History of acupuncture

The birthplace of the method of acupuncture is considered to be China. However, there is some evidence that this is not only the “intellectual property” of the ancient inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom. Historians and archaeologists have collected reliable evidence that in ancient times reflexology existed among other peoples. There is evidence that acupuncture and moxibustion appeared somewhat earlier than in China, Tibet, Nepal and India, where the science was more developed. And in one of the museums in London, there is an Egyptian papyrus (1550 BC), on which points for acupuncture are marked.

But still, this method of treatment was called Chinese, or Zhen-chiu therapy, since it was most widely distributed in China. The ancient healers, through trial and error, passed on the accumulated experience from generation to generation, multiplying and developing it.

The book ” Huangdi nei-ching “(“A treatise on the inner, or on the nature of life”), written in China around 221 BC, is one of the first written evidence on acupuncture. The treatise reflects the issues of acupuncture and moxibustion, describes 9 forms of metal needles, the topography of 295 points (135 paired and 25 unpaired), outlines the main indications, contraindications and rules based on centuries of experience in the use of acupuncture and moxibustion.

The development of Zhen-ju therapy in ancient China went in unison with other areas of Chinese medicine. So, several millennia ago, surgery reached a high level due to the active use of painkillers (opium preparations, alcohol, aconite root). At that time, the pulse diagnosis of Bian-Qiao began to form (500 BC), the first Chinese pharmacopoeia was compiled (I century BC).

The great Chinese scientist Hua To (220-230), who introduced a system of gymnastic exercises based on the natural movements of five animals (“The Game of five animals”), did not give specific practical recommendations for acupuncture. A little later, Huang Fumi (215-282) wrote the book “Jia-i-Ching”, dedicated to zhen-ju therapy, in which he described 649 points (300 paired and 49 unpaired) on the human body and first used the term “zhen-ju”. During this period, acupuncture and moxibustion achieved unprecedented popularity among the Chinese population.

At the end of the third century, the book “Jia-i-Ching” came to Japan, where, along with acupuncture, moxibustion was widely used. From China and Japan, the method of acupuncture quickly spread to other Eastern countries (Korea, Mongolia).

At the beginning of the XI century, the first medical schools were established in China, which trained specialists in Zhen-chiu therapy (before that, the training of specialists was strictly family-based). This became possible after Wang Weyi (1027) made two bronze mannequins with holes for inserting needles and compiled an atlas of “Rules for needles, moxa and points of the bronze man”.

Treatment with acupuncture and moxibustion continued to develop. In 1951, the Experimental Institute for the Methods of Zhen-ju Therapy was established in Beijing, which was reorganized in 1955 into a research institute. Today, the most intensive research on acupuncture is conducted in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan.

Since the late 1950s, acupuncture in China has been used in all hospitals in the country as a necessary additional method in the treatment of many diseases.

In Europe, the first information about therapeutic acupuncture and moxibustion began to penetrate in the XIII century. However, the first special book was published much later – in 1671. The interest of Europeans in the Chinese method of treatment increased significantly in the XIX century.

In Russia, the first information about acupuncture appeared thanks to the work of Professor of the Medical and Surgical Academy P. A. Charukovsky, who noted “the clear benefit from it”. In 1845, A. A. Tatarinov, who worked for a long time in the Spiritual Mission in Beijing, described in detail the method of acupuncture, the indications for its use and the results obtained.

In the mid-1950s, a group of Soviet doctors was sent to China to study this method of treatment on a two-year business trip.

Today, acupuncture is at the peak of its popularity. Acupuncture is widely used in modern medicine to provide a tonic, soothing, analgesic or stimulating effect. The study of biologically active points of the human body continues at the present time. In some institutes of advanced medical training, specialists of different profiles in reflexology are trained according to special programs.

It is no accident that acupuncture is recognized all over the world – its effectiveness in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases is too high. And the bold claim that it can cure almost everything is quite justified.

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