Acupuncture is a form of treatment that involves inserting very thin needles through a person's skin at specific points on the body, to various depths. Research suggests that it can help relieve chronic pain, ease withdrawal symptoms, and it is used for a wide range of other complaints. It is also a key component of traditional Chinese medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or "chi" believed to flow through pathways in the body. By inserting needles into specific points along these points, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
In contrast to this belief, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue, which is believed to boost the body's natural painkillers.