The acupuncture is one of the methods which is used for the treatment of diseases is ancient Chinese medicine system. The meaning of the Acus; which is in fact a Latin term; is needle; and the meaning on Puncture is to stick into. In china the acupuncture is called Chen-Chin(neddle-wormth). Needle is for acupuncture and the work warmth is for moxibustion which is a complementary (after-treatment) treatment. Moxibution is burning the plant named Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris) at the point of acupuncture.
Even though the history of acupuncture goes back for 4-5 thousand years in China, the date when it started to be used is not yet known for sure. But the founder of this treatment is deemed to be Huang-ti (Yellow Emperor). According to the Chinese history The Emperor Huang_ti (B.C. 2698-2598) has mentioned it by stating that soldiers who were wounded by an arrow at the war were healed from certain diseases.
The first acupuncture book which contains detailed information is the one written around B.C. 200 Hungdi Neiging Suwen. This book, which is one of the ancient scientific studies written in China, was translated to English language with the name “ The Yellow Emperor’s on International Medicine”.
Some parts of those very old hand written books and texts ate in our hands. At the time of Tsin Dynasty (A.C.265-420) Acupuncture and Moxibution developed with a great speed. In the handiwork named Zhen Jiu Jia Yi Ying (A Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibition) 349 principle acupuncture points were defined and list of 649 places on human body were given. In the book, the acupuncture theory, the points and the field of use, as well as the manipulation of the needles were specified. At the time of Tang Dynasty, Acupuncture and Moxibition showed a continuous development.
At the times of Sung, Kin and Yuan Dynasties (690-1368) The Acupuncture and the points on human body that are 657 in the book Tong Jen She Xue Zhen Jiu Tu Jing “illustrated manual on Points for Acupuncture and Moxbition as Found on The Bronze Figure” are described and information is given.
The bronze figure which is a medical educational model made in 1027 is in our hands now. This Educational model, which is used for the exams of the students, is covered by a thin plaster-tape. The student sticks the needles into the plaster tape, and if s/he sticks them into properly the needle would slip into the metal hole in side. This way the students were taking their examinations.
In 1068 a faculty teaching on acupuncture was opened. The handiwork of Hua Shou “Shi Si Jing Fa Huei “ The Enlargement of Fourteen Channels” has a significant importance regarding the development of theory of channels.
After the foundation of The People’s Republic of China, The President Mao Tse Tung has mentioned about the importance of the Chinese medicine and pharmacology, and said that it is necessary to make researches and bring it to a higher level. This way acupuncture became popular once again and many different kinds of researches were started. Warm and hot needles were tried, electricity and simulation were attempted, and experiments about injection of distilled water at the acupuncture point were conducted.
After treating the pain of a patient who had a surgery of Tonsillectomy in 1958, it is revealed that acupuncture may effectively be used for analgesics. In operative analgesics acupuncture started to be used firstly; actively for having out teeth in 1958.
After proving that it is successful on that field, it also started to be used widely in Tonsillectomy, throidectomy, and hernia surgeries.
In Europe acupuncture started to be known through the missionary men in XVII. Century.
First of all a surgeon named Ren Rhyne published a scientific study on acupuncture between 1683-1690 in London.
In 1863 M.Dabry who has been the French Consulate in China published a book named “medicine in China”. In this book, Chinese pulses and their meanings and the diseases were studied. Starting from XVII. Century until 1929 various European authors have published various 200 articles about acupuncture. In 1929s with the support of Dr. Ferreyrolles, M. Soulie de Morant who has been the consulate of France in China started to translate all the Chinese works in his hand. By these translations Acupuncture became to be known and wide spread in Europe.
Tao which is a religion built up in China in VI. Century was a ruling force of traditional belief. Tao, which is never changing in nature, forms up an adjustment and balance force by acting against the counter forces. This counter force under the effect of Tao is Yin and Yang.
Yin, is the female element and is cold and dark, and represents the negative effects like Pacific.
Yang; is the male element and is warm and light, and represents the positive features. The preparations of daily happenings and passing them to sub-consciousness are a phenomenon belonging to yin. Movement, working, forming up something is the function of yang. As long as these two forces, which cannot be separated but take place in human being as counterparts, remain in balance, it is impossible for that person to get sick or feel pain.
It is accepted that all diseases and painful situations are because of the unbalanced state of these two forces. The traditional acupuncture appliers believe that a force called Chi (living power) which is formed up of the balanced mixture of yin and yang in body, circuit around those invisible channels which circle around the body in length and are called meridians. These channels join together at the surface and the inner channels of human body like a net and they regulate the body functions. In another word, according to the traditional Chinese opinion yin and yang are not found purely always. They are always in a certain ratio of mixture. The balance between them, supplies the optimal function of the meridian and the organ that is connected with that meridian.
The functioning of feelings and cerebrum, teeth, chewing function and tasting is under the ruling of yang. So, the yang has the sympatric (adrenergic) system. Yin is equal to the para-symphatic (cholinergic) system. Yang meridians circuit along the dorsal or outer part of the body, as the yin meridians take place at the ventral or inner part of the body. Yang meridian moves from up to down on a person who is standing and holding his arms up. The Yin meridian is on the opposite side.
In the acupuncture books the classification of meridians is different.
As per the traditional Chinese conception, the meridians are classified in two groups. They are the regular meridians (12 meridians) and the extra (8 meridians) meridians. Additionally there are collaterals, which provide the connection between meridians. The meridians are distributed symmetrically in the body; they form up a union with organs in body inside, with 4 extremities outside, with skin and chordotonal organs. One of each 12 meridians belongs to an organ in inner body.