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The ancient Chinese art of acupuncture has been around for at least 2500 years. 
Almost 5000 years ago, the legendary Yellow Emperor of China is said to have 
written the first textbook of acupuncture. Acupuncture was first introduced to Europe 
in the late 1600s. By the 1820's it was widely accepted both there and in the US. 

Acupuncture is based on a philosophy involving an energy flow of Qi (vital energy) 
around the body through channels called 'Meridians'. When these meridians become 
blocked Qi backs up and overflows, similar to water in a dam. When acupuncture 
needles are inserted near the blocked meridians, the Qi is restored to its normal 
flow and symptoms disappear. 

There is an ever-increasing mountain of research to support the claims made by 
acupuncture in the scientific world. Modern science tries to rationalise acupuncturists’ 
results through endorphin release, and other natural chemicals, as a result of 
stimulating specific areas of the nervous system. No matter what causes it the 
improved energy flow you get from acupuncture stimulates your body's natural 
healing abilities and puts you back on the path to health.

Acupuncture is based on the concept that the body’s vital energy travels in a clearly 
defined path, which TCM calls meridians or channels. By using sterilized, single-use
disposable filiform needles at meridian points that correspond to various organs 
and systems in the body, the body’s energy can be encouraged back into balance 
and stimulated to heal itself.

The practice of acupuncture in the United States is currently regulated in 40 states 
and the District of Columbia. Although practice requirements vary between states, 
all but 3 states regulating acupuncturists require passage of the acupuncture 
examination given by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and 
Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), which tests knowledge of acupuncture theory, 
acupuncture point location, and clean needle technique. The 35 schools nationwide 
that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental 
Medicine provide a minimum of 1,725 hours of training (705 hours of acupuncture-
oriented theory, diagnosis, and treatment; 360 hours of biomedical clinical sciences; 
and 660 hours of clinical training) taken over a minimum of three years. Additional 
certification in Chinese herbology is available, and students of Chinese herbology 
must obtain an additional 450 hours of herbal training. The degree received is 
normally a professional master’s degree in Oriental Medicine.

Questions and Answers About Acupuncture:

What is acupuncture?
What problems can be treated by acupuncture?
How does acupuncture work?
Is acupuncture safe?
Does it hurt?

Q. What is acupuncture?
A. Acupuncture consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific 
points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems.

Q. What problems can be treated by acupuncture?
A. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture’s effectiveness for over 
40 common disorders, including:
1) Ear, Nose and Throat disorders such as toothaches, earaches, sinusitus and 
2) Respiratory disorders such as colds and flu, bronchitis, asthma and allergies.
3) Gastrointestinal disorders such as food allergies, nausea, indigestion and diarrhea.
4) Circulatory disorders such as hypertension, high cholesterol and arteriosclerosis.
5) Psychoemotional disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, 
    migraines and tinnitus.
6) Gynecological disorders such as menstrual irregularity, endometriosis and PMS.

Q. How does acupuncture work?
A. Modern Western medicine cannot yet explain how acupuncture works. Traditional
Asian acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of flow of qi (a fine, 
essential substance which nourishes and constructs the body) through distinct 
channels that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels. 
According to this theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading it to 
areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck or 

Q. Is acupuncture safe?
A. When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, acupuncture 
is safe. All licensed acupuncturist today use individually packaged, sterile, 
disposable needles.

Q. Does it hurt?
A. Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a human hair, and their 
insertion is practically painless. Most people find acupuncture relaxing and many 
fall asleep during the treatment.

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