A Brief History
Acupuncture and its complementary therapies are based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is a comprehensive medical system designed over two thousand years ago by ancient practitioners in order to diagnose, treat and prevent illness. The first known Chinese medical book is the famous text, the 'Huang Di Nei Jing', translated as 'The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine'. It is still considered as the foundation of Chinese medicine and is at the core of all TCM schools today.
TCM was built upon careful observation of the interconnectedness of the human body. Ancient Chinese practitioners discovered ways to manipulate a network of systems in the body in order to produce desired effects. They also uncovered various sources that directly impacted the body, such as certain elements from the natural environment, pscyho-emotional aspects of our internal domain, and dietary and lifestyle patterns. With this knowledge, they aimed to promote more harmony, stability and balance within the body so that it could return to a state of health.
Introduction into the U.S.
Although brought to the country earlier in history, acupuncture became popular in the United States in the 70's, when President Nixon made a visit to China. James Reston, a New York Times columnist who accompanied him, fell ill and had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. According to Reston, Chinese medical doctors used acupuncture as an anesthetic to successfully treat his pain during and after the process. Reston wrote an article about his experience, bringing awareness to the public about the effectiveness of this medicine.
Flash Forward to Today
It is well known that acupuncture works wonders for pain relief. What many people don't know, however, is that it has also been shown to provide relief from many different health issues. Today, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have recognized at least 30 common medical conditions that show improvement with the application of acupuncture. There are now over 50 accredited schools around the country that train professional practitioners in this medical field.
TCM has successfully treated countless health conditions for over two millennia. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of the population of the United States has tried any of its therapies. A large part of this reason is simply due to the fact that they don't understand it. It is full of so many vague terms, foreign concepts and contradicting interpretations that even acupuncturists often struggle to explain it.
At Shire Acupuncture, we want to help the community wrap their heads around TCM so that everyone can begin to feel more comfortable with this seemingly mystical medical system. To do that, we have compiled materials from various schools of thought for you to explore. These articles contain unique theories and interpretations of TCM from both Eastern and Western perspectives. At our clinic, we feel that each theory contains valid arguments and should be treated with equal respect and inclusivity. These articles, along with other interesting TCM-related articles, can be found on our 'research' page under the 'information' tab, or simply by clicking here.