Acupuncture in the West

A treatise on acupuncturation, 1821

Churchill's Treatise is the first English monograph devoted to the subject of acupuncture; it describes four cases for which the therapy provided relief of pain. In 1828, James Morss Churchill published a companion work, describing the efficacy of acupuncture in cases of rheumatism, lumbago, and sciatica.


These are authentic acupuncture needles from the People's Republic of China and a hand model and ear model showing acupuncture points

Memoir on acupuncturation, 1825

This first American publication on acupuncture was translated from the French by Franklin Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, "believing … that a short treatise on Acupuncturation, from the growing importance of the remedy, and the great attention bestowed upon it in France, could not fail to be an acceptable present to American physicians…. Without going too much into detail, it imparts every requisite information, to enable any practitioner to employ the remedy." Bache experimented with acupuncture on inmates at the State Penitentiary in Philadelphia during this period.

The principles and practice of medicine, 1892

In the first edition of his monumental textbook, Sir William Osler advocates the use of acupuncture for sciatica and, as here, lumbago "in acute cases, the most efficient treatment…. I can corroborate fully the statements of [Sydney] Ringer, who taught me this practice, as to its extraordinary and prompt efficacy in many instances."

Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture in the West