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The roots and development of Chinese acupuncture: from prehistory to early 20th century
  1. Kan-Wen Ma
  1. The China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China, Honorary Research Fellow, The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London, Senior Research Fellow, Dept. of Human Science and Medical Ethics, London Hospital Medical College, University of London
  1. The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BN


The use of stone Acupuncture needles, the “Bian Shi”, is reported in several ancient Chinese manuscripts, pointing the origin of this form of medical treatment to Western China in the stone age. Early writings on silk fabrics and on stone have been retrieved from tombs and elsewhere to provide a fascinating insight on the useage and developement of acupuncture. Over many centuries the tradition has been passed between generations of physician-acupuncturist families who were the attendants of Emperors, and the leaders of the medical profession, teaching and writing texts that were studied throughout the East.

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