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Bian stones are pointed stones that were historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are generally considered to be a precursor of acupuncture, utilising heated pointed stones (instead of acupuncture needles) in the treatment of back and neck pain. The stones consist of a variety of materials found along the coastline of Shandong, China.
Bian stone therapy
Bian stone therapy is the oldest medical practice in human being which appeared during stoneware era. The Bian-stone technique refers to the use of stone-based equipment to perform massage, heating, and other operations of health care. The stone-based devices are called bian-stone tools, which according to ancient literature, are made of Bian stone. Bian-stone includes both the bian-stone technique and the tool. When used in medical institutions for therapeutic purposes, it is referred to as Bian-stone treatment. Before acupuncture & moxibustion appeared, ancient Chinese people selected certain kinds of stone and ground it into therapeutic tool that featured sharp tip or certain forms of edge. Such shapes allowed the stone to be applied to human body in different ways for treating morbidity. Puncturing & pressing methods evolved into acupuncture; heated-stone application evolved into moxibustion; the selected certain stone was named as Bian stone. Unfortunately, this technique failed to be handed down and then disappeared in around Han Dynasty. The trace heritage of this technique can be only seen among folks in some places. In recent years, the source of the material for making Bian-stone was located. Sibin floating stone was recognized as the excellent material for producing Bian stone. Then the essential therapeutic tool, Bian stone, was recovered and a series of Bian stone appliances have been devised and developed. In combination with the fruits obtained in archeology, the ancient technique has been revived. Its great effect of curing disease as well as health – preservation is manifest. Researchers have also made considerable investigation into massive TC documents. Some experiments have been done to explain the salutary properties of this stone in promoting human health. The Bian-stone tool is an ancient tool, classified as the first technique of the five major ancient medical practices of the “Yellow Emperor” (these five are: Bian -stone, Bian-stone tool, moxibustion, medicine, guided by Rocker). It plays an important role in Chinese medicine.
The therapy is usually started with a warming up Traditional Chinese Medicine massage to open up the meridian of body, followed by a series of Bian stone treatment with pre-heated bian stone. This therapy can be applied with other traditional Chinese Medicine therapy, such as Acupuncture, or Cupping to achieve the optimal effect on cervical vertebra disease.
- Lo, Vivienne (2002), "Spirit of Stone: Technical Considerations in the Treatment of the Jade Body", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 65 (1): 99–128, doi:10.1017/s0041977x02000058. – via JSTOR (subscription required)