Acupuncture consists of inserting very fine needles into the skin at strategic points on the body. Acupuncture, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, is frequently used to treat pain. Its use is increasingly frequent to improve general well-being, for example, to manage stress.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique to balance the flow of energy or life force, known as “chi” or “qi,” which is believed to flow through channels (meridians) in the body. By inserting needles at specific points in these meridians, acupuncturists consider the energy flow to be rebalanced.
By contrast, many western acupuncturists view acupoints as places to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues. Some believe that this method stimulates the body’s natural pain relievers.