Acupuncture needle

Made:
1700-1900 in 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 and brass, 1700-1900

The coiled handle of this acupuncture needle, seen second from left, 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. The coiled handle is a unique feature of Chinese needles. 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.

Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A643656
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete and steel (metal)
type:
acupuncture needle
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment