Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation


It is difficult to pick up a magazine, medical or otherwise, that does not include an article about the Chinese method of diagnosis and treatment known as acupuncture. This ancient technique, about which there is so much current interest, is reputed to have originated nearly 30 centuries ago when a Chinese warrior emperor made the observation that certain arrow wounds caused pain to disappear in remote parts of the body.

During World War II, the new China of the Red Army rediscovered the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of wounded or sick soldiers during combat conditions. Today, Chinese medical schools have established courses in this traditional therapy. Its results, in China, are many times considered superior to those of western methods, also taught in the same schools.

The history of the development of acupuncture in China is a thesis unparalled in the annals of medicine. It was under the Chinese Communists the treatment found its first official support in modem China, for a reason similar to one at the very inception of its use. Acupuncture was reserved first for the Emperor's warriors, the official guardians of China. In the late 1930's, faced with a desparate lack of drugs and western trained doctors, Mao and his Red Army resorted to battlefield use of acupuncture and Chinese herbalists. A clinic for practitioners was opened in Yenan Province under Communist control and political indoctrination, in the words of Mao, "Chinese medicine and pharmacology are a great treasure house and effort should be made to explore them to a higher level."