Major indication for acupuncture in the West is pain and particularly musculoskeletal pain. Here Orthopedics merge with Acupuncture. It is rather peculiar that western science recognizes pain when coming from bones, joints, nerves but not so when its origin is the muscles, despite the fact that muscles constitute the biggest part of the human body.
Western scientific acupuncture is a simplified form of the traditional acupuncture, deprived of anything that cannot be scientifically explained. Therefore Qi or meridians do not exist and acupoints have either local, adjacent, segmental or central action.
Most acupuncturists, even the most radical medical acupuncturists, acknowledge the need for the study of traditional acupuncture and a sound knowledge of the traditional nomenclature, even if only for reasons of interdisciplinary communication. Besides it would be an irrational waste of time and efforts to throw away the whole corpus of an ancient system, considering that it actually works, even when its philosophical background is not considered sound by today’s measures.
So, when the simple question arises “Why should a modern orthopedic surgeon use acupuncture?” the answer is obvious: “Because it works”.
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