Acupuncture needle

Made:
1701-1900 in Asia and China
From left to right: 
      A643663, Acupuncture needle, steel and brass, 1700-1900.
      A643656, Acupuncture needle, steel and

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From left to right: A643663, Acupuncture needle, steel and brass, 1700-1900. A643656, Acupuncture needle, steel and
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Acupuncture needle, steel

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture needles are inserted into certain points on the skin. This unblocks the flow through the body of a life force known as qi (chi). TCM practitioners believe qi is essential to wellbeing. This Chinese example, seen second from right, has a coiled handle. This is a unique feature of Chinese needles. The coiled handle aids insertion. It is used in a technique called ‘scratching’. A fingernail is run up and down the coiled brass handle during this treatment. This sends vibrations into the acupuncture point. This example has a distinct twist at the piecing end. It may have been used during a technique called rotation. Rotation is when the needle is rolled between finger and thumb to stimulate the acupoint.

Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A643649
Materials:
complete and steel (metal)
type:
acupuncture needle
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment