Acupuncture can be traced back at least 4000 years in China. The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China and was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era.

Earlier, around 6000 BCE, instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used  for this treatment.

Decline of Traditional Chinese Medicine

History of Acupuncture.satory

History of Acupuncture

From the 17th century on, the interest in this tradition declined and was considered irrational. Therefore, the Emperor’s decree in 1822 excluded acupuncture from the Imperial Medical Institute. 

Furthermore, with the rise of Western medicine in the 20th century, Traditional Chinese of needle insertion practices further fell into disrepute. In 1929 it was outlawed in China along with other forms of traditional medicine.

Revival of acupuncture

The Communist Government in 1949 revived the traditional forms of medicine including acupuncture. Research institutes were established in the 1950s throughout China and the practice became available in several hospitals.

European physician Ten Rhijne who worked for East India Company described the practice medically in around 1680. Within the first half of the 19th Century both America and Britain developed interest in this ancient therapeutic form.

It was in 1971 that a member of the US press corps was treated with acupuncture during recovery from an emergency appendectomy in China which he was visiting. Consequenly, he described the experience in the New York Times and created interest in the success of the procedure.

Acupuncture was finally accepted in the USA when an NIH consensus conference reported that there was positive evidence for its effectiveness, at least in some conditions.