What is Neijing Medicine and Neijing Classical Acupuncture?

The term ‘Neijing Classical Acupuncture’ and ‘Neijing medicine’ describes the original practices of Chinese medicine created during China’s Warring States and Han Dynasty (475 BCE-220 CE). During this period revolutionary naturalist philosophies emerged which have served as the theoretical foundation for Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. The primary text in which much of this information was written down and transmitted was the Huangdi Neijing, or ‘Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic’.

The Huangdi Neijing, is composed of two primary collections of writings, the Neijing Suwen (Inner Classic – Plain Questions) and the Neijing Lingshu (Inner Classic – Divine Pivot). These texts were written by diverse authors and schools of the period but unite in describing a comprehensive theory of medicine based on an in-depth study of natural patterns. These ideas have been the philosophical basis for the field of Chinese medicine for centuries. Comparing Chinese medicine to an ancient long-lived tree, the principles and practices contained in the Neijing are the sustaining roots of this tree.

Despite this importance, this knowledge has been difficult to interpret and has largely been lost to modern experience. This is due to a variety of factors, including difficulty in translating classical Chinese grammar and an increasing emphasis on modern Western scientific research methods. The scholarly activity of Classical Acupuncture research seeks to understand and redress this situation through text research, teaching and clinical application.

The modern practice of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) with which most people are familiar, is based upon a pattern recognition system developed in China in the 1950-60’s. In this system, acupuncture points have specific therapeutic effects. TCM can be effective when a patient’s symptoms match specific patterns, yet begins to breakdown when dealing with patients with complicated presentations and higher severities of illness. This has lead to the belief both within the West and in China, that acupuncture has limited effects related to the relief of physical symptoms.

In contrast, Neijing Classical Acupuncture is a sophisticated type of external surgery that regulates the tissue planes to re-establish normal blood flow in the body’s three-dimensional vascular circulation. Its sophisticated theories and practices can be used in patients with more complicated and serious illnesses and it shows significant promise in providing innovative solutions to a variety of global health care problems.

Watch a Lecture by
Dr. Edward Neal, MD

This lecture was given online to Xinglin Institute UK Students. (1 hour, 55 minutes)