n. (1684) Health [NL acupunctura pricking with needles, E transl. in A Guide to the Practical Physician, of the L. text Mercurius compitalitius (Geneva, 1682), by the Swiss doctor Theophile Bonet, 1620-89, detailing J. cures for gout by acupuncture and by burning with MOXA (presumably based on the observations of the Dutch doctor Willem ten Rhyne, 1674-1700, in Deshima, Japan, in 1674-76); prob. loosely based on NJ hari (Fari in 1603 Pg. Vocabulario) needle, acupuncture, in full hari ryoji 針(はり)療治(りょうじ), lit. needle remedy < ryo- cure + -ji healing (both < MChin); an ancient Chin. art but long practiced in Japan, which added refinements like tapping needles into place using guide tubes and, lately, applying electric current to the needles (some J. acupuncturists contend that needle therapy affects the autonomic nervous system), and helped transmit it to the West] The practice of painlessly inserting small needles at specific pressure points (tsubo, termed acupoints in the new Ch) in the human body, as a remedy for certain ailments or for anesthesia prior to surgery.
acupuncture, acupunctuate v.
(Cannon, Garland. 1996. The Japanese Contributions to the English Language: An Historical Dictionary.)


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