Talk:Meridian (Chinese medicine)

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"Meridians do not exist"[edit]

At the current discussion of this article on the fringe theories noticeboard, I've proposed replacing "Meridians do not exist", in the body of the article (not the lede, which has already been toned down a notch) with "Meridians exist only as a concept; there is no known anatomic or physiologic equivalent". This is a statement of fact, backed by cited sources, and is more encyclopedic and (IMHO) less condescending than flat "denial" language. Any objections? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 20:36, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Drop "known" and you might be getting somewhere. And what do you mean by "equivalent"? This looks like verbosity to obfuscate the plain meaning. Alexbrn (talk) 20:48, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I added "known" in deference to those editors who have argued that the possibility exists that some sort of Western counterpart will be discovered someday; but I'm fine with removing it. Do I really need to define "equivalent"? It's not "verbosity", it's more precise, less dogmatic. We physicians tend to talk that way, yes -- but I'm proposing this in the interest of civility and compromise. With all due respect to Russell's teapot, it's a bit arrogant to dismiss out of hand concepts widely popular in other cultures, isn't it? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 21:56, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm astonished. You think we should avoid stating the truth because a lots of people (used to) believe something otherwise? You think we should equivocate about other altmed topics too? Homeopathy? Alexbrn (talk) 07:01, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, that's a straw man and a half. I'm astonished that you are so certain of The Truth -- though actually I'm not, because I used to feel that sort of certainty in my younger days. Look, nobody is arguing that there is any data to suggest that meridians physically exist (at least I'm not) -- I'm just reflecting my medical training; medical texts frown on absolute statements like, "X does not exist", as opposed to, "there is no evidence that X exists". It's less arrogant. Exactly what portion of "Meridians exist only as a concept; there is no known anatomic or physiologic equivalent" constitutes "avoiding stating the truth"? What part is untrue? DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 15:43, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
It's not a straw man, it's on point. If you only allow Wikipedia to assert things which are formally provably true, the door is open to insinuate things about a whole raft of fringe stuff from aliens to conspiracies to quackery (so, can we just say the Holocaust happened, or is that arrogant?). Fortunately WP:ASSERT exists so we don't do that, we only step back from assertion when there is "serious dispute" and over the existence of meridians, there is none. The current assertion in text is fine: "Meridians exist only as a concept" since it is absolute and so neutral. Alexbrn (talk) 15:50, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Aha, Godwin's Law strikes again -- discussion over. I would have been quite happy with "Meridians exist only as a concept" -- if that were the "current assertion" -- which it is not. Whatever. I think we're done here. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 23:19, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
And since you (and others) find "Meridians exist only as a concept" acceptable, I will make that change. (I can't even bring myself to comment on the reductio ad absurdum Holocaust comparison.) DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 17:59, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
...and of course, it was reverted immediately -- by someone who said he was "fine with the suggested language". I need a new hobby, I guess. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 19:30, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I suppose it depends whether or not we would be okay with "Unicorns exist only as a concept; scientists have found no evidence that supports their physical existence." It's unnecessary to specify that something exists as a concept - it's implicit in "unicorns do not exist" that there is a concept of unicorns. --tronvillain (talk) 23:00, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Yet another reductio ad absurdum argument, as if anyone has ever actually argued that unicorns are real. But fear not, I know when to walk away; we are all in basic agreement on everything except terminology. And attitude. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 19:30, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Plenty of people throughout history have asserted the reality of unicorns. In any case, it's simply an examination of the phrasing using another concept which has no good evidence.--tronvillain (talk) 21:14, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
On second thought, I'm not fine with removing "known" -- I'm not prepared to imply that our body of knowledge of anatomy and physiology is complete, that there's nothing left to discover. People were saying stuff like that in 500CE, which is why we had a Middle Ages. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 22:55, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
In other words "You can't prove that there are none, only that we haven't found one yet" to quote from WP:FLAT. Meridians do not exist, and Wikipedia says so. We don't defer to ignorance. Alexbrn (talk) 07:01, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Advocates will always want more. Editors need to write for readers, and there may well be young or naive readers who wonder whether the meridian concept has any veracity. Such readers should be told plainly that meridians explain nothing, and are incompatible with knowledge that does explain things, and there is no reason to think meridians exists. Stripped of the gobbledygook, meridians don't exist. Johnuniq (talk) 07:15, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
  • In any case, the current wording is fine. Surely nobody is objecting to that!? Alexbrn (talk) 07:13, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
May I sugggest, "Mainstream modern science has yet to discover any evidence to support the existence of meridians." This is much more respectful, it puts the onus on science to discovere meridians or not. Claiming present day scientific knowledge is the final truth on the mattter is illogical captain. Probrooks (talk) 12:07, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
No, because it's utterly WP:PROFRINGE. Alexbrn (talk) 12:09, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
No, it is not, this wording is the actual truth without skeptical baggage. It is actually the neutral option. Anything else is aiming to negate or undermine acupuncture as a practise, and it is clear many editors here desire to editorialise their personal views on acupuncture. Probrooks (talk) 12:14, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
It's pretty clear from WP:ANI that you will be topic banned soon, so there's not much point in you continuing to blather. The onus is on those who claim that something exists, especially when science has found an absence of that thing. And if claiming that present day scientific knowledge is the truth as far as we know is illogical, then it's patently stupid to pretend that pre-scientific magic reinterpreted in the 1930s and codified for purely political purposes is an equally valid option. You need to quit editorializing your ignorance of science. Ian.thomson (talk) 12:17, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
  • would be fine with "Meridians exist only as a concept; there is no known anatomic or physiologic equivalent" Jytdog (talk) 21:05, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I would personally prefer this, for what it's worth (probably not a lot). - (talk) 16:53, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
  • based on what the rest of the article says and a quick read through some of the sources, a reasonable summary regarding their existence might be. "Despite a wealth of ongoing research into the existence of meridians, no convincing scientific evidence has been put forward for their existence. Major proponents of their existence have also not come to any consensus as to how they might work or be tested in a scientific context" those two points seem pretty clear from the material presented: 1) no proof 2) no consensus among practitioners. Edaham (talk) 16:23, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

