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The history of Chinese Medicine

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Learning this medicine has been life-changing. Every day I am reminded that their observations 4000 years ago are still valid today. Their methods are still helping and curing people.

When Chinese Medicine was created they lived within the seasons. Observed how people would react to seasons. To climates. To food. To emotion.

They used tools that were available to them, at that time. Their senses. Their observations.

4000 years ago they were using bone needles. Today, in acupuncture, we use sterilised, disposable, one-time application stainless steel needles.

The tools we adopt today might be safer, but the teaching, the methods are still similar to those passed down from master to apprentice.

This is a vast medicine with thousands of years of history.

I would like to respect that. Celebrate that. Be thankful every day for it.

I have created a timeline of the medicine - scroll through the pictures to see from the earliest date of needles being found to the present day.

If you would like to learn more about the history of China, I can highly recommend:


  • The Moon Over Matsushima ~ Merlin Young

  • Medicine in China ~ Paul U. Unschuld

  • Mediaeval Chinese Medicine ~ Vivienne Lo & Christopher Cullen

  • Chinese Medicine in Early Communist China ~ Kim Taylor

  • Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China ~ Volker Scheid

  • Tao Te Ching Lao-Tzu ~ Stephen Addiss & Stanley Lombardo

  • Mencius ~ Translated by D. C. Lau

  • Analects Confucius ~ David Hinton

  • Neither Donkey Nor Horse ~ Sern Hsiang-Lin Lei

  • Chinese Medicine and Healing ~ T.J. Hinrichs & Linda L. Barnes


  • The History of China ~ Eric Andresen

  • The History of China ~ Chris Stewart

And I would love to hear from you if you have any other suggestions.

Love your fave Hertfordshire acupuncturist


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