Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Historian Channel: Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Documentary, The History of Acupuncture, Discovery History Health

The Historian Channel: Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Documentary, The History of Acupuncture, Discovery History Health 

Traditional and modern Japanese guiding tube needles
Early development in China, Establishment and growth:

In the first half of the 1st century AD, acupuncturists began promoting the belief that acupuncture's effectiveness was influenced by the time of day or night, the lunar cycle, and the season. The Science of the Yin-Yang Cycles (Yün Chhi Hsüeh) was a set of beliefs that curing diseases relied on the alignment of both heavenly (thien) and earthly (ti) forces that were attuned to cycles like that of the sun and moon. There were several different belief systems that relied on a number of celestial and earthly bodies or elements that rotated and only became aligned at certain times. According to Needham and Gwei-djen, these "arbitrary predictions" were depicted by acupuncturists in complex charts and through a set of special terminology.

Acupuncture needles during this period were much thicker than most modern ones and often resulted in infection. Infection is caused by a lack of sterilization, but at that time it was believed to be caused by use of the wrong needle, or needling in the wrong place, or at the wrong time. Later, many needles were heated in boiling water, or in a flame. Sometimes needles were used while they were still hot, creating a cauterizing effect at the injection site. Nine needles were recommended in the Chen Chiu Ta Chheng from 1601, which may have been because of an ancient Chinese belief that nine was a magic number.

Other belief systems were based on the idea that the human body operated on a rhythm and acupuncture had to be applied at the right point in the rhythm to be effective.[30]:140-141 In some cases a lack of balance between Yin and Yang were believed to be the cause of disease.

In the 1st century AD, many of the first books about acupuncture were published and recognized acupuncturist experts began to emerge. The Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing, which was published in the mid-3rd century, became the oldest acupuncture book that is still in existence in the modern era. Other books like the Yu Kuei Chen Ching, written by the Director of Medical Services for China, were also influential during this period, but were not preserved. In the mid 7th century, Sun Simiao published acupuncture-related diagrams and charts that established standardized methods for finding acupuncture sites on people of different sizes and categorized acupuncture sites in a set of modules.

Acupuncture became more established in China as improvements in paper led to the publication of more acupuncture books. The Imperial Medical Service and the Imperial Medical College, which both supported acupuncture, became more established and created medical colleges in every province. The public was also exposed to stories about royal figures being cured of their diseases by prominent acupuncturists. By time The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion was published during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), most of the acupuncture practices used in the modern era had been established.

By the end of the Song dynasty (1279 AD), acupuncture had lost much of its status in China. It became rarer in the following centuries, and was associated with less prestigious professions like alchemy, shamanism, midwifery and moxibustion. Additionally, by the 18th century, scientific rationality was becoming more popular than traditional superstitious beliefs. By 1757 a book documenting the history of Chinese medicine called acupuncture a "lost art". Its decline was attributed in part to the popularity of prescriptions and medications, as well as its association with the lower classes.

In 1822, the Chinese Emperor signed a decree excluding the practice of acupuncture from the Imperial Medical Institute. He said it was unfit for practice by gentlemen-scholars. In China acupuncture was increasingly associated with lower-class, illiterate practitioners. It was restored for a time, but banned again in 1929 in favor of science-based Western medicine. 
Credits: Wikipedia 

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