Out of those studies was born the science of acupuncture, which uses very thin needles to make whole the balance of yin and yang in the body. Inserted into the skin at various locations around the body believed to correspond to various organs, the acupuncture practitioner believes that by removing the blocks of the life energy flowing through your system (referred to as Qi, pronounced “chee”), good health and vitality can be restored.
The practice of acupuncture dates back many centuries into the past. Ancient scrolls and wall paintings depict what appears to be acupuncture-like medicine being used, but the first written records that describe the practice appeared approximately 100 B.C. It evolved from there, and during the Ming Dynasty (which lasted from about 1300 to 1600), acupuncture and other alternative medicines were widely developed and practiced.
When China was trying to open itself to the West in the early 20th century, its traditional medicine was briefly shunted aside. However, after World War II, the ascendant Chinese Communist Party declared that traditional medicine was again in favor, no doubt because it wished to instill a sense of national pride in a war-ravaged country. It also needed the ancient treatments to compensate for a lack of modern medicine and doctors, many of whom were victims of the war.