You might think that only Chinese people do Chinese acupuncture—if that’s your definition of Chinese acupuncture—but this definition has become increasingly more complicated. Interestingly enough, the vast majority of Chinese acupuncturists who practice acupuncture in the United States and other western countries were trained as medical doctors in China. In other words, they were primarily trained in western medical sciences, but they were also taught acupuncture. Ironically, western acupuncture practitioners go through acupuncture schools after they completed their bachelor’s degrees is science and then study primarily acupuncture. Some even take internships and continuing education seminars in China, where they specialize in specific area of the traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture.
So Is Chinese Acupuncture Practiced in China?
To a certain degree, ancient Chinese developed a comprehensive healing system that includes acupuncture, but some methods, such as ear, scalp, and medical acupuncture, were brought to other countries, such as France, Japan, Korea, and the United States, where they were enhanced and then brought back to China, and now many Chinese acupuncturists use the blend of most effective methods and techniques on their patients. Interestingly enough, in the article “Acupuncture in ancient China: How important was it really?” researcher Hanjo Lehmann explains that ancient acupuncture involved thick, brittle needles and was considered to be dangerous. As a result, it was rarely used. In fact, in 1757, acupuncture was called a lost tradition. Later, in 1822, acupuncture was abolished from the Imperial Medical Academy together with moxibustion. After 1954, however, acupuncture was revived, but its new version was very different from the ancient one (Lehmann, 2013).
Is Chinese Acupuncture Practiced in the United States?
Modern Chinese acupuncture is definitely practiced in the United States by Chinese as well as practitioners from other countries who studied it professionally (Jin, Zheng, Honarvar, & Chen, 2020). Curiously, a separate branch of traditional Chinese acupuncture was developed in Japan. After it was brought there from China in the sixth century, it’s been progressing in unique ways for 1500 years (Kobayashi, Uefuji, & Yasumo, 2010), while remaining Chinese, and Japanese acupuncturists kept consulting the ancient Chinese sources all these years. The Japanese branch of Chinese acupuncture has become popular in the West for its effectiveness and practical approach, and many acupuncturists are either trained in acupuncture schools that focus on this method or on their own, by taking continuing education seminars. The majority of acupuncture schools in the United States teach traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and that’s the training that the acupuncturists at the Advanced Holistic Center received, but by regularly taking additional courses and reading recent publications, our experts keep up with the most effective acupuncture methods available.
Jin, L. L., Zheng, J., Honarvar, N. M., & Chen, X. (2020). Traditional Chinese Medicine in the United States: Current state, regulations, challenges, and the way forward.
Kobayashi, A., Uefuji, M., & Yasumo, W. (2010). History and progress of Japanese acupuncture. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7(3), 359-365.
Lehmann, H. (2013). Acupuncture in ancient China: how important was it really? Journal of Integrative Medicine, 11(1), 45-53.