History of Acupuncture

Just how old is acupuncture then?

This is a question best answered by the archaeologists! The earliest evidence of acupuncture is deep in the archaeological record of the new Stone Age where sharp stone needles called ‘bian’ needles have been found in the ruins of Duolun county of Inner Mongolia. It is thought these were used for bloodletting or incising boils but there were the earliest application of using needles for treatment. Tortoiseshell and bone fragments from the Shang Dynasty (which existed 3000 years ago) have also been foundm they are carved with hieroglyphs showing the location of acupuncture points on the human body. The arrival of bronze casting techniques saw the production of bronze medical needles; these were later replaced by iron needles and eventually by today’s surgical stainless steel needles.

Chinese medical theory has developed alongside the evolution of needles. Many ancient books have been lost to history but it was the work of Dr Huangfu Mi, who collated many ancient texts combining their theories and treatment principles into a book called ‘ Systemic classic of acupuncture and moxibustion ‘ , that forms the origin of acupuncture theory that is practised today.

Much work has continued since the days of Dr Huangfu Mi ( third century A.D. !) and acupuncture as a form of treatment has continued to develop over the centuries now embracing the more research-based developments of the last 50 years.


Hazel Andrews Lic Ac MAcS
7 Ash Gardens, South Marston
Swindon Wilts SN3 4XX
Tel: 01793 827507
Email: Hazel@acuhome.co.uk

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01793 827507

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