Acupuncture is a therapy in which thin, solid, metallic needles are inserted into specific locations on the body surface to prevent or treat diseases.
As one of the oldest and most commonly used medical therapies in the world, acupuncture has recently become one of the fastest growing forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the USA. A nationwide survey by NCCAOM in 2002 estimated that about one in ten American adults had received acupuncture. Of these, sixty percent said they would readily consider acupuncture as a treatment option. Additionally, nearly half of those individuals surveyed reported being either extremely or very satisfied with their treatment. For pain relief, it is estimated that currently about 1 million Americans utilize acupuncture annually.
Known as an external therapy, acupuncture has three basics components: the acupuncture needle, the target location, and the stimulation of the needle. In most cases, the needle-tip pierces only into the superficial tissues of the body.
Various effects of acupuncture, whether instant or long-term, are mainly realized through the stimulation of nerve endings and related neural reflexes without injection of any medication.
Source: Jin, G., Dr. (2007). The Art & Science of Acupuncture (1st ed., p. 5). IIHM.
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