"traditional Chinese meridian theory" vs. "meridian theory"[edit]


@Jytdog: Could you explain this revert?

I honestly can't make head or tail of it, as your edit summary appears to have no relation to the content of your edit. I know that a meridian is a meridian; science is science, but what does that have to do with mine being honestly a bad edit?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:34, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Wait ... is the problem that "theory" when not prefaced by "traditional" and "Chinese" makes it look "scientific"? I don't buy that, but I'm grasping at straws here. If it's that big a concern, how about Scientific view of meridian belief or Scientific view of meridian-based alternative medicine? I think both of these are inferior to my earlier wording, but would be amenable to them over the current wording. Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:49, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

sorry i read the diff backward. your change was very good. meridians are meridians. Jytdog (talk) 20:07, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Existential conclusions and empirical premises[edit]

@Kashmiri: The idea of meridians claims that the manipulation of specific points on the body will have physiological effects -- those are empirical premises, not existential claims. Meridians are not a philosophical concept, they are a scientifically testable hypothesis. The hypothesis has been tested, repeatedly, and the result was null.

I could begin to grant that your argument would apply to something like Chakras when authors discuss chakras as facets of the soul or even the mind (as some do) instead of as physical structures with physical effects (as some do as well). That's not the case with meridians, though, it's always in the context of physical health (not spiritual development). I'm totally for theology heading toward Fideism and encouraging the view of Non-overlapping magisteria. However, meridians aren't actually a religious concept: they were proto-medicine that was completely secularized by the Chinese government and remains pseudoscience. Even where some religions adopt the idea of meridians, meridians still fall under testable premises and (to be extremely generous) there is a significant disconnect between the hypothesis and reality. Ian.thomson (talk) 10:05, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

TBarraganTX's attempted diluting of the article[edit]

@TBarraganTX: Discuss matters here before attempting to restore the material again.

Wikipedia does not create artificial balance between two opposing views, it summarizes professionally-published mainstream academic sources, particularly medical sources. Metastudies and tertiary sources have found no evidence for the existence of meridians. This does not mean "they exist but haven't been found," this means "they have found an absence of meridians."

It is not some scientists who "claim" meridians do not exist, it is what any legitimate scientist who has researched the matter will tell you.

This article you cited is not funded by the NIH, it is simply hosted on their website. It was funded by Shenzhen University. Chinese universities are funded by the Chinese government, and the Chinese government has been pushing the study of TCM not because they believe in it (Mao, whose idea this was, sure didn't) but to entice foreign doctors to come into China to teach science-based medicine while saving face. The article was published by the Hindawi Publishing Corporation, which has been noted for low-quality output. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:28, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Inaccuracy of article[edit]

