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History Of Acupuncture

Archaeological finds of the late Chang Dynasty (c. 1000 B.C.) include both acupuncture needles and divination bones on which were inscribed discussion of medical problems. By the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.), the basics of Chinese medical theory and practice were firmly in place. Prominent among them were the concepts of yin and yang, the Five Phases, Channel Theory, various needling methods, a pharmacopoeia, and a relatively sophisticated approach to therapy. By the 4th century A.D., the medical classics that laid the foundation of Chinese medicine had been written. Chinese medicine continued to develop in later dynasties as the fundamental concepts set forth in the early classics were refined and expanded.

Historical records document the spread of acupuncture and moxibution (heat therapy) to other countries at a very early date, with practices introduced to Japan and Korea in the 6th century. In the 17th century, it spread to Europe and then to the United States where is was practiced primarily within Oriental communities until trade relations with the Peoples Republic of China were opened in the 1970's.

Oregon began licensing acupuncturists in 1973 (one of the first two states to do so). In 1985, acupuncture in the U.S. reached a new level of acceptance with the implementation of national board certification involving written and practical examinations. National board certification in Chinese herbology began in 1994. National board certification in Asian bodywork began in 1999. Acupuncturists are currently licensed and practicing in most of the fifty states.