Medical acupuncture, or using acupuncture Palm Harbor for medical purposes, is a very ancient form of healing which existed even before recorded history. Its philosophy is rooted in the Taoist tradition which goes back over 8000 years. During this period, the people would meditate and observe the flow of energy (known as Qi) within the body and outside the surroundings. Many people of this period were also keen to observe man’s relationship with nature and the universe. One of the most legendary man of this period known as Fu Hsi formulated the yin-yang (the 2 major forces in the universe for creation and destruction of life), which forms the backbone of Chinese medicine theory. This subsequently led to the eight trigrams and 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching.
The most significant milestone in the history of acupuncture therapy occurred during the period of Huang Di – The Yellow Emperor (2697-2597 B.C.). In a famous dialogue between Huang Di and his physician Qi Bo, they discussed the whole spectrum of the Chinese Medical Arts. These conversations would later become the monumental text – The Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine). The Nei Jing is the earliest book written on Chinese Medicine.
During the Warring States Era (421-221 B.C.) metal needles replaced the bian stones. Four gold needles and five silver needles were found in an ancient tomb dating back to 113B.C. The Miraculous Pivot names nine types of Acupuncture needles. Historical records noted many physicians practicing acupuncture treatment during this time. Another milestone for this period was the compilation of the Nan Jing (Book of Difficult Questions). The Nan Jing discusses the five element theory, hard diagnosis, eight extra meridians, and other important topics.
From 260-265 A.D., the famous physician Huang Fu Mi, organized all of the ancient literature into his classic text – Systematic Classics of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. The text is contained in 12 volumes and describes 349 acupuncture treatment points. It is organized according to the theory of: zang fu, Qi and blood, channels and collaterals, acupuncture points, and clinical application. This book is noted to be one of the most influential text in the history of Chinese Medicine.
Acupuncture treatment was very popular during the Jin, Northern, Southern, Dynasties (265 – 581 A.D.). For generations the Xu Xi families were known as the experts in the art of treatment by acupuncture. During this time period important texts and charts enhanced knowledge and application.
Acupuncture treatment experienced great development during the Sui (581-618 A.D.) and Tang (618-907 A.D.) Dynasties. Upon request from the Tang Government (627-649 A.D.), the famous physician Zhen Quan revised the important Acupuncture texts and charts. Another famous physician of the time, Sun Simio, wrote Prescription with a Thousand Gold for Emergencies (650-692 A.D.). This text includes data on acupuncture treatments from various scholars. During this period acupuncture treatment became a special branch of of medicine and practitioners were named Acupuncturists. Acupuncture schools appeared, and Acupuncture education became part of the Imperial Medical Bureau.
During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the famous physician Wang Weiyi wrote The Illustrated Manual on Points for Acupuncture and Moxibustion. This book included the description of 657 points. He also casted two bronze statues on which meridians and points were engraved for teaching purposes.
The Ming Dynasty (1568-1644) was the enlightening period for the advancement of acupuncture treatment. Many new developments included:
From the Qing Dynasty to the Opium Wars (1644-1840), herbal medicine became the main tool of physicians and acupuncture treatment was suppressed.