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History of acupuncture.

History of acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years by several differing cultures. Today it is mainly associated with traditional Chinese medicine where evidence of its use goes back some 2000 years with the writing of the first book to accurately record the needle points.

However, there is evidence of its use within other cultures earlier than this. The Papyrus Ebers are an Ancient Egyptian medical treatise which also indicates the use of acupuncture like treatments.

The Vedas, which are the most ancient scriptures of Hinduism, contain within them the Ayurveda or 'science of life' that also include the use of acupuncture. Although this was only recorded as a written text circa 1300 BC it is believed to have been passed down by word of mouth for generations. They are thought to be between 5000 and 7000 years old. (1)

Although each text has subtle variations, all describe the use of needle like implements to pierce the skin to provide symptomatic relief.

(1) Ross F. 'The Lost Secrets of Ayurvedic Acupuncture'. 1 Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1995.

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