biān (砭)

these were the stone acupuncture instruments used before the metallurgical advances that allowed for the development of the nine needles. The nine needles were introduced in Língshū 1, and referred to throughout Nèijīng, most often as ‘minute or subtle’ (wēi (微)) needles, though also sometimes simply as ‘small’ (xiǎo (小)). The first few lines of Língshū 1 describe an evolution in the practice of acupuncture with the new technology of its distinctive minute or subtle (wēi (微)) needles.

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