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The History of Acupuncture


Archeological evidence for acupuncture and moxibustion (an allied warming technique) dates from 1700 BCE. By 1200 AD, it had evolved into nearly its present form. Thousands of years and millions of treatments allowed for its refinement. Chinese Herbal Medicine employs many of the same concepts and diagnostics as acupuncture, and can often complement acupuncture treatment. 


After its inception in ancient China, acupuncture spread to the other countries of Asia by about 1000 AD.  The British and Europeans became aware of acupuncture via their colonial contacts with Asia in the 1800's, and it came into general use there by the 1950's.  Most Americans  were largely unfamiliar with acupuncture until the mid 1970's, and the discipline didn't become widespread here until the early 1990's.  As acupuncture has moved around the globe, it has taken on unique aspects in each new country - there are now numerous different styles of acupuncture.


The “discovery” of Acupuncture owes much to the studies of martial arts, philosophy and meditative practices in early China. These disciplines stressed the sensing and manipulation of “Qi” (biological and environmental forms of energy). Chinese Medicine uses a system employing natural metaphors and the concept of Qi to understand, diagnose and treat the individual.  In this system, one’s entire physical body, psychological state and spirit are viewed as an interrelated whole.


As acupuncture moves into the 21st century, it is being refined through the introduction of modern materials and manufacturing methods, and the increased biomedical understanding of physiology and neuro-anatomy.     


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