History of Acupuncture

modernity woven into tradition discover the history of acupuncture acupuncture surgery warsaw

The Chinese love to point out the legendary origins of many aspects of their culture and science, and this is also the case with acupuncture. According to legend, many thousands of years ago, one of the emperor’s subjects suffered from terrible headaches. One day he hit a stone with his foot and, surprisingly, the headache subsided. Since then, everyone with a headache hit the same spot on the foot. As the method was quite drastic, the emperor ordered the stone to be replaced with needles. And so, according to the Chinese, acupuncture was born.

We can find further references to this method of dealing with pain in the times of the legendary Yellow Emperor. During his reign, a book was created in which the organs were divided into groups and it was indicated that they interacted with each other. The causes of diseases are also described, namely the effects of cold, heat, wind and moisture on the body. However, it should be noted that other nations also claim the priority of discovering acupuncture. They are Koreans and people from Nepal and Tibet.

However, the oldest written source on acupuncture is from the Warring States era (474/5 to 221 BC). It is the treatise “Nature and Life”. We find in it the most important theories about this method, incl. description of needles, meridians, location of acupuncture points, insertion techniques and contraindications. Excavations and research prove that acupuncture was popular as early as 1000 BC

Important for the development of acupuncture was physician Hua Tuo (141 – 205 AD). He can be called the ancestor of Chinese surgery, he also created a special type of gymnastic exercises. The creator of the 12-volume book on acupuncture was Huangfu Mi (215 – 282), who accurately placed 649 points, described the puncture techniques and gave the basics of Chinese diagnostics, writing about the pulse test.


Acupuncture evolved into an independent medical specialty during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and a separate medical department was established to teach this method. Previously, acupuncture was family knowledge, passed down in clans. In 1027, bronze figures were cast, on which acupuncture points and meridians were marked. Nowadays, you can buy similar miniature models made of plastic. Doctor Wang Wei Yin also wrote acupuncture textbooks that have served medical students for centuries.

During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), new works were created, in one of them we can find engravings of 9 types of needles. However, the good period of acupuncture ends when the Manchurians (1644-1912) take power. The method was considered primitive and officially banned. Doctors began training in the Western fashion and fought against “outdated” techniques, which was also recognized as acupuncture.

It was not until 1949, when the communists came to power, that acupuncture returned to favor. The Central Institute of Traditional Medicine was established in Beijing, and similar began in other cities. This method was developed by combining it with modern technological achievements.

Acupuncture Today

Currently, acupuncture is widely used not only in Chinese clinics and hospitals, but also in other Asian and Western countries. It came to Europe in the 13th century. The father of European acupuncture is Michał Boym, a Polish Jesuit who emigrated to China and died there. Intrigued by acupuncture, he studied it, described it, and translated Chinese works. At first, acupuncture spread to the Netherlands, Italy, England and Russia.

The acupuncture boom broke out in the US after Nixon’s visit to China. During the visit, one of the journalists accompanying the American president fell ill and had to be operated on. Instead of anesthesia, an effective anesthetic acupuncture treatment was performed on it, thus making a great advertisement for this method.

It is worth noting that acupuncture has been recognized as a therapeutic method by the WHO and is widely used in many Asian and European countries, America and Australia.

Based: Acupuncture treatment, dr n. med. H. Operacz, PZWL Medical Publishing, Warsaw

Development of Acupuncture in Poland

The history of acupuncture in Poland begins in the 1970s. The technique was developed in the 1970s, when it was brought to the country by doctors who had done their training in China. Initially, acupuncture was used only by a small group of doctors and therapists, but over time its popularity began to grow.

In the 1980s. The Polish Academy of Acupuncture was founded, and the Polish Acupuncture and Massage Society was established in 1990. Since then, acupuncture has begun to grow in popularity in Poland, and doctors and therapists have begun offering it as a complement to traditional treatments.

There are now many schools and training centers where one can gain knowledge about acupuncture. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of diseases and ailments, including back pain, migraine headaches, insomnia, and to help treat chronic diseases such as asthma, rheumatic disease and heart disease.

In Poland, acupuncture is considered a complementary method to traditional medicine, and doctors and therapists must have special licenses to practice it. In Poland, there are many associations and organizations of doctors and therapists who use acupuncture, which care about the quality and standards of the technique.

Although acupuncture in Poland is relatively young, its popularity is growing and more and more people are choosing to benefit from its beneficial effects. At the same time, however, as with any other treatment method, it is worth exercising caution and consulting a doctor before starting acupuncture therapy.

history of acupuncture

Successful Acupuncture in the United States of America.

The development of acupuncture in the U.S. is mainly due to cultural and scientific influences from Asian countries and the contributions of doctors and scientists who have contributed to the development of this form of therapy.

In the 1970s. In the 1970s, acupuncture gained popularity in the US due to the influence of cultural and artistic movements that drew attention to traditional Chinese medicine and medical practices. During this period, many people began experimenting with acupuncture as an alternative form of treatment.

