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Home > Education > Theory > History of Acupuncture

The History of Acupuncture

By Jon Fishman

The Chinese healing art of acupuncture is one that can be dated back at least two thousand years. Some authorities maintain that acupuncture has been practiced in China for even four thousand years. Though its exact age is vague, what is certain is that up until the recent twentieth century, much of the population of the world was uninformed about acupuncture, its origins, and its capacity to promote and maintain good health. Even today in relatively "advanced" nations such as the United States there are many who hold acupuncture under the stereotype of a new or radical medicine, one which would almost always be a second choice after more familiar Western approaches to handling illness. Following a brief synopsis of the theory of acupuncture, the following text will, to a limited extent, elucidate the vast history of this ancient medicine and assert that it is neither new nor radical.

THEORY

One of the most important concepts of Chinese medicine is that of natural balance. From this idea of balance arises the fundamental theory of yin and yang. According to this theory, life takes place in the alternating rhythm of yin and yang.

Day gives way to night, night to day; a time of light and activity (Yang) is followed by darkness and rest (Yin). Flowers open and close, the moon waxes and wanes, the tides come in and go out; we wake and sleep, breathe in, breathe out. Yin/Yang is a constant, continual flow through which everything is expressed on the one hand and recharged on the other. They are an inseparable couple. Their proper relationship is health; a disturbance in this relationship is disease. (Acupuncture, p. 57)

The paradoxical nature of yin and yang is further illustrated in an excerpt from the Huang Di Nei Jing, or "The Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine," which is considered to be the best known and earliest of Chinese medical texts:

Yang has its root in Yin
Yin has its root in Yang.
Without Yin, Yang cannot arise.
Without Yang, Yin cannot be born.
Yin alone cannot arise; Yang alone cannot grow.
Yin and Yang are divisible but inseparable. (Acupuncture, p. 58)

The well-known symbol of the yin-yang further demonstrates that nothing is pure Yin or pure Yang; black and white embrace and intertwine in perfect symmetry, each side containing a small seed of its opposite. The conclusion drawn from this theory is that good health entails the balance and harmony of all that is yin and all that is yang within the body.

When such a proper balance of forces exists, the body has achieved a healthy circulation of the life force qi (roughly pronounced "chee"). In Chinese medicine it is theorized that the human body, as well as every other living thing, has a natural flow of qi throughout it. Qi is said to travel the body along channels called "meridians," of which there are mainly fourteen. Qi flows constantly up and down these pathways, and when the flow of qi is insufficient, unbalanced, or interrupted, yin and yang become unbalanced, and illness may occur. An understanding of the relationship between the body, yin and yang, and qi is necessary to understand the utility of acupuncture.

On the most basic of levels, acupuncture can be described as the insertion of very fine needles (sometimes in combination with electrical stimulus or with heat produced by burning specific herbs, called Moxibustion) into the skin at specific acupuncture points in order to influence the functioning of the body. Traditionally, there are 365 acupoints on the body, most of which have a specific energetic function. Some are the meeting of meridian pathways while others are junctions with an internal pathway of the meridian. Some points tend to move qi towards the interior of the body while others bring energy to the surface. The choice of acupuncture points varies from patient to patient and from treatment to treatment and relies on very careful diagnoses of different kinds. Diagnosis entails the observation of the body through looking, touching, smelling and listening. One of the primary and fundamental diagnostic methods of traditional Chinese medicine is pulse taking, which is far more intricate than pulse taking in the West. It has been said to take upwards of fifteen years to master this diagnostic art.

FOUNDATIONS

Examination of Chinese history will begin in a period known as the Early Zhou. This period, taking place from -1027 to -772, was a period of classic feudalism in China. The Zhou dynasty was established through military conquest, whose success was a result not only of inadequate opposing defense, but also of the Zhou's superior agricultural productivity. An increased production of crops due to communally managed irrigation systems allowed for more of the population to be fed by fewer laborers, which in turn allowed for the conscription of larger armies from the peasantry and a victory over the Shang.

The Early Zhou has little connection to acupuncture. In fact, the predominant feature of the period was the rise of the idea that demons were a harmful influence on humankind. Human health was left to supernatural powers and demonology. Popular belief maintained that a group of shaman leaders were possessed of magical powers and were responsible for "provision of rain, quieting violent storms, and purging poisonous creatures and evil influences" (UA, p. 8). This is not to say that the Early Zhou was unimportant in the genesis of acupuncture or Chinese medicine in general. The era is accredited with setting the stage for the next period in Chinese history, in which medicine began to establish itself as a valuable independent entity.

