  He was as taken by our young President in '08 as he was by Chaiman Mao and this little charade.

People can break boards, tear decks of cards, do fingertip L-Sits and one-arm chins, put 5 rounds through the same hole shooting a pellet rifle off hand - all kinds of genuinely awesome things.  There's no need to cook up farcical yarns about manipulating mystery energies when the proof that people are amazing is no further away than a gymnastic competition.

 
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
Herr, since it means so much to you why don’t you prove that qi does not exist? Practice I Chuan daily for 20 -60 minutes then tell me what you think. I suggest you read Mantak Chia’s “Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao”. You don’t believe in it because you know nothing about it.
Are you asking me to prove a negative? Is the burden of proof on me to demonstrate the non-existence of something of which there is no observable evidence?

This is not a religious forum, and I would hope that religious discussions take place in a respectful way with no attempt to convert others.

I do not think proselytizing is something which fits on this forum. 

 
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
And this is ridiculous. And since the only defense of Qi and things related to it is personal attacks, attempts to discredit the skeptics, and anecdotes of various sorts, I will be more blunt now.
The fact of the matter is, standard research methodology, while accomplishing many wonderful things, is simply not suited to studying everything. I can usually explain this to people who have actually studied it and done research themselves; people who just want to argue on the internet, not so much. I’m actually working on a long series of articles now on all the ways in which it fails as a tool in studying tcm; if anyone’s interested they can email me and I’ll send you links when they come out. The short version is, they do not replicate actual clinical practice and diagnosis.
So:

0. It is not scientific and science is not well suited for studying it.

1. You can explain it to those who want to believe. Faith in the methods is necessary for you to engage.

2. The link provided by someone earlier in explanation gave the findings of some neuroscientists, but you do not think they are admissible because they did not take place in the non-controlled settings in which such treatments are usually given. And of course, what do neuroscientists know?

The attempts to discredit and smear skeptics, even those attempted to discuss the topic, rather than the people involved, are intolerable.

Statements were made about my person, statements which were unwarranted and false. So, I will make statements which are true, and as I was asked to prove that Qi does not exist, the burden of proof is on the people involved to disprove what I am about to write:

Jason, you have a Master's Degree and you are in private practice and have a license by the state. You have invested a lot of time and money and effort into getting yourself credentials on this matter. You have an extreme financial interest in it. Since I am not a believer, and you are attempting to present yourself as a medical solution (rather than religious), and your only defense of your craft, despite your seemingly expertise in it, is to deny science, admit it does not work sometimes, and attack skeptics, shows that your craft relies on belief and lack of questioning. So, in scientific and medical terms, if it quacks like a duck...

Nick Domich, the suggestion to shift the burden of proof to me is laughable. And I know a lot about it. My lack of faith in it may seem like ignorance. Those videos demonstrate nothing. I love how people present training and conditioning over time to be a sign of some mystical force. All instances of projecting Qi are false. You can find videos on Youtube of reports of "masters" who purport to be able to project their Qi, but it only works against their own students/disciples. It is fraud, and trickery.

And lastly, I know that the mysterious East has its appeal to many. Many people dress up and play Asian, and bow to their sensei, and believe in the most amazing stories, and thus, the folk traditions have been kept alive through this interest.

However, nobody takes an interest in Traditional Western Medicine, based on well developed and well known theories over thousands of years (I am keeping this brief, but it is quite fascinating to study). Nobody esteems the traditional remedies, such as bloodletting, based on the most long held beliefs (Humorism). Occasionally, one sees references to the temperaments, based on Humorism and some people do seem to think that holds water, but that is not that pervasive.

Well, this was all forsaken because something better, something scientific was developed and is developing. The West has addressed many problems. Diarrhea is a major killer around the world, but not in the developed countries. Why? Modern medicine. Deadly and crippling childhood diseases are all but eradicated in developed countries. Why? Modern medicine and a scientific and testable view of disease. Acupuncture is cheaper than surgery. Why? Because surgery is eminently more useful.

While unnecessary surgery is probably worse than fruitless acupuncture, the two don't compare. If one is facing surgery, then one may want to try everything to avoid it if possible. Say a prayer, take a supplement, try a diet, try acupuncture, try happy thoughts. If the condition goes away, that is very good. But do not rely on it. Examine your options, get a second or third opinion, and do what is medically sound.

Also, people are free to do whatever they want, but I think there is an expectation that people do not disparage others for failing to hold the same beliefs. This forum is not for the advancement of ancient folk wisdom at the expense of natural sciences. People with less understanding and knowledge rarely draw good conclusions, and I think Traditional Chinese Medicine, the product of thousands of years of ignorance and false understandings, is indefensible as a medical treatment, even if occasionally they did something effective.

And again, I do not push my religion on others, and do not even give specifics about it other than I am religious, and is doubly offensive to be disparaged and accused of things for failing to hold other religious beliefs.

