Acupuncture Develops in China (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Acupuncture, deeply rooted in the basic principles undergirding Chinese culture, evolved from obscure predynastic origins into a highly complex system of medicine during the Zhou Dynasty.
Summary of Event
Acupuncture, an ancient technique of traditional Chinese medicine, consists of treating health disorders by inserting thin needles at various points on a patient’s body. This therapeutic procedure has a long history in China.
Certain archaeologists have traced it to the Chinese stone age, but other scientists doubt that the crude stone needles that have been unearthed warrant such an interpretation. During the dynastic periods, the Chinese attributed their pivotal inventions to fabulously eminent exemplars of predynastic times, and acupuncture typifies this practice of honorable attribution. According to these myths, which may or may not have a basis in reality, the legendary ruler Shen Nong (Shen Nung, known as the divine farmer) and the Yellow Emperor, Huangdi (Huang-ti, c. 2704-c. 2600 b.c.e.), originated acupuncture. Shen Nong and Huangdi may have lived in the third millennium b.c.e., but many modern scholars consider their existence doubtful and believe they may have been created by later Confucian functionaries to provide China with a noble past.
Some historians of Chinese religion emphasize the connection between Daoism (Taoism) and medicine. Daoist ideas of...
(The entire section is 1393 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!