However, as interest grew for acupuncture, doctors and scientists began to study and document its effectiveness. As a result of scientific research, it has been confirmed that acupuncture can be an effective form of treatment for many conditions, including pain, anxiety, depression, migraines, as well as various endocrine, respiratory, digestive and immune health problems.

In 1996, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a report that confirmed the effectiveness of acupuncture and recommended its use as an adjunct to conventional therapy. That same year, California became the first state in the U.S. to recognize acupuncture as a form of health care and began regulating the practice of acupuncture based on qualification standards.

Thanks to these developments, acupuncture has grown in popularity and is accepted as a form of complementary therapy in many clinics and health centers across the country.

Acupuncture in Europe

There is no uniform legal system for acupuncture in Europe, as the laws governing this type of natural medicine vary from country to country.

In some countries, such as Germany, Austria and France, acupuncture is considered part of conventional health care and can be performed by doctors who have completed special training in the field. In these countries, acupuncture is also covered by health insurance.

In other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, acupuncture is recognized as an alternative or complementary form of therapy and can be performed by acupuncturists who are qualified and accredited.

W niektórych krajach, takich jak Polska i Szwajcaria, akupunktura jest uznawana za formę terapii uzupełniającej, ale może być wykonywana tylko przez lekarzy lub terapeutów, którzy ukończyli specjalne kursy i uzyskali odpowiednie certyfikaty.

W niektórych innych krajach, takich jak Hiszpania i Portugalia, akupunktura nie jest regulowana prawnie, co oznacza, że ​​może być wykonywana przez każdą osobę bez specjalnego szkolenia lub kwalifikacji.

In short, acupuncture regulations in Europe vary and depend on the country. In some countries, acupuncture is considered a form of complementary or alternative therapy and can be performed by specialists who have completed the appropriate training, while in other countries there are no such laws and anyone can perform acupuncture.

Acupuncture Recognized as a Science by WHO

Acupuncture was recognized as a science by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1979. This decision was made after many years of research and observation of the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating various diseases and ailments.

The WHO recognizes acupuncture as an effective and safe method of treating a wide range of conditions, such as headaches, back pain, migraines, menstrual pain, allergic diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, as well as complaints related to neurological and psychological illnesses.

Studies have shown that acupuncture can work in a number of ways, including stimulating the nervous system, influencing the endocrine system, improving blood circulation and boosting the body’s immune system.

The WHO recognizes acupuncture not only as an effective treatment method, but also as safe and without serious side effects. The method is used worldwide, and its popularity is growing every year.

Therefore, the WHO recognizes acupuncture as an important and effective form of medicine that can help treat many diseases and ailments, and as a complement to traditional medicine.

In 2019, a Global Center for Traditional Medicine is being established in India to gather reliable medical evidence for combining traditional medicine with the currently most widely used academic medicine.

A few months later, the WHO recognizes acupuncture and traditional medicine as a science and thus allows the granting of degrees at Western universities and the proper nostrification of the professional qualifications and medical degrees of Eastern doctors.

What the Future of Acupuncture in Poland and the World Might Look Like

The continued future of acupuncture in Poland depends on many factors, including scientific and medical advances, as well as the changing needs of patients. However, given the growing popularity of this therapeutic method in Poland and around the world, it can be assumed that acupuncture will develop and evolve in the future.

There are many centers and training schools where doctors and therapists can gain knowledge and skills in acupuncture. With advances in technology, it can be assumed that the methods of diagnosis and application of acupuncture will continue to improve, and the techniques will become increasingly precise and effective.

With the growing popularity of acupuncture, there is also a need to standardize and regulate this therapeutic method. In Poland, there are already organizations and associations of doctors and therapists who use acupuncture that care about the quality and standards of the technique.

One potential direction for the development of acupuncture in Poland could be to increase interest in integrative medicine, of which acupuncture is one element. In this way, acupuncture can become part of a comprehensive treatment of patients, where traditional medicine is combined with alternative methods to achieve the best possible treatment results.

In conclusion, the further future of acupuncture in Poland may be promising, and its development and evolution will depend on many factors, including scientific and medical advances, as well as the needs of patients and the regulation of integrative medicine.

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What are the Best Colleges in the World Teaching Acupuncture?

There are many reputable schools around the world that offer acupuncture courses and curricula. Here are some of them:

Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (China) – This school is considered one of the world’s best in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Educational offerings include many programs and specializations for both Chinese and international students.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (USA) – This is one of the oldest and most established acupuncture schools in the United States, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver (Canada) – This school offers educational programs in traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, as well as courses and training in massage and herbal medicine.

European School of Acupuncture (France) – This is one of Europe’s top acupuncture schools, offering educational programs in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (New Zealand) – This school is considered one of the best in the Oceania region, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Japan Central Acupuncture College (Japan) – This school offers acupuncture curricula that combine theory and practice and focus on the traditional Japanese school of acupuncture.

