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As a significant component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture has existed since the Neolithic Period. It was first systematically recorded in Lingshu Jing (Divine Pivot), a medical book believed to be written during the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 B.C.E). It was later introduced to Korea and Japan in the sixth century C.E.
With a history that sounds quite intimidating, acupuncture is usually used as a light treatment – TCM studies have shown that stimulating certain points on a person’s body will improve the qi’s flow in the person’s meridians, so as to improve health. There are controversies over whether or not acupuncture is really scientific: while some believe it’s only an alternative medicine, there are indeed reports proving the validity of acupuncture.
Chinese people practice acupuncture as part of the treatment for diseases, or as a method of ‘Yangsheng’, maintaining wellness.
Many TCM hospitals and clinics in Beijing provide acupuncture. We’ve selected a few for you based on the rankings and comments on Chinese hospital listing websites and social media. (Click on the hyperlinks for the hospital’s Google Map page)
All the hospitals listed above have a department dedicated to acupuncture. The advantages of big hospitals are: they usually have research institutes behind them, providing up-to-date studies to improve the treatment; and they are big organizations that incorporate various departments, which makes them more convenient for multi-disciplinary treatment.
Tongrentang and Heniantang are the two oldest and most prestigious chain Traditional Chinese Medicine clinics in the area. Both of them were founded in Beijing during China’s feudal era. Many locals prefer clinics to hospitals, as the fame of the doctors at clinics are more easily passed on via word of mouth. A doctor at a TCM clinic should be versatile, treating a variety of diseases, prescribing prescriptions and administering acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and so on.
Other than hospitals and clinics, where acupuncture is used as a treatment, there are also acupuncture houses, where acupuncture functions more like massage therapy, for improving health rather than for curing disease.
Here at Zhiyitang Gaojun, acupuncture can be used to reduce weight, remove acne and even prevent hair loss. Some people speak highly of it, as they saw positive effects from their treatment. What’s more, many people believe that acupuncture has less side effects compared to other kinds of medicine.
Flagship store: 103, Jia-2 Fuxingmen Nandajie, Xicheng District, Beijing, +8613681122490, Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Before anyone tries to make a fuss about the definition of acupuncture, let us explain a bit about moxibustion: In Chinese, acupuncture and moxibustion usually appear in the same word – ‘针灸 (Zhen Jiu: Zhen stands for acupuncture and Jiu stands for moxibustion)’, though over time, most people tend to mistake ‘针灸’ as only acupuncture.
Moxibustion is a TCM therapy that consists of burning dried mugwort on acupuncture points on the body. It is believed by some that the heat can improve blood circulation at the areas where moxibustion is applied (and faster blood circulation means better health).
Guo’antang has moxibustion sessions to ease headache and stomachache. There are also sessions targeted at relieving menstrual cramps, as moxibustion is widely believed to be of use to treat irregular menstruation.