An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Bo Le zhenjing 伯樂針經

Mar 5, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Bo Le zhenjing 伯樂針經 "Bo Le's book on acupuncture" is a text on acupuncture applied on horses. Bo Le had been an expert on equines during the Spring and Autumn period, but his name was just lent for the title of this book. It was circulating as a separate text during the Northern Song period, and it was included in – and is usually transmitted as part of – the veterinary book Simu anji ji 司牧安驥集 from the Tang period. In this form, the Bo Le jinjing has neither a preface or an afterword. The text is not divided into chapters, but begins with the basic principles of acupuncture by quoting from older texts and adding new information. It continues with the elucidating of the concrete spots of acupuncture and concrete application of the needles, like the angle or depth of insertion, or the particular ailments to be cured by the concrete method. The Bo Le zhenjing describes 77 acupuncture points (xue 穴), but for some, only the names are given. Due to the complex transmission history, many errors crept into the text. It is, however, the earliest and most important text on equine acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine.

Tang Zhi 湯治 (1964). "Bo Le zhenjing fei Bo Le zhu 伯樂針經非伯樂著", Zhongguo shouyi zazhi 中國獸醫雜誌, 1964 (2): 32.
Guo Shining 郭世寧] et al. (1996). "Bo Le zhenjing kao 《伯樂針經》考", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 1996 (3): 279-284.
Zou Jiezheng 鄒介正 (1995). "Bo Le zhenjing 伯樂針經", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Zhong shouyi 中獸醫卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 26.