Acupuncture is part of a holistic medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Originating over 3,000 years ago in China, TCM emphasizes maintaining homeostasis in the body, in order to prevent or alleviate disease. Other components of TCM are herbal medicine, cupping and moxibustion. Although TCM is an ancient system of medicine, only recently has it become more widely accepted in the West. The scientific community has become more interested in what acupuncture is, how it works, and what it treats.
Acupuncture works by inserting very fine, solid, sterilized needles into certain points on the body. These points are located along meridians, which are energy pathways that connect major organ systems. It is at these points where there is an accumulation of energy, and stimulating this energy through the insertion of a needles can affect great changes in the body. The insertion triggers an immediate response in the body, often creating a unique sensation.
The needling of acupuncture points helps to restore blood flow to the organs, increase immunity, relieve pain, and promote relaxation and emotional balance. Acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself.