Is it science or is it funk?

Is it science or is it funk?

sandy-cox
SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

Through my recent explorations into the world of medicine I have discovered that there are two schools of thought: Western vs. Eastern medicine.
One, the common form of Western medicine, uses science and innovation to study the body and its ailments. Then through a course of carefully crafted, laboratory made pharmaceuticals are doctors able to treat those ailments.
The school of thought surrounding Eastern medicine is very different, and looked upon more as a “pseudoscience,” meaning not a real course of treatment for any ailment. Such practices that fall under said category are those like Chiropractics, Acupuncture, and Acupressure Therapy.
In most scientific circles, the psuedosciences are scientific practices that are commonly known but not based on the scientific method. Such sciences are considered to be the joke of the scientific community. They are not believed to be real methods of science. In the medical community they are referred to as “alternative medicine,” which basically means they are not a widely accepted form of healing, but I have to disagree.
Though the concept of medicine has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks, what is deemed as “Western Medicine” refers more to the scientific advances that have been made in the last 200 years or so, whereas the concept of healing has been in practice in many cultures around the globe for 10,000 years or more.
I have discovered that the concept of self-healing can be rather cathartic. After numerous visits to doctors over the past nine months, all trying to help me alleviate my chronic lower back pain, I was not having much success. I had tried everything from different medications to steroid injections. Nothing seemed to be working, and I was now facing the reality that the only way to heal my back was to operate on it. Wanting desperately to avoid surgery and hospitalization, my only other options lay in alternative medicine. I tried Chiropractic care, but that was not going to work for me. The treatment itself involved stretching my spine, which was very painful. It was going to take months of multiple visits with no reassurance that it would eliminate the pain altogether. Unhappy with this course of treatment, I sought out the next form of alternative medicine, Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a substantial form of Chinese medicine. It is a common belief in Chinese medicine that our bodies have a life force called Qi. The Qi is believed to originate and flow from our primary organs out to the tissues of the skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and joints through channels called Meridians. Ailments in our body such as disease and chronic pain are said to disrupt the natural harmony of our Qi and the interactions between our bodies and their environment, causing an imbalance that represents itself as pain. The practice of inserting small, thin needles into certain meridian points over a period of time is said to reopen those blocked channels and help our body to naturally heal itself. It does take time and multiple visits, but it is said to help some ailments such as chronic pain.
A major part of the healing process comes when the needles are inserted in to the meridian points. Oftentimes it stimulates the central nervous system, causing a huge rush of endorphins. In my experience, this rush of endorphins allowed me to relax releasing all the pent up energy I had been feeling due to my chronic pain and anxiety from doctor visits.
Perhaps this is part of the healing process. That built up anxiety could in effect be toxic to both my mind and body. Perhaps this form of medicine is only mentally healing, but then it begs the question, is alternative medicine science or is it funk? In my opinion, if it aids in healing my chronic pain, then it’s a spoonful of medicine to me.