If you’re not familiar with holistic treatments, acupuncture may seem strange. After all, the thought of tiny needles being inserted into your body can be terrifying. But the fact is, acupuncture has been used for centuries and is an ancient Chinese medical technique often used to relieve pain, improve health, and some believe it can even cure disease.
While the effectiveness of acupuncture may remain controversial to some Western medical doctors and scientists, others swear by its benefits. In an effort to better understand acupuncture, let’s explore everything there is to know including what it is, how it works, the potential benefits, and the possible risks. Let’s get into it!
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a holistic form of medicine that is used to help treat different ailments. The Mayo Clinic says, “traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as chi or qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body.”
Acupuncture is a minimally invasive method that aims to “stimulate nerve-rich areas of the skin surface in order to influence tissues, gland, organs, and various functions of the body,” Paul Kempisty, a licensed acupuncturist tells Healthline. During the treatment, tiny needles are inserted into several acupuncture points on the body.