 
 

kris

More than 300 posts
@ Joseph Brodsky, I have the same feeling for a while, nicknames are very handy...
 

Andrew Palmer

Triple-Digit Post Count
Qi has not been proven nor disproven, just as acupuncture has not been proven nor disproven, or the existence of god has not been proven nor disproven.

I have no personal experience with acupuncture, so I have no definite answer. Some people say it works and some people say it doesn't, so who is right?

The OP was asking about people's experience with acupuncture, and yet, peeps are arguing why it does or doesn't work. If you have tried it and it didn't work for you then fair enough, but then it has worked for countless others. If someone has no experience about the topic other than reading about it or conducting thought experiments then their words doesn't carry much weight.
 

23rdwave

Triple-Digit Post Count
Herr, I am an atheist and chi has nothing to do with religion. How did all this anger you are venting get dredged up by some guy in New Jersey wondering about the efficacy of acupuncture? Why do you care so much? Pavel and his fellow Russians have an open mind about this. Millions of people around the world meditate and practice the three Daoist internal arts of t'ai chi, hsing i and ba gua and their offshoots (Praying Mantis, White Crane, etc.) and have done you no harm. You don't respect Pavel (I have read your criticism of his accomplishments on this forum), you think kettlebells are a fad and now you have insulted 1500 years of Chinese wisdom and tradition. You do not have to respond to this but you probably will. If having the last word means so much to you, go ahead. I wish you well.

 
 

23rdwave

Triple-Digit Post Count
Thank you gentlemen of strength. The term Easy Strength sure reminds me of chi. I bet Pavel has some.
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
Herr, I am an atheist and chi has nothing to do with religion. How did all this anger you are venting get dredged up by some guy in New Jersey wondering about the efficacy of acupuncture?
Someone wondering about it has nothing to do with my response, but the attacks on my character and suggestions about me and another who do not think ancient medical procedures are worth spending money on.
Why do you care so much? Pavel and his fellow Russians have an open mind about this. Millions of people around the world meditate and practice the three Daoist internal arts of t’ai chi, hsing i and ba gua and their offshoots (Praying Mantis, White Crane, etc.) and have done you no harm.
Wait, you said it has nothing to do with religion? Daoism is a religion. Just because these religions do not have a personal god of some sort, they are still religious traditions.
You don’t respect Pavel (I have read your criticism of his accomplishments on this forum), you think kettlebells are a fad and now you have insulted 1500 years of Chinese wisdom and tradition.
I respect Pavel, I think he is very smart and knows a lot about training. I also think he is running a business and I do not share his business interests. I disagree with the marketing of many products I use.

And the idea of Qi would not interfere with training for the most part, so I doubt anybody focused on that for business would care to dismiss it. It is not incompatible with strength training.

It is incompatible with valid medical science and other religions though.

And that is just another attempt to attack my character, instead of discussing the topic.

Kettlebells, and many other things, are fads. That does not mean they are only fads, or that fads are a bad thing. I think the training ideas associated with kettlebells is far more valuable than the shape of the weight involved. After all, nobody is going to get much out of a purple 4 lb kettlebell they bought at Target.
You do not have to respond to this but you probably will. If having the last word means so much to you, go ahead. I wish you well.
This is a forum...why would I not respond to questions? What is this suggestion that I want the "last word"?
Qi has not been proven nor disproven, just as acupuncture has not been proven nor disproven, or the existence of god has not been proven nor disproven.
Exactly. Why then am I attacked for saying Qi does not exist and that acupuncture is not part of a working medical system?

Qi does not exist, the eastern cultures do not have hidden knowledge about the universe or human condition, and science is the way to get knowledge about the natural world.

If Qi, acupuncture, and related practices are not part of a religious system, then what is unproven has no place in medical science. If 1400 years is not enough to prove that the basic principles are even true, then I think we can say it is firmly rooted in faith or fraud.

 
 

Jason Ginsberg

More than 500 posts
And, just like the worst old days of the dragondoor forum, things have degenerated into personal attacks with no attempt at conversation. Herr, I will post what I want, when I want, you're not the owner of this forum, nor a moderator, you don't get to make the rules. Chinese medicine has nothing to do with religion, and that's all I'm going to say in response to your various walls of text. 4 pages, and still nothing substantive, one link and a bunch of people shouting their opinions back and forth. Have fun with the rest of the thread, y'all.
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
Should I not be treated the same, Jason? I am not the one getting money...I have no financial interest in this subject. Look at the thread from the beginning. I did not even start the validity question of acupuncture, another did.

I am not familiar with DragonDoor's forum. However, I am familiar with this one, and it is very focused on people. If one is not of the same SFG cloth, one is an extreme outsider, and a borderline troll due to the differences in thoughts.

If not being a student of Pavel is enough to be seen as disrespect, then it is clear that this forum would benefit by my absence, as I would be too different for this forum's values in training and in philosophy.

In the tradition of the West, Primum non nocere.

Continue as you will.

Be strong.
 
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