Acupuncture, a Chinese therapy that has been used for over 2,500 years, involves the use of thin needles inserted into specific locations in the skin.
Acupuncture is based on the premise that health is determined by the flow of vital force or energy through the body. When the energy flow (chi) becomes blocked, a person becomes ill. The acupuncture needles unblock the energy flow in the body and help reduce pain and restore health. Placement of needles into specific areas on the body or points is associated with directing flow of energy to different organs.
Several styles of acupuncture may be utilized, including:
Medical acupuncture, which is used by a medical doctor (M.D.) or osteopath (D.O.)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in which acupuncture is linked to herbal therapy
Five Elements acupuncture, which is based on classical Chinese acupuncture
Japanese meridian acupuncture, which emphasizes the movement of energy through meridians
Korean hand acupuncture, which uses needles placed only in the hand
Ear acupuncture, which is based on the theory that stimulating points on the outer ear can affect the whole body
Scalp acupuncture, which uses points on the scalp