Why acupuncture should
give science clear

© 2008-2018 Stefano Marcelli

:: brown text means unrevised translation or incomplete work ::

NB: the author uses the words "channel", "meridian" and "vessel" as synonyms to define the system of lines, tubes or slices transporting the undemonstrated energy called Qi (pronounce "tchi") to all parts of the body. Anyway he considers "meridian" more suitable for scientific speech and literature, also because it is already employed in other fields of knowledge as in geography and morphogenesis.


If we tried to convince the most skeptical of our friends that in the top right part of his abdomen there was a dark reddish brown organ called the liver, he would answer: prove it!
First we would give our friend an ultrasound scan, explaining to him that ultrasound waves hit his liver and bounce back as echoes, which are converted by the computer into the images he is now seeing on the computerís screen: the capsule of his liver, its lobes with the annexed biliary tree and gall bladder.
But if after this test he were still incredulous, because we have not demonstrated the dark reddish brown color of his liver at all, we could take him to witness a post-mortem, which would erase all his doubts.

In the same way, if we told him that, according to the acupuncture meridians theory, his thumb is connected to his lung and the second toe to the stomach, he would certainly ask us for a demonstration for these new claims as well.
Then we would promptly show him one of the dozen charts of the acupuncture meridians we possess. We would point our finger to the lines drawn over the skin, which start from the thorax and face, pass through the lung and stomach, and end at the thumb and second toe, just as we declared.
And what if our friend commented that we were philosophizing on raw drawings that prove nothing? And what if he defiantly said he could draw similar lines connecting the lung to the little finger instead of to the thumb, and the stomach to the big toe instead of to the second toe?

After this criticism, would he be satisfied if we said that the meridians were drawn by the great doctors of the past and that proof of their existence is logically deducible from the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture?
Would he believe studies prove that the stimulations of the points on those lines cure diseases of the lung and stomach better than those of the bladder and pancreas?
What simple and immediate test like the ultrasound scan could we give him to provide our claims with a convincing rationale? What indisputable evidence like an anatomical dissection could we put under his very eyes to demonstrate that acupuncture meridians really exist?

The sole experiment we know, which if repeated on a large scale and resulted true for all acupuncture meridians, could really reopen the discussion on the acupuncture's state of non-evidence, is reported in the following article:

Infrared Thermographic Visualization of the Traditional Chinese Acupuncture Meridian Points

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