In -771 the feudal arrangement of the Early Zhou was disrupted when a foreign alliance backfired, forcing the Zhou capital further east and thus giving rise to a new period known as the Middle Zhou (-772 to -480). While it is safe to conclude that Chinese arts did not flourish in the midst of the ruthlessness of this new "farm and fight" state, this period did see a significant advancement in medicine. It is during the Middle Zhou that medicine, although still dominated by magical correspondences and demonology, began to develop as a separate activity and take "a place distinct from religion in the social order" (UA, p. 8). Evidence of this progression in medicine can be found in the descriptions of four different kinds of doctors in Zhou archives, including physicians, surgeons, dieticians, and veterinary surgeons. Another notable achievement of this period was the appearance of evidence of what would become the theory of the six environmental evils. This evidence appeared in -540 in a story of a physician's attendance on the prince of Jin, wherein yin and yang were represented as hot and cold. Together with wind, rain, darkness and brightness, the six comprised the influences that can cause disease. This concept of evil influences is referenced today when acupuncturists speak of "cold damp wind" et cetera during diagnosis.

By far the most important outcome of the Middle Zhou was the establishment of Confucianism as the first of the Three Pillars of Chinese thought (Confucianism, Daoism [Taoism], and Buddhism). Among the significant contributions to Chinese culture by Confucianism was the establishment of a solid connection between "responsible human behavior and desirable outcomes" (UA, p. 9). This social connection found parallel expression in the progression of medicine by developing a link between human well-being and human action, a link which was important for the origin of the qi paradigm because it shifted thinking away from demonic causation of illness. Though Confucianism is not solely responsible for the rise of the medicine of qi, qi could not have existed without this link.

While the Middle Zhou is noted for the birth of Confucianism, the Late Zhou (-480 to -221) is accredited with the rise of Daoism. At this time in China there were two movements in medicine. Aspects of the older magico-demonic tradition were being survived as magical correspondence while new ideas of prior periods were the groundwork of the new systematic correspondence. The interesting point to note regarding the simultaneous existence of two systems of medicine is that neither system required the elimination of the other. Unlike Western intellectual history where success of a new model involves the replacement of a previously dominant model, Chinese thinkers tended to accumulate their models, retaining previous ideas. Such behavior permitted the application of whatever model worked best in a particular situation. This also permitted the unbiased acceptance of new ideas. Thus, the emergence of the five-phase doctrine, which is a crucial concept in acupuncture, and of Daoism during this period in Chinese history eliminated neither Confucianism nor any earlier religious traditions. It is in this period, with the power of Confucianism and Daoism, that medicine began its development as an institution.

The subsequent period in Chinese history is the Qin dynasty (-221 to -206), also known as the period of book burning. This period was marked by unceasing unrest and witnessed little progress in the field of medicine. Though wealth- and power-driven, China's new Legalist government did have its triumphs, without which future advancement in medicine might not have been possible. Emperor Shi Huang-di ended China's long tradition of small, self-reliant towns and unified an empire of interdependent, currency-driven population centers. His government standardized weights, measures, and writing, set the value of coinage, and imposed the construction of a transportation system throughout this kingdom. Through his ruthless drive to wealth and power, Shi Huang-di inadvertently laid the foundations for the prosperity and creativity of the Han.

The Han dynasty (-206 to 220), the period of systemization, was certainly a very climactic and exciting period in the history of acupuncture. Socially, too, and especially after the harshness of the Qin, the Han was a period of a thriving Chinese culture. Taxes were lowered, government control was loosened, power was decentralized, policies were humanized, and the social and political elite was broadened to include more of the population. Cultural barriers were eliminated, and all classes of society benefited from an increasing wealth from trade and ordered economic interdependence.

