What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine that involves the stimulation of precise, specific points on the body. Acupuncture is most often done through penetration of the skin by thin, solid, metallic needles and is sometimes accompanied by applying heat or electrical impulses to those specific points.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the Universal Life Force (sometimes called qi, chi or life energy) runs in particular patterns through and over the surface of the body. The energy patterns, called meridians, flow through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of the energy prevents the body's natural ability to function properly and heal. According to TCM by using acupuncture at certain points on the body that connect with these meridians the energy can be unblocked restoring balance and health.

The modern scientific explanation for how acupuncture works is that Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the body's central nervous system. The central nervous system then releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. The chemicals released can either help to relieve pain and or they can trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which can positively affect the body's own internal regulating system.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Just as every person is unique, every person can experience Acupuncture in their own unique way. Acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. Usually patients feel no pain as the needles are inserted. Most people find Acupuncture extremely relaxing and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.


Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA, in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. There are usually no negative side effects at all. Acupuncture is a very safe method of relieving pain and assisting the body in its natural healing process.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the goal of acupuncture is to restore the body's natural balance and health.

What Acupuncture Can Treat

Acupuncture is extremely successful in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. Many people try Acupuncture and find that it can help them when other treatments could not.

The main benefits of Acupuncture treatment are:

  • Pain relief without the use or side effects of drugs
  • Acupuncture treats the cause as well as the symptoms of the problem
  • Effectively treats many common ailments
  • Assists in prevention against disease