Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective treatment modality.
Acupuncture, zhēn jiu, (针灸, needle therapy) is a technique of inserting and manipulating needles into "acupuncture points” on the body to move qi (气) in the patient's body to restore its balance. It will restore health, well-being and is particularly good at treating pain. Disease is understood as a loss of homeostasis among the several systems of function, and treatment of disease is attempted by modifying the activity of one or more systems of function through the activity of needles, pressure, heat, etc. on sensitive parts of the body of small volume traditionally called "acupuncture points" in English, or "xue" (穴, cavities) in Chinese. This is referred to as treating "patterns of disharmony".
In the ancient literature since the sixth century B C., there was the record of " treatment of disease with stone needle". The earliest needle was made of stone. In Huangdi Neijing (Huangdi's Canon on Medicine) published over 2,000 years ago, silk medical books unearthed in the modern times and ancient Chinese classics, there was the description about how to treat disease with stone needle.
Acupuncture and moxibustion, one of the therapeutic methods in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with a history of several thousand years, developed in the ancient times and has contributed much to the healthcare and medical treatment for the Chinese people.
During their long clinical practice, people accumulated rich clinical experience and discovered a number of the therapeutic principles. The summarization of the clinical experience and therapeutic principles has gradually paved the way to the establishment of the theory of acupuncture and moxibustion which has, in turn, promoted the clinical practice and development of acupuncture and moxibustion, and eventually directing it to evolve into an independent clinical specialty - science of acupuncture and moxibustion.
Science of acupuncture and moxibustion develops under the guidance of TCM theory, its essential theory is the doctrine of meridians and collaterals which mainly includes meridians, collaterals and acupoints, directly guiding the clinical practice of acupuncture and moxibustion. Clinical treatment with acupuncture and moxibustion is done in light of syndrome differentiation, therapeutic principles and methods, by means of needling and moxibustion with certain manipulating methods to stimulate the selected acupoints for the prevention and treatment of disease.
Acupuncture and moxibustion is an external therapy. By means of needling and moxibustion, it can stimulate the body and activate the regulating functions of the body to improve and rectify the disturbance and dysfunction of certain organs in the body. Such a therapy not only can treat disease, but also can prevent disease. It is noted for extensive application, significant curative effects and no side effects.
It is just because of the characteristics mentioned above, the therapy of acupuncture and moxibustion is not only used in China, but also practised in over 100 countries in the world. It has gradually become a component in the world medicine and plays a certain role in the healthcare course for all human beings.
Acupuncture and moxibustion spread to the other countries even in the ancient times. In about 6th century A.D., Zkenjiu Jiayijing (A-B Classics on Acupuncture and Moxibustion) was spread to Korea and Japan. In 552 A.D., the Chinese Government then presented a set of Zhenjing (Acupuncture Canon) to Japanese Emperor. In the Tang Dynasty, Qianjin Fang Golden Prescriptions) and Waitai Miyao were brought to Korea. Following the example of the Tang Dynasty. Japan also established acupuncture and moxibustion specialty and Korea appointed doctorate position for acupuncture. The textbooks used were Zhenjing (Acupuncture Canon) and Zhenjiu Jiayijing (A-B Classics on Acupuncture and Moxibustion). In the 17th century, acupuncture and moxibustion was spread to Europe. Since 1950's, many countries have sent doctors to China to study acupuncture and moxibustion. Chinese government has sent acupuncture and moxibustion experts group abroad to offer clinical treatment Since 1975. Currently, acupuncture and moxibustion therapy has been used in about 100 countries and regions. The science of acupuncture and moxibustion has developed smoothly in the whole world.