Acupuncture Ear Model

WLMD ID: apnv
The practice of acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese concept of yin-yang balance. Yin and yang represent the interdependent opposites that exist in everything, and for good health the two must be in balance. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a metaphysical energy called "qi", or “chi”, is believed to circulate throughout the body along invisible channels called meridians. It is thought that stagnation or problems with the flow of "qi" causes a yin-yang imbalance. To restore that balance, the skin is punctured with very fine needles at acupoints. Most acupoints are found along the body’s twelve meridians.

In the 1970s, reports of the use of acupuncture for surgical anesthesia in China received increasing attention in the western popular press and medical journals. This was the beginning of serious study, and debate, of acupuncture by anesthesiologists in the United States. In this country today, anesthesiologists use the technique of acupuncture to treat painful conditions. The plastic teaching models shown here were made for sale to western countries.

Catalog Record: Acupuncture Ear Model Acupuncture models of the ear

Access Key: apnv

Accession No.: 2006-04-13-1 B

Title: [Plastic acupuncture teaching model: ear].

Publisher: [Place of manufacture not indicated] : [Name of manufacturer not indicated], [1970?-2006].

Physical Description: 1 model : plastic ; 2 x 4.5 x 7.5 cm.

Subject: Acupuncture Points.

Subject: Acupuncture – education.

Subject: Models, Anatomic.

Note Type: General

Notes: The first year in the date range is the year that anesthesiologists in the United States began to pay close attention to the technique of acupuncture. The second year in the date range is the year that the object was donated to the WLM. The actual date of manufacture is more likely to have been during the 1970s.

The object is described from the user’s perspective. The side that represents the interior of the pinna is considered the front; the opposite side has a flat base, and is considered the back. The top is considered the uppermost crest of the pinna and the bottom is considered the lowest extremity of the earlobe.
                             
Note Type: Citation

Notes: Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007. National Health Statistics Reports. 2008;12(10):10.

Note Type: Citation

Notes: Carrubba RW, Bowers JZ. The western world’s first detailed treatise on acupuncture: Willem Ten Rhijne’s De Acupunctura. J Hist Med Allied Sci. 1974;29(4):371-398.

Note Type: Citation

Notes: Ernst E. The recent history of acupuncture. Am J Med. 2008;121(12):1027-1028.

Note Type: Citation

Notes: Shibutani K. Special report: acupuncture conference at Grasslands. NYSSA Sphere. July-August, 1972;24(4):22-26.

Note Type: Citation

Notes: White A, Ernst E. A brief history of acupuncture. Rheumatology. 2004;43(5):662-663.

Note Type: Physical Description

Notes: One acupuncture teaching model of the left human ear; Made of pink or flesh-colored plastic; Both the front and back are marked with red dots that indicate the location of acupuncture points; Most of these dots are accompanied by a character (most probably Chinese) printed in black; Some dots are also accompanied by an Arabic number printed in black; The Arabic numbers range from “1” through “6”; On the front, the interior of the pinna is divided by shallow grooves into segments that are marked with characters, but without dots or numbers; The back of the model has a flat base, representing the place of the human ear’s attachment to the head.

Note Type: Reproduction

Notes: Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch, November 15, 2016.

Note Type: Acquisition

Notes: Gift of James C. Erickson, III, M.D.

Note Type: Historical

Notes: The Chinese practice of acupuncture is based on the ancient Chinese concept of ‘yin yang’ balance. Yin and yang represent the interdependent opposites that exist in everything, and for good health the two must be in balance. According to traditional Chinese Medicine, a metaphysical energy called “qi”, or “chi”, is believed to circulate throughout the body along invisible channels called meridians. It is thought that stagnation or problems with the flow of “qi” cause a yin yang imbalance. Acupuncture is used to restore that balance. Acupuncture involves puncturing the skin with very fine needles at acupoints. Most acupoints are found along the body’s twelve meridians (Morris, 2011 ; White A, Ernst, 2004).

Long before it became familiar to Europeans, acupuncture spread from China to other areas in Eastern Asia, including Korea and Japan (White & Ernst, 2004). Willem ten Rhijne, a Dutch physician who studied acupuncture for two years in Japan, wrote the first European text on the subject, De Acupunctura, published in 1683 (Carrubba & Bowers, 1974). Surgeon James Morss Churchill wrote the earliest English text on acupuncture, A Treatise on Acupuncturation, in 1823.

Acupuncture became popular in the U.S. beginning in the 1970s. A 2007 National Health Interview Survey found that an estimated 3.1 million Americans had used acupuncture in the previous year (Barnes, Bloom & Nahin, 2008). Today it is commonly used as an alternative or complementary therapy for pain. Research on acupuncture has had a number of limitations, and how researchers and physicians interpret the results of existing research can vary significantly. Some believe the research indicates that pain relief from acupuncture is a reflection of the placebo effect (Ernst, 2008). Others believe that enough data is available to suggest that acupuncture may benefit patients with certain kinds of pain, such as low back pain, neck pain, and tension headaches (Kelly, 2009).
Most agree that more high-quality research is necessary to draw solid conclusions as to the mechanism of action and the efficacy of acupuncture in the management of pain. The Western name for acupuncture is derived from Latin: acus (needle) and pungere (to prick) (Morris, 2011).

Note Type: Exhibition

Notes: Selected for the WLM website.