Perception of therapeutic Qi, a nonmechanical, nonpsychological factor in acupuncture that originates from the therapist

Hochstrasser, Raphael J.; Endler, P. Christian; Klein, Sabine (2015). Perception of therapeutic Qi, a nonmechanical, nonpsychological factor in acupuncture that originates from the therapist. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 8(4), pp. 203-208. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jams.2014.11.009

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So far, most research attempts to explain the mechanism of the action of acupuncture have focused mostly on mechanically-triggered active factors and have produced inconclusive findings. In this study, we investigate whether acupuncture might also involve nonmechanical, nonpsychological active factors originating in the therapist. In 30 individuals, an acupuncture needle was inserted in the acupoint PC6 using a special device without touching the needle. A second device was used to fix the needle rigidly in place, excluding any mechanical transmission of movement from the handle to the needle's tip. Each participant was exposed in random order to a control and a stimulation phase. During the stimulation phase, the free needle's end was held by the therapist to allow the transmission of Qi; during the control phase, it was left untouched. Participants' subjective sensations during the stimulation phase and the control phase were recorded using a questionnaire. Twenty-two of 28 (79%; p = 0.003) test participants believed that they had received stimulation when it had actually been performed, and 26 (93%; p < 0.001) sensed differences between the two experimental phases. Thus, participants were able to sense the transmission of therapeutic Qi in the absence of mechanical or psychological factors.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary Medicine (ICOM)

UniBE Contributor:

Klein, Sabine

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2005-2901

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sabine Klein

Date Deposited:

25 Aug 2015 10:12

Last Modified:

27 Aug 2015 20:50

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jams.2014.11.009

PubMed ID:

26276457

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.71144

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/71144

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