In the midst of this flourishing society, medicine, too, advanced in leaps and strides. The Ma Wang-dui scripts, the Nan Jing (The Classic of Difficult Issues), and the Huang Di Nei Jing were all products of this period. These three documents collectively trace over four hundred years the development of the major conceptual features and theories of the medicine of systematic correspondence including anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

Traditionally dated from -2698 to -2598, but now agreed to have been completed in the -2nd to the -1st century, the Nei Jing is truly a cornerstone of acupuncture. It is comprised of 162 articles divided into two sections, each composed of multiple books. In the first book, Su Wen, or "Fundamental Questions," the conversation clarifies points of medical theory. The second book is named Ling Shu, or "Spiritual Axis/Pivot" and is essentially an acupuncture manual. These two texts together not only explain the assimilation and extension of the yin-yang theory and the incorporation of the five-phase doctrine, they also provide a focus on individual symptoms as somatic rather than supernatural events. By the time of the Nei Jing, all of the currently defined 12 regular channels as well as 135 bilateral acupoints were identified. Together, about 295 of the 670 presently accepted acupoints were known. Furthermore, the channels were illustrated as carrying qi, described partly as a product of the body and partly as a product of the environment. Either the disruption of "healthy" bodily qi or the "evil" external qi were said to induce illness.

Assigned to a date between the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Nan Jing is a composition of 81 articles and is considered "the mature development of the medicine of systematic correspondence, because it integrates for the first time all aspects of health care into the yin-yang and five-phase doctrines" (UA, p. 18). By the time of this text, two front and back midline channels expanded the 12 regular channels to 14, the channel system itself was further elaborated, and the idea of circulation of qi took a dominant role in the medicine. Moreover, the art of pulse diagnosis finds its origin in the Nan Jing. The author of the text structured the idea that the "hand great yin channel," the channel associated with the lung, was the key junction of all the channels of the body. Careful assessment of the many qualitatively distinct patterns at the radial arteries near both wrists consequentially provided diagnosis of the entire body. Although today a more generalized pulse diagnosis is taught where classroom teaching is dominant, classical Nan Jing pulse diagnosis survives today, especially in Japan where acupuncture training retains more of the apprentice tradition.

It is during the Han that the human body came to be seen as relationships between functional units (organs). "The organs were divided into zang ("depots" in the language of the time) and fu ("palaces"), reflecting their role in a complex system of functional interactions" (UA, p. 13). The idea was developed and accepted that qi is the ground substance of the human organism and of all that is, and that human well-being relied on the balanced flow of qi in channels throughout the body. It is clear that by the end of the Han, the essentials of disease and treatment had reached maturity, and the medicine of systematic correspondence had come of age.

GROWTH AND EXPANSION

From that point on, with its basic practical and philosophical tenets in place, acupuncture could only further develop and expand. Though it would go through oscillating periods of expansion and decline, acupuncture would ultimately become a staple of Chinese medical and social tradition. The following is a brief summation of acupuncture's innovations and developments and their socio-political context from the end of the Han dynasty through modern times.

Between 220 and 589, China underwent another period of political turmoil and instability. Buddhism was introduced to China, though it had relatively little influence over traditional Chinese medicines. It did, however, provide new theories for maintaining the body's health through physical exercise and psychological healing methods.

Acupuncture continued to develop throughout the period. In 282, Huang-fu Mi completed the Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Jing (The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion) text, "the oldest extant technical book devoted to acupuncture and moxibustion" (UA, p.22). This text was responsible for reporting 649 of the 670 presently known acupoints. It was also the first text to emphasize acupuncture as a means of disease prevention. It provided the framework for the fundamental idea that with the proper knowledge, disease can be treated before it arises. The text gave detailed descriptions of "the channels, naming the points on each, and listing their locations and how deeply each should be needled. It also records the length of time for which needles should be retained, the number of moxa cones to be applied to each point, and what each point is known to treat" (UA, p.22). The Jia Yi Jing clearly marked the early progression of the healing art of acupuncture.

The ideas brought forth during this period would largely remain in place through modern times. The understanding of qi circulation was further developed and refined; "the principles of correspondence, yin-yang, and the five phases were totally incorporated into the fabric of the art" (UA, p.22). This formation and unification of ideas also proved useful in the precise application of diagnoses and choice of acupoints. Concurrently, the three major schools of religious thought, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, were contributing to the already established institution of Chinese medicine as well.

By around 562, this knowledge was beginning to spread to the neighboring lands of Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Particularly in Japan, the fundamental texts of acupuncture were imported, absorbed and studied with great care.

