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History of Acupuncture
A brief introduction to the history of Traditional Acupuncture
It was through detailed observation that Chinese physicians identified points on the skin which, when stimulated, had an effect on the homeostasis of a the whole human being.
It is generally believed that the first needles were made of stone. Stone needles have been found in ancient tombs in Mongolia dating from 2,500 B.C. Later on, wood, bone and ceramic needles were also used. Then, 3000 years ago, bronze needles were introduced and now with modern developments the needles are made of very fine stainless steel.
Stone tablets have been found with calligraphy on them relating to acupuncture which go back at least 3000 or more years. But the earliest paper writings on Chinese Medicine date back more than 2000 years when a collection of books were brought together and printed as 'Huang Di Nei Jing' (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine).
Many other pieces of literature have been written since. Acupuncture continued to develop and spread all over the Asian continent and then with the introduction of western medicine to China in the late 19th to early 20th century the western and traditional acupuncture systems started to learn to co-exist together.
Acupuncture was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit missionaries who travelled to China and the Far East. In 1929 Dr Soulie de Morant published L'Acupuncture Chinoise which he used to teach traditional acupuncture to French doctors. Then, in the 1950s and 1960s, it was brought to Britain and colleges of training were set up. One of the foremost brilliant practitioners of traditional acupuncture who made such an impact on the introduction of the subject was Professor J.R. Worsley.
Subsequently, the last 20 years have seen the training and regulation continuing to develop it into the professional system it is today.
Recently, acupuncture has grown greatly in popularity. Two main forms of acupuncture are now recognised in this country:-
Symptomatic acupuncture, useful to ease the symptom in a limited range of conditions, e.g. for pain relief. This is practised by medical doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths after a short course of training.
Traditional acupuncture, which affects the whole person and assists the patient to function at their optimum well-being, as described earlier. Traditional acupuncturists undergo a minimum of three years study at a college recognised by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board, (BAAB).
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