Many American science bloggers are obsessed with disproving Chinese medicine, but good science is about data, not ideology. The jury is still out on Chinese medicine, as well as many conventional Western medical therapies, simply because experiments on people are prohibitively expensive and as a society we prefer to spend our money elsewhere (mostly guns). In fact, studies have vindicated certain alternative therapies, such as acupuncture for back pain, which is why they are covered by health insurance plans here in CA.
בן זומא אומר, איזה הוא חכם--הלמד מכל אדםBen Zoma says: Who is wise? He who learns from every man. (Avot 4:1)
I've learned to keep an open mind about what's possible in the physical world. For this week's Fun Science Friday, I'll introduce you to John Chang, a master of the ancient Chinese art of Qigong. While I am dubious about his ability to light fires with his hands, I am intrigued by the possibility of sending electric shocks through the body. Brain and nerve cells throughout the body are inherently electric, and signal through instantaneous changes in voltage. With enough practice, it seems possible that a human being could focus these voltages to release energy or heat, like an electric eel.