Acupuncture has been practiced for over 5,000 years. This alternative medicine, which originated in China, still has many misconceptions surrounding it in spite of its long history. Many people fear the unknown, and acupuncture is definitely a largely unknown alternative medical practice in modern society. Basically, acupuncture is a wellness procedure that is performed by inserting tiny needles into points along the nervous system. This can provide pain relief, natural healing and emotional balance.

The ancient Chinese believed that the body contained an important substance known as qi. According to the ancient theories, this energy substance flows through the body along meridians, which are like rivers in the body. When the meridians are blocked, the body cannot function properly because the qi energy is not flowing as it should. By inserting needles into these blocks, the ancient Chinese acupuncturist believed that the blocks could be released, thus allowing the qi to flow and continue to do its job in the body.

Today, medical professionals who approve of acupuncture believe that it works because it has an impact on the nervous system. The theory behind modern acupuncture treatment is that it works to regulate the nervous system. When certain acupuncture points are stimulated with the needles, biochemicals are released that can ease pain. When other acupuncture points are activated with the needles, immune system cells are stimulated to help aid in healing. Some studies indicate that the brain chemistry of the individual receiving acupuncture treatment changes, causing neurotransmitters and neurohormones to be released that help the body to be more healthy overall.

In other words, when a patient undergoes an acupuncture treatment, specific acupuncture points are stimulated with the needles. The points chosen are those that seem to have an impact on the condition the patient is experiencing. This stimulation of the acupuncture points causes the release of endorphins into the bloodstream. This, then, calms the pain that the patient is experiencing. Endorphins also help the entire body to relax, thus relieving stress and tension in the patient. This overall relaxation of the body can also help emotional problems like depression.

There is skepticism as to whether or not acupuncture actually works. There are few medical risks to acupuncture treatment. The needles are so tiny that they are not felt when applied to the skin, and there are few side effects to treatment. Those who are suffering chronic pain or illnesses that are not responding to medical care have little to lose by seeking acupuncture treatment, even if they are slightly skeptical about its effectiveness.