ACUPUNCTURE is a family of procedures involving penetration of specific superficial anatomic locations on the skin called acupuncture points by thin, solid, generally metallic, needles.
ACUPUNCTURE is one of the oldest and most commonly used forms of traditional medicine in the world -- dating back for at least 2,500 years. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow called Qi throughout the body that are essential for optimal health.
ACUPUNCTURE may be effective as an adjunct therapy, an acceptable alternative, or as part of a comprehensive threatment program. These conditions include but are not limited to addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia (general muscle pain), low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma.
Adverse side effects of acupuncture are extremely low and often lower than conventional treatment.
The data in support of acupuncture is as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.

-- National Institutes of Health, Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, 1997


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