A Brief History of Chinese Medicine

Evidence of acupuncture principles in practice dates back as far as 1600 BC, with the oldest records found on ancient bone etchings. The early “needles” were thick pieces of stone and bone, a great contrast to today’s sterile, disposable, individually packaged needles made of stainless steel. The first compendium of acupuncture is known as the Huang Di Nei Jing, or Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Disease, written in approximately 200 BC.

Ancient Acupuncture BookThe earliest examples of herbal formulas were very simple, consisting of only 4 or 5 ingredients each, and over the years more complicated combinations were developed. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing is the most famous and comprehensive herbal encyclopedia, based on years of experimentation and recorded knowledge. By now, there are 1000′s of herbal formulas in use, each designed to treat subtle variations of a given complaint or constellation of ailments.

In the 21st century, acupuncture and herbal medicine are often practiced integratively in conjunction with Western medicine, with ongoing clinical trials, both in hospitals and for routine outpatient care.