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Acupuncture is a Western term for what the Chinese call "needling therapy". Originally acupuncture began with the use of fine arrowheads or stone slivers called "bian" for bloodletting purposes. Acupuncture involving the insertion of fine metal needles was impossible until the development of metal needles, around 800 BCE. This makes acupuncture as we know it today roughly a 3000 year old practice. In fact very little has changed since its inception.
Extremely fine acupuncture needles are inserted into acupuncture points in various parts of the body. These acupuncture points are now understood to be neurovascular junctures or nodes. By stimulating tissue associated with various nodal sites, the acupuncturist is able to regulate a host of functional activities of the body.
Acupuncture adds nothing to the body, as its effects stem from its ability to restore functional balance and blood flow. Acupuncture promotes the circulation blood to various organs or tissues of the body. Blood has a tremendous potential to heal because it transports oxygen (qi), nutrients (ying), immune substances (wei), anti-inflammatory substances, and pain killing substances called endorphins and enkephalins. All of this together creates an extremely powerful tool to heal a wide host of health concerns.