During the MSOM degree program there is an emphasis on the classical context, texts, clinicians, and philosophies. Conversely, there is less prominence on the more current history, which inspired me to look at acupuncture and its modern history in America.
While researching, I stumbled on this article that highlighted an exhibit at New York’s Museum of Chinese America (MoCA). The exhibit at MoCA was titled “Chinese Medicine in America: Converging Ideas, People and Practices”.
One thing I found interesting was the history of American ginseng. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the international trade of wild American ginseng began around the mid-1700s. Another interesting highlight was how acupuncture was used among marginalized and rural communities in the1970s. Activist groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords were among some of the first groups to practice acupuncture in the US, outside of Asian-American communities. These groups established community health clinics to fight against addiction in the Black and Latinx communities. This same community empowered movement gave birth to the very popular NADA protocol. The NADA protocol is the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, which is a well-known protocol where up to 5 small acupuncture needles are used to treat addiction and emotional trauma.
All in all, I learned a lot, I listed a few articles below if you’d like to learn more!
Additional Sources + Articles of Interest