Acupuncture needle

1700-1900 in China

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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 and brass, 1700-1900

This Chinese acupuncture needle, seen on the far right, is shaped like a small spear. It is made of 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. Legend suggests original needles were made of stone chiselled into a fine point. Bamboo, iron, gold, silver and alloys have all been used throughout history. The choice of needle depends on the patient’s needs, the amount of stimulation required and the technique used.


Asian Medicine
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete, steel (metal)
acupuncture needle
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment

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