What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for many centuries. It's based on the theory that energy, called chi, flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
Acupuncture needles are typically made of stainless steel, making them flexible and preventing them from rusting or breaking. Needles are usually disposed of after each use to prevent contamination. Reusable needles when used should be sterilized between applications. Needles vary in length between 13 to 130 millimetres, with shorter needles used near the face and eyes, and longer needles in areas with thicker tissues. Needle diameters vary from 0.16 mm to 0.46 mm, with thicker needles used on more robust patients. Thinner needles may be flexible and require tubes for insertion. The tip of the needle should not be made too sharp to prevent breakage, although blunt needles cause more pain.
Acupuncture is used mainly to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, including: