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A Chinese treatment dating back more than 2,500 years, acupuncture entails inserting very fine needles into the skin in order to influence physiological functioning of the body. According to practitioners of Chinese medicine, illness occurs when the body's life energy or "Qi" (pronounced "chee") is out of balance.
Qi travels throughout the body along special pathways called meridians. By piercing pressure points along specific meridians, Qi may be restored. The goal is to re-establish balance within the flow of Qi, so the body will heal itself.
The National Institutes of Health has completed many studies on acupuncture and has concluded that acupuncture is safe, effective for certain conditions and should be integrated into standard medical practice.
Who can be treated with acupuncture?
Is acupuncture painful?No. Acupuncture needles are very fine and most patients do not feel them being inserted. The most common sensation is tingling as parasthesia—the desired response—sets in.