The practice of acupuncture has a long and venerable history. These prints (continued on following pages) were first published in 1027 during the Sung Dynasty when needle therapy already was ancient. The prints are part of the “Illustrated Treatise on Acupuncture and Moxibustion,” compiled by the sage, Orang Dei-te. Each drawing locates specific meridians, or outer paths on the skin, indicating the principal points where needles should be used beneath the skin to treat a wide variety of ailments. The method is a widely practiced form of medicine in China to this day.
Acupuncture (Latin acus, needle), the art of healing through the insertion of special needles into various points of the human body, has been practiced in the Far East, particularly in China, for more than 4000 years. Developed according to principles closely associated with the ancient Chinese way of thinking, the notions expressed in diagnosis and treatment by acupuncture tend to baffle the Western scientist, who is accustomed to the concept of scientific reasoning. However, the successful practice of acupuncture upon hundreds of millions of people during several millenia attests to its validity and importance as a method of healing. Today there are 150,000 acupuncture physicians throughout the world: most are in the Far East, but 1,000 are in France, 300 in South America, 15 in England, and reportedly only four in the United States, where the practice is illegal unless performed by a licensed MD A College of Acupuncture has been established recently in Vancouver, British Columbia, and great interest has developed in this field in the United States following trips to China by physicians, other scientists, and journalists.