The Origins of Acupuncture

The origins of acupuncture can be traced back to over 3000 years ago, when it is founded on a body of knowledge that has been developed from the ongoing and systematic observation of the effect of needling specific points and areas of the body. The Yellow Emperor once said, "Acupuncture is applied in order to supply what is lacking and in order to drain off excessive fullness. "

Initially, crude needles made from sharpened stones, animal bones or bamboo were used to remove "obstructions from the channels and regulate the flow of Blood and Qi".

Over time, the initial practice of inserting "needles" into "ashi" points or acupuncture points (where pain is experienced) was systematically developed:

  • the energetic model of Qi; Jing, Blood, and Fluids was articulated, and
  • the energy flows were mapped as the meridians of the body.

Specific points were identified and their actions recorded. Even now, the theory of acupuncture continues to be developed and refined. Although acupuncture today is a far cry from the early developments, the theories and principles remain the same.

Metal acupuncture needles were first introduced in the post-Zhou Dynasty era. It was very popular at that time. During the Qin and Han Dynasties, acupuncture had spread to Japan and S.E. Asia. The Europeans began to learn of this technique during the 17th century.

Return from The Origins of Acupuncture to Chinese Medicine

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.