Acupuncture is a method of treatment that has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries. Used as a means of treating and preventing disease through the application of needles to the body, the practice was introduced to the Western world about three centuries ago. Only in the past few decades has it gained momentum as an acceptable form medical treatment in the United States? While the debate over the theories and usefulness of the treatment continues among medical scientists, the popularity of acupuncture therapy has continued to grow and it is now practiced throughout the world. Acupuncture's many benefits include its effectiveness in healing a wide range of problems with few side effects, including use as an anesthesia. Both individuals and large health-care organizations also find its low cost of administration attractive.
Acupuncture is a very simple procedure and is administered by inserting very fine, thin needles into the "acu-points" along the different meridians (pathways of energy). Best results and method of treatment are achieved through proper diagnosis and selection of acu-points based the understanding and theories of traditional Chinese medicine.
The practice of acupuncture began in ancient times.
Its techniques have undergone more than 5,000 years of refinement.
The earliest known acupuncture instruments date to the Stone Age and included "bian," stones with sharp edges. Science and technology have furthered the quality of the acupuncture instruments from stone, bone and bamboo needles to bronze and iron, even gold and silver.
Now, disposable sterile stainless steel needles are most commonly used. As the structure of needles has been refined, so have application methods. A more recent development is "electro acupuncture" where electrodes are attached to the needles in order to conduct small, increasing amounts of electric current in to the body at key location, thus stimulating the effect of the treatment.