Acupuncture originated in China over 2500 years ago ( BC ) . It is an important part of the traditional Chinese medicine and a component of Chinese health system. It was also transmitted to the Far East ( Korea, Japan, etc.) in Southeast Asia ( sixth century ) later in Europe ( seventeenth century ) and the US ( nineteenth century ).
According to the ancient Chinese medical literature ( in Neijing Suwen ), in the primitive society, the first needles used were made of stone ( bian ). With the development of productive forces , bone and bamboo needles appear. However, after the invention of metal forging techniques and metal tools, people started to use metal medical needles made of bronze, iron, gold and silver. Currently, are used for treatment silver or gold plated stainless steel needles.
During the “Spring and Autumn” and Warring States periods ( 770-221 BC ) was established the theory of meridians and collaterals ( Jinghua ). “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” ( Huanhgdi Neijing ) provides a systematic illustration of the points, meridians and collaterals and also the theory, methods of acupuncture and moxibustion.
The Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (written between 256 and 260 AD) consists of 12 volumes with 128 chapters showing 349 acupuncture points. Here are described the location and needles manipulation, acupuncture precautions and treatment using acupuncture and moxibustion methods. It is the earliest and complex book of acupuncture and also one of the most influential works in the history of acupuncture.
From the third century until the late nineteenth century there were further transformation in the Chinese acupuncture:
- the number of acupuncture points used to treat various diseases increased and the 14 meridians classification appeared;
- the acupuncture theory has been continuously enriched and taken to a higher level ;
- in the fourth century was drawn map that included all acupuncture points , and in the ninth century the first acupuncture books were printed.
The therapy using acupuncture was widely popularized in China . Based on hundreds of points that were already used, new points were discovered and new methods of acupuncture were developed.
Since 1950, the science of acupuncture became popular in the international community . Many countries have sent doctors to China to learn acupuncture. In particular, after 1971 with China’s achievements in the field of acupuncture, anesthesia had a great influence in medicine of many countries and was followed by the increased study and research of acupuncture.
Since 1975 at the request of the World Health Organization China has opened international training courses in acupuncture in Universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing for acupuncturists from various countries.