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Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?

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Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
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8/12/15 4:08 PM
I met someone recently who has really got me interested in Accupuncture. 

Anyone use it regularly? Anyone who is 1st-4th path used it in conjunction with meditation?

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
8/13/15 7:43 AM as a reply to b man.
(Potential conflict-of-interest disclosure: http://integratedhealing.org/practitioners/chris.htm )

I do "use it regularly", but not as a patient; and can't speak to using it in conjunction with path-level meditation. However, a couple of perhaps relevant points:

I. (theory)

Classically, Chinese medicine (including herbal medicine mainly, but also acupuncture) was considered to apply at three levels:

1) Traditionally "low-grade" medicine: blood-and-guts sort of medical problems – not so much ER-type issues (except in, usually esoteric, martial-arts medicine), but rather things like digestive problems, respiratory, allergies/immune system, musculo-skeletal (injuries), neurolological issues, etc. – and it can be quite effect in these areas. Also very effective techniques in gynecological and pediatric medicine.

2) "Middle-grade" medicine: nourishing/building and prevention. The diagnostic systems (in the hands of masters) can detect vulnerabilities and developing problems well before the functional stage (where things don’t work right, but xrays, lab tests etc. don't show anything), and way before the organic stage (where something is overtly, seriously out of whack). So treatment can build resilience, endurance, etc. Martial artists (traditionally), and atheletes (in modern times) use medicines and acupuncture therapies as part of routine conditioning. (Owners of thorough-bred racing horses are said to employ vet-acupuncturists to keep their animals in shape and to correct problems, because it works– so much for the it's-just-a-placebo skeptics.)

3) "Highest-grade" medicine: How to name this? – 'spiritual' is a bit overused – but somewhere in the ballpark. To try to charcterize it: helping people see and understand (vision and knowledge?) their circumstances and conditions relative to the overall trajectory of their lives and in all dimensions (maybe Daniel's term 'axes' could apply). Many of the "great masters" of tradition were Daoist and/or Buddhist adepts as well as medical practitioners. I studied with a Doaist master (and pre-eminent teacher in the medical field) who showed us how the whole traditional system (acupuncture points, channels, energetic systems and layers, etc.) was understood not as just physical medicine, but also, though often s/w esoterically, as 'cultivation' of the mind.

BUT the conventional 'school' medicine (called TCM – "Traditional Chinese Medicine – as created and fostered by the CCP – Chinese Communist Party) doesn't recognize this area, in fact militantly suppresses it. You won't find it advertized in the yellow pages.

II. (practice related)

First, there's a broad range of approaches used, any of which can be beneficial in the hands of an expert; but also out there in the marketplace there's also a broad range of competence (and incompetence). Since a license to practice acupuncture is easier to acquire (and much less costly and exclusive) than an MD license, the field attracts a lot people interested in fringe sort of stuff, looking for a credential to allow them to "practice medicine" – some of it genuine, some of it more whacky (but rarely dangerous).

A personal anecdote: Back in acupuncture medical school (in the 1980s) some of the teachers, back in their earlier days in the 1970s, had been into more far-out new-age explorations with acupuncture. One of them shared with us a special 'third-eye' treatment protocol.

Once, the day before the final year-end comprehensive exams in the senior year, at my weekly treatment (students got cut-rate treatments from interns) I asked for the 'third-eye' treatment. It was much like other treatments when one has no pressing medical issues – both concentrating (one tends to pay attention when someone is sticking needles into the body) and deeply relaxing, releasing (maybe that cultivation contributed to my ability, 20 year later, to develop jhana practice?). No big deal, but refreshing.

Later that evening, dinner and lazing around (I'd learned well before NEVER to study/cram the day before a major exam, but rather relax and clear the mind). But at one point, I wanted to check some little detail, and got out a medical book – but found myself blankly staring at a page which was just a white field with inscrutable dark marks on it. I figured out quickly this was an LSD throwback experience (I'd done a fair amount of that back in the 1960's).

So, caught in a moderately deep psychodelic state, I figured it best just to flow with it, go out into the balmy San Diego summer evening and commune with the sage-brush, watch the coyotees playing in the canyon, bask in the light of the setting sun, etc. – just normal 'trip' sort of stuff – all while mildly anxiously trusting that this would all pass by exam time the next morning. Which it did, and I aced the exams; and having learned a bit more about the power of acupuncture.

btw: 'Acupuncture' is spelled with 1 'c' at the beginning – oddly, as the word 'accurate' has 2 'c's.

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
12/28/15 10:39 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:

btw: 'Acupuncture' is spelled with 1 'c' at the beginning – oddly, as the word 'accurate' has 2 'c's.


the OED gives the ethymology of acurate as :
[ad. L. accūrāt-us performed with care, exact, pa. pple. of accūrā-re to apply care to; f. ac- = ad- to + cūrā-re to care for; f. cūra care.]
whereas acupuncture is derived from latin acus as a needle and punctura as a puncture  !

emoticon

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
12/29/15 3:16 AM as a reply to b man.
I am a total needle-phobe, which is a bit odd for an emergency medicine physician, but it only seems to apply when they are coming at me.

However, I had my left psoas muscle go into this massive spasm some years back, and nothing was seeming to get it to release, so, in desperation, I finally, on the advice of another emergency medicine doctor friend, went to this chiropractor/accupuncturist who stuck 7 long needles deep into my left groin into the tendon of that muscle and left me sitting there for about 12 minutes.

During those 12 minutes, I felt all sorts of extremely strange sensations, some electrical, some like something tearing but not particularly painfully, some odd movements, and, when they pulled the needles out, I was cured. Yeah, accupuncture!

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
9/26/16 6:07 PM as a reply to b man.
I went for a few sessions (didn't go the whole course) for tinnitus.

1) I got the impression she was sending her chi down the needle so I asked, and she said yes. Pat self on back for intuition emoticon
2) She stuck a needle in near my ear, and the tone of tinnitus immediately changed. Nice trick. Didn't cure it though.

For me jury out as to what it all means.

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
9/29/16 1:58 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
How can you tell that was an LSD throwback? I always thought those were a myth. How would they come about anyway? It's not like the substance is stored in ones pineal gland or so I think. 

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
9/29/16 3:03 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I am a total needle-phobe, which is a bit odd for an emergency medicine physician, but it only seems to apply when they are coming at me.

I'd love to hear more about this, as someone who seems to have a vaso-vagal reaction despite being able to maintain meditative calm during the time immediatly preceding the event, and if that has changed as you have progressed, or if you have any practical ideas or solutions beyond the liberal use of benzodiazepines. emoticon

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
9/30/16 6:47 AM as a reply to Pål R.
Pål R:

[1] How can you tell that was an LSD throwback?

[2] I always thought those were a myth.

[3] How would they come about anyway? It's not like the substance is stored in ones pineal gland or so I think.

[1] Call it an educated guess, based on a fair amount of analytical experience studying such mental states back then (it wasn't "recreational" usage); might also have been a "mescaline throwback".

[2] What is the basis of your opinion here?

[3] The substances potentiate alteration of mental processes; once experienced these can be learned and reproduced. The experiences are in some ways similar to appana/jhana-samadhi, and vipassana-khanika-samadhi.

Back then (UC Berkeley, late 1960's) the pre-eminent German electronic-music composer Karlheinz Stockhausen spent 6 months in the area. He was something of an expert, to say the least, at musical concentration (a form of khanika-samadhi), and urged his students (virtually everyone back then was doing psycho-kinetic drugs) to develop (practice, as in music and meditation) that kind of skill without the drugs – then you really own it.

I was graduate student in Musicology (Musikwissenschaft) at the time, and studied some composition (took John Chowning's first course in computer-generated-music). A group of us grad students would get together occasionally on a weekend evening – smoked some "dope" to settle-down, had a pot-luck dinner, droped small doses of "acid" or mescaline, and spent then the night listening to and analyzing the music we were studying. At least one notable PhD dissertation came out of that work. The psychodelic fad, as you might recall, actually grew out of the academic research of Timothy Leary and Richard Albert (aka Ram Das) and others, at Harvard (and elsewhere).

RE: Accupuncture - Anyone use it ?
Answer
9/30/16 7:50 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
[2] never met anyone who had it. So not a very solid basis I guess.
[3] well that's cool!