science of acupuncture and moxibustion is a subject dealing with the
prevention and treatment of diseases by needling and moxibustion methods.
For thousands of years it has been accepted by the general Chinese
population as an effective curative method for a wide range of indications,
becuase of its simple application, low-cost and safety, among its other
moxibustion are an important component of traditional Chinese medicine
with a long history. As early as the new stone age in China, primitive
human beings used the bian stone, the earliest acupuncture instrument,
to treat diseases.
Needles made of
bone and bamboo appeared during the period of development of production
the development of metal casting techniques, metal medical needles,
such as bronze, iron, gold and silver needles were used.
At present, stainless-steel
needles are widely used by most western practitioners in the form of
sterilized disposable needles of various gauges, determined by body
type and reactivity.
developed gradually as early as the discovery and use of fire. At first,
primitive man found that warming themselves by fire relieved or stopped
'cold' pain in parts of the body. This evolved into using methods of
burnt hot stone or sand wrapped in animal skin or bark to treat diseases
with local hot compression.
Based on this,
people gradually perfected the technique, using ignited branches or
bundles of hay to warm the diseased part of the body. This is the most
primitive form of moxibustion. Gradually, leaves from the moxa plant
were chosen as the most effective moxibustion material.
The science of
acupuncture and moxibustion sustained an uninterrupted course of development.
From the Eastern Han dynasty to the Three Kingdoms, the science of
acupuncture and moxibustion developed further. Hua Tuo, the famous
Chinese physician during that period, could select only one or two
points in acupuncture treatments. He paid much attention to the propagation
of needling sensation. He was ascribed to the authorship of Canon of
Moxibustion and Acupuncture Preserved in Pillow.
another physician in this period has also elaborated the methods of
acupuncture, moxibustion, fires needling, and warm needling management
of various treatment in acupuncture. In his book, Treatise on Febrile
and Miscellaneous Diseases, he stressed the combination of acupuncture
with medicinal herbs for treatment according to the differentiation
of symptom complex.
The famous Chinese
medical doctor Huangfu Mi in the Jin Dynasty compiled the book A B
Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion by collecting materials of acupuncture
and moxibustion from the ancient books Plain Questions, Canon of Acupuncture
and Essential of Points, Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Huangfu Mi's
book consists of 12 volumes with 128 chapters, including 349 acu-points
with locations, indications, and manipulations of these points. It
also describes regulating techniques and precautions of acupuncture
and moxibustion, and the treatment of common diseases by acupuncture
and moxibustion. This is the earliest exclusive book on acupuncture
and moxibustion and has been one of the most influential works in the
history of these techniques.
In this century,
acupuncture and moxibustion were introduced abroad, and popularly applied
in many countries. They have become an important part of the medical
exchanges between China and foreign countries, and have made great
contribution to peoples health throughout the world.