Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine that’s been around for about 2,500 years. In 1997, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) documented and publicized acupuncture’s safety and efficacy for treating a wide range of conditions.
Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites--commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints with the insertion of sterile, hair-thin, disposable stainless-steel needles.
The needles alter various biochemical and physiological imbalances, encouraging the body to activate and mobilize Qi (pronounced chee) and Blood, triggering proper metabolic function; essentially restoring the body's innate healing capacity. According to traditional Chinese medicine, qi is the lifeforce energy in the body — it helps regulate and move things in the body to keep us well. Stress, environmental factors, lifestyle behaviors, and genetics are some of the things that can block qi in the body.
Modern research shows that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, serotonin, and other neurochemicals that promote circulation and hormonal balance as well as reduce pain and inflammation. Other stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines.