Sky Maul

The worst part of flying is the take off and landing. Not that I am nervous about those parts of the trip, it is that I am all electronic. Once I have to turn off my electronic devices, all I am left with is my own thoughts or what is in the seat pocket in front of me. Since there is nothing to be gained from quiet introspection, I am stuck with either the in-flight magazine or SkyMall. I usually choose the latter. SkyMall, for those of you who do not fly, is a collection of catalogs bound in one volume. I have occasionally purchased products found in SkyMall and thumb through it with mild interest.

This time one product caught my eye, the Aculife home acupuncture/acupressure device. I had never noticed the ‘health’-related products in SkyMall before, usually looking for electronic gadgets that I really do not need. I was curious. How many other products besides Aculife are in the catalogue? According to the interwebs, about 100,000,000 Americans fly every year and well over half a billion people world wide. A lot of people can potentially look at SkyMall, including the occasional skeptic.

I have written about the many styles of acupuncture in the past: hand and foot and tongue and ear and head and Chinese and Japanese. So many meridians and acupuncture points, how does the body find room for it all? Aculife makes it all simple. It’s all gauche, er, I mean in the left hand.

According to makers of Aculife, you can now “help strengthen your health with the latest ancient technology.” Of course I can, and for $199.95 I had better be able to.

It is an interesting diagram they produce showing where the acupuncture/Aculife acupoints are. Touch one with the probe and if abnormal, flip a switch and give a little electric current to re-balance the qi. The points recommended with Aculife do not, as best I can tell, correspond very well with the diagrams on the interwebs for ‘classic’ forms of hand acupuncture, so we have yet another collection of acupoints and another style of acupuncture.

Some points are both odd and worrisome: there is a point for breast tumor, one for high blood pressure, one for chest pain and one for coffee ground emesis. Coffee ground emesis is what we in the medicine business refer to when bleeding in the stomach that has time to coagulate before vomiting. Acid plus blood equals a gamish that looks like coffee grounds (except for the time as an intern I was called to the psych unit to evaluate coffee ground emesis that I eventually determined was due to the fact the patient was eating coffee grounds out of the garbage). These are all serious medical symptoms or problems that could easily lead to mortality and significant morbidity if someone were to use Aculife to treat their angina or stomach bleeding or, curiously, enteric fever. There is a point for Salmonella typhi, also known as enteric fever or typhoid fever. Why this infection gets its own acupuncture point, since it is rare in the US, and a more common infection like MRSA does not, I cannot elucidate.

There are two hearts (for Klingons?), one cardiac area, and an area for left and right ventricle and atrium, all of which are separate from chest pain and rapid heart beat. Gallbladder, gallstone and inflamed gall bladder are in different places. The blood sugar and diabetes points are on different part of the hand, unless it is diabetes insipidus they are pointing to. It is so confusing.

One of the many reasons I am not a surgeon, besides having zero hand-eye coordination, is that I found gross anatomy difficult. Cadaver innards are nothing compared to the anatomy that sits on the left hand of Aculife. What, I wonder, sits on the right hand?

Fortunately, despite having points for tumors, rapid heart beat and bleeding, the device comes with the following:

WARNING: Do not use if pregnant, have a pacemaker or suffer from malignant tumors, excessive bleeding or tuberculosis. Not to be used by children under the age of 3.

An odd collection of contraindications. Tuberculosis? OK for the use S. typhi but not TB? I wonder why. I can understand a contraindication for pacemakers since the device applies current, but Tb? It seems so random. I am obviously missing the deeper understanding of disease provided by Aculife.

The advertisement also says “FDA approved.” Searching the FDA site it appears the Aculife has a 510 (k). A 510 (k) evidently means the FDA has cleared a product for sale, but makes no claim as to efficacy and as I understand the Byzantine language at the FDA, the 510 (k) is used to classify a device’s potential safety, but not how safe it actually is. The Aculife is a class 2 device, “These devices pose a moderate level of risk to the user.” According to, it is evidently not legal to advertise a 510(k) cleared device as “FDA-approved.” If there is more to the Aculife FDA approval, I cannot find it at the FDA.

The FDA submission available at says that Aculife is intended for “use in the practice of acupuncture by qualified practitioners of acupuncture as determined by states.” So I should not purchase Aculife since I am not a qualified practitioner?

