What is acupuncture?Acupuncture originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical procedures in the world. Originating in China more than 2,000 years ago, acupuncture began to become better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery.
The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. Western practices of acupuncture may incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.
Acupuncture is increasingly being recognised as ‘effective’ by Western health professionals and patients. It is based upon detecting disharmonies within a person’s body and mind. These are determined by asking questions about presenting symptoms, life style, sleeping patterns, emotions, and feelings as well as examining the tongue, its colour, shape, and coating and taking a series of pulses on both wrists.