Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which involves sticking solid, hair fine needles into the body at specific points. The procedure is designed to release blocked energy and address imbalances in the body which may cause ill health, and it has been used in China for thousands of years. In the West, acupuncture is a relatively recent introduction to the medical library, but its popularity has quickly grown.
The theory behind acupuncture is that everybody is filled with a life force, called qi, or chi. When the masculine and feminine aspects of the body, known as yin and yang, are in balance, the qi is in balance, and will flow smoothly through the body along meridians of power. When someone is unhealthy, this suggests that there is an obstruction or imbalance that must be corrected. A TCM practitioner talks to the patient about the situation and may choose to use acupuncture, among other modalities, to treat it.