|Yin-Yang is the essence of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Approximately 8000 years, ago, Fu Xi (Hsi), an ancient Chinese
emperor, proposed the theories of yin-yang, triplicity, eight trigrams and 64 hexagrams in a book called the I-Ching (or the
Book of Changes). Yin and Yang represent the male and female nature, the positive and the negative, the top and bottom,
the back and front, day and night, dark and light, the opposite poles of electrical charges, right and left, and on and on. He
believed that for every positive energy there is a negative one too. These opposing energies form a complexity of symmetries
and give rise to evolution and changes in all of nature. Fu Xi is also credited with a host of major inventions such as net for
capturing birds and animals in his time, which had greatly facilitated early human life. The I-Ching shaped Chinese thinking
and is one of the most influential books in Chinese philosophy and culture. The Yin-Yang theory is the basis for Traditional
Acupuncture originated about 5000 years ago, and was first discussed in the ancient Chinese medical text book Huang Di
Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine), a book that is about 2500 old. The book addressed not only Yin-
Yang, but also the five elements: gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. In the elements, one goes against another and one
affiliates to another; for example: gold against wood, water against fire, water floats wood, earth grows trees (wood).
Therefore,balances of the universe including the health of human beings are maintained. The book was the earliest systematic
medical text book in recorded human history. It is still a required subject for Traditional Chinese Medicine students even
today. It has been translated into many languages. During the Yellow Emperor ages, sharp edged stones (bian stone) were
used as tools to treat diseases.
About 1000BC, during the Shang dynasty, the Chinese started to use a bronze needle (excavated evidence)and moxibustion.
During the Warren States Era (421-221 B.C.) metal needles replaced the bian stones. Four gold needles and five silver
needles were found in an ancient tomb dating back to 113B.C.The Nan Jing (Medical FAQ and Answers), which discusses the
five element theory, jin luo diagnosis, eight extra meridians, and other important topics, was written during those years as well.
From 260-265 A.D., the famous physician Huang Fu Mi organized all of the ancient literature into his classic text,Systematic
Classics of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Acupuncture experienced great development during the Sui (581-618) and Tang
(618-907) Dynasties. Upon a request from the Tang Government (627-649A.D.), the famous physician Zhen Quan revised the
important acupuncture texts and charts. Another famous physician of the time, Sun Simio, wrote Prescription with a Thousand
Gold for Emergencies (650-692). This text includes data on acupuncture from various scholars. During the Tang period,
acupuncture became a special branch of medicine and practitioners were named Acupuncturists. Acupuncture schools
appeared, and acupuncture education became part of the Imperial Medical Bureau. Acupuncture experienced great
development during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties. After that acupuncture continue to develop and spread
to the world.
The World Federation of Acupuncture-moxibustion Societies (WFAS) was established in 1987. WHO (the world health
organization) recommended that acupuncture could be applied to 300 types of diseases and 100 types of those diseases could
be improved and 60 types of the 300 could be cured.
In the United States, very few publications mentioned acupuncture, until President Nixon visited China in 1972. Traveling with
Nixon was New York Times reporter James Reston, who received acupuncture to ease pain after his emergency
appendectomy, was impressed the experienced from the procedure that he wrote about acupuncture upon returning to the
United States. Then in 1971, E. Gray Diamond M.D. wrote about the experiences in China in JAMA . In 1973, the New York
Society of acupuncture for physicians and dentists was formed. This was the first physician and surgeon organization in the
United States dedicated to acupuncture. In 1973, The AMA council of Scientific affairs declared acupuncture an experimental
medical procedure. The FDA then required acupuncture equipment to be labeled as investigative devices. In 1983, The
American Osteopathic Association endorsed the use of acupuncture as a part of the practice of medicine.In 1987, The
American Academy of Medical acupuncture was formed as the first national physician and surgeon organization dedicated to
the advancement of acupuncture within America. In 1994, the NIH and the FDA reviewed the investigational designation of
acupuncture needles. In 1995, the FDA reclassified the acupuncture needles as Class II medical devices. In 1995, the U.S.
FDA classified acupuncture needles as medical instruments and assured their safety and effectiveness. Acupuncture has
grown into what is now a common form of pain management therapy in many clinics and hospitals in United States. The
Washington Post reported in 1994 that an estimated 15 million Americans tried acupuncture for a variety of symptoms
including chronic pain, fatigue, nausea, arthritis, and digestive problems.
In 1997, the US National Institute of Health issued a report titled: "Acupuncture: The NIH Consensus Statement". It stated
that acupuncture is a very useful method for treating many conditions. It acknowledges the side effects of acupuncture are
considerably less adverse than when compared to other medical procedures such as surgery or pharmaceuticals. In addition,
the NIH made the recommendation to U.S. insurance companies to provide full coverage of acupuncture treatment for certain
The US National Institute of Health just completed a study that concluded that acupuncture is effective in easing the pain and
improving movement for people with arthritis of the knee. This study, the largest to date, with 570 patients showed that
patients treated with acupuncture showed a 40% decrease in pain and a nearly 40% improvement in joint (knee) functions.