The journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture with acupuncture research articles, reviews, abstracts and case studies.
Volume 13 / Number 3
I always believed that a healer was a fictional character; perhaps someone who existed in a fairy tale. I also assumed that if healers existed, they would be found shrouded in mystery in India or Tibet. I doubted very much whether healers existed in the United States because our most celebrated people rarely achieved a miraculous recovery when they were very ill. I also reasoned that if they had the means, and many of them did, they would seek out a healer for a miracle cure. But, that rarely happened and they died anyway.
Partly influencing my belief that healers could not be real was my Western medical school education. The human body was just one large chemical factory with trillions of chemical reactions that were taking place in tempo to the laws of thermodynamics, and keeping us alive. I contemplated that a medical cure for our most dreadful diseases was a process that required restoring the biochemical machinery that went astray.
I was not taught about the spirit in medical school. I only learned of its existence from my parents and religion. "Spirit" seemed something very vague, and a time I heard it mentioned was when my grandparents died; there was talk of a spirit that was still present, but I never saw or heard anything. During the majority of my life, I never encountered a spirit or a healer. Nor did it seem to make much difference.
When I embraced acupuncture into my profession, the concept of spirit and healer surfaced again. I thought it strange that physicians integrating acupuncture into their practices would even consider these notions. After all, I had practiced medicine for over two decades and never needed to deal with "spirit" or have contact with a "healer." My patients either got better, developed chronic conditions, or died.
As I practiced acupuncture, I felt a need to know more about the spirit. Intuitively, I began to believe that the concept of the patient's spirit must be important because, not only did my colleagues discuss it, but there were even acupuncture points that somehow influenced the "spirit." I began to notice that this abstract concept of spirit played a vital role in the successful outcome of my patients' treatment. I realized that energy nourishing the spirit had to overcome obstacles; otherwise, the spirit would dim. I observed that if acupuncture could somehow open these obstacles, then the spirit would thrive.
Most importantly, the spirit is the driving force within the body. This is illustrated by a quote from Zhang Jie Bin, the author of Differentiated Canon: "Form is the body of the spirit and is used by the spirit. Without spirit, the form cannot move, and without form, the spirit cannot exist."1(392)
I have now learned that the heart stores the spirit. I believe that there are two "spirit" forces, if you will, at work in the healing process: the spirit within a person that makes a person who and what he or she is and gives a person the will to live and survive, and the God-spirit within a person, the belief in something or someone beyond oneself.
I find it fascinating that
our ancestors knew of acupuncture points that dealt with a spirit
pathway, spirit court, spirit hall, spirit ruins, spirit storehouse,
spirit support, spirit gate, spirit tower, spirit path, spirit court,
etc.1(425-426) I am unsure what these spiritual sanctuaries do or
how to incorporate them into my practice, but the fact that they exist
is in itself very exciting.
I have found that the healer does indeed exist, and it is nearby and in all of us who practice the healing arts. We are the intermediary that causes healing to take place. We bring about the process. Spirit and healer are the centers of the circle; both defy Newtonian physics, and both beckon to us when our intent is true and deliberate. Healing and spirit are like the Yin and Yang. One cannot exist without the other.
STRICTA (Standards for
Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture)
We are also inconsistent with the WHO standards in using the "Mo" phrases for the 8 Extra Meridians (not Curious Meridians).
It is accepted to call the GV and CV by their common names, Governor Vessel and Conception Vessel, respectively, or as Dumai and Renmai (not Du Mo and Ren Mo, and not as separate words).
The accepted terminology for the Extra Meridians is:
Finally, Dr. Frank states that what our journal refers to as the "Ting" or "Well" point is usually referred to as Jing or Jing-Well point. This is admittedly confusing, since the 4th command point is also Jing (River). These are not published in the WHO Standard publications, and the Board recommends leaving the Ting point as it is for now. (Please refer to additional information on page 12, "Instructions for Authors.")
Once more, I express my deepest thanks to the Editorial Board, and the AAMA Board for their energetic support, to Roz Royal for continuing to keep the journal on track with her professionalism and dedication, despite the recent death of her mother for which we extend our deepest sympathies, and to Stacy Christiansen Krol for her continued and competent assistance.
Anchors aweigh! My assignment
at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego ends in July. Because the
acupuncture program was successful, the Air Force has transferred
me to Malcom Grow USAF Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland,
where I will spend 60% of my time as a full-time acupuncturist and
the rest of my time