is a family of procedures involving penetration of specific
superficial anatomic locations on the skin called acupuncture
points by thin, solid, generally metallic, needles.
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.
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.
Institutes of Health, Consensus Statement on Acupuncture,