The short but notable Sui dynasty ran from 590 to 617. During this period, China was re-centralized, and again its medicines continued to develop. The medicine man Sun Si-miao contributed greatly to the history of acupuncture, combining Daoism and Buddhist theory with that of systematic correspondence. His published works touched on a broad variety of different medicines. Most importantly, "Sun Si-miao is regarded as having systematized the measurement system that is still used to describe the positions of acupoints" (UA, p.24). In addition, he reported several different types of points not located on channels, which are still described among acupuncturists today. Although there were not any profound innovations during the Sui dynasty, it set the stage for the following Tang era, where the principles of systematic correspondence would receive more widespread acceptance.

The Tang dynasty (618 to 906) is often referred to as the second golden age of China. "The empire was united; the three philosophical pillars and contact with neighboring cultures created an atmosphere of intellectual richness" (UA, p.25). Moreover, the economic resources of the Chinese nation were abundant, creating an ideal setting for population and culture to flourish. Despite these conditions, acupuncture and the general knowledge base of traditional Chinese medicines developed minimally. The one major contribution to acupuncture during this time was through an updated edition of the Huang Di Nei text; the practice of acupuncture was, for the first time, related to seasonal and other such cycles of the Chinese calendar. The greatest concern of the emperors, however, was not advancing medicine, but rather a pseudo-scientific search for an elixir to produce immortality. Nevertheless, acupuncture remained stable as a practiced medicinal art.

In Korea and Japan, meanwhile, knowledge of acupuncture was largely increasing. In 702, the first Imperial medical college was founded in Nara, Japan. Its studies comprised mainly the traditional texts, Nei Jing, Nan Jing, and Jia Yi Jing. Schools were eventually established in both countries, which would become accepted and remain in place through modern times.

After a period of decline, the Tang dynasty collapsed in 906. For the next fifty years, China underwent yet another period of social and political disorder during which acupuncture neither advanced nor declined significantly. The country's financial resources were depleted, and it was forced to respond to external threats and aggressions from its surrounding neighbors.

During the Song dynasty, 960 to 1264, China went through a stage named the period of Neo-Confucianism. The qi paradigm was again popularized, proposing that "that qi had always existed and that all things came in and out of existence as gatherings or dissolutions of qi" (UA, p.26). Finally, these basic principles ("yin-yang, the five phases, the celestial stems, and the six climactic influences" [UA, p.27]) introduced 1000 years before in the Nan Jing, found universal acceptance in all fields of Chinese medicine. (The Nan Jing was studied enthusiastically in Japan and Korea during this time as well.)

Other important contributions to acupuncture took place during this period. One of these was the publication of Dou Han-jing's Zhen Jing Zhi Nan. "This text described zi-wu, or noon and midnight cycles, and monthly, seasonal and annual cycles of qi according to which acupuncture could be performed" (UA, p.27). Additional texts with similar concepts, including "nai jia fa, a 10-day biorhythmic cycle used in acupuncture treatment" (UA, p.28), arose at the same time. The development of these time- and cycle-oriented ideas introduced during the Tang dynasty added considerably to the foundation of acupuncture theory.

The Yuan dynasty (1264 to 1368) was a period when China became a subject of Genghis Khan's vast Mongolian empire. The Khan were fairly lenient rulers of the Chinese, allowing the free exchange of knowledge and the continued spread of Neo-Confucianism. Medicine became increasingly specialized and the understanding of acupuncture was further detailed. The most notable new text of the time was Hua Shuo's Shi Si Jing Fa Hui (An Elucidation of the Fourteen Channels), published in 1341. This text described "303 points on the 12 regular channels, and 51 on the two medial channels - a total of 657 of the now-accepted 670 acupoints." There were other important aspects of the text as well:

Hua Shuo realized that the governing vessel and conception vessel were the only extra channels to have their own points, and created many of the modern waterway analogies used to describe the circulation of qi. ä His edition of the Nan Jing is considered by some to be the best of those that survived. (UA, p.30)

In 1368, the Chinese regained control of their land. The Ming dynasty lasted from 1368 until 1643. Confucian education became available to members of the many lower classes who would have formerly been excluded. Opportunity and prosperity increased in abundance for the masses. There were more books and a more widespread sharing of information. These factors combined encouraged the Chinese intellectual community to expand far beyond its previous limits: "orthodoxy lost its power and diversity took its place" (UA, p.31). Medicine, too, was thoroughly diversified. Many new schools were formed based on this resultant broad variety of ideologies.

