Celestial Lancets: A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxa, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Celestial Lancets

A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxa, 1st Edition

By Gwei-Djen Lu, Joseph Needham


480 pages

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Using modern knowledge to shed light on ancient techniques, this text examines two of the earliest therapeutic techniques of Chinese medicine: acupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture is the implantation of very thin needles into subcutaneous connective tissue and muscle at a great number of different points on the body's surface; moxibustion is the burning of Artemisia tinder (moxa) either directly on the skin or just above it.

For 2500 years the Chinese have used both techniques to relieve pain and to heal a wide variety of illnesses and malfunctions. Providing a full historical account of acupuncture and moxibustion in the theoretical structure of Chinese medicine, Doctors Lu and Needham combine it with a rationale of the two techniques in the light of modern scientific knowledge.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations List of Tables List of Abbreviations Authors' Foreword 1. Introduction 2. The ching-lo system and its classical theory 3. Historical growth of the system 4. Moxibustion 5. Therapy and analgesia; physiological interpretations 6. Influences on other cultures 7. The lore of vital spots 8. Conclusions Bibliographies General Index

About the Series

Needham Research Institute Series

Joseph Needham's 'Science and Civilisation' series began publication in the 1950s. At first, it was seen as a piece of brilliant but isolated pioneering. However, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is clear that Needham's work has succeeded in creating a vibrant new intellectual field in the West. The books in this series cover topics relating broadly to the practice of science, technology and medicine in East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The emphasis is on traditional forms of knowledge and practice, but without excluding modern studies which connect the topics with their historical and cultural context.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General