As a practicing acupuncturist I would like to add something to your recent discussion of acupuncture. First of all, it is not completely correct to say that “no entirely satisfactory explanation for acupuncture has yet been offered.” Traditional acupuncture theory, which involves the body’s intricate meridian system and regulation of qi/energy flow, is a very satisfactory and usable explanation of the therapy’s effectiveness.
Second, while endorphin release or nerve junction theories may explain some aspects of acupuncture mechanics, they cannot account for the broad spectrum of illnesses which have been found to respond well to acupuncture treatment, including such diverse problems as bronchitis, menstrual irregularities, depression and high blood pressure, to name but a few. Hopefully future research will enable us to integrate traditional acupuncture theory with modern medical concepts to the satisfaction of health care practitioners in both East and West.
— Dan P., AcT., Chicago
“Traditional acupuncture theory” is a quaint patchwork of folklore with about as much relevance to current medical practice as medieval European notions about the four bodily humors. While it may be useful as a guide to future research, no scientist would regard it as satisfactory as it stands.