What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with thin needles which are activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner's hands or with electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced "chee") through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.

What You Need to Know

Once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Acupuncture works to "re-program" and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the energy flow.

Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

How It Works

The needles are inserted just below the skin's surface and act as antennas to channel the energy in the correct direction to the correct locations. Acupuncture is relatively painless and has little or no side effects.

Acupuncture can be used to treat a whole host of problems including general pain, injuries, systemic disorders and even infertility.

Dr. Kevin Curtin