Does the "Chineseness" of Acupuncture Influence its Perceived Efficacy? Research Topic All medical treatment is carried out within a cultural context that influences how it is perceived and how effective it is. Some alternative therapies are strongly associated with non-Western contexts. One of these is acupuncture, stimulation of the body (usually by the insertion of fine needles) to relieve pain. Acupuncture is associated with the traditional healing arts of China. This raises the question of whether the context within which acupuncture treatment is delivered influences its perceived efficacy. Hypothesis A culturally marked type of therapy, such as acupuncture, will be perceived as more efficacious to the degree that its context evokes...The end:
.....s. To begin with, it might be difficult to form entirely homogenous groups of patients to treat. Levels of pain, and thus potential reactions, might differ. The cultural baggage the participants bring with them might differ in its influence. Some participants might quit in the middle of the study, potentially unbalancing the groups. Possible Applications of Findings The findings of this study will help in understanding to what degree treatments should be contextualized to different surroundings. Does a "Chinese" treatment gain by emphasizing its Chineseness, by evoking it in a more subtle way, or by backgrounding it? The findings might also be relevant to cases where Western medical techniques are being introduced into non-Western contexts.