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A Brief History of Acupuncture

January 5th 2022

While acupuncture’s history in Canada is relatively short, the practice itself dates back thousands of years and is believed to be one of the oldest traditional Chinese medicine practices that are still widely used today. Here at BlueWhite Health in Kamloops we are strong proponents of acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As acupuncture specialists we are trained in providing acupuncture treatments to help clients manage a wide variety of ailments, including neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, joint pain, depression, and many more.

Some estimates date the origins of acupuncture to approximately 3000 BCE (over 5,000 years ago). While there is some dispute over the origins being ascribed to China, there is no doubt that the practice of acupuncture in its current incarnation is fully based in Chinese tradition. In its earliest forms, acupuncture developed not as a single system of medicine, but in many different forms among different regions and philosophies and to serve a variety of purposes.

Over its long history in China, the practice of acupuncture ebbed and flowed as times, philosophies, and political climates went through many changes. It is believed that Korea is the first country in Asia that adopted the practice of acupuncture, followed by Vietnam and, later, Japan. By the second half of the 17th century, acupuncture started to spread into Europe. By the 19th century, acupuncture was becoming known in many parts of the world, but it wasn’t until the practice became standardized that it really gained popularity in North America.

In the 1950s, through government intervention, the practice of acupuncture was standardized and aligned with other Chinese herbal medicines, forming the practice of TCM as we know it today. By standardizing the approach, TCM became easier to apply on a larger scale. Once it arrived in the west, it quickly took hold and continues to gain popularity among people looking for alternatives and/or support for western methods of medical practice. Modern insights and extensive research are continually shedding new light on this ancient practice.

Acupuncture has been a designated health profession in British Columbia since 1996. Prior to that, the profession existed in BC but was unregulated. In 1996 the Government of BC established the College of Acupuncturists of British Columbia, and in 1999 was expanded to join TCM and Acupuncture in a unified college that is now known as the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA).

As of 2003, a valid registration issued by the CTCMA is required to practice TCM and acupuncture in the province of BC. At BlueWhite Health, we are registered acupuncturists, and our office includes a TCM Herbalist, TCM Practitioner, and Doctor of TCM. Our mission is to provide comprehensive care in order to restore health and balance for our patients.

If you are curious about how you could benefit from acupuncture, check out our Acupuncture page for more details and then get in touch for an appointment! From pain management to internal illness, BlueWhite Health is a one-stop clinic at your service.

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