More BS Being Taught in Acupuncture Schools

I know a person who recently started attending Acupuncture college against my advice due to the level of student loan debt she will be in when she finishes…but that is for another post. Among the required classes in most acu schools is a qi gong/taiji class. My friend and I discussed the class and I must say I am totally disgusted by the level of ignorance of the teacher.

Firstly, my friend was taught some “qigong” which amounted to joint mobility and standing exercises. She was taught to “open bubbling well to let the qi flow to the crown of the head.” Bubbling well, for those that don’t know is the point Kidney 1, described anatomically as “On the sole, in the depression when the foot is in plantar flexion, approximately at the anterior third and the posterior two thirds of the line from the web between the 2nd and 3rd toes to the back of the heel.”

For whatever reason much of Chinese Medicine is hidden in flowery phrases and poetic language. I asked my friend, “how to you open bubbling well? How do you know that it is open or closed?” She replied that she had no idea. It seems that people with no idea of what they are doing are teaching another generation of people who will not know what they are doing. This will perpetuate ignorance and ideas of energy flowing and blasting through the body. Let me make the phrase “open bubbling well” very simple and easy to understand in concrete terms. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and knees bent. Shift the weight so that you feel the main pressure at the bubbling well point. Using this position simply helps to align the body properly when standing. See? Simple. No hocus pocus.

My friend’s class was also made to do some stupid and regressive version of push hands. She said she was told to “feel the qi moving from the other person to you and back.” She queried me why she couldn’t feel the energy moving back and forth. I explained that once again what she was being taught is utter nonsense and a waste of time. The “energy” that push hands was supposed help a person feel was simply what wrestlers call “body feel.” You connect arm to arm and feel where your opponent is moving, where they are pushing or pulling etc. Forget about feeling “energy.” Feel your opponent’s actual movements.

Last but not least the class was taught to bring their arms up over their heads and down to “close their energy field and ground out the energy.” This is supposed to be done after they give an acupuncture treatment to protect them. Again this is nonsense. How does waving your arms around ground energy or close your energy field. Grounding is such a misunderstood idea in the healing arts. Once you finish the treatment just let go and move on. Put your attention, i.e. your energy on something else. Or just practice metta.

With this ridiculous nonsense being taught at accredited schools it is no wonder that it has taken so long for acupuncture to be accepted in Western society.

Andy Maher