Acupuncture originated over two thousand years ago in China and was discussed for the first time in the Chinese medical scripture known as Huang Di Nei Jing. In the sixth century, the practice of Chinese medicine began spreading to Japan along with the propagation of Buddhism.
In the beginning acupuncture treatment was done using bamboo and sharp stones. These were later replaced with bamboo clips and fish bones. With technological advancement, metal needles began to be used for acupuncture treatment. It was in 17th century that Waichi Sugiyama, who wanted to develop a quick and painless method of insertion, developed a small tube like structure through which needles could be inserted. This technique continues to be used even today in all parts of the world by acupuncturists, particularly in Japan. At present, the needles used are as thin as hair due which the treatment has become absolutely painless.
In Japan, acupuncture was the primary health care technique for thousands of years before western medications techniques began to be used. Thus, the role of an acupuncturist was as important as that of a modern day physician. In Japan, acupuncture continues to be a very important part of health care even today. It is often used along with other systems of treatment. In North America, it is now used extensively as a pain management therapy. According to a study, about 6 percent of the people in the United States visited an acupuncturist to alleviate various symptoms such as fatigue, chronic pain, digestive disorders, arthritis and nausea.
In 1995, the acupuncture needles were accepted as medical instruments by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They assured that acupuncture needles were effective and safe for use. It is now widely accepted as a part of medical studies in major schools such as UCLA. These schools provide acupuncture training as a part of their curriculum.
The US National Health Institute recognized Acupuncture as an effective method of treating various illnesses. It is a proven fact that acupuncture has much lesser side effects in comparison to any other technique of treatment such as pharmaceuticals and surgery. It was also officially accepted in Ontario Medical Association as a complimentary medicine due to its far-fetched success in treating various conditions.
At Present, China and Taiwan play a major role in the development of traditional art of Acupuncture. In Japan, there are various colleges that teach acupuncture which have given rise to over 8 thousand doctors practicing acupuncture. Even in the United States, about 8000 acupuncture practitioners exist. It can bee seen that acupuncture is now practiced throughout the world. In fact, more and more research is being carried out to improve knowledge about acupuncture. The cost of an acupuncture therapy is not as high as other forms of treatment like surgery. Thus, it is now being used increasingly by people all over the world as an alternative form of treatment. It has even been accepted as a part of Insurance Plans and many companies provide full coverage over acupuncture treatments. This distinctly indicates it’s all round success.