Does one need to believe in acupuncture for it to work? And, is acupuncture associated with a religion?
The great news for anyone wanting to try acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is that you can be a complete skeptic, and it can still work for you! A great example of this is when we look at the success veterinarians have with using acupuncture and Chinese Medicine on their animal patients. The dogs, cats, horses...even elephants that receive acupuncture have no idea what is being done nor any expectation, yet, they have successful outcomes from their treatments. In fact, this is how I first came to learn about acupuncture. I was a veterinary medicine undergraduate at the time and I began working for a very progressive veterinarian who was using acupuncture (this was around 1999). I would watch dogs need to be carried in by their owners walk out on their own after the appointment. All I knew at that time was- I needed to learn this medicine!
Regarding the second question, I have been asked this question a few times over the past 12 years, and I can only imagine other people may be wondering about this. The short answer is- nope! Chinese Medicine and it’s most popular and best known modality, acupuncture, are absolutely not affiliated with any religion or belief system. The practice of Chinese Medicine is a scientific and evidence based medical system based out of the rules of naturally occurring processes and the effect they have over us as living beings.
Most commonly it seems this medicine gets related to Buddhism, although there is actually no connection. In truth, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a study on constructively living life, which actually fits seamlessly in with most of the popular religions, but still is not connected to the practice of Chinese Medicine.
There are roots of Taoism in Chinese Medicine in the sense that we pay attention to things like the seasons, day and night, appropriate times of activity and rest, the healing aspects of food and digestion, things like that. Like Buddhism, Taoism is not a religion.
Also worth mentioning is that through the act of acupuncture, we are not injecting anything (material or non-material) into you, nor taking anything from you. Our acupuncture needles are sterile, single use, non-hollow disposable needles that are as thin as a hair. We do not pray over you or request contribution from any particular God or deity during your treatment. You, however, are absolutely free to do this for yourself if you are so inclined!
The only thing that matters to us at Better Balance Acupuncture + Wellness is that you are a human being who wants to feel better!
-Karen Wright, L.Ac.