The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Acupuncture? Do you have an opinion?

Dear Ms. Copen:

I was so excited to see my first copy of your excellent magazine HopeKeepers.  I head up congregational care ministry in a large church so was thrilled to see this great resource to help believers cope with illness.  I also oversee adult education and frequently teach on the dangers of cults, new age teachings and other popular ideas that can endanger the believer's spirit. 


So when I saw the cover article Is Acupuncture Safe for My Spirit I was thrilled that your magazine would warn people about the dangers this practice can present to the believer. 

Instead, I was disappointed that the article fully supported the practice based on the idea that it works, and can offer relief.  Any search on the internet, putting in the words acupuncture and Christians will pull up plenty of warnings that would make me question its safety for "my spirit."  I'd have liked a more balanced article, warning of the innate nature of the practice that suggests non-biblical ideas about "life energy" (really Chinese religious beliefs based on Taoism – – yin and yang).  That would have been a truer response to the question of whether it's "safe for my spirit."

Thanks for all the help you provide.  I look forward to getting to know your magazine better,

Pastor Bill Sy


Pastor Sy,

Thank you for taking the time to write. I think it could have been a 25 page article on acupuncture and still not fully provided all of the info. We tried our best to quote some respected Christian organizations and yet also understand that most people will try ANYTHING to get rid of pain. It's safer to warn them not to try anything and to always think about it and pray about it and consult respected pastors and such. I've done articles on the past on Yoga (and is there really such a thing as Christian yoga?) and Bible "cures."

I myself tried acupuncture a couple of times about 15 years ago when first diagnosed and didn't see a significant change. But I would consider it again if it could help me delay a surgery or such. And yet, I think we need to be aware of warning signs because spirits ARE in these places. At the same time, the evil one is everywhere and so we need to use the same discretion with alternative treatments as we would anything.

We tried to reach out the average person who may have been considering acupuncture, and may even truly be helped by it, but with a Christian perspective. I'm sorry we didn't fulfill all we could have, but thank you for your grace.

I know some of our articles will disappoint, but it's nice to have a forum where these topics can actually be addressed, even when controversial. Although some Christian magazines tackle topics like acupuncture, etc. they don't always understand the extreme depression and even suicidal thoughts that enter the minds of those with chronic illness – – who are willing to try anything to get rid of the pain. With that in mind, we don't say "avoid everything" but rather "use discernment, prayer and look at what organizations like the Christian Medical Society have to say about it."

I know other people likely had the same thoughts as you. I'd like to ask permission to reprint your questions and my answer on my blog and see if we can address any other concerns, ideas, etc. I can remove or keep your name. Just let me know.

Blessings and thanks - (really! It's so nice to have someone care enough to write!)

Lisa Copen


Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your quick response, I didn't expect one!  You are gracious.  Yes, it's fine to use my name and letter for the magazine or blog.  I still feel strongly about the subject, have heard of a number of folks who innocently got entrapped by things like this, and started experiencing lack of spiritual desire for the Lord, the word, etc.


Here's one example of a nonchristian warning about possible dangers:

Reality of Chi

I have been a practioner of the martial arts for several years, and that also includes spontaneous Chi Kung. The Chi they utilize is not a harmonious, benevolent, all prevailing, invisible energy/force which flows binds and permeates throughout the Universe, but rather a sentient life form unto themselves (nor are they discarnate spirits of the dead as is commonly believed in the west) which religions around the world and communities & civilizations throughout history have commonly termed Spirits, Jinns or Demons. Many people around the world have been severely mentally affected to their detriment through the study of such systems which often involve (as will be examined here on in) clearly defined movements/forms or involuntary actions. Once the jinn's enter the host through the relevant nerve, pressure or acupuncture points that flow in channels/meridians, they then inhabit the host and exercise great influence.   At the latter point the only means of redress then becomes undergoing a religious Islamic Exorcism. I am speaking from my own experiences with this phenomenon and not from hear say. I would like to publicize the dangers as much as possible and expose its reality.

Not that it's gonna happen to everyone, but for me that would make it "unsafe" for the spirit.  At the same time, Lisa, you have helped me to realize how desperate people are when they are in extreme pain.  I'd be interested in the former article you have published on yoga.

May the Lord continue to use you to bring his healing love to others!



  Sheryl Smith wrote @

It would be hard to make an exhaustive study of this. But I believe that alternative meds including Yoga and acupuncture can be used devoid of spiritual meaning but just as a means of health and pain relief. I have used acupuncture on a few occasions, sometimes experiencing significant relief and other times not. When I am not 100% sure of either a Dr. or practice I pray for God’s protection from evil and to use the appt. for good and healing. One could argue we definitely need the same for conventional drugs!

  africana wrote @

hi there,

very interesting. As a Muslim, I ‘ve had similar thoughts about not just acupuncture but the likes of martial arts like karate.

I mean most westerners, of which I am one, when they practise martial arts, yoga are just doing it for the physical health benefits. However all of these practises did emerge from specific philiosophical traditions and ways of looking at and understanding the world.

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