A Daoist Tradition

Acupuncture began as a practice that was frequently used by Daoist practitioners. The method and its significance in Daoist tradition were documented in a text that captured conversations that Yellow Emperor Huang Di had with his physician Qi Bo. It was titled, the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor.

The Yellow Emperor’s Influence

The two parts, Su Wen (Plain Questions) and Ling Shu (Miraculous Pivot) detailed Chinese medicine and Daoist ideas related to medicine, respectively. Since worshippers of the Dao were interested in Qi and how it affected people’s health, they wanted a medical practice that would impact Qi, and use that as a catalyst to store a person’s overall well-being. With acupuncture, there is an in-depth study of acupuncture points, needling techniques, types of Qi and locations of 160 Qi points, in the Ling Shu section of the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor.

A Silver-Lining In Paralysis

Between 260-265 AD, Haungfu Mi was inspired by his recent loss of mobility on one side of his body, also known as hemiplegia, after a brain hemorrhage. His new pursuit was to study and compile all the information about acupuncture and other ways to manage his limited mobility. He organized all the information into what is now a classic reference for acupuncture, Systemic Classics of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Zhenjiu Jia Yi Jing). This text is twelve volumes long!

The Tang-y Facelift

During the Tang Dynasty’s reign, (618-649 A.D.), the government requested that Zhen Quan update the known information – now, the about 400-year- old work, on acupuncture. Sun Simiao also gave the genre a facelift with his work, Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold for Emergencies (Qian Jin Yao Fang).

It’s “Acupuncturist,” Not “Practitioner”

The practice of acupuncture became mainstream so much so during this time that it became an official branch of medicine, and practitioners were now known and called by their specialty, “acupuncturists” Other evidence of the normalization and popularization of this practice is the formalization of education to become one, with certified schools starting, and being accredited as a part of the Imperial Medical Bureau.

The Bronze Example: Beauty Is In The Eye of the Dynasty

Almost 300 years later during the Song Dynasty (960-1270) popular physician, Wang Weiyi wrote another acupuncture manual, this time as an accompaniment to the “Bronze Man,” (“Tong Ren”) statue, a life-sized model of the “acupoints” found on human anatomy. Fun fact, the physique of the “Bronze Man” reflects the attitudes of the Dynasties that sculpted him. The famous, lean version that we originally thought of as from the Song Dynasty, actually was made during the Qing dynasty. By contrast, the original statue was more voluptuous.

Heal with Moxa, Like A Ming Boss

During the Ming Dynasty (1568-1644), acupuncture techniques were updated, additional acupoints were discovered, and the moxa sticks were introduced as a new tool in heat therapy. Imagine that instead of incense sticks being lit to perfume a room, moxa sticks are lit, then held above specific points in the body to stimulate Qi in that area and rid it of ailments.

Mao Made It Legit

In more recent history, acupuncture was used to sustain Chinese soldiers’ health during the long march (1934-35) in China. In 1950 the marriage of Eastern and Western medicine under Chairman Mao, made official the practice of acupuncture in hospitals in China, solidifying it as a legitimate tool used to alleviate a person’s ailments.

Interested in giving acupuncture a try? Contact Reaves Chiropractic today and find out how acupuncture can help you and your journey towards health and happiness.