Acupuncture is over 5,000 years old. It was not just practiced in China. The Egyptians talked about vessels that resembled the 12 meridians in 1550 B.C.. in their medical treatises called the Papyrus Ebera. The South African Bantu tribesman scratched parts of their bodies to cure disease.The Arabs cauterized their ears with hot metal probes.The Eskimos used sharp stones for simple acupuncture. Brazilian cannibals shot tiny arrows with blow pipes to diseased parts of their bodies to cure disease.
Primitive sharp stones and bamboo were later replaced by fish bones, bamboo clips and later various shapes of needles made of metal. Today very fine hair thin needles are used. With advanced technology and precision instruments, these needles are placed at specific points of the body with little or no discomfort. When stones and arrows were the only tools of war, warriors wounded in war found that some diseases that affected them for many years were now gone. The first book of acupuncture was the NEI CHING SU WEN written about 200 B.C. It had two parts: the SU WEN AND LING SHU. Therapies described Chinese medical thinking. It was geared to restore disturbed balances and harmonies of the body. 100 b.c. SHI CHI was written about a doctor Pien Chiieh who lived around 500 b.c. In it the doctor describes pulse diagnosis. 300 B.C."Nei Ching"is a classic called "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine'. It was a collection of books on medicine and medical writings. In it the emperor talks with Ch'i Poa a court doctor about the relationship between man and nature, the elements. causes and cures for disease.the importance of yin yang balance, acupuncture and moxibustion (the burning of wool at the tip of a needle to increase the heat effect to the injured part of the body).
Also during the third century b.c., two famous medical books were written by Chang Chi: Various Kinds Of Fevers(SHANG HAN LUN) and a short version of the "Golden Shrine"(Chin Kui Yao Liieh). Around 700 A.D. the first medical school was set up in Salermo and some 300 doctors were instructed in acupuncture and massage. Acupuncture flourished in China until 1932 when Chang Khi Chek took power in China. He brought western medicine to China and acupuncture was banned in the cities. When Mao Tse Tung took over in 1945 and Chang escaped to the island of Formosa (now Taiwan), the doors to China were closed to the west and acupuncture again was restored as the method of healing in a country devoid of antibiotics and western medical thinking. In 1972 President Nixon opened the doors to China. A New York Times journalist James Reston was in China at the time and had an emergency appendectomy with acupuncture used as the anesthetic. This brought great noteriety to acupuncture and renewed interest in this form of treatment. Seeing brain surgery performed with acupuncture drew big headlines. Europe was introduced to acupuncture from French Indochina (now Vietnam). The French sparked interest with the works of Dr. Nogier who from 1951 to 1996 produced a great deal of research on ear acupuncture which today is used as the basis of treatment for addictions and compliments oriental body acupuncture. This pioneer died in 1996 and his works are now being published for the first time in