Wording on Acupuncture "鍼" & "針" Used by Historic Doctors

역대의학성씨(歷代醫學姓氏)의 침(針)과 침(鍼)에 대하여

  • Kim, Hong-Kyoon (Institute of Korean Traditional Medical History) ;
  • An, Sang-Woo (Global DongUiBoGam Center, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine)
  • 김홍균 (한국전통의학사연구소) ;
  • 안상우 (한국한의학연구원 동의보감기념사업단)
  • Received : 2012.11.20
  • Accepted : 2012.11.28
  • Published : 2012.11.30


From the part "歷代醫學姓氏(Historic Doctors)" in "醫林撮要(Uirimchualyo)", the following has been noticed and concluded. 1. Because acupuncture was originated from stony needle, the word "石(sok)" contains the meaning of needle, and from this point on, words like 石(sok), 砭石(pyumsok), 箴石(Jamsok), 鑱石(Chamsok) had been derived. 2. The word 砭石(pyumsok) used in "Hwangjenaekyong(Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine or Hwangdineijing)" should be interpreted as acupuncture in a verb form, not a noun form. 3. 鑱石(Chamsok) or 鑱鍼(Chamchim) was used for surgical treatment for tumor, by cutting open tumors and pressing the pus out. Therefore, 砭石(pyumsok), 鑱石(Chamsok) are the same kind of needles, and 鑱鍼(Chamchim) is the tool improved from 鑱石(Chamsok) used in the Bronze Age. 4. Kwakpak put a note on 鑱石(Chamsok) in "山海經(Sanhaekyong)" that reads "it is defined as 砥鍼(Jichim) and treats tumor." This let us know the shape of 石(sok), 砭石(pyumsok), 鑱(Chamsok), 鑱鍼(Chamchim), and the stone that can be used as a surgical tool with slim & sharp shape is obsidian. 5. Because obsidian is only found around Mt. Baekdu and limited area in South Korea & Japan in Asia, it is closely related with the life & medical environment of the tribe "Mt. Baekdu". 6. The development of 鑱鍼(Chamchim) was influenced by surgical treatment used in early stage of civilization, and its origin is traced upto Gochosun dynasty. Korea's own traditional medical knowledge is derived from this surgical treatment skill. 7. Because the acupuncture is originated from Gochosun dynasty, 鍼(chim) was derived from 箴(Jam) of 箴石(Jamsok), 䥠(Chim) & 䥠(Chim) both were used for a time being, and finally settled into 鍼(Chim). 8. The word 針(Chim) showed up at Myung dynasty, and started to be used in Korea from early Chosun dynasty. 9. In the early Chosun dynasty, 鍼(Chim) was used for medical term, and 針(Chim) for non-medical term. In the mid Chosun dynasty, 針(Chim) was used as a term for tool, and 鍼(Chim) as a term for acupunctural medical treatment. 10. Under the order of King Sunjo, Dr. Yesoo Yang published "醫林撮要(Uirimchualyo)", added "醫林撮要續集(Sequel to Uirimchualyo)", and added "歷代醫學姓氏(Historic Doctors)" again which eventually made totally 13 books of "醫林撮要(Uirimchualyo)". In addition, many parts of "醫林撮要續集(Sequel to Uirimchualyo)" were quoted in "東醫寶鑑(Donguibogam)", and influenced much in publishing "Donguibogam". 11. In "歷代醫學姓氏(Historic Doctors)" of "醫林撮要(Uirimchualyo)", the same way in "Donguibogam", referred to 針(Chim) as a term for a needle, and 鍼(Chim) as a term for Acupuncture. 12. From the usage of 針(Chim) & 鍼(Chim), shown in "鄕藥集成方(Hyangyakjipsungbang)", "醫林撮要(Uirimchualyo)" and "東醫寶鑑(Donguibogam)", we can notice the spirit of doctors who tried to take over the legitimacy of Korean tradition, and their elaboration & historical view that expresses confidence on our own medical technology, through the wording 鍼(Chim).