Chinese Acupuncture History - Its Origins

Chinese acupuncture history is closely tied to the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), or Oriental Medicine as it is sometimes referred to.

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

TCM is an ancient medical science that diagnoses, treats, and heals various disease conditions by examining the cause and all possible reasons that could potentially be responsible for the disease condition. TCM has been in existence for more than 2000 years!

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A note about Chinese Acupuncture History - Its Origins

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. Taking these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of certain holistic remedies.

TCM is based on the premise that there is a vital force that runs through all living beings and this vital force or energy is referred to as "qi" pronounced as "chee". It is also commonly spelt as "chi". This energy flows through various organs and organ systems in the human body along certain meridians and when there is an imbalance in the flow of this energy due to various factors like diet, environmental aspects, lifestyle changes, physical and emotional stress, as well as genetic factors, disease conditions will manifest.

According to TCM, if the energy flow is balanced and the disease-causing factors are eliminated, the human body has its innate ability to heal itself.

TCM includes a lot of different techniques and scientific methods that are employed to diagnose, cure, and inhibit diseases from manifesting in the human body and some very effective and popular traditional medical systems include Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Chinese Acupuncture History and the Origin of Acupuncture

Chinese acupuncture history is a little unclear. It is extremely difficult to arrive any particular date in history when acupuncture originated since history wasn�t even recorded at that time. A lot of research and studies associate acupuncture with Taoist customs and traditions, which is about 8000 years old! Some of the theories and findings regarding Chinese acupuncture history are as described below.

The prehistoric age in China could be divided into two main categories, first the old stone age and second, the new stone age. The Old Stone Age was marked by people who invented knives that were crafted from stones. These knives had a certain medicinal value and use.

The New Stone Age took this craft a step further and developed fine needles from stones, which were used as medical equipment to treat various conditions and these fine needles were called "Bianshi" (Bian Stone), which translates to using sharp stones for treating various disease conditions. Archaeologists who found these stones traced them back to the New Stone Age.

The first book on Chinese Medicine, Nei Jing, describes two main theories, the first one is called "Su Wen" (Just Questions) which is an introduction to Chinese Medicine, and the second one is called "Ling Shu" (Incredible & Spiritual Axis), and it concentrates on acupuncture. It introduces the concept of nine different types of needles, various acupoints, and needle manipulation techniques.

More about Chinese acupuncture history is revealed from primitive writings and drawings from the Shang Dynasty, which show ample evidence of acupuncture since needles made of bronze were found from these ruins. Again, bian stones continued to be the main variety of needles that were used in acupuncture treatment.

There is another theory regarding Chinese acupuncture history, which suggests that the concept of acupuncture was first introduced during the Chou Dynasty, during which extremely small and sharp needles were used on human beings in relation to the primary belief of man and his connection with the natural environment.

The Warring States era saw the integration of two major scientific beliefs into mainstream Chinese tradition and culture, which were Daoism and Confucianism, thus defining acupuncture as a method and process of treating inner diseases by employing external techniques in alignment with the beliefs of Confucianism.

Somewhere down the line, several thousand years later, acupuncture was practiced by using extremely fine and small needles and branches of aromatic moxa or artemisia vulgaris to heal various disease conditions by inserting and maneuvering them to precise areas in the human body. Throughout history, however, acupuncture maintains that this practice was primarily developed based on the theory of energy flow and acupoints in the human body.

All in all, as you can see, there are several theories with regard to Chinese acupuncture history.

In the sixth century, due to significant strides in transportation and communication in several parts of Asia, the knowledge of acupuncture spread to other regions in the continent along with Buddhism, and introduced acupuncture to Japan, followed by Korea, Vietnam, Europe, and America.

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