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Acupuncture is a healing art that originated in ancient China. It is a derivative of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Documents describing the practice date back to the first century BCE, while some believe archaeological evidence points to a much earlier origin: possibly as early as 8,000 years ago. More people have been treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine than any other medicinal practice in the history of the world.

The medical theory of acupuncture centers on the concept of qi energy (pronounced “chee”). Qi is said to flow through the body's energy pathways, known as meridians. Meridians match certain organs or groups of organs. Unlike Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that disease is caused by an imbalance of this energy's flow through the meridians.

In an attempt to unblock or otherwise redirect the flow of energy, acupuncturists shallowly insert very thin needles into specific points in the skin tissue. These points are called acupoints. There are different ways of counting the acupoints, but most systems catalog about 350-400 such points. Medical acupuncture is often used for pain relief, among other treatments, and is now covered by many insurance policies.

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