HISTORY OF ACUPUNCTURE...
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most dependable, and widely used forms of medicine used throughout the world; it dates back over 4,500 years. By its very nature, acupuncture is a gentle, safe, effective health care system. Acupuncturists use ultra-thin (about the width of a human hair), sterile, single use disposable needles that are gently inserted into specific points along meridians or channels that navigate the body. The insertion and gentle stimulation of the needles triggers the body's natural healing power to restore health, prevent disease, and improve well-being in the attainment of homeostasis.
Where does Acupuncture come from?
The science and art of acupuncture is well documented and spans across centuries, all the way back to the Stone Age. Records of its use have been found in many parts of the world, not just the Orient, as most commonly thought.
The Chinese medical compendium, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, is the oldest written record about acupuncture. It is thought to be the oldest medical book in the world, heralding from Emperor Huang Di who reigned between 2,696—2,598 B.C.
However, signs of acupuncture being used are found all over the ancient world. There’s evidence of its practice in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Sri Lanka, parts of Europe, and South America. Even our North American Indians have used it.
The Eskimos, for example, are said to still use sharpened stones for treating illness. Written evidence of the use of acupuncture in Egypt and Saudi Arabia also exists. The Ebers papyrus of 1,550 B.C. describes a physical system of channels and vessels that is closely matched to the Chinese system of meridians.
Even older evidence than the examples above exist. In 1991, a 5,000-year-old mummified man was found along the Otz valley between Austria and Italy. Remarkably well preserved, a complex system of tattoos were discovered on his body, and verified to be directly on, or within six millimeters of, traditional acupuncture points and meridians.
Evidence Showing What Acupuncture ‘Does’
Some research suggests that acupuncture stimulates your central nervous system to release natural chemicals that alter bodily systems, pain, and other biological processes. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an extensive review and analysis of clinical trials involving acupuncture. According to this report,1 acupuncture impacts the body on multiple levels, including:
Stimulating the conduction of electromagnetic signals, which may release immune system cells or pain-killing chemicals
Activation of your body’s natural opioid system, which may help reduce pain or induce sleep
Stimulation of your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which modulate numerous body systems
Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, which may positively influence brain chemistry
Acupuncture, it turns out, does something completely unexpected—it deactivates certain parts of the brain, particularly in the limbic system, decreasing neuronal activity, opposed to having an activating impact. Their experiment also clearly showed that superficial sham needling did NOT have this effect. The limbic system is associated with our experience of pain, adding further evidence that something very unique happens during acupuncture—it quite literally alters your experience of pain by shutting down these deeper brain regions.