Acupuncture needles and patient, c 1712.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Brandshagen after G van der Gucht. On the left is a box of needles, a needle for 'needle-tapping', and on the right the hammer. Acupuncture points can be seen in the stomach of the patient. Acupuncture is a medical technique which has been practised in China for over 3000 years. It consists of the insertion into the skin of fine needles, at the points or meridians relating to the tisue or organ believed to be disordered. From 'Amoenitatum exoticarum' (often translated as 'Exotic Novelties', published in Germany, 1712), by Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716). Kaempfer was a German who travelled in Persia (Iran), India, Siam (Thailand), Java (Indonesia) and Japan. His large collection included natural specimens, costumes, books, calendars, and maps.