Though primarily stable, acupuncture experienced a slight decline in popularity during this period, mainly due to criticism toward the formerly dominant yun-qi stem-branch biorhythmic system. Nonetheless, new innovations in the field continued to arise. One example is Xu Feng's Zhen Jiu Da Quan, "the first text to systematically describe the eight extraordinary vessels and the daily, 10-day and 60-day biorhythm treatment methods" (UA, p.33). Another is Gao Wu's Zhen Jiu Ju Ying, which introduced the use of supplementing and draining acupoints.

The most famous work of the era, however, is Yang Ji-zhou's Zhen Jiu Da Cheng, published in 1601. This text reported 667 of the known 670 acupoints. The Zhen Jiu Da Cheng and Li Shi-zhen's Ben Cao Gang Mu together comprise the most comprehensive volumes of Chinese medical knowledge before modern times. Particularly significant about these works is that they were not merely individual or personal theories, but a reflection of the consensus of the medical community. Thus they remain "the strongest representative[s] of classical clinical acupuncture" (UA, p.33).

The final dynasty, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1911. For almost three centuries, China was subject to the rule of Manchurians. The Manchu, too, had adopted the "Confucian social model," so China's "cultural continuity" (UA, p.36) was preserved. They ruled relatively peacefully, though the empire was destined to collapse due to a number of circumstances. By the 19th century, the population explosion caused a shortage of food supplies; a number of wars and rebellions finally led to the dismantling of the empire and the chaotic birth of the new Chinese Republic.

Meanwhile the increasing infiltration of Western thought brought about a severe decline in all traditional Chinese medicines. In the entire Qing dynasty, there were few new books or innovations in the field of acupuncture. By 1912, the vast majority of China had given up altogether on the traditional medicinal methods of the past. The once dominant qi paradigm was reduced to "a tangled web of details and complexities" (UA, p.37).

The few who still believed in traditional medicine turned to what is considered the Han-Xue movement. Proponents of this movement looked toward the early Han dynasty for the pure and untainted knowledge of the earlier wise men. Xu Da-chun, the most avid and articulate supporter of this movement, criticized the modern acupuncturists "for incorrect channel and point location, over-reliance on formula acupuncture, ignorance of the generic five-phase points, loss of supplementation and draining theory and technique, and ignorance of seasonal correspondences and the methods of internal medicine" (UA, p.37). Despite the efforts of this fleeting movement, by the 1930's acupuncturists in China were a dying breed: "there was only one acupuncturist in all of Canton" (UA, p.37).

MODERN TIMES

Acupuncture today enjoys what may be its greatest popularity to date. It is important to note that this popularity, however, is a fairly recent achievement of the medicine. In the early 20th century, China, as the rest of Asia, experienced a flood of Europeans and American influence. As early as the late 1890's the European germ theories of Koch, List, and Pasteur were starting to arrive in China, marking the beginning of Western medicine in the Far East. By 1912, acupuncture was in precipitous decline, barely able to counter this growth of biomedicine. At the same time, traditional Chinese medicine had gained a small hold in Europe and North America but was far from accepted, and by the beginning of the First World War, the art of acupuncture was close to cultural extinction in China.

Only a handful of background information is required to understand this sharp decline of acupuncture. What Europeans first introduced to China was not medicine or culture; it was a narcotic drug called opium. Designed to profit the Westerners who organized it, the opium trade grew exponentially throughout the 19th century, having appalling effects on Chinese society. It was a social horror, and it very aptly illustrated the subhuman status in which many Westerners held the Chinese as well as the creations of Chinese culture, including acupuncture. To add to the trauma, a famine in 1878-1879 left 9 million people in unimaginably horrifying conditions. There was no public sanitation, and open sewers and garbage-laden streets were the standard urban scene. It was in this atmosphere of decline, loss of self-determination, and inconceivable human suffering that the Republic of China was formed in 1911. China quickly developed a desire to modernize, and its people began to turn to Western medicine. Given this background information, it is not difficult to understand why the beginning of the 20th century was a devastating time for acupuncture, theoretically as well as practically. In the fall of 1915, an order was issued demanding that medical, pharmacy, and veterinary students meet the qualifications established by Western nations. By 1929, registration of traditional doctors was ceased, and an announcement was made by the Ministry of Health proposing the abolishment of traditional medicine altogether.

