The popular version of American Fort Lauderdale acupuncture started when Nixon opened up relations with China. There is without a doubt that this situation helped with the spread and growth of acupuncture in America but this did not mark the beginning of acupuncture in the United States.
The history of acupuncture in America did not begin with Nixon since many would say that a true historian would begin the “History of Acupuncture in America” by documenting a Chinese practitioner or a doctor who first made acupuncture available in the United States. This bit of information is probably not known. The main point to understand is that Chinese medicine arrived in the United States through the doctors who immigrated in the country around the early 1800’s. This information can be referred to the works Jeffrey Barlow and Christine Richardson’s China Doctor of John Day.
For arguments sake, most Americans would say the start of American acupuncture began in 1972 when President Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger, traveled to China with a journalist from the New York Times. The journalist named James Reston was plagued with an illness while in China thus he was admitted in a Chinese hospital that required him to undergo an emergency appendectomy. While he was confined, Chinese doctors performed acupuncture treatments to relive his pains.
Reston was intrigued and impressed with the effectiveness of his acupuncture treatment in relieving pain accompanied with the illness. He wrote about his hospitalization and his experiences with traditional Chinese treatment like acupuncture in the New York Times. This led to the introduction of acupuncture to thousands of Americans for the first time.
In 1966, a young Chinese doctor who immigrated to the United States started a revolution that would somehow lead to the legalize acupuncture in China and somehow mark an example to the rest of the United States. This is a fact journalist James Reston did not know.
A New Version of American Acupuncture History
The history on how acupuncture came to be in America and how it started is relatively short. This is the reason why it is important to know how acupuncture developed and started in the country and whose shoulders we stand.
From China, their history texts would mention that the ancient way of learning Chinese medicine would be to apprentice with a master. Students spend a great deal of time just to learn application and art of herbal medicine and acupuncture treatment. Apart from this knowledge, students are fortunate not to only to learn but also to gain intelligence. They will basically learn the lineage of their medicine like the names of the Masters who came before them all the way back to the Yellow Emperor, Qi Boand.
To the Chinese, this wasn’t just some useless exercise in memorization but this was restful study of honoring the contributions of theory, technique, practice and understanding of the doctors who dedicated their lives to the science of medicine and art of healing.