Acupuncture is claimed to be an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China. The aim of the treatment is to restore the balance of the universal energy Qi (pronounced chee) in the body, through the painless application of fine needles into strategic points on the body. Qi consists of Yin and Yang and these two opposite, but complementary, forces need to be in balance otherwise disease or illness occurs in the body.
Acupuncture needles are used in specific acupuncture points which give access to the meridians in the body through which the Qi flows so that adjustments can be made to balance the Yin and Yang thus restoring harmony and health.
A brief history of acupuncture
Acupuncture originated in China, although it has also been used in other East Asian countries. Evidence suggests that it was practiced as long as 2,000 years ago, although supporters of it often claim that it has been used for over 5,000 years. It has been intertwined with spiritual and religious practices throughout Chinese history. Acupuncture has a close association with Taoism, taoists being pioneers of the belief in body-mind-spirit consciousness.Early accounts of acupuncture written by missionaries describe acupuncture as being quite different to what we're led to believe. The needles were large, inserted deeply, and used in short duration; '30 respirations' being quoted by missionary Wilhelm Ten Rhijn in 1680.
Nor is there any mention of Qi, meridians, or specific acupuncture points. These concepts were actually introduced in the 20th century, notably by Georges Soulié de Morant in his 1939 book L’Acupuncture Chinoise. Before the 20th century, needles were simply inserted at the site of the pain or problem.Surprisingly, acupuncture was not introduced into Europe until the early 18th century when it was embraced by some French physicians. They were accused of "resurrecting an absurd doctrine from well-deserved oblivion" by many prominent doctors however. It was not introduced into England until 1821 when it was used by midwife Edward Joukes.
The popular explanation offered for the discovery of acupuncture is a story of a warrior wounded by an arrow. The arrow was removed and the wounded healed. Then it was observed that his disease in an unrelated part of the body was cured . an arrow in foot relieved headache . the cause and effect relationtionship was worked out by observant physicians, between punctured point and the disease it cured and ultimately series of points were charted. Acupuncture is usually associated with the Chinese. Researchers has revealed the existence of acupuncture treatment in the Indus valley , in India during the stone age,among the banthus of south Africa, among Eskimos and in brazil.