Achievements of Acupuncture and Moxibustion
TCM features the art of acupuncture and moxibustion, which originated in the New Stone Age with stone needles and knives as its predecessor. In the Bronze Age (sixteenth to eleventh century BC), our ancestors applied metal needles for treating disease. Through the manipulation of acupuncture and moxibustion, knowledge about vessels or channels gradually developed and became complete. Acupuncture and moxibustion, by adjusting the yin-yang principle of the body itself by means of a manoeuver, could cure many kinds of disease, ranging from microbial infection to diseases of the nervous system and functional diseases, and are especially effective for relieving pain. Owing to its capacity to relieve pain, ancient medical workers applied acupuncture to suppress pain prior to minor operations. And this eventually resulted in the invention of acupuncture analgesia (acupuncture anesthesia). The art of acupuncture and moxibustion was spread abroad in the early period. In the East, Japan and Korea were the two countries that first came into contact with the Chinese art of acupuncture and moxibustion. Early in 562 AD, a Chinese scholar, Zhi Cong, took Illustrated Channel and Point Chart to Japan. Thereafter, the Japanese authorities stipulated that the Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, the earliest work of its kind now extant, be a required course for medical study. In 1673, W. Rhijne, a physician of the East Dutch India Company, introduced acupuncture/moxibustion into France. Meanwhile, E. Kampfer, a German physician, introduced it into Germany. The science of acupunture/moxibustion flourished in Europe thereafter and made its contribution to the health of the people in all European countries.