History of Acupuncture

History of Acupuncture

The exact history of acupuncture is unknown. The earliest known text dealing with acupuncture treatment, the Nei Ching, dates back to roughly 2600 B.C. The Nei Ching, or Classic of Internal Medicine, has been the basic foundation from which all advancements in acupuncture spring.

Somehow, the early Chinese became aware of increased sensitivity in certain strategic points of the body when illness or injury was present. Over time, healers realized that all patients displayed uniform sensitivity in these points in the presence of specific maladies. Observation of these points revealed a very definite pattern rather than a haphazard scattering. Soon, these well-defined points were being used to diagnose the organs involved in any specific disorder. The lines that could be drawn linking these points became known as meridians. It wasn't long before ancient Chinese healers realized that by applying pressure to these points, the energy flowing through the meridians could be manipulated to affect particular organs.

In Western countries, acupuncture was generally viewed in the same dubious light as voodoo and faith healing. That perception changed in 1971, the year the New York Times journalist James Reston fell ill while visiting China. After undergoing an appendectomy there, he was treated for post-surgical pain with acupuncture. The front page reports he published in the Times about his acupuncture experiences were the first most Americans had heard of the subject.

Since then, millions of Americans have been successfully treated with acupuncture, and it's becoming a more viable choice when making health-care decisions.

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