Liberation Acupuncture Recognizes that:

  • structural violence is a primary cause of disease in modern society
  • individuals' efforts to be healthy, individually, cannot overcome or cancel out structural violence
  • healing is not a commodity, cannot be bought, and does not happen in isolation
  • acupuncture is a practice, not a belief system
  • acupuncture as a practice existed before what we think of as “acupuncture theory”: the concepts of yin-yang, the five elements, and a general Confucian emphasis on orderly relationships and “balance” were externally imposed on the practice of acupuncture, probably rather suddenly, at a certain point in its history[1]
  • the Confucian overlay of “acupuncture theory” represents a certain social and political worldview and reflects the desires and interests of people who were in power at one time in history
  • in a similar way, acupuncture in the West in the present time is being overlaid with the concepts of biomedicine and particularly with its social signifiers (white coats, treatment tables, insurance coverage, first professional doctorates)
  • the current overlay of biomedicine along with a specific image of professionalism represents a certain social and political worldview and reflects the desires and interests of acupuncturists whose goal is to gain social power
  • if it is possible to define acupuncture from the perspective of the powerful, it’s equally possible to define it from the perspective of the powerless
  • the Young Lords and the Black Panthers made significant contributions to the practice of acupuncture in North America
  • acupuncture in the West now suffers generally from being orientalized at the same time it is being biomedicalized;  the process of orientalizing anything always serves those in power
  • the practice of acupuncture comes with the ethical obligation to critically reflect on issues of cultural appropriation and access
  • people at the low end of the socioeconomic ladder suffer disproportionately from stress and have more physical and mental ailments
  • because the practice of acupuncture is potentially so low-cost, it belongs to people at the low end of the socioeconomic ladder and it belongs within the framework of liberation studies

References

Half room of patients napping