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Acupuncture is one of many "healing arts" practiced in Ancient China to be resurrected by the New Age movement. It is often included under the umbrella of "alternative medicine". The technique is based on the manipulation of the body's energy, called "chi." By puncturing or burning certain points on the body, a wound or illness is thought to heal better. There are close to 1000 points on the human body that have been identified by acupuncturists and are symmetrically distributed across the body with interconnected areas called "ching" or "meridians." A complex description is provided by acupuncturists to show how these points relate to certain organs and muscles within the body. The organs of the body are divided by function and are either labeled storage (yin) or working (yang.) To treat an illness, a "holistic cure" is devised that takes all points into consideration and stimulates, through the use of needles and pin pricks, the appropriate "meridians."
As with many aspects of ancient civilizations, people are fascinated with the mysteries among cultures. The New Age community of the Western World often embrace ideas and practices from ancient times without question. The ideas and practices are deemed exotic - perhaps containing truth and wisdom today's civilizations have long forgotten or lost through time. The romantic view of the past is a behavior common among humans. What is rarely discussed, however, is why these ideas and practices are no longer dominant within the cultures of our world or how they may have been improved upon through our acquisition of knowledge and greater understanding through time. The meridians of the ancient acupuncturist are now thought to be the actual vein and arteries we can see through our skin that pre-scientific civilizations were unable to identify. Ancient China forbade the practice of dissection and so could not penetrate too deeply into human anatomy and physiology. They were unaware about how blood was circulated through the body through veins and arteries. Though our body does function as a whole unit with several interconnected areas and parts, there is no evidence that the complex system devised by the acupuncturist defines the way our bodies function as a whole. Medical practitioners provide a different description of the human body's system and it is this understanding that has allowed several human medical conditions, including serious disease, to be cured and/or treated successfully. Pin pricks to the skin, though providing a temporary sensation, have had no long-term effect on illness, disease or wounds.
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NESS Encyclopedia: ��Acupuncture
Skeptic's Dictionary: ��Acupuncture
Healthcare Reality Check: ��Acupuncture
Tampa Bay Skeptics: ��Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld's China Acupuncture Story Questioned
Australian Skeptics: ��Acupuncture: The Facts
Marshall Brain: ��How Does Acupressure Work?
sci.skeptic FAQ: ��Acupuncture
Australian Skeptics: ��Kicking Against the Pricks
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