Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to produce a healing response. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated. This technique has been practiced in China for thousands of years to treat many ailments. In Chinese medicine, acupuncture (along with food and herbal therapies) is one way of aiding in the flow of Qi. Qi (pronounced chee) can be thought of as vital energy or life force. It flows through the body along channels called meridians (channels) that run up and down the body. When there is a problem or disease in the body, Qi can become blocked, slowed, deficient, or excessive. Acupuncture helps bring the Qi back into balance and thereby help alleviate the problem.
Clinical research has been conducted showing positive results in the treatment of both animals and humans. The science behind acupuncture is continuing to be researched, but studies have shown that acupuncture works through neurological, biochemical, and bioelectrical effects.
Acupuncture is indicated for functional problems such as those that involve paralysis, pain, and inflammation as well as chronic conditions. There are a variety of conditions that can benefit from acupuncture such as musculoskeletal problems, neurologic conditions, gastrointestinal problems, and sporting related injuries.