Acupuncture History

There are many different types of acupuncture training in the Netherlands and the world. It is even so that there are many different forms of acupuncture. In addition to the most authentic, classical acupuncture, many other forms of acupuncture have been developed in the last centuries and even the last decades. First, about the history, then the different forms of acupuncture and finally the modern education.

The first evidence of acupuncture dates from the Neolithic era, about 9,500 years BC. At excavations in China, there were needles of stone and bone, the so-called Bian Shi (砭 石 – stone needle). There are indications that treatments have taken place, using the stone needles to massage points and the sharper needles of bone were used to tickle. The evidence of using metals to stimulate acupuncture points dates back to the 2nd century BC. It has probably been treated with metal needles for a long time since the Iron and Bronze era, respectively, 6,000 and 3,300 years BC. Not long ago, the so-called Iceman Ötzi was found in the Alps. This more than 5,000 year old mummy appears to have groups of tattoos on his body that exactly match known acupuncture points. According to some, this is evidence that treatment of specific acupuncture points with a stone, bone or needle was also known in Europe.

The oldest known writing about acupuncture is the Nei Jing. A book consisting of two parts (Su Wen and Ling Shu) of each of the 81 chapters. It is a compilation of several authors, collected by the famous Yellow Emperor, Huang Di. The emperor asks questions and various doctors give answers. In this more than 2,500 year old book, classical acupuncture is described. The acupuncturists in this practice work according to these authentic principles, and the teachings described below taught this knowledge. Many centuries after the publication of the Nei Jing, acupuncture has spread across Japan, Korea and the current TaiWan. There we find modern Japanese acupuncture, Korean hand acupuncture and skull acupuncture. Since 1960, acupuncture has come to the western world. This acupuncture is known as TCM and is a combination of acupuncture points and the prescription of Chinese herbs. In addition to American-based cosmetic acupuncture (rejuvenation acupuncture), electrical power is applied to needles in the Western world. A French neurologist has developed acupuncture in the last century. The ear is seen as a whole body’s micro system, and the insertion of permanent needles (3 to 5 days) has an influence. For example, throughout the centuries, all kinds of variants have been developed within acupuncture.

In ancient times, Chinese doctors live by the number of people he takes care of and can keep healthy. Because transport and communication lines are not so advanced as now, these people are also living within walking or bicycle distance from the doctor. If someone gets sick in his circle, a red flag is raised. This gives the doctor a signal that someone is ill in the house and he also knows that no income can be obtained from this house. The doctor needs therefore quickly expel the disease so that the flag can be lowered down and get paid again. So if all of his people get and stay sick he will be bankrupt.

This tradition can also be continued with us.

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