Chinese Medicine dates back thousands of years. This ancient medicine is commonly referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is the culmination of hundreds of years of knowledge based on experience and observation.

The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic

One of the most influential books that helped shape Chinese Medicine is called The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic. This ancient text is thought to have been compiled around 400-200 B.C. It is one of the first ancient texts that began to look at the body from a more holistic approach, not shamanic as many of the previous texts. It is interesting in nature because it engages the reader in a dialogue between teacher and student as many questions are answered. Some of these are about the flow of the universe as it relates to the body, lifestyle, diet, and environment affecting disease and how to treat it. This new school of thought came from the Daoist ideology that was prevalent at the time. It has served as a road map that set the foundation for all Chinese Medicine that followed.

Archeological Findings

An interesting fact that helps prove the age of Chinese Medicine are the archeological findings of stone slivers that were used for acupuncture. These date back about 4,000 years ago to around 1600 B.C. It is believed that these slivers were used to stimulate acupuncture points on the body. As they learned more about acupuncture points and their functions this information was recorded for future use. As history progressed these stone slivers evolved into jade, gold, and silver. Today, we use thin gauged silver or gold needles to stimulate the many acupuncture points along the body.

Acupuncture in Modern Times

In modern times, traditional Chinese Medicine has gained in popularity. France was one of the first to adopt this medicine in the 1950’s when they began teaching this tradition. In the United States, President Nixon helped raise awareness about Chinese Medicine after visiting China in 1972.
Later, Miriam Lee, became the first to pioneer this medicine as she began teaching it in California. She also helped legalize it in the United States making it legal for others to practice under a license after graduating from an accredited program. Once this was achieved, Chinese Medicine took off allowing Chinese Medicine practitioners to be found in every major city in the United States and most of the world.

Chinese Medicine at Community Acupuncture Clinic in Boulder, CO

If you are interested in learning more about Chinese Medicine a good book to start out with is The Web Who Has No Weaver by Ted Kaptchuk. It’s also always a good idea to go into your local acupuncture clinic for a treatment! Contact us today if you’re interested in seeing what Chinese Medicine can do for you!

acupuncture needles with chinese herbal medicine selection and mandarin calligraphy script on rice paper

Copyright: marilyna / 123RF Stock Photo



Joaquina Cante Administrator
Joaquina Cante, L.Ac., Shaman, is a nationally board certified acupuncturist and holistic healthcare practitioner in Boulder, Colorado. Owner of Hummingbird Community Acupuncture, she is a believer in the innate power of each individual to heal and become a better human being.