Acupuncture is the application of fine, sterile needles — frequently no thicker than a cat’s whisker — into specific points on the body.
Chinese Medicine theory holds that there are meridians or channels in the body through which energy flows. The channels are known to lay people as qi (pronounced kee in the US and chee in the UK). These channels connect the organs with all the body’s other structures and the free flow of energy through these channels helps maintain health.
There are specific acupuncture points in precise locations on each channel and they each have a specific function. All acupuncture points have local effects and are useful for treating pain or dysfunction in a specific area. Some acupuncture points have general effects on the body as a whole or treat specific issues.
The effects of acupuncture points depend not only on the function of the points, but also on how they are needled and the depth at which they are needled. There are many different needling techniques and variations within the recommended depth of needling.