The body as hologram:
An interview with Dr. Ralph Alan Dale about the uses of acupuncture in healing, based on the model of the body as holographic.
Ralph Alan Dale EdD, PhD, of Florida, USA, developed the new field of micro-acupuncture and has written extensively about acupuncture to promote healing and disease prevention. He explains how what he calls the "hologrammatic integrity of our bodies" can form the basis for a new consciousness, and provide us with a model for understanding ourselves and the nature of the universe.
Share International: What is micro-acupuncture?
Ralph Alan Dale: It is the name I have given to the manipulation of energetic systems which are localized in every part of the body such as the ear, nose, face, tongue, hands, abdomen, foot, back, etc. With micro-acupuncture we can perform the same variety of functions as we do with traditional acupuncture. It is useful not only to therapists, but also to patients and to the general public as well, since some of its systems are easily learned, safe to use, and subject to manipulation through simple finger pressure.
SI: Do you suggest that lay people can practice acupuncture?
RAD: Yes, acupuncture with your fingers or using ice or heat on the acupoint may be used by anyone. Some of my books and video tapes are for health-care professionals and some for the general public. I have a small book called Acupuncture With Your Fingers: An 18-Point Healing System, which is easy to use as first aid. Even children use this book.
SI: Were you not a musician before you became interested in acupuncture and holistic medicine?
RAD: Yes, I was a conductor and composer. I first came into contact with Chinese medicine in 1960, when I met a Japanese physician named George Ohsawa who applied the Chinese yin and yang principles to teach people how to eat properly. I had watched him do acupuncture only once, and there were dramatic results. About 12 years later, I was compelled to learn acupuncture due to an accident which occurred in a physician's office. A metal syringe, used to clean the ear, punctured my ear drum and entered the inner ear, creating deafness, loud ringing and vertigo. This condition, known as Meniere's disease, is incurable according to Western medicine. But I recalled my friendship with George Ohsawa, and the clues he had given me. Subsequently I learned that Meniere's is responsive to acupuncture, and that what conventional medicine means by "incurable" is that a condition is not responsive to either drugs or surgery.
SI: You taught yourself acupuncture?
RAD: There were very few acupuncturists in the US in 1972 when I acquired Meniere's disease. Even if I had found one, I was not going to put myself into the hands of any therapist who might make another mistake. I was going to be my own doctor as much as possible. I did find a young Chinese man in Florida who had just graduated from an acupuncture college in Hong Kong. I asked him to teach me, but he refused, saying that there were no books in English, and that he had never taught anyone anything. I persisted until he agreed to teach me, translating his books point by point, page by page. When I thought I knew enough, I began to needle myself, and within two months I was cured. I was so impressed that I decided to spend the next period of my life deepening my knowledge of acupuncture, and subsequently spent time with acupuncture masters in the Orient.
SI: How did you develop the groundwork for the new field of micro-acupuncture?
RAD: In 1973, I began to study the work of Dr Paul Nogier of Lyons, France, who first discovered that the ear is a complete energetic system, and that it can be used to treat the whole body. Nogier further discovered that the order of the ear acupoints repeats the anatomy of the body, but he believed that the ear was the only part of the body that functioned as this type of energetic hologram of the body. I began in 1973 with the opposite premise, namely, that every part of the body functions as an energetic microcosm of the Chinese traditional acupuncture system. I believed that any part of the body can be used to treat the rest of the body, and that the topology of the points in each of these "micro-acupuncture systems" was a holographic repetition of the whole body's anatomy. For instance, the face has points corresponding to all other parts of the body, including the head, torso, legs, and feet. The nose also has a web of points relating to all others parts, such as the head, torso, legs, and so on. I investigated what other researchers and physicians had discovered about such reflex systems and found that systems of the tongue, iris, hands, feet and teeth (and in fact, every gross part of our anatomy) had originated in various countries throughout the world, some in ancient times some very recently. From this information, I developed a theory and the principles of what I called micro-acupuncture.
SI: What is the significance of these discoveries?
RAD: They show that we are not a composite of different parts and systems, but that every organism has an inherent integrity, with every part of us expressing a holographic replica of our whole body's vital energy, known as Qi in ancient China and as Prana in ancient India. This implies that every part of us has the information of the whole. Karl Pribram, a neuro-physiologist, discovered that our brain also functions hologrammatically. He showed that although parts of the brain specialize in certain functions, when a particular part of the brain is removed, other parts assume the functions of the part that was removed. This is also in line with the thinking of the physicist David Bohm, who concluded that the structure of the universe itself is hologrammatic.
SI: What are the implications?
RAD: Micro-acupuncture implies that no part of us is unrelated to other parts, even down to the single cell. Every cell probably knows the whole of us. There is a new consciousness implied in these premises; namely, that reality is a complex, interrelated and integral structure, including our own body-mind-emotions-spirit, as well as our relationship to others and to our environment.
SI: The spiritual concept that we are one is now a scientifically verifiable fact?
RAD: I would say so. This premise is not just an abstraction any more since we have shown that we express an energetic integrity. This premise that wholeness, rather than fragmentation, is the basic nature of reality, has in one way or another motivated my entire life. It is a premise which says that we are more than two eyes for opthamologists to tend to, and a digestive system for gastroenterologists to tend to, a heart for cardiologists and a brain for neuro-physiologists and psychiatrists, etc. In effect, the fragmentation expressed in conventional medicine and in our social relations may be a distortion of nature, a false premise which has permeated our lives.
SI: How do we let go of these false premises?
RAD: By changing our way of being and thinking. We are at war with ourselves, with the environment, and with others. It is a matter of overcoming the old ways of thinking and the old premises of being, including our economic and political structures. The old competitive market economy and the old political parties, representing special selfish interests, will give way to a co-operative global community. Once our technology is no longer polluting our environment and used primarily for killing people, it can be used to create an economy of abundance. Such an economy no longer requires us to be individual, group, race, national, ethnic, religious or gender enemies of each other because there will be plenty of everything for every one of us on the planet. Given our present technology, starvation and deprivation are artificially maintained.
SI: Do you see the younger generation exhibiting such changes?
RAD: Not yet. Many young people do seem to have a growing awareness that the way of life they are born into is senseless. There is a widespread rejection of this way of life, but I do not see that there is a grasp of alternatives yet. It is up to those of us who have more experience, maturity and the beginnings of a higher consciousness to suggest alternatives.
SI: Do you see this beginning to take place?
RAD: Yes, and I take every opportunity to remind others of the joys of social and self-liberation, which we experience when we help to liberate our medicine, our culture and our own personalities from the schizoid ideologies and way of life we have inherited. I take particular joy in knowing that we have been born at a unique moment in the entire multi-million-year evolution of this planet. In knowing that, we have the privilege and responsibility of ensuring human survival and transcendence.
From the May 1996 issue of Share International