Acupuncture is an traditional Chinese medicine method that involves the process of injecting fine needles into the flesh. To investigate the beginnings of acupuncture art and practice we must pierce the folds of time and cast our minds back into ancient China.You may want to check out Lotus Acupuncture for more.
Over the past century, archeological excavation of sites around China has revealed a number of pointed stones that archeologists have identified as ancient needles for acupuncture. Such slivers of stones were used for medicinal purposes, for creating skin incisions and for relaxing different points on the body.
The tradition of ancient acupuncture began with the use of such blocks, in which animal bones were used as slivers. Still later they used bamboo needles for therapeutic purposes.
Another archeological excavation in China, at a Shang Era site (1766-1122 BC), excavated a tomb and found a stone hook embedded in a lacquer casket, suggesting a valuable object. It has been determined that this was also a medical device used in ancient acupuncture in China.
Not only do the medical instruments and ancient needles show us that acupuncture was being used at this time, but history has large, bronze artifacts that prove the importance of ancient Chinese acupuncture.
A life sized bronze man was created to show acupuncture points on the body and greatly contributed to ancient Chinese acupuncture creation. Wang Weiyi (c.987-1067), the creator of this figure, had the idea of casting two bronze statues, representing a man from the front and behind. There were 657 acupuncture points etched on those sculptures. These statues were used for new acupuncturists in ancient China during the Imperial Acupuncture exams. The figures were then covered with thick wax and filled with water. The student taking the exam will find the acupoint and needle inside the statue coated in wax. If the student had needled the correct point, a slight drop of water would be noticeable when the needle was removed.
Also Wang Weiyi compiled the book Tongren Shuxue Zhen Jiu Yujing (Bronze Man Showing Acupuncture and Moxibustion Points illustrated manual). The text of this work was also graved more than two meters high and seven meters wide on two stone steles and erected for public benefit at Kaifeng, then capital of the Northern Song dynasty. Ancient work by Wang Weiyi gave the impetus for a big leap forward in ancient Chinese acupuncture. The points on the body were mapped out, the ancient instruments were created and ancient Chinese people healed.
Recorded history of ancient Chinese acupuncture from the novel, Songshi (Song Dynasty History) relates that the acupuncture effectively healed Emperor Renzong, who became sick in 1034. This helped to popularize ancient acupuncture, and during the Southern Song dynasty, the art and practice of acupuncture became the stronghold of specialized doctors such as Wang Zhizhong. Wang was the founder of A Summary of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, (Zhenjiu Zishengjing), a traditional text on ancient acupuncture, written in 1220.
Old acupuncture is not the chinese’s exclusive possession. The most famous of ancient Egyptian medicinal treaties is the papyrus Ebers from 1550 BC. It refers to a book about vessels that could correspond to the twelve acupuncture meridians.