From ArticleWorld

Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine and its use has been traced back as far back as the first millennium BC. Nowadays, sterilized stainless steel needles of about the same thickness as a guitar string are inserted by trained practitioners into designated points of the body known as acupuncture points.

Acupuncturists have isolated points along twelve main and eight extra meridians which are associated with systems of function in the body. Disease is treated by modifying the activity of these systems and unblocking the energy flow by inserting needles into the strategic points associated with them.

The meridians

Of the main meridians which run vertically, bilaterally and symmetrically throughout the body, ten are named after organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys and the remaining two after functions such as protector of the heart. There are six yin and six yang channels.

Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncturists question their patient not only about the symptoms of what ails them but also about their lifestyle, moods and preferences. Clinical tests have shown it is beneficial for sufferers of hay fever, chronic fatigue, some gastrointestinal disorders, depression and headache amongst others. However, although it has been accepted in most Asian countries and has many devotees in the western world, scientists have been loathe to fully approving the practice as having therapeutic value. They do recommend further tests however and acknowledge the procedure as a potentially beneficial one which could be used within conventional medicine.

Due to its being an invasive procedure, there are dangers if not practiced correctly and improperly inserted needles may result in nerve injury, hematomas or even brain damage if the needle inserted too deeply into the base of the skull.