A Little Bit of Acupuncture History

A couple of months ago, on Facebook, I found an article about the history of acupuncture in the United States written and shared to a professional group by Tenisha Dandridge, LAc.

Yes, I learned this history going to acupuncture school. What I didn’t learn? I didn’t learn that the Panthers were there for the specific reason to block the methadone trucks so that acupuncture could be used instead. That’s important. It’s important because it suddenly becomes a story of how important Black people are to the history of this medicine in the United States. As acupuncturists, we need to remember that.

It’s important to share because too often, we only hear about how white people worked hard. In this case, it was the Black community that did the work and they should be recognized for it. Their work has changed the options for many people who are not getting help with traditional western medicine (I used the word “traditional” deliberately).

Go read the article. Read about how acupuncture got started in the United States. Read about the first people using the medicine.

If you’re wondering why this took me so long to write, let’s just say I was really really mad about not knowing that one small detail about the Panthers. It took me this long to not spend acres of blog space ranking on that fact.


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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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