There is a listing of state acupuncture licensure requirements and most States appear to require a NCCAOM examination in acupuncture as a minimum qualification. I wonder if the FDA submissions cover the widespread marketing to anyone who flies in an airplane? The ad says “Be your own acupuncturist. Diagnose and heal yourself and your family.” Not the requirements for being qualified acupuncturist in Oregon, but the qualification granted by purchasing an Aculife is probably no worse than the results of “real” acupuncture training and taking the exam, and certainly less expensive. I would be willing to grant anyone who uses an Aculife the title Qualified Acupuncture Practitioner, regardless of State regulations. I am also King of the Moon, and anyone who uses therapeutic moon rays is, as a result, a qualified homeopathic practitioner. Who can gainsay my authority and claim?

The SkyMall site also gives the best reason yet for using acupuncture:

Ötzi, a 5,000 year old mummy found in the Alps during 1991, has spurred a whole new vigor into modern research of the Ancient Chinese medical practice of acupuncture. Recent examinations of the mummy found that Otzi has a number of tattoos that coincide with acupuncture points that would be used to treat various ailments from which he was suffering.

Ötzi’s tattoos, by the way, were not on the hands so how they relate to the Aculife is uncertain.

Ötzi had several carbon tattoos including groups of short, parallel, vertical lines to both sides of the lumbar spine, a cruciform mark behind the right knee, and various marks around both ankles.

Puh-lease. Compare the tattoos on the iceman to any acupuncture map, and it would not be hard to find a correspondence between any random tattoo and an acupuncture point.

I noted in the shower this morning that some of the freckles on my left arm are close to acupuncture points and when connected with a Sharpie, closely follow a meridian. Lest you think that these are random melanin spots and melanin can’t ‘know’ where acupuncture sites are, melanin may be able to sense the power flowing in these meridians, like lay lines in the earth, and coalesce to guide future medical interventions. I once had a patient with an Omaya reservoir placed in the scalp so he could have amphotericin B injected directly into his spinal fluid to treat a fungal meningitis. The spot where we had to access the reservoir was right at a freckle on his scalp. Coincidence? I think not.

The tattoos on the mummy were not even points, but lines. As the Ötzi site says

The Iceman’s body is covered with over 50 tattoos in the form of groups of lines and crosses. Unlike modern tattooing methods, the tattoos were not produced with needles but by means of fine incisions into which charcoal was rubbed. Interestingly, Ötzi’s tattoos are located at points where his body was subjected to considerable strain during his lifetime and very probably caused him a lot of pain due to wear. The tattoos were therefore probably intended as therapeutic measures rather than as symbols.

What part of a Neolithic man was not “subjected to considerable strain during his lifetime”? Or mine, I am not Neolithic and at 53 I feel more like the Tin Man everyday.

One or several groups of vertical lines are located to the left and right of the spinal column, on the left calf, on the left instep and one the inner and outer ankle joint, two lines cross the left wrist, a cross-shaped mark appears on the back of the right knee and besides the left Achilles tendon. The Iceman had therefore undergone pain-relieving treatment on multiple occasions. Astonishingly, the tattooed areas correspond to skin acupuncture lines Before Ötzi it was thought that this treatment had only originated two thousand years later in Asia.

What is astonishing is that this nonsense comes from the Museum responsible for the evaluation of Ötzi, the Ötzi Museum.

Why would they report such speculation as fact? Probably in part thanks to the Lancet, which published what had to be the goofiest article ever in a major medical journal. As always, when I make a claim someone in the comments will suggest an example of something worse. I wait with breathless anticipation.

The Lancet has always had a reputation of a good journal that was always willing to publish results that may be a bit outside the box. Sometimes that is good and spurs further investigations. But given the ubiquity of acupuncture sites, anything placed on the skin could be near a acupuncture point. I have on my right palm, about a centimeter down from the webbing between the first and second finger an inadvertent tattoo. In second grade I had a piece of pencil lead accidentally jammed into my hand and the point was left behind. It is right at the cough and bronchitis point for Chinese acupuncture, the liver point of Korean acupuncture and near one of the many cardiac points of the Aculife. It is the eye point for colorpuncture and the chest/lung/upper back or thymus point, depending on which reflexologist you believe. That is one busy piece of carbon, deposited at such an energetically active intersection. I wonder what effects it has on my health.

