The Ecology of Humans (23) Acupuncture


Practical manipulation of the lengyre is the subject of acupuncture.


Acupuncture is a medical treatment for altering the flow of bodily energy through its 12 meridians (pathways). The practice of acupuncture involves inserting slender needles into 1 or more of ~365 points on the body. Acupuncture is based upon the principle that every organ and bone in the body is energetically connected to specific points near the body’s surface.


Sharpened stones and bones found in China from 6,000 BCE might have been used for acupuncture or may have been surgical instruments for drawing blood or lancing abscesses.

Documents from the Ma-Wang-Dui tomb in China 198 bce refer to a system of energy pathways, albeit different from the model later accepted. No mention of acupuncture was made in these documents. But by 100 bce, when The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was published, acupuncture was well known. The text was a compilation of centuries-old traditions.

Refinement of this knowledge continued. Bronze statutes from the 15th century show the acupuncture points used today.

During the early Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion was published. This book forms the basis of modern acupuncture.

Dissection was long forbidden in China. The subject of anatomy did not exist. The understanding of chi and modifying its flow came entirely from observing living patients.

Knowledge of acupuncture spread to other countries at various times. Japan and Korea imported Chinese ways during the 6th century. Acupuncture came to Vietnam between the 8th and 10th centuries, when trade routes opened.

European Jesuit missionaries brought back reports of acupuncture in the 16th century. French clinicians were enthusiastic adopters.

Interest in acupuncture in China declined from the 17th century as it became regarded as superstitious under Western influence. Chinese acceptance of Western medicine at the start of the 20th century led to acupuncture being outlawed in 1929.

After the Communist government took power in 1949, traditional medicines were once again allowed, including acupuncture. This was considered a practical means for providing a basic level of health care during turbulent times.

Interest in acupuncture developed in both Britain and the United States during the first half of the 19th century. But by mid-century, acupuncture had fallen into disrepute owing to its unlearned application.

Revival of interest in the United States came in the wake of President Nixon’s 1972 trip to China. New York Times reporter James Reston wrote of how acupuncture had provided pain relief when he had his appendix removed in China prior to Nixon’s trip.


Disordered vortices form in the body when the flow of energy is disrupted. Stimulating these points can unblock or strengthen energy flow.

Acupuncture is best known for alleviating pain. It is routinely used in China as an anesthetic during surgery.

Energy flow is an integral aspect of holistic health. As such, many disorders can be treated using acupuncture. Infants have been effectively treated for colic using acupuncture.

As with all treatments, acupuncture has limits of efficacy. For chronic disease, if the patterns of behavior that led to dissipation are not changed, acupuncture provides only short-lived relief.


Allergy arises when the immune system reacts to a normally harmless substance. This allergen causes a histamine-based reaction that triggers inflammation. Histamine is nitrogen-based biochemical (C5H9N3).

Acupuncture can cure allergies. While a patient holds a vial containing the target allergen, an acupuncturist stimulates the proper points.

Needles are then inserted to solidify the change in energy flow. The patient rests for 20 minutes with the needles in.

Avoiding the triggering allergen for 24 hours helps acclimate the body to the altered chi. After that, encountering the previous allergen does not provoke a histamine reaction. (The author had his allergies cured via acupuncture. Unfortunately, very few acupuncturists in the United States practice the proper technique.)