Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, called acupoints. The practice is based on the belief that energy, known as Qi (pronounced "chee"), flows through pathways in the body called meridians. Acupuncture is believed to help balance the flow of Qi, which in turn can promote healing and well-being.
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety, depression, infertility, and digestive disorders. Some people use acupuncture as a complementary therapy to conventional medical treatments. It's also used to help with addiction, to reduce side effects of chemotherapy, alleviate symptoms of chronic illnesses, and to improve overall well-being.
The procedure is typically performed by a licensed acupuncturist, who will insert very thin needles into specific points on the body. The needles may be left in place for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, and the practitioner may manipulate the needles to stimulate the acupoints.
Acupuncture is considered safe when performed by a qualified practitioner. It's important to note that acupuncture should not be used as a sole treatment for serious medical conditions and it's always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before trying it.