Acupuncture and herbal medicine
The cultural legacy of Early Imperial China
how it started
Chinese doctors used acupuncture — the insertion of long, sharp needles under the skin — to alleviate pain and promote healing. They based their use of this on the belief that illness resulted from an imbalance in the forces of yin and yang. Acupuncturists have identified more than 360 points in the human body that can be stimulated, by inserting fine needles, to relieve or cure particular medical problems.
Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) involves the use of natural products to treat medical problems. This practice dates back to at least the third century BC. People who followed the Daoist religion supported it, and Daoist doctors were very successful in identifying the healing properties of different herbs and plant extracts.
Today people all over the world practise traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) through both acupuncture and herbal medicine. People who practise traditional western medicine are researching the benefits of CHM. They are looking at how it can be used in conjunction with western medicine.