Acupuncture is one of the great pillars of Chinese Medicine. It traces its origins back thousands of years to the first published and systematized text on Chinese medicine The Huang di Neijing, The yellow Emperor’s classic of medicine, 240 B.C. This medical text is rooted firmly in the philosophy of Taoism and can trace its origins back to an even earlier period, the Golden Age of Taoism. It was during this age (2500BC-3000BC) that the Taoist canon the I Ching, the Book of Transformations or the Book of Changes was believed to have been written. Interestingly, the I Ching was presented in a form of binary code that predates the binary code by at least 5000 years.
In 1600 Godfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz, philosopher and mathematician, discovered a model for a new math, “The binary code” which used the character “O” and the character “I” which forms the basis for all digital technology today. Leibniz titled his article on this new math, An explanation of the binary arithmetic which uses only the characters “O” and “I”, with some remarks on its usefulness, and on the light it throws on the ancient Chinese figure of Fuxi the legendary first author of the I -Ching. The binary code in the I Ching was presented through a series of hexagrams using solid and broken lines. The solid line was represented as “yang” and the character 1, and the broken line as “yin” and the character “O”. The binary code described by Leibniz is used today in every modern computer, smart phone and the new generation of super computers.
There is mounting evidence that the precepts of Chinese medicine and acupuncture may have been brought to China from India by Buddhist monks. During the Vedic period in India (5000BC), agnikarma (moxibustion), sirvadhanna (acupuncture), marma ohititsa (acupuncture points) and were mentioned in both the Rigveda and the Alharveda. One such volume of the Vedas, the Suchi Veda translated as the Art of Piercing with a Needle was written over 3000 years ago, and deals exclusively with acupuncture. Some Indian historians believe that visiting Chinese scholar monks may also have learned acupuncture at Takshashila University, India as early as 100 B.C. The ancient Vedic texts also speak of the existence of a life force (Prana) Qi in Chinese medicine, energy circuits (Nadis) in Indian yoga. The Varahopanishad states that the Nadis penetrate the body from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head circulating Prana (Qi) the breath of life just as Qi circulates in the acupuncture meridians, from head to toe.
Interestingly, from a historic point of view there seems to be proof that acupuncture may also have been practised in prehistoric Europe. In September 1991 two German tourists discovered a frozen mummy “Otzi” preserved in a glacier along the Austro-Italian border. Analysis of the body places him to be around 5,300 years old. Tattooed on his back, right knee and left ankle were acupuncture meridian points for back pain. X-rays subsequently showed that “Otzi” suffered from arthritis of the hips, knee, ankle and lumbar spine.
There can be absolutely no doubt that the Chinese have adopted acupuncture as their own and turned it into one of the oldest, most continuous evidence-based treatment modalities in the world. Today acupuncture is practised in nearly every country in the world and is perpetually evolving, yet staying true to its Chinese and Daoist origins.
In Europe, the US and Japan, acupuncture has not only thrived, but has been greatly enhanced by its exposure to such modern technologies as lasers, microcurrents, computerized meridian assessment, electrical and magnetic stimulation of acupuncture points, infrared heat lamps, electric moxibustion. Acupuncture has also witnessed the emergence of microsystem acupuncture or holographic acupuncture, microsystems which have become therapeutic modalities in themselves. Ex: scalp acupuncture, ear acupuncture, hand acupuncture, etc.
At Immumed, beside being trained in classical Chinese acupuncture (needles, moxibustion, pulse and tongue diagnosis, palpation) our practitioners are also extensively trained in the following modern forms of acupuncture: