Acupuncture and Physical Disability
Laurance Johnston, Ph.D.
Although acupuncture has a 5,000-year tradition, the transition to the west has been slow. Sixteenth century Jesuit missionaries first reported the procedure. Troops from far-east military invasions brought the procedure back to France in the 1800s. In 1825, Benjamin Franklin’s great-grandson translated French work on acupuncture. However, after a flurry of interest, acupuncture receded into oblivion in the United States until President Nixon went to China in the early 1970s. Soon after Nixon’s visit, the American Medical Association (AMA) pressured the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban acupuncture needles unless used in an investigation. In turn, the ban provided the justification to deny health-insurance coverage.
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