What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used as a medical treatment in China for over two thousand years.

A treatment involves the insertion of thin disposable needles into specific points in the body to restore balance and promote the normal flow of qi along channels of energy called meridians. These channels have over three hundred acupuncture points located along them, each with specific functions to enhance the health of the body.

Acupuncture is not like an injection. Most people may feel some heaviness, numbness or warmth around the point, or a slight radiating along the meridian, followed by a feeling of relaxation.

Other treatments which are commonly used by acupuncture practitioners can involve moxibustion, in which comfortable penetrating heat from a burning Chinese herb is used to warm acupoints in order to tonify or to promote the flow of qi; or cupping, the application of warmed glass cups to certain areas of the body to help pain or blockages and release toxins.

Acupuncture and cupping is a popular treatment amongst athletes and cupping marks are often seen on the bodies of swimmers during events.