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Acupuncture is one of the primary treatments used in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. According the TCM, acupuncture promotes the body’s healing abilities by regulating the flow of Qi (vital life energy in the body, pronounced “chee”) by inserting very fine needles into specific points in the body. Over many years, TCM has mapped out the flow of Qi in the body through a system called meridians. Each of the 12 main meridians connects to one specific organ, or group of organs, that govern particular bodily functions. Illness results when Qi stagnates or is blocked, or when the body has too little, or too much, of it. When energy flows freely, wellbeing is restored.


Each person is different. During the insertion of needles, some people feel nothing, while others experience a quick twinge, which may be followed by tingling, numbness, heaviness or warmth. Unlike hypodermic needles that are used for injections, acupuncture needles are solid, remarkably thin, and therefore cause very little pain. Needles generally remain in place for 15-40 minutes. During an acupuncture session, individuals often describe a feeling of calm and relaxation. At the end of a session, the acupuncturist quickly removes the needles. This is painless. Symptom relief may occur immediately, or in the few days that follow a treatment. For complex, longstanding complaints, more than one treatment is required.