The history of acupuncture and TCM reflects what is special about this medical practice. When one understands the amazing approach of these ancient physician philosophers and the knowledge that comes from thousands of years of empirical science and practice, it is easy to understand that this medical practice is proven to work. Modern scientific study has now confirmed this rich empirical scientific understanding and provided proof of their wisdom.

The history of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), much like the traditional medicines of Europe, have their origins in a time that predates historical documentation as we know it today. Throughout history, we have always tried to discover new medical science and technology, yet there is a persistence of use of a rich traditional set of natural means of maintaining health. New technology seeks to outperform nature, yet maintenance and restoration of the optimum natural function of our bodies, or homeostasis, is still recognized as the most important physiological goal in restoring health and achieving a cure for most disease and injury. Throughout the development of our civilizations, the human race has not completely ignored understanding of the natural science of homeostatic restoration in medical care while pursuing allopathic treatment. TCM represents a steady and constant focus on this use of natural science to cure disease by restoring optimum health. Such ancient concepts as Zheng Qi, described by famous physician scholars as Li Zhong-zi as the functional ability to react to change (Yi), utilizing the essential essence derived from nutrients, correspond to the modern concept of homeostasis. Restoration of Zheng Qi was a much discussed concept in TCM texts, and the 3 basic types of Qi, Yuan Qi, Zhen Qi and Zheng Qi, correspond to the innate functional capacity (genetic), the circulating functional aspect (blood, lymph and nerve conduction), and this adaptive functional capacity, which all must be coordinated to have an optimal state of health.

Although today we seem to take an attitude that we can unnaturally stress and pollute our bodies and modern medical marvels should always be able to protect us from our own unhealthy lifestyle choices, we are learning once again that this is not completely true. In fact, ill health and physical harm from our modern medical practice, iatrogenic cause, is now a subject of great concern, once again. Historically, in China, this was a great concern even in 300 BC, and mentioned in the main foundation text of acupuncture and TCM, the Nei Jing. As harsher chemical, or protochemical, medicines, and more complex surgeries developed, physicians recognized the need to promote a more conservative and traditional medical practice, one that did not do harm, that prevented disease and injury, and maintained natural homeostatic health. This TCM system was not intended to supplant modern medicine as an alternative, but to be integrated as a specialty, to offer physicians and patients a wider array of safer, or more conservative, treatment options, and better preventive medicine with a holistic approach. In Europe, this same integrative approach with traditional natural medical care was promoted by Hippocrates, and later by Galen and Paracelsus, yet has been largely ignored and fought in Western civilization. In the modern era, Traditional Medicine integrated into standard care was largely run out of business by the Flexner Report and subsequent federal legislation in the United States, which limited the title of Medical Doctor to those graduating only from University Medical Schools, which at the time largely did not admit women and minorities, and did not allow the study of Traditional Medicine and Native American Medicine. Subsequently, close to 60 percent of medical schools were forced to close, and integrative, or eclectic, medicine largely disappeared, despite its popular acceptance. Across the world, similar tactics were used, even in China, and the present survival of Traditional Chinese Medicine testifies to its effectiveness and safety, which has overcome tremendous industry tactics to eliminate it. 

This is the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - Development of safe and effective conservative medical care from the rich tradition of Daoist Natural Science - A parallel medical science to modern technologies that seeks to integrate - A conservative medical science that is a complement to new medical scientific discoveries - A medical system that utilizes current scientific research to always improve the medical wisdom of the past.