What did they do in the Lancet ‘report’?

Because some of the tattoos on Ötzi are simple linear geometric shapes and located on less visible parts of the body they must not be decorative but of medical significance. Really. They know the mind of a 5500 year corpse. Why are they not religious symbols with no medical significance. Or maybe he was a neolithic punk.

I suppose if he had an ornate tramp stamp it would be recognized as medical as well, since no one routinely sees the small of the back and it could not possibly be ornamental. I see a fair number of homemade tat’s in the sociopathic populations of the US and I would not consider these to be decorative either. They must be medical. But from this unwarranted supposition, fertilizer is made.

The Ötzi museum says there are over 50 tat’s on the iceman. They thought 15 were near acupuncture sites. I wonder it you randomly threw 50 darts at a full sized outline of a human, how many would land near an acupuncture point? I bet more than 15.

After noting that the tat’s on the iceman could very well have moved in the last several thousand years from desiccation and skin movement (they presume they moved farther rather than closer to acupuncture sites), they measure the distance from the tat’s to the classic points. The distance ranged from 0 to 7 mm with an average of 2 mm. That seems like a random distribution to me. And these are line tat’s, so there is a lot of leeway in deciding how far from an acupuncture point they are. The Lancet paper does not mention if the distance measured is to the start, end, or middle of the line.

Like seeing bunnies in clouds, they see a pattern:

The tattoos…possibly as a guide to self-treatment marking where to puncture when pain occur. The fact that not randomly selected points were marked by tattoos, seems especially intriguing. From an acupuncturists viewpoint, the combination of points represents a meaningful therapeutic regimen.

Of course, acupuncturists believe in acupuncture, so they may be a wee bit biased. They conclude with a statement that would be right at home in Medical Hypothesis,

The above findings provide strong evidence that a form of medical therapeutics, very similar to what we know as Chinese acupuncture, was already in practice 5200 years ago in Central Europe.

This is not molehills into mountains but a grain of sand into a tectonic range. Now I am inclined to cut the authors some slack, since the paper was published in 1999. The last decade of acupuncture clinical trials have demonstrated that acupuncture points do not matter (they are pointless). It matters not where you place the needles or even if you use needles; toothpick twirling is just as good. All that matters is the patient believe they are having acupuncture performed to get, at best, a clinically negligible analgesic response to acupuncture.

I would have expected that current research into tat’s and mummies would take into account the state of the art of medical research. Not so, for it appears that tattoos as acupuncture points may be a meme for the gullible anthropologist, or at least one who doesn’t bother to read the literature before coming to a conclusion.

The 1000-year-old female mummy was found unwrapped in the sand of the desert at Chiribaya Alta in southern Peru in the early 1990s. She bears two distinct types of tattoos: emblems representing birds, apes, reptiles and other symbols cover her hands, arm and lower left leg, while an asymmetric pattern of overlapping circles is present on her neck.

What might those tat’s on the neck represent? Body art? Religious symbols? An emblem to ward off vampires? A landing zone for hickeys? Are they evidence of Ancient Astronauts like the Nazca lines? More reasonable solutions that the one proffered by the author:

Pabst points out that the circles are close to Chinese acupuncture points. She says that tattooing a person at these points could have worked in a similar way to how acupuncture is thought to work.

Since acupuncture doesn’t work there is no need to postulate that the tat is there for the same reason.

I think they all have it wrong. Look carefully at the location of the tattoo points. There mark the intersections of the webbing on Spiderman’s costume. These are not acupuncture points, but rather reflect the ability of both Ötzi and the Peruvian mummy to see into the future imaginings of Stan Lee. I think it makes as much sense based on the data.

It turns out that ignoring science and the scientific method may be the wave of the future in anthropology.

A new long-range plan for the American Anthropological Association that omits the word “science” from the organization’s vision for its future has exposed fissures in the discipline.

That explains it. Wild extrapolations based on minimal information is so much easier than carefully constructed conclusions based on data.

I was originally going to discuss the Head Spa Massager, the X5 HairLaser and others, but the Aculife took me down many unexpected pathways and I am the slowest writer at SBM. They did have numerous cool gadgets and products on SkyMall. Me? I really want Voldemort’s wand and the One ring. Both work using the same mechanism as acupuncture and mummy medical tattoo’s. I have ordered them and soon I will be invincible.

