Acupuncture is an ancient form of medical treatment in which small and very thin needles, usually made of stainless steel, are inserted into specific points in the body in order to relieve pain or improve health.
The treatment is believed to have been practiced in china as early as 4000 years ago and it is still used today. According to acupuncture experts of china, the human body was thought to consist of 14 meridians or channels of which 12 were bilateral and two were not, and it is through these meridians that vital energy flows. Along these meridians are situated 365 points where energy is concentrated. Now the number of these points has been increased to 800. The drawings for the exact positions of these points are available even today. With the help of these drawings, the needles are inserted as specific points for a particular disease. For example, if a patient has an eye problem, the needles will be inserted into his eye line. The needles do not go deep and the process is quite painless. A single treatment may last only 10 minutes.
In recent years, acupuncture has been accepted even in the west as a branch of alternative medicine. Acupuncture is extensively practiced in China, Japan, and the USA. It has proved to be an effective treatment for relieving pain. Some doctors even perform surgery with acupuncture as the only anesthetic. It has been used to treat malaria, stomach disorders, rheumatic pain and a host of other diseases.
Till now the scientists have not been able to fully explain how acupuncture works. But some of them have suggested that the needles might be relieving the nerves affecting a disease. It has also been observed that inserting a needle at one point of the body sets up a specific reaction at another point. According to another view, illness is supposed to be the result of an imbalance of the body’s forces. This imbalance is corrected by acupuncture.