Though in rapid decline, not everyone stood for the disappearance of traditional Chinese medicine. In the 1920's a group of traditional practitioners formed the zhong yi ("Chinese medicine") movement seeking to salvage their medicine. Through this movement, the group attempted to create a force that could resist the enroachment of xi yi, "Western medicine." Though unsuccessful at the time, this movement laid the foundation for the reappearance and modernization of traditional medicine following the Second World War.

The resurgence of acupuncture in China after the Second World War had a relatively simply understood cause, namely "the greatest and most intractable public health problem of any nation in the world," as stated by the United Nations Relief Organization. Among the first tasks of the People's Republic was coming up with a way to provide health care for a huge society. China found itself with less than 40,000 Western physicians and approximately 500,000 disorganized and crudely trained traditional practitioners attempting to serve a population of a half billion people. Thus, the clear and pragmatic reason for the post-war promotion of traditional medicine: there was no other choice.

A compromise had to be reached. Conservative politicians saw traditional medicine as an aspect of Chinese culture to preserve against the onslaught of Western enroachment. Meanwhile, political modernists saw it as, at best, "a collection of empirical tricks, some of which might be useful" (UA, p. 52). With the help of a general feeling of preserving the essence of Chinese culture, traditional medicine was saved from abandonment or possible prohibition, but not without being scientifically modernized. And so, starting in the 1950's, traditional medical schools with standardized curricula were established to teach basic biomedical sciences, traditional pharmacotherapy, and acupuncture. It was then, too, that the zhong yi movement triumphantly re-emerged. For the first time in the 20th century, Chinese medicine had "a firm cultural position, a clear economic role, and a powerful political patron" (UA, p. 52).

Efforts to integrate Western and Chinese medicines continued through the 1950's with limited success. Having neither money nor prestige, traditional practitioners, who were not themselves united, feared eventual elimination. Furthermore, "popularization and expansion had further diluted what had never been a homogenous system" (UA, p. 53). Despite these drawbacks, the late 1950's did experience one of the most important developments of acupuncture, at least from the viewpoint of Western physicians. It is during this time that aggressive acupuncture techniques were developed and that acupuncture was first utilized as an anesthetic and analgesic during surgery.

When Westerners started flooding China after Nixon's visit, it was these techniques they were shown. They brought these back to the West, where they were popularized and became a primary focus for research. (UA, p. 53)

Another factor that greatly contributed to the westward migration of acupuncture appeared in the 1970's in the form of acupuncture programs sponsored by the World Health Organization. Physicians from many countries came to China to take advantage of these programs, and since the early 1980's many similar programs have been established for non-physician acupuncturists as well. Today, affiliations exist between many Western acupuncture schools and traditional medical schools in China, allowing students to travel abroad to partake in pre- and post-graduation programs. In the 1980's by the so-called "three roads" policy allowed for the individual development of traditional medicine, biomedicine, and their combination, integrated medicine. Since then, more than 2000 Chinese physicians have graduated with a thorough training in both traditional and Western medicine.

CONCLUSION

With this tidbit on the history of acupuncture, it is clear that this medicinal art is indeed one of the oldest and most complex that exists, based on ideas and theories formulated over hundreds of years. Acupuncture has come a long way since its origins and has won an uphill battle against time, misunderstanding, and criticism to gain the great popularity that it enjoys today. Despite its successes, however, there are still many legislative and public opinion battles to be fought in terms of its acceptance and utilization as a modern medicine. It is hoped that within the next several years, acupuncture will break through the remaining political barriers and that the world will see practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine as primary care providers with licensing in all states, much the way chiropractors are today. Much of the friction arises from the western need to see hard scientific evidence of how acupuncture works*. Advocates of the practice are optimistic that western science will eventually catch up to the complexities of acupuncture and provide a logical explanation for its consistent success. "Traditional Chinese medicine offers a comprehensive, integrated and well-tested theory: its application in acupuncture, which is inexpensive, non-invasive, safe and effective, is surely a key form of treatment for the future" (Acupuncture, p. 143).

* McCann, Henry

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Birch, Stephen J., and Robert L. Felt. Understanding Acupuncture. Brookline, Massachusetts: Paradigm Publications, 1999.

Firebrace, Peter. Acupuncture: Restoring the Body's Natural Healing Energy. New York, New York: Harmony Books, 1988.

McCann, Henry. Electronic interview. 15 December 2000.

Stone, Al. Electronic interview. 14 December 2000.

Stone, Al. Acupuncture.com. 23 November 2000. http://www.acupuncture.com.

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