Posted in: Acupuncture, Science and Medicine

Leave a Comment (37) ↓

37 thoughts on “Sky Maul

  1. tuck says:

    “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness… Kill Potter!”

    Actually, you’d want the Elder Wand, not Voldemort’s wand… (scroll down)

  2. John Ellis says:

    “… the latest ancient technology”

    Now there is a phrase!

  3. Joe says:

    Well, I studied that diagram of the left hand and I still want to know- if my left hand hurts, where do I apply the electric current?

  4. LovleAnjel says:

    I suspect that acupuncture works much the same way as tattooing. Poke the skin repeatedly with needles, and the patient becomes more relaxed once they know it’s finally over.

  5. Todd W. says:

    Though not as serious, this reminded me of the Acushakti mats advertised in a local paper. Portable nail bed, basically.

  6. windriven says:

    “the latest ancient technology”

    What’s next, GM leeches?

  7. Okay, first I’m going to be a piss-ant and point out that just because an anthropologist points out that acupuncture may have started earlier than expected and that tattoos appear to have been an treatment for pain, does not mean that the anthropologist believes that it was an effective treatment. If an anthropologist says it appears Mayans sacrificed prisoners to improve weather conditions, you don’t necessarily have to watch yourself around this particular anthropologist near the top of the steps on a rainy day.

    That said, I’m also not that fond of overly speculative anthropology and they do seem to be reading a lot into the intent of poor Otzi’s tattoos. It seems to me, without more supporting evidence, it’s equally likely that Otzi was documenting his favorite erogenous zones. Another possible option, the tattoos could have been intended as magical armor from a spear attack (also ineffective). Turns out I can speculate too.

    Very enjoyable article, the pure anti-cam articles are not usually my cup of tea, but your meandering approach and wonderful humor making reading about any topic enjoyable.

  8. Dilaceratus says:

    This post is filled with meandering fun. Thanks for a pleasant lunch.

  9. Joe – “if my left hand hurts, where do I apply the electric current?”

    Clearly, you need the right hand Acculife diagram for that.

    Windriven – “What’s next, GM leeches?” Oh haven’t you heard about the new leech injection fuel system? Very green.

  10. or possibly the locations of his most ticklish spots, in case he forgets.

  11. daedalus2u says:

    I have another hypothesis as to what the tattoos mean. They aren’t purposeful tattoos, they are dirt, soot and debris left in the skin from the poor technique of the acupuncturists. The lines are from doing many “treatments” (n+1 treatments) in a row because the first ones (n treatments) didn’t work. All it shows is that acupuncturists haven’t improved their technique much in 5,000 years.

  12. Kausik Datta says:

    Sorry, had to mention this:

    There are two hearts (? for Klingons)…

    Or, Time Lords from Gallifrey…

  13. windriven says:

    “Now I am inclined to cut the authors some slack, since the paper was published in 1999.”

    You’re going soft, Puss Whisperer. The paper is one long, delusional non sequitur. Even had recent research shown acupuncture to be the best thing since smoked sausage it wouldn’t demonstrate that Otzi’s tats meant any more than, “hey, look at me.”

  14. Bummer about the AAA, but the fact that this move is divisive is hopeful evidence that not all anthropologists are anti-science. Also, Michelleinmichigan has a good point about the difference between reporting a belief and claiming that the belief is accurate. Cultural anthropology is difficult because although some of us attempt neutrality, we all bring our own biases and beliefs to the observation.

    My personal bias always leans toward status as an explanation for many behaviors, and I think that whatever else they symbolized, Otzi’s tattoos might have helped him impress the girls.

  15. pmoran says:

    All good fun.

    The connection to acupuncture points is absurd, of course, but I am not sure why you passed over the possibility (to my mind a strong likelihood) that Otzi’s tattoos were result of some kind of primitive medical treatment.

