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Origin of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture & Moxibustion

By  and Igor Micunovic and Igor Micunovic and Igor Micunovic and Igor Micunovic

Abstract

Introduction: Which historical, social and natural background might be in correlation with Chinese Medicine development? Why the ancient Chinese began to treat diseases by puncturing the body with bare needles or use herbs to relieve sickness? So far only few researchers have paid attention to these questions; most Chinese Medicine textbooks and acupuncture compendiums mention the origin of TCM as a uniform theory without much clearly identified evidence. Why did acupuncture, unlike any other healing system, appear only in ancient China and nowhere else in the classical world? Many aspects of Chinese culture, including technology, geography, philosophy and social relations, contributed to the invention and development of acupuncture. However, recent archeological findings challenge standard theory of Chinese Medicine origin. Evidence indicates that the identification of the meridians actually predated the appearance of acupuncture, and was a crucial precondition for its invention and the discovery of the various acupoints. Discussion: There is clear evidence of a shamanic culture existing in early Asian civilization, and many shamanistic practices are believed to lie at the foundation of Chinese Medicine. The earliest known text on acupuncture and acupoints is The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic of Medicine (c. 104-32 BC) (Huang Di Neijing黄帝内径) compiled during the western Han Dynasty 漢朝 (206 BC-24 AD). No mention of either acupuncture or acupoints has been found in any prior medical documents. The first discussion of the meridians, however, occurs in a collection of much earlier texts, The Ancient Medical Relics of Matvangdui 馬王堆帛書(c. prior to 168 BC). Furthermore, these texts refer only to the use of moxibustion, the application of heat, along the general pathways of the meridians to stimulate the flow of Qi. They make no mention of either acupuncture or specific acupoints. This suggests that the ancient Chinese were familiar with moxibustion and the meridians well before they started to use acupuncture. Extensive further evidence, both classical and modern, exists to support this theory. Conclusion: We can clearly summarize that we can trace the origins of Chinese Medicine back to the past of shamanistic beliefs and practices, but Chinese Medicine at present develops into verified clinical practice. Balance and wholism is the core of ancient Chinese philosophy, and the theoretical basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is not merely a healing art, but the expression of thousands of years of Chinese culture. Evidence indicates that the identification of the meridians actually predated the appearance of acupuncture, and was a crucial precondition for its invention and the discovery of the various acupoints

Topics: Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, History of Medicine, Moxibustion, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Medicine, Medicine, R, Other systems of medicine, RZ201-999
Publisher: Herald Scholarly Open Access
Year: 2018
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:7f48351163194e2b847030f97f8d3cc1
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