A History of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used in China and other Eastern countries for over 20 centuries. It is generally believed to have derived in China and the first known account of acupuncture comes from an ancient Chinese text that dates back to around 300 BC. This text is called 'The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine' and is still an appropriate reference material for today's acupuncturists. This ancient Chinese text still provides much of the theoretical framework for traditional forms of acupuncture.

Today in China acupuncture is used extensively, alongside orthodox medicine, as a front line medical intervention in hospitals for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Of course we are a long way behind China in this respect as serious study into acupuncture,in the West, has only begun in the last half century or so.

Over the last 40 years the number of traditionally trained qualified acupuncturists in the U.K. has steadily risen from a mere handful to over 2500. The traditional style of acupuncture is not normally currently available on the N.H.S. but is available at our East London Acupuncture Clinic where we practice acupuncture in Forest Gate. Today in China acupuncture is used extensively, alongside orthodox medicine, as a front line medical intervention in hospitals for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Of course we are a long way behind China in this respect as serious study into acupuncture,in the West, has only begun in the last half century or so.

Most acupuncture available in the UK is Traditional Chinese Medicine style (TCM) but increasingly popular is medical acupuncture.

What is Acupuncture?

As its name implies acupuncture involves piercing of the skin. This is done with fine needles in order to treat the symptoms. Chinese traditionally believe that a person became ill if his vital energy (qi) became imbalanced or depleted. Qi pervades the universe and our own bodies flowing in a system of meridians beneath the skin (see diagram). To restore health it is important to keep the flow of qi even within these meridians. This is done as part of the acupuncture treatment by inserting the acupuncture needles into meridian line points of relative excess or deficiency.

Just as typically symptom control methods of treatment are also necessary and this can often be as simple as placing a needle in an area close to or related to that of the problem for example by placing a needle where there is pain in the back.

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