The origins of acupuncture go back to about 10,000 BC. Simple people like farmers observed the natural law, from which they developed the concepts of Yin and Yang and the Five Phases/Elements (Wu Xing).
Yin and Yang are assigned to various natural phenomena such as the qualities cold (Yin) and hot (Yang).
The Five Phases is a five fold conceptual scheme that is used to explain a wide array of phenomena, from cosmic cycles to the interaction between internal organs and the properties of acupuncture points and medicinal drugs. The “Five Phases” are Wood(木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ),Earth (土 tǔ), Metal (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ).
Between 2000 and 250 BC. Chinese scholars developed the medical basis for Yin and Yang, the fundamental knowledge of pulse and tongue diagnosis (which is still used nowadays) and the doctrine of “Qi” in the so-called meridians.
In the fifth to third centuries BC. the two major philosophical Chinese doctrines were created, Confucianism and Taoism. Both have strongly influenced the Chinese medicine .
Taoism ( ” Doctrine of the Way” ) is a Chinese philosophy which is regarded as China’s actual religion. Tao denotes something that is both the source and the force behind everything that exists. Taoism was widespread in China in this time and included the five phases, the doctrine of “Qi” and yin and yang.
Confucius was born 551BC. He developed a still considered moral and social doctrine and put on a set of rules for the “right” life . The doctrine of the Five Phases is strongly influenced by the Confucian philosophy.