Can a believer practice acupuncture / acupressure?


By BibleAsk Team

Acupuncture and acupressure, traditional Chinese medicinal practices, are deeply intertwined with the philosophical and spiritual principles of Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy.

The Spiritual Connection to Taoism:

  1. Philosophical Foundation:
    • Taoism, attributed to the sage Laozi, teaches that everything in the universe follows the Tao, the fundamental principle that underlies and unites all existence. Acupuncture aligns with this philosophy by seeking to balance the flow of Qi, the life force or energy, within the body. The theory posits that disruptions or imbalances in the flow of Qi lead to illness and discomfort. Taoist philosophy similarly views disturbances in the natural balance as the root of disharmony in life.
  2. Holistic Approach:
    • Taoism and acupuncture both adopt a holistic perspective on health, considering the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit. Acupuncture treatment aims to restore balance by addressing not only physical symptoms but also the underlying energy imbalances. Taoism emphasizes the importance of maintaining harmony in all aspects of life, and acupuncture aligns with this by promoting overall well-being rather than merely alleviating specific symptoms.
  3. Meridian System and Qi Flow:
    • Acupuncture is based on the concept of meridians, energy pathways through which Qi flows. These meridians correspond to specific organs and functions in the body. Taoism recognizes the importance of energy flow in maintaining health and vitality. Taoist practices, such as Tai Chi and Qigong, also focus on cultivating and balancing Qi. Acupuncture and Taoism both share the belief that when the Qi flows smoothly through the meridians, the body is in a state of balance and health.
  4. Yin and Yang Balance:
    • Taoism introduces the concept of Yin and Yang, opposing forces that are interconnected and interdependent. Acupuncture theory applies this concept to the body, seeking to balance the Yin and Yang aspects of Qi within the meridians. The practitioners use specific points on the body to regulate the Yin and Yang balance, aiming to harmonize the flow of energy. This aligns with Taoist teachings on the dynamic interplay of opposing forces in nature and the necessity of balance.
  5. Spiritual Connection:
    • Taoism acknowledges the spiritual dimension of life, emphasizing the importance of spiritual practices for inner harmony. Acupuncture, while primarily a physical therapy, is often considered as part of a holistic approach to health that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Acupuncture and Acupressure:

The theory behind acupuncture is based on the concept of balancing the body’s vital energy, or qi, which flows through meridians or energy channels. By inserting needles at specific points, practitioners aim to restore the balance of qi, promoting health and alleviating various ailments such as chronic pain, nausea, and headaches.

Acupressure doesn’t involve the use of needles. Instead, practitioners apply pressure with their hands, fingers, or specific tools to stimulate the same acupoints targeted in acupuncture. This non-invasive technique is often used for self-care and is believed to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and alleviate specific health issues, including pain management, anxiety, and enhancing overall well-being.

Christian Perspective:

Christians may embrace only the physical aspects of these practices as alternative therapies and methods of stimulating the body’s natural healing processes, similar to other forms of physical therapy. But they should not get involved in the spiritualistic, metaphysical aspects of Taoism, which are characterized by idolatry, alchemy, divination and magic.

The concept of qi and energy channels clearly conflicts with Christian beliefs about the human body and healing. The Bible warns Christians from participating in the spiritual aspects of eastern religions, such as Taoism, that involve manipulating unseen energies (Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6-27; Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10,11; Isaiah 8:19).


Acupuncture and acupressure are ancient practices that have gained recognition in modern healthcare. While their effectiveness is debated, many individuals find relief from various symptoms through these alternative therapies. Christians may use only their physical practices but should not get in involved in the Taoist spiritualistic aspects to seek to improve their health problems for they clearly oppose the teachings of the Bible.

As with any medical or health-related decision, individuals are encouraged to consult with their healthcare providers and spiritual leaders to make informed choices that align with the Biblical beliefs and values.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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