Acupuncture is an ancient healing art. Originating in ancient China it has been in use for at least 3,500 years. The ancient Chinese physicians described something they called Qi (perhaps best understood as life force), which circulates through the body in longitudinal pathways, called meridians. They mapped out these meridians, or channels of acupuncture, on the surface of the body and described acupuncture points along their courses that are useful in treating dysfunction and illness.
In Chinese medical theory, if the flow of Qi in the body is blocked, then dysfunction, illness, and Payne can result. The origin of the blockage maybe an imbalance in the physical body, the emotions, the mind, or the spirit. One of the very valuable concept of Chinese medicine is that dysfunction in any of these levels can cause symptoms and disease in any other. And example that we can all understand is how excessive worry or stress can cause a headache or stomachache.
In the practice of modern medical acupuncture, tiny sterile stainless steel needles are inserted at points along the meridians to help unblock the flow of Qi. This helps alleviate the patient's symptoms and encourages the balance of Qi that is necessary for health and well-being. These needles are about the diameter of a human hair, are solid, and do not contain any medicines or other substances. They can be stimulated in many ways: by physically vibrating them with the hand, heating them, cooling them, or connecting them to an electrical pulse to help unblock the stagnant Qi and encourage it's movement. The number of needles, their pattern of placement, and the length of treatment are determined by the patient's complaints.
Medical acupuncture can be helpful for many kinds of problems and can be used safely in conjunction with other kinds of treatments. It is often very helpful to boost the effectiveness of other therapies, for support of one's energy and strength during times of stress or illness, and for the relief of pain.