  16. Cutting a painful area and rubbing things into the skin is still used as a traditional treatment today. There’s a nice post about it here:

    “this man well into his fifties presented to our hospital with a week’s history of no stools or flatus, severely distended and tender abdomen and vomiting fecaloid material. our friends in first world countries are probably already asking why take so long to present. in our setting this is not too unusual and there are a myriad of reasons why he may have taken so long to get to us, including transport problems and the like. however in this man’s case, he has been under his local sangoma’s treatment for the entire week and had only sought more conventional treatment when it became clear there was no improvement.

    his entire abdomen was covered in small parallel cuts, more than i have ever seen on one patient. this is the usual sign of the involvement of our traditional colleagues. often you can even get an idea if possible pathology by the location and spread of the cuts. well healed cuts for example in the right hypochondrium may indicate previous cholecystitis. this man had multiple symmetric cuts over his entire abdomen. they were also very recently administered (correct word???), so i knew his pain was intense and diffuse. who says that sangomas are not helpfull.”

  17. From another post by the same blogger reflecting on the same traditional treatment:

    “he did what sangomas do. he made cuts over the area the patient reported to be the problem (her abdomen) and smeared his muthi (in this case, apparently cow dung) into the cuts. the idea, i think, is that the medicine can get to work directly where the problem is.”

    If the stuff rubbed into the skin was burnt first, you would get the tattoos described for Ötzi.

  18. “Since there is nothing to be gained from quiet introspection…”

    Ha ha! All I ever get from quiet introspection is either asleep, or an overpowering urge to do something, anything else.

  19. daedalus2u says:

    Cow dung is likely a good source of nitric oxide and nitrite. You wouldn’t want to burn it first, that would spoil its therapeutic goodness. ;)

    I would recommend not breaking the skin first. It is not necessary, the NO/NOx species can diffuse through the skin quite readily.

    I do think it is better as a long term preventative and not as an acute treatment. ;)

  20. Harriet Hall says:

    Two comments:

    Next time, read the inflight magazine instead. At least it has a crossword puzzle to occupy your time more constructively. Unless someone has already done the puzzle, which I find they have about 90% of the time, usually with wrong answers.

    Don’t be silly! Everybody knows archaeologists interpret any unexplained artefact as “a ritual object.” Otzi had ritual tatoos. Case closed.

  21. wales says:

    MC, I thought “skymaul” was going to be a description of TSA’s new pat-down procedures.

    Speaking of unexpected benefits of unconventional and seemingly harmful procedures, I ran across this about the benefits of intentional consumption of intestinal parasites…

  22. daedalus2u says:

    There is a chapter on the bacteria I am working with in a book on the hygiene hypothesis.

    The other chapters discuss the many benefits of intestinal parasites too. ;)

  23. BillyJoe says:

    “…or possibly the locations of his most ticklish spots.”

    Actually, I have always found that ticklish spots are most intensely ticklish when they are chanced upon by her exploring hands.

  24. BillyJoe says:


    I think there is a very good reason that nitric oxide is abbreviated NO. It can’t be a coincidence.

  25. @ Harriet Hall: I participated in a great material culture exercise once where the professor brought in fragments of everyday artifacts we might find in our own trash middens. Some were obvious, and some were surprisingly hard to identify. For example, we correctly identified a broken zipper pull, but of course couldn’t make any sort of guess about what article of clothing it once belonged to. The things we had no idea about, we jokingly labeled “ritualistic object.” Turns out that a tall, thin, u-shaped wire that has been exposed to fire might be the handle from jiffy pop popcorn.

  26. hyperlalia says:

    I don’t know if it was for this same Iceman “Otzi” but when I was visiting Washington DC in Fall of 2009 I saw a small exhibit on an iceman that also uncritically referenced acupuncture and tattoos. There was a picture of the iceman’s leg with markings on the ankle and underneath it said: “What are these markings? Some scientists speculate that these tattoos identified the Iceman’s tribe or status in his community. Others believe the markings were medicinal, possibly like acupuncture. The locations of the tattoos are very similar to traditional acupuncture points for treating arthritis.”

    I was hoping an institution with the Gravitas of The Smithsonian might have worded that a bit a differently. Then again, I think most exhibits their receive some amount of private outside funding and I bet that does come with strings and politics attached. My skeptical sensibilities were a bit offended to see that so I took a picture or two of the exhibit as proof, if anyone wants me to mail them a copy for any reason let me know. (they aren’t great, but you can read the plaque in the first one, and the second one you can see that part of the exhibit in it’s entirety but you can’t quite make out the text)

  27. Jann Bellamy says:

    “One or several groups of vertical lines are located to the left and right of the spinal column . . . .”