College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (UK) – This school is considered one of the best in Europe, offering educational programs in acupuncture and Chinese medicine that are accredited by the British medical profession.

However, it is worth remembering that each school has its own unique approach to teaching acupuncture, and there is no single best school that is right for everyone. It is important to choose a school that suits your individual needs and educational preferences.

What are the Types of Acupuncture Used in History

There are different types of acupuncture, which differ in the techniques and methods used during treatment. Here are some of the most popular types of acupuncture and their differences that have been used throughout history:

Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCM) – This is the oldest and best-known type of acupuncture. In TCM, acupuncture is part of a broader medical system that includes herbalism, massage and other healing techniques. TCM acupuncture techniques are based on traditional Chinese theories regarding the flow of Qi (chi) energy in the body and the regulation of Yin-Yang balance. TCM acupuncture uses thin needles that are inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body to affect the flow of energy and restore balance to the body.

Japanese acupuncture – This form of acupuncture is derived from traditional Japanese medicine and is characterized by gentler techniques and smaller needles than TCM acupuncture. In Japanese acupuncture, the focus is on influencing the body’s energy channels called meridians. Japanese acupuncture techniques are more subtle and more individualized, and needles are often placed shallower in the patient’s body.

Korean acupuncture – This form of acupuncture focuses on the use of microscopic needles that are inserted only on the surface of the skin. In Korean acupuncture, the techniques are more focused on stimulating the reflex points in the fingers and feet, which correspond to different parts of the body.

Medical acupuncture – This is a modern form of acupuncture that integrates Chinese medicine with Western medicine. In medical acupuncture, diagnosis is based on medical examinations and physical examinations, and needles are placed at specific points to treat specific diseases and medical disorders. Medical acupuncture is often called TCM acupuncture after the English researcher who first started using it in England.

Acupuncture with electro-acupuncture – This form of acupuncture uses a low-level electric current that is sent through needles placed at acupuncture points. Electroacupuncture is often used to treat pain and other nervous system disorders.

It is worth noting that different types of acupuncture have their own unique characteristics and are used to treat different diseases and disorders.

The decision on the appropriate type of acupuncture should be based on the patient’s needs and preferences, as well as on the basis of the medical diagnosis. It is also important to seek out experienced and qualified acupuncturists who use safe and effective techniques.

Throughout History, Has Acupuncture Always Been a Recognized Form of Disease Treatment and Diagnosis?

Acupuncture has been used as a form of treatment for many centuries in China and other Asian countries, but its status as a recognized treatment varied from era to era and place to place.

In China, where acupuncture has its roots, it has been used since about 2,000 B.C. and was considered an important part of Chinese medicine. Over the centuries, acupuncture has been used in various ways and its popularity has risen and fallen depending on dynasties and governments. During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Acupuncture was officially outlawed in the 1970s, but was reinstated after that, and is still one of the primary treatments in Chinese medicine today.

In other Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, acupuncture has also been used for centuries and has been recognized as an important treatment method. In Europe and North America, acupuncture became popular in the 1970s. and 80. It was developed in the 1970s, and today is considered a form of alternative medicine. In some countries, acupuncture is recognized by official medical institutions, while in others it is treated more as a form of unconventional medicine.

In summary, acupuncture has been used as a form of treatment for many centuries in Asia and has become popular in other parts of the world in the last century. Its status as a recognized treatment varies from country to country and era to era.

What is the Scientific Evidence for the Efficacy of Acupuncture in History?

The history of acupuncture dates back thousands of years and is linked to Chinese traditional medicine. There are many accounts from various historical periods that suggest acupuncture was effective in treating various diseases and ailments.

One of the earliest known sources that describe the use of acupuncture is the “Huangdi Neijing” (Internal Classics of the Yellow Emperor), a collection of Chinese medical texts dating to around 200. BC and 200 AD. These texts describe acupuncture points and their use in treating various conditions.

In later historical periods, such as the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), acupuncture was widely used and developed. During this time, numerous books were written, such as the 1601 “Zhenjiu Dacheng” (Great Encyclopedia of Acupuncture and Moxibustion), which detailed the principles of acupuncture and its use in treating various conditions.

Modern scientific research also suggests that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for certain diseases and ailments. For example, clinical studies conducted in recent decades suggest that acupuncture can help treat back pain, headaches, stress and depression.

One of the best-known examples of scientific research on the effectiveness of acupuncture is a 1997 study conducted by the National Institute of Health in the United States, which compared the effectiveness of acupuncture and sham acupuncture (fake acupuncture) in treating back pain. The study found that acupuncture was more effective in relieving pain than sham acupuncture.

Although some scientists question the efficacy of acupuncture and require further research, many clinical studies have shown its positive effects on patients’ health and well-being.

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