Article Text

PDF

Acupuncture, chi and a credible model for treatment
  1. Clive Wood
  1. Institute of Biological Anthropology, University of Oxford, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6QS

    Summary

    The concept of chi and the system of meridians in which it travels is not essential to explain the therapeutic action of acupuncture, for example in the treatment of pain. Neurophysiological explanations, whilst still not wholly adequate, will eventually provide an accurate and adequate account of the processes involved. In contrast, scientific studies attempting to validate the existence of acupuncture meridians have been uniformly unsuccessful. Why then does this vitalistic concept persist in many acupuncture practices, even in the Western world? The answer is that it provides a credible model of the patient's symptoms and of the treatment procedure. Acceptance of this shared model strengthens the therapeutic relationship and is likely to facilitate the treatment process.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.