    An equally plausible explanation: these lines were made by prehistoric chiropractors trying to determine if Otzi’s spine was out of alignment, the forerunner of the modern chiropractic diagnostic system which employs lines drawn on spinal x-rays to determine vertebral subluxations.

  28. arid says:

    Maybe this is off topic, but it is related both science and the reason this post exists. Anyway.

    I’ve been doing quite a bit of flying recently, and have also been irritated at the request that all electronics be switched off. And yet there have been times when several CRT monitors in the aisle are up and running. I don’t know exact numbers, but I would be very surprised if my tiny mp3 player caused anywhere near as much electrical interference as one of those monitors. But maybe they’re worried the EMF poses a health risk to the captain.

    Admittedly, I don’t always turn off all my electronics. I put my hood over my ears and conceal the headphones, as I’m pretty sure my tiny device is causing absolutely no risk whatsoever. I do turn off my phone, however, because the risk of interference seems plausible when something is actually sending and receiving a signal.

    But then my friend had an argument that made even that seem silly. If cell phones really were capable of causing problems, they wouldn’t be allowed in the terminals, which aren’t all that far from control towers and other places where transmissions are sent to and received from aircraft.

    Just a thought I’ve been having recently, and it involves perceived risks so I think it’s at least tangentially related to SBM’s mission.

  29. Calli Arcale says:

    Electronic devices in aircraft….

    It’s mostly down to “please don’t sue us”. The CRTs and LCDs built into many aircraft now as entertainment devices have all been made to aircraft standards and tested as a unit to ensure they do not interfere with any important systems. Your cell phone, laptop, DVD player, etc has not. While the odds of any of those devices interfering is remote, it is not zero, and no airline wishes to be the one that had a plane make a controlled flight into terrain because they let people use nonconformant electronics (i.e. somebody was using their GameBoy).

    Yes, it is silly. But basically what they’re doing is holding your personal electronics to the same testing standard as the aircraft itself. As to why they only prohibit during takeoff and landing, there are two reasons:

    1) The concern is that the aircraft’s navigation instruments might be drawn off a bit. The slight deflections are not going to be significant for long cruises at altitude, where they’re almost certainly flying by GPS anyway. But they will be significant when the aircraft is closer to the ground, and relying very heavily on the compass, altimeter, and airspeed indicator and such. Basically, the margin for error is very tight during takeoff and landing, so that’s when they’re most nervous.

    2) They’d probably ban them for the whole flight, except that the passengers would revolt. Especially the small children. (Horrors!)

  30. LovleAnjel says:


    Are you recommending that we roll around in poo? If so, you have shot right to the top of my favorite unproven remedies list.

  31. BKsea says:

    As regards the 510k approval from the FDA, the key is what is stated in the indications for use, which includes “stimulation at hands of patient.” I presume this means that it is for home use by patients.

    More unusual to me is that it is intended for prescription use not over the counter use. that makes me wonder how you can get one by mail order. Also, and more intruiging, is who has the authority to prescribe accupuncture?

  32. ebohlman says:

    How can anyone claim to be an anthropologist if they’ve never read “Digging the Weans” or “Motel of the Mysteries”? My mother also recalls a radio program from her childhood (late 1930s-early 1940s) “reporting” the results of an excavation of, I believe, Yankee Stadium, where the archaeologists embued every single aspect of baseball with profound religious significance (now if it had been a football stadium in Texas, they’d have been pretty accurate).

    The problem isn’t that it’s implausible that the tatoos had medical significance; it’s perfectly plausible that they did. It’s just that there’s no a priori reason to consider that particular explanation any more likely than any number of alternative (hehe) explanations. The assumption that the easiest explanation to think of is the most likely one is just the result of the cognitive bias known as the availability heuristic.

  33. daedalus2u says:

    LovleAnjel, what you need is the right kind of bacteria, rolling around in poo is one way to get them, it is not the best way. I am working on what will be the best way and hope to have it commercially available soon.

  34. Dacks says:

    One thing I love about the myriad of acupuncture sites is that they always seem to be in socially acceptable locations – hands, ears, feet, elbows, etc. How many folks would spend weekly visits at their acupuncturists if they were needled in the rectum?
    Although…there are people who spend good money for colonic irrigation…

  35. Dacks – LOL. But of course, you need to look to piercings for that sort of thing, not acupuncture.

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