The sources and information presented in this article about the scientific value of the meridian system are well outdated. All new research opposes what is written here. The meridian system has been proven to have some scientific value, though the specifics are beyond my knowledge. This article also does not speak of the history of the meridian system, or what it has been and continues to be used for. Therefore this article does not contain enough accurate information to be considered credible now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Daredevildovahkiin (talkcontribs) 15:30, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Sources? Alexbrn (talk) 16:00, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
@Daredevildovahkiin: A lack of historical information is a common complaint on the talk pages of articles about ancient (and discredited) practices or notions which are still employed or entertained by quacks and misguided healthcare providers in modern times as part of a repertoire of alternative medicine. In many cases I agree that more historical information should be provided, for the article to be both interesting to the reader and also make the encyclopedia fuller in its descriptions of historical healing methods rather than just (but quite rightly) testifying to their invalidity in modern medical practices. If you can find some sources in English or Chinese I'd help translate and write a more comprehensive history section. It has to be said that online sources on CAM and related fields are mostly going to provide either a) promotional and therefore non-MEDRS information or b) genuine medical sites which discredit the subject and the field, so it's probably going to take some digging in a library. Edaham (talk) 02:58, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Hey guys,is it remotely possible that your quack-radar is just a little bit over-active? I'm all for reasonable and even thorough skepticism, because there certainly is a need for it. But attacking people reactively without doing due diligence doesn't help the process.
You want sources? Here are a few.
Li, J., Wang, Q., Liang, H., Dong, H., Li, Y., Ng, E. H. Y., & Wu, X. (2012). Biophysical characteristics of meridians and acupoints: a systematic review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.
X. H. Yan, X. Y. Zhang, C. L. Liu et al., “Do acupuncture points exist?” Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol. 54, no. 9, pp. N143–N150, 2009.;
Johng, H. M., Cho, J. H., Shin, H. S., Sah, K. S., Koo, T. H., Choi, S. Y., ... & Park, M. S. (2002). Frequency dependence of impedances at the acupuncture point Quze (PC3). IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, 21(2), 33-36.
S. X. Ma, X. Y. Li, B. T. Smith, and N. T. Jou, “Changes in nitric oxide, cGMP, and nitrotyrosine concentrations over skin along the meridians in obese subjects,” Obesity, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 1560–1567, 2011.
N. T. Jou and S. X. Ma, “Responses of nitric oxide—cGMP release in acupuncture point to electroacupuncture in human skin in vivo using dermal microdialysis,” Microcirculation, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 434–443, 2009.
M. S. Lee, S. Y. Jeong, Y. H. Lee, D. M. Jeong, Y. G. Eo, and S. B. Ko, “Differences in electrical conduction properties between meridians and non-meridians,” American Journal of Chinese Medicine, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 723–728, 2005.
S. J. Egot-Lemaire and M. C. Ziskin, “Dielectric properties of human skin at an acupuncture point in the 50—75 GHz frequency range, a pilot study,” Bioelectromagnetics, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 568–569, 2003
Ahn, A. C., Colbert, A. P., Anderson, B. J., Martinsen, Ø. G., Hammerschlag, R., Cina, S., ... & Langevin, H. M. (2008). Electrical properties of acupuncture points and meridians: a systematic review. Bioelectromagnetics, 29(4), 245-256. (Lead author is from Harvard. Calls for better studies but says that "preliminary evidence is encouraging" (p. 254))
Pigkeeper (talk) 10:03, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think any of those sources are compliant with WP:MEDRS. -Roxy the dog. bark 10:15, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I am amazed that someone pipes in within 12 minutes and just says, "oh, these don't count at all." That is really a low level of critical engagement, and is genuinely disappointing. Let's see. I have cited several articles in reputable peer-reviewed journals. I have cited two review articles. One of those review articles is in a reputable conventional biomedical journal. That article says, "preliminary evidence is encouraging" that something measurable and detectable is there. Not only that, but it says that the existing evidence gives clues about the physiologic nature of meridians. Again, this is a team led by a member of the Harvard Medical School. Pigkeeper (talk) 11:29, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
I am amazing I know, but they don't count. Have you read WP:MEDRS yet? Roxy the dog. bark 11:49, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
Hello? I just read it and I referred to it in my response to you. Pigkeeper (talk) 12:04, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
Really? Which bit? Incidentally, the following phrase from one of the reviews, "preliminary evidence is encouraging", in english means, "Please don't cut off my funding" Roxy the dog. bark 12:37, 29 July 2017 (UTC) Roxy the dog. bark 12:34, 29 July 2017 (UTC)

A small typo mistake in the Human Body Meridians[edit]

There is a small typo mistake in the diagram picture of the Meridian System. "LV - Liver Meridian 1 - 3 AM" must be under "Leg Yin Meridians & Shichen"; meanwhile "PE - Pericardium Meridian 7 - 9 PM" must be under "Arm Yin Meridians & Shichen". In another word, positions of theses two channels should be reversed. This change will be consistent with content in the table below in the page of these two yin meridian channels of liver (link to foot) and pericardium (link to hand).