Altered States of Embodiment and the Social Aesthetics of AcupunctureAnderson KT*
Machmer Hall University of Massachusetts-Amherst Amherst, Mass. 01003, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Kevin Taylor Anderson
Machmer Hall University of
Mass. 01003, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 15, 2013; Accepted date: April 23, 2013; Published date: April 26, 2013
Citation: Anderson KT (2013) Altered States of Embodiment and the Social Aesthetics of Acupuncture. Altern Integr Med 2:112. doi:10.4172/2327-5162.1000112
Copyright: © 2013 Anderson KT. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Acupuncture therapy encompasses various domains of experience: from the aesthetic and atmosphere of the clinic; to the sensorial aspects of needling; to the aftereffects in terms of potential changes in health and lifestyle. In my research (conducted in Galway and Dublin Ireland) one of the prevailing reasons expressed by patients as to the appeal of acupuncture, and rationale for its continual use, was that treatments were regarded as both pleasurable and transformative. This transformation–in either an immediate-sensorial, or a long-term behavioral way–is the key focus of this paper. Interviews with patients strongly suggested that an embodied sense of transformation– experiencing unusual bodily and emotional sensation–is not only part of the appeal, but is one of the key constructs for determining the medical efficacy of acupuncture. Such embodied transformations are referred to as altered states of embodiment (ASE).