Modified and translated by CFJA
This is the ninth blog on acumoxa therapy. Since the content on acumoxa therapy is heavy due to its long history and it played a central role in the medical field in Japan and China, we will be breaking it down into pieces and writing several blogs.
What is Eastern Medicine? 01 is about acupuncture therapy from the ancient times to the Asuka period (592 – 710); 02 is about acupuncture therapy until the beginning of the Edo period (1603 – 1868); 03 is about moxibustion therapy until the beginning of the Edo period; 04 is about acumoxa therapy after the Edo period; 05 is about China from the ancient times to 1960s; 06 is about how TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) was established in China in 1960; 07 was about “what is TCM”; 08 was about how Japanese acumoxa techniques have been transmitted and adapted in China. This one, What is Eastern Medicine? 09 will be about acupuncture techniques practiced in China.
Since the last blog, the content is more specialized.
To those who have vague thoughts on acumoxa therapy and its history as such,
- China is the origin of acupuncture therapy
- Acupuncture therapy was brought from China
- Acupuncture therapy in China is advanced
- Acumoxa therapy in Japan is behind compared to China
we are writing the blog to inform and educate the following:
- Response to the first point:
- China is not the origin of acupuncture therapy, but it was practiced all over the world.
- Response to the second point:
- Acupuncture therapy has been practiced since the ancient period in Japan and it was fused with the acupuncture therapy brought from China.
- Response to the third point:
- For a certain period, acupuncture therapy had stopped being practiced in China; later, acupuncture therapy in China was restored by reimporting it from Japan.
- Response to the fourth point:
- Acupuncture therapy in Japan has been developed through scientific research; Japan established the world’s first university for acupuncture and moxibustion.
- There is an aspect of the Japanese continuing to pass down the ancient Chinese therapy to the next generation and have been practicing it until today.
- Japan has been treating illnesses with a wide range of techniques and various fine and delicate needles that have been created by high-level craftsmen. In contrast, China has been sticking to limited techniques.
- In Japan, acumoxa therapy is for any symptoms or disease, whereas in China, the targeted symptoms or diseases are limited.
If you are wondering why we can say so, please look at our past blogs, as well as our future blogs. The topic of acumoxa therapy starts at 65.
In China, herbal and acumoxa therapy has been practiced as a national medicine from the Han dynasty, through Sui, Tang, Yuan, and Song dynasties, to the Qing dynasty. In 1822, the court physician caused medical malpractice on the son of the Daoguang emperor of the Qing Dynasty. The emperor raged with anger and edicted ‘Although acumoxa therapy holds a prolonged history, inserting a needle on one’s body or burning with moxa are unfavourable to practice on the emperor. Therefore, the department of acumoxa in the imperial medical hospital within the Qing dynasty shall be closed forever’ (鍼灸の一法、由來已に久し、然れども鍼を以って刺し火もて 灸するは、究む所奉君の宜しき所にあらず、太医院鍼灸の一科は、永遠に停止と著す). Prohibition of acumoxa therapy on the emperor, consequently, lead to prohibition amongst the civilians as well. Since then, acumoxa therapy continued to decline; Chinese medicine in general, including herbal therapy, declined. In China, the research on acumoxa stopped, it became difficult to transmit as a medicine to the next generations and faced corruption in the early period of the Republic of China (ROC). The government of the ROC, established in 1911, did not acknowledge acumoxa and herbal therapy as national medicine, even after the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1949.
The Chinese, with the hopes of reviving acumoxa therapy in their country, came to Japan to study Japanese medicine. The key person was Cheng Dan’an 承淡安 . He studied in Japan for eight months, from 1934 to 1935, to investigate the advanced education of the Japanese acumoxa. He studied at Tokyo High School of Acupuncture and Moxibustion東京高等鍼灸学校 (Kuretake academy 呉竹学園 today), founded in 1929, for 6 months and received a certificate of completion. After returning to China, he attempts to integrate the educational content from the acumoxa school in Japan.In 1956, Jiangsu College of Chinese Medicine 江蘇省中医進修学校（Currently, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine南京中医薬大学）was built in Nanjing. This indicated the official revival of acumoxa therapy as the national medicine in China. The first president was Cheng Dan’an and his educational policies became the basis